Senior Exhibition Graphic Designer

Monterey, CA

At the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we are passionate about creating an inclusive workplace that celebrates and values diversity. We firmly believe that having a team of diverse backgrounds and voices, working together, increases our capacity to serve our visitors and fulfill our mission. We welcome people from all walks of life into our team and strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, veterans, and people with disabilities to apply.


With limited oversight, lead and participate in design development for exhibitions large and small, and help generate the overall vision for 2D design at the Aquarium. Generate graphic designs, concepts, proposals and iterative design solutions for permanent and temporary exhibitions, and for educational and operational projects. As a key member of the Exhibition Design team and as part of a creative team that includes content and A/V media developers, production staff, and project managers, the Senior Exhibition Graphic Designer plays a critical role and must work well in a collaborative environment and demonstrate a strong commitment to creating meaningful public experiences for diverse audiences. Perform other duties as required.

Core Activities:                                                                                                                                 

  • Conceptualize and share graphic design concepts for new and existing aquarium exhibits through sketches, diagrams, look and feel boards, typographic and color palettes, conceptual drawings, and sketch models.
  • Generate detailed graphic design documents that represent design ideas and solutions, including, but not limited to: sketches, diagrams, layouts, drawings, physical and digital models, and detailed production drawings and specifications.
  • Lead coordination of graphic design process; research colors, fonts, precedents; share drafts, integrate edits, manage workflows, integrate feedback and change requests into designs.
  • Problem-solve and strategize with peers in 3D design, content, animal care, project management, production, film & video, marketing, membership, and multimedia to meet project goals and deadlines.
  • Create and source imagery, maps, drawings, charts, etc. for use in exhibition and interpretive materials.
  • Participate in generating RFQs and RFPs to engage outside consultants, art directors, illustrators, fabricators, photographers, printers, and designers as needed, sharing relevant project information and designs, evaluating submittals, making recommendations to the team, and coordinating consultant work through the duration of a project.
  • Research and specify materials and graphic production processes; lead work in cost estimating and value engineering as needed.
  • Mentor and coach emerging colleagues.
  • Advise on best practices in accessibility, equity, and inclusivity, integrating them throughout all phases of design and production.
  • Lead and represent the Exhibition Design team through project charrettes and presentations to staff, senior leadership and other key stakeholders as needed.
  • Prepare and present at professional conferences.
  • Serve on Aquarium-wide committees as an informed spokesperson and Exhibition Division representative and liaison.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills & Abilities (KSAs):

  • Bachelor’s or MFA degree in Graphic Design or related field or equivalent combination of education, training and experience
  • Minimum 6-9 years of prior exhibition graphic design and art direction experience for museums, zoos, public gardens, and/or aquariums, with progressively increased design and leadership responsibilities
  • Previous experience managing design teams and art directing projects
  • Excellent design and visual communication skills and ability, as demonstrated through a portfolio of work.
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills
  • Advanced skills in Adobe Creative Suite
  • Advanced knowledge and understanding of typography, color, visual communication + design
  • Advanced facility representing design ideas through drawings, collage, and other graphic media
  • In-depth understanding of graphic production processes and timelines
  • Demonstrated ability to lead creative teams on large and complex exhibition projects
  • Experience developing successful design solutions that prioritize audience engagement and interactivity
  • Ability to interpret and add to architectural drawings
  • Facility integrating accessible and universal design guidelines in environmental and exhibit graphics
  • Demonstrated commitment to collaboration and an iterative experience-design process
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
  • 3D exhibition design experience a plus
  • Knowledge of Spanish a plus
  • Ability to work within and maintain Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Core Values and the core values of the Exhibitions Division
  • A portfolio of at 5-8 relevant examples of graphic design work is required as part of the application. Work should demonstrate strong design work in exhibitions or other public-facing environments.
  • Please include images and short descriptions of your final work and your role, as well as portfolio pages that demonstrate your design process. Share as a single file (PDF format) no larger than 10MB, maximum of 20 pages


Annual Compensation Range Minimum:

$82,500-$101,000 USD annually. Starting rate will vary based on previous experience and relevant skills/knowledge set.


  • Associates or better.
  • Bachelors or better.
  • High School or better.

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