Job Openings Design Director (Contract)

About the job Design Director (Contract)

Design Director

Freelance, remote

We are looking to bring on an experienced, knowledgeable Design Director to help grow our design agency. This is an opportunity to join a shortlist of design leaders at a growing firm on a freelance or contract basis. You'll work with us project-by-project to deliver high-quality work to our clients and level up how we design and scale ventures at ADG. We are looking for established designers who can lead projects and teams. If in doubt, contact us or apply!

Want to make a big impact at a growing design company?

ADG partners with startups, venture capital, and large corporations to design and grow new business ventures through venture design and accelerator programs. Our firm has the expertise to offer both consulting and design services. We design, create and support the development of new products and services that redefine contemporary life.

At ADG, we practice a Design & Society approach which balances user needs, systems-thinking and business strategy. ADG has a global portfolio of successful projects across every continent except Antarctica.

Some of these past projects include designing a new venture that rethinks the global supply chain with a Japan-based global automotive manufacturer and leading a startup accelerator that catapulted a former Soviet country, Georgia, into a regional startup and technological hub.

What you'll do:

You will have the chance to lead an integrated, global, and remote team of designers, researchers and strategists. Our work is fast-paced, never compromises on quality and pushes boundaries. Your work will never just sit on the shelf but will drive change from day one to decades into the future.

You will get to participate in and lead the full process of building transformational innovations, including user and expert research, business and financial modeling, growth hacking, systems thinking and strategic foresight. You'll get to partner with a growing design agency to refine your practice while helping the next generation of designers build theirs.

As a Design Director with ADG, you'll be expected to: 

  • Lead client projects Draw on your knowledge of the client's needs and goals to plan and execute activities and deliverables for client projects. Direct each project's day-to-day process and high level arc at the helm of a team of talented Business Designers, Design Researchers, Product Designers, and Project Managers. Support ADG's agency team in delivering high-quality work to satisfied clients by attending client check-ins, presenting deliverables, and speaking to ADG's process and expertise.

  • Design and scale new ventures - You'll be hands-on from the beginning shaping new ideas or incubating existing ones that draw on user needs, business strategy, and systems thinking. You'll help evolve and scale new ventures and potentially stay on in a fractional leadership role. Organization is immensely valuable and you'll leverage the team and assets to meet client expectations, while keeping the team focused and quality high. You'll relentlessly pursue research that unearths truth and solutions that are defensible, creative, and impactful.

  • Direct venture architecture Apply an entrepreneurial and systems mindset to define the field of opportunity and scope of new ventures. Design Directors wear many hats, including go-to-market strategy, research, pricing, operations, product and technology as they guide a new venture's journey from the early stages to launch and scale. You may be a Master of One design practice but you'll be comfortable guiding a team of experts from across the design spectrum.

  • Pitch and tell stories As the primary voice of the new venture and project, you will lead ADG client teams to package and present new ventures in a compelling light to drive investment and engagement from client's senior leadership. You will help articulate the value of ADG's work and design in general while integrating your entire design team's outputs into a cohesive venture narrative.

  • Create great client experiences - As the primary voice of the new venture, you'll create an exceptional experience for clients, including helping them understand ADG's process, the rationale behind the product, and overall feel they're a part of the venture team as it moves from Ideation to Scale.

  • Mentor and coach your design team You'll steer projects staffed by talented, growing designers. You'll nurture their growth and craft by providing ongoing feedback as a compassionate, experienced mentor. You'll cultivate an inclusive, enjoyable and productive working environment with designers from across North America and Europe (and further regions as we continue to grow).

Attributes we're looking for:

  • Self-starter  you don't need the solution defined for you to be able to start tackling a problem.

  • Detail-oriented  you're able to manage complex projects, dependencies, and timelines to execute impeccably every time.

  • Highly communicative  you'll be working remotely for this role, so ask questions, keep up to date, and share progress regularly through our online channels.

  • Ambitious  you're hungry for growth, high-impact work, and learning from other smart team members and clients.

  • Analytical  critical thinking (quantitative and qualitative) drives our approach and being able to break down problems and analyze their components with rigor is essential.

  • Systems and futures thinker  believe design has the potential to impact businesses and societies and can see how design choices we make now reverberate and impact the future.

  • Values trust and good work we do not negotiate on quality and build our reputation through trusted partnerships.

  • Ideal experience We are hiring for all experience levels. We prefer a relevant Bachelor's or Master's degree and/or relevant work experience. Being able to present past projects and experiences that express your passions and skills is a must. 


  • Join a roster of talented, global freelancers. Be pre-approved and the first to hear about meaningful work opportunities.

  • Project lengths vary from 2-day workshops to several months of in-depth design and operational support. We recognize and honor that you may be working with other clients or on personal projects.

  • Competitive rates based on level of experience and qualifications.

  • A supportive and collaborative environment where everyone owns a piece of the work and contributes to a larger whole.

  • Ability to work remotely anywhere around the world. Some projects have travel opportunities for in-person collaboration (often outside North America!). While we work primarily in PST we are open to considering candidates located anywhere around the world.

We're happy you've made it this far! Our mission to reimagine contemporary through design gives us energy every day. If that's something that also excites you, start the conversation by applying here.