Visual Designer

Applications procedure
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    Bonn, Germany
    UTC +2

    Organisational Unit: UNU Vice-Rectorate in Europe (UNU-ViE)

    About UN University

    For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, conflict prevention, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe.

    United Nations University Vice-Rectorate in Europe (UNU-ViE)

    UNU-ViE concentrates on relationships between advancing science and technology for human security. In addition to its scientific core mandate, it administers the central units providing service to five UNU entities in Bonn ( The central administration units include Finance, Human Resources, Information Communication Technology, Communication Services, Procurement and General Administration. These units also assist with the administration of new UNU initiatives in Europe and Africa. For more information on the organization, please visit the following: 

    Communications Unit

    The unit provides strategic communication services for all UNU entities based in Bonn with an overall priority on the UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS).


    Under the overall authority of the Vice-Rector and Director of UNU-EHS and the direct supervision of the Head of Communication Services (ViE), the successful candidate will be responsible for the following tasks:

    Branding & visual identity

    • contribute to the evolution of the brand and visual identity, within the institute and UNU-wide
    • collaborate with global communications staff through the sharing of ideas, experiences, and assets
    • develop the digital and visual communications strategy for UNU-EHS and contribute to developing a global strategy in partnership with other UNU entities
    • review and approve all branded products to ensure they meet quality, consistency, and corporate branding guidelines
    • provide strategic advice on branding and identity opportunities to senior management
    • lead the creative development, design, and execution of a large variety of print products (e.g. flyers, pull-up banners, posters, fact sheets) and branded materials (e.g. T-shirts, pens, bookmarks).

    Editorial design

    • develop and maintain production templates for serial and one-off publications
    • layout and typeset publications ranging from 20 to 150 pages for print and digital formats
    • develop charts, tables, and figures based on complex scientific data
    • choose appropriate images for publications in consultation with authors

    Project print management

    • establish and manage a detailed production schedule and ensure all products are delivered on deadline
    • identify external agencies and provide detailed cost estimates for design agencies printed products and overviews on most cost effective options
    • liaise with procurement department on preparing orders and assessing bids
    • in coordination with the procurement department, identify new vendors as needed and manage relationships with existing vendors, especially printing companies
    • provide print specifications and print-ready files to vendor; evaluate and sign off on print proofs
    • conduct quality control on all printed products

    Digital design

    • collaborate with experts in developing impactful and engaging visuals for social media channels and websites (e.g. electronic banners and infographics)
    • create templates for newsletters, press releases, media advisories, and other electronic communication products
    • create interactive publication pdfs

    User experience design

    The successful candidate will identify user needs through various methods, including:

    • human-centered design
    • expert interviews
    • card sorting
    • context Inquiry
    • developing user personas
    • user flows
    • design user journeys based on the needs and the limitations of the users and of the context of use
    • wireframes

    Conduct usability testing of digital publications using expert methods

    • paper prototype with authors and stakeholders
    • user testing with prototypes, both on paper and digitally
    • observation and “thinking out loud”
    • cognitive walkthrough

    Management of digital projects

    • establish and manage a detailed schedule for digital publication content and design
    • gather and validate organisational priorities and end-user requirements
    • liaise and collaborate with authors, stakeholders, and users on digital content to identify and meet users’ needs
    • test the designs with end users at different stages of the product development cycle and refine the interface based on the findings to minimise fixes and rework during development
    • ensure that usability principles and UX best practices are followed and define specifications for user interface behaviors

    Photography and videography

    • manage the UNU-EHS in-house photo database, which includes image selection, editing, and assigning of photo captions and credits
    • photoshoot in-house and external events, as well as all staff photos
    • provide photography trainings to scientists as needed
    • procurement of UNU-EHS and UNU-ViE photography and videography equipment and relevant software
    • support on-camera media interviews by stage setting (lighting, makeup, room setup, and location selection)
    • film in-house videos for social media channels, including all post-production (review, photo editing, and scripting)

    Required qualifications and experience

    Required qualifications and experience include:

    • preferably a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in one of the following or related fields: Media Design, Communication Design, Design Management, or Graphic or Visual Communication
    • a minimum of five (5) years of professional experience as a graphic designer in agency or in-house, preferably in an UN setting
    • professionally trained in usability and user experience
    • professionally trained as a photographer or videographer
    • experience in creating designs for complex scientific topics is a strong asset
    • high familiarity with agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is considered a strong asset
    • a portfolio demonstrating a proven track record of creating innovative and high quality graphic design products
    • knowledge and experience in layout and typesetting long-from publications up to 200 pages
    • experience in corporate brand management and development
    • professional knowledge of the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite and a proven track record in professional use of Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premier
    • experience working with a digital publishing platforms
    • knowledge of Vertical Response, Mailchimp, or similar mass mailing tools is an asset
    • demonstrated ability to professionally interact with and assist clients from initial stages of projects through project completion
    • strong experience in project management, incl. excellent time management, forward planning, and prioritization skills, with the ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines
    • familiarity with UN procurement processes considered a strong asset
    • ability to work effectively as part of a communications team
    • ability to generate and implement creative and innovative design ideas
    • fluency in English and German

    Applications from suitably qualified women candidates are particularly encouraged.


    We offer a competitive net salary at GS-5 level of the General Service salary scale (for Bonn, Germany) of the United Nations Common System, plus benefits. For more information, please visit

    Duration of contract

    This is full-time employment. Initial appointment will be on a fixed-term appointment of one (1) year with the possibility of renewal on a rolling fixed-term appointment basis, subject to satisfactory work performance.  The mandatory age of retirement for new United Nations staff is 65 years.

    This is a locally recruited post; no relocation allowances apply. UNU is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture.

    Staff members of the United Nations University are international civil servants subject to the authority of the Rector and may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of the University. Rector reserves the right to appoint the candidate to a level below that which is advertised.

    Starting date

    As soon as possible.

  • Interested applicants should submit their applications by e-mail (to, and must include the following:

    • a cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position;
    • a curriculum vitae and completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form downloadable from UNU Bonn website. Please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organizations;
    • an indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2019/UNU/ViE/FTA/VD/0059694)
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