Digital designer

  • Full-time
  • Washington, DC
  • Applications have closed

Website The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

We’re not too shy to say it: ICIJ produces some of the world’s best – and most important – investigative journalism. It reads well, and it makes waves. But we know it could look even better, and tickle our audiences’ senses and draw them into our stories even more.

So we’re searching for someone to help us lift our visual game, and make our journalism more appealing to the eye and more engaging to an even broader audience.

Are you passionate about telling the world’s most important stories, visually? About producing beautiful, engaging designs that can help change our world for the better? We want to hear from you!

The job

We want you to create designs, graphics and visual experiences that will help translate our stories into engaging, meaningful content for our readers. This will involve everything from producing bespoke graphics, working on informative data visualizations, improving the look and feel of our website, newsletters and social media content, and more. We’ll put any and all of your design skills to good use.

You’ll be working closely with our product team, including engagement specialists and a developer. You’ll also be working with all our journalists (in-house and in-network) from the very beginning of stories to make sure we’re all thinking of potential visual opportunities at every step of the process.

We really hope you’ll be doing this from our Washington, D.C., headquarters, but we might be flexible to remote working arrangements for the right candidate.

The opportunities

We’re all about the journalism, and everyone at ICIJ is treated as a journalist first – which means having the chance to contribute to each investigation and collaborate with the best cross-border investigative journalism team the world has ever seen. As reporters, we shine a light into the dark places of the world. As our designer, you’ll help make sure that light is so bright that there’s nowhere left for the bad folks to hide.

We’re a small team with big ambitions and an emphasis on creative thinking. So you’ll have ample opportunities to test out crazy design ideas and help keep us at the cutting edge of journalism. And, because we work in partnership with dozens of media outlets, your work (and your crazy design ideas!) will be seen by an audience of tens of millions, and will help citizens understand and better navigate important topics of global discussion.


  • You will work on all major ICIJ investigations, and, in collaboration with our web developer, engagement team and reporting team, pitch and produce data visualizations, graphics and other visual elements to augment our investigative reporting.
  • You will assist with website and newsletter design improvements, and help create visual templates or styles for regular content features.
    You will create visual content (images, gifs, animations, illustrations, etc.) as needed to complement social media and fundraising campaigns.
  • You will manage a number of concurrent design projects, both short term and long term, in collaboration with ICIJ’s product team – and deliver on deadline.
  • You will be expected to be a generally awesome person who works well in a team, and pitches in with whatever skills you have to help ICIJ thrive as the world’s best cross-border investigative news organization.


  • You will help set the visual tone for ICIJ’s public-facing products, and create a visual style guide that will inform all work we produce.
  • You will have a chance to influence the way our audience engages with our stories, and test out new ideas or tools for improving visual design of our work and the experience for our users.
  • You will be able to help reporters understand how design can elevate their work, and help optimize the way they craft stories to meld with our design aspirations.
  • You’ll be working alongside our team of developers, data analysts and reporters with chances to regularly share knowledge and learn new skills from one another.

Your skills and experience

  • Two or more years of experience as a design professional, preferably with some newsroom experience along the way.
  • You must be a self-starter who can pitch and manage multiple design projects from start to finish, documenting processes and providing timely updates to the team.
  • Experience working with Adobe Creative Suite tools.
  • Experience designing across desktop, mobile and tablet devices, and an understanding of how digital audiences engage with visual content.
  • Demonstrated ability to make appealing, consistent design choices across typography, color schemes, layout and more.
  • Good sense of humor, consideration for others, and a spoonful of patience when working within a team.


  • Familiarity with data visualization and interactive storytelling.
  • Illustration or animation skills.
  • Familiarity with UX design and user-centered design thinking.
  • Familiarity with or willingness to learn front-end development coding languages like HTML, CSS, Javascript.
  • Sound news judgment, an understanding of global news topics and a passion for journalism.

This position will (hopefully) be based in ICIJ’s Washington, D.C., office. Applicants must be authorized to work in the U.S.

ICIJ is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to hiring employees from diverse backgrounds with excellent journalism skills. People of color, women, LGBTQ, and people with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

How to apply?
If you’re feeling creative (which we hope you are!), we’d love to see how you visually think of ICIJ. If you had to portray us with a single image, what would it be? Alternatively, please feel free to try out/pitch any of your design ideas for a piece of ICIJ content (real or imagined) – it could be an idea for an engaging dataviz, or a sketch or even reimagining ICIJ’s currently-very-plain logo. Of course, we will also need your CV, would love to see a portfolio, and we never say no to cover letters if you feel inclined to write one. Please flood Hamish Boland-Rudder’s inbox ( with your applications, questions and general well-wishes. Applications close August 12, 2019.