Design Director

Cincinnati, OH
Full Time

Named by The Wall Street Journal as “one of the world’s more prominent design firms,” JRA plans, designs and realizes exceptional theme parks, attractions, museums and brand experiences around the world.  Established in 1987, the company employs a team of creative writers, planners, designers, media producers and project managers within its Cincinnati, Ohio studios. 

JRA is part of RWS Entertainment Group, a global, Emmy Award-winning entertainment company with headquarters in New York City, London and Cincinnati. Together with its subsidiaries, RWS designs, fabricates, installs and operates custom entertainment, live events and branded experiences delivering over 400 live productions and providing more than 4,500 career opportunities each year.

Currently seeking a Design Director to maintain and enhance the creative production and project design execution for our Cincinnati JRA office. Reporting to the Vice President of Design and working closely with the Creative Director of JRA will help to set and improve the artistic standards necessary to maximize JRA’s creative success with projects, creative proposals, and business development endeavors. 

Creative and Business Development Support:

  • Participates in and sometimes lead creative brainstorming workshops
  • Support Business Development and Marketing as needed with creative efforts, project summaries, staffing support, charrettes, project tracking, client interviews and presentations, marketing briefs or articles, etc.
  • Support the VP of Design, Creative Director, Operations Manager, and EVPs on staffing, assessment of staff and outside agencies/freelancers, vendors, etc.
  • Support and mentor internal staff and provide appropriate opportunities for growth, troubleshoot problems, and provide feedback
  • Translate marketing and business development initiatives into clear creative strategies and processes on projects
  • Remain up to date on current trends in the industry and how JRA can learn from and or adopt these into our workflow

Design and Project Direction:

  • Be the primary point of contact for the inception and design development portion of an assigned project, and ensure the project is delivered on-time, on-budget, and maintains a creative and visual quality representing JRA.
  • Provide clear day-to-day direction to a project team, and when necessary, provide design support for the various stages of design development associated with a given project.
  • Oversee the production of all project design documentation / deliverables for each assigned project and ensure compliance with the associated contracted scope of work, compliance with client and IP comments/requirements, to deliver a successful completion of a project.
  • Assures that work effort, both internally and via outside resources, is tracking properly in terms of hours and available budget allocations
  • Serves as primary project liaison with Senior Project Manager, Project Manager and / or Art Director, and JRA Design Management
  • Effectively communicate the story, creative intent, design objectives and criteria for project success to the client and or associated IP on a given project, while also building trust with the client for further project opportunities
  • Motivate and influence the project team to provide excellent and efficient design solutions to custom suit the project
  • Review and comment, providing feedback to the design team and client/owner project team, including various subcontractors, disciplines, and vendors
  • Travel domestically or internationally as required to support project design development, presentations, or proposals.
  • Comfortable managing varying scales of project teams utilizing interior and exterior resources in an organization
  • Provide influential design and creative solutions that compete in the market and represent the JRA brand.

Please Note: While this is an accurate and comprehensive description of the role, the above Roles & Responsibilities are not an exhaustive list of all duties, skills, efforts, requirements or working conditions associated with the position, and may require additional tasks be performed as assigned.


  • Thorough understanding of the design development process of a project, from inception to implementation, as well as the interface with the various project disciplines (Architecture, Engineering, MEP, etc.), and how and when they are utilized or interfaced with throughout a project timeline
  • Ability to generate, review and comment on project documents including but not limited to:  Design documentation, project and staffing schedule, budget, narrative, media treatments, facility design documentation, specifications, etc.
  • Ability to effectively communicate orally and in writing with colleagues, project team members, consultants, vendors, and clients
  • General construction knowledge applied to buildings, area development, fabrication techniques and integration of facility services
  • Experience working on domestic and international projects of varying scale and complexity, and with agencies and clients of various cultures
  • Ability to exhibit compliance with and work towards EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) and support this objective within project practices
  • Exhibit both an engaging personality and professional capabilities, problem solving skills, and excellent communication skills while juggling multiple projects
  • Provide an energy and positivity that others want to follow
  • Creativity with bold and unique design solutions, Confidence in leadership, Vision towards executing future goals, technical abilities to problem solve, and Organization to meet overlapping deadlines in a fast-paced working environment
  • Exhibit knowledge and proficiency in software and design techniques which will be implemented by the associated design teams.

A valid passport for the duration of employment for all travel-related roles. Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (or proof of exemption) will be required.

Company Benefits

  • Progressive Vacation / PTO, Health benefits - Medical, Dental, and Vision, Paid parental leave, 401k with company match

Estimated Start Date: ASAP

Reports to: Vice President and Creative Director, JRA

Current Status:

  • Mobile (Greater Cincinnati Area): Team members who are pre-approved to regularly perform their job responsibilities remotely up to three (3) days per week, with two (2) days per week (typically Mondays and Thursdays) operating out of the RWS/JRA Cincinnati Headquarters.

Salary: Director Level Position – Salary will be based on experience.  

Diversity and Inclusion Statement

At RWS Entertainment Group, our team of bold makers and mold breakers is made of a diverse group of people who we believe make our work stronger. Our stage actively chooses to uplift applicants with diverse racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, sexes, national origins, political affiliations, socio-economic status, veteran and Disability status, and other intersectional dimensions of diversity.

We believe the diversity of our people is the most valuable asset we have. The collective sum of the individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, inventiveness, innovation, self-expression, unique capabilities, and talent that our employees invest in their work represents a significant part of not only our culture, but our company’s achievement as well.

We are committed to ongoing learning and developing and implementing programs and initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion in all areas of employment as well as through our creative process and projects.

Get in Touch!

Please submit at this link via JazzHR


Apply for this position

Apply with Indeed
We've received your resume. Click here to update it.
Attach resume as .pdf, .doc, .docx, .odt, .txt, or .rtf (limit 5MB) or Paste resume

Paste your resume here or Attach resume file

To comply with government Equal Employment Opportunity and/or Affirmative Action reporting regulations, we are requesting (but NOT requiring) that you enter this personal data. This information will not be used in connection with any employment decisions, and will be used solely as permitted by state and federal law. Your voluntary cooperation would be appreciated. Learn more.