What are the best design job titles for you and your team? I reviewed 90+ design job titles searched for by candidates (and employers!) to find the best titles for you to choose from. This is the latest chapter in Ongig’s series called Job Titles: The Definitive Guide.
In this article, you’ll find:
- Types of Design Jobs — The 6 most-searched-for types of design job titles
- Art Director vs Creative Director — The similarities and differences between Art Director and Creative Director
- Design Job Titles Hierarchy — The standard org chart for design department positions with examples from each of the major 6 design job levels. I include examples of top employers and what they call their titles.
- The Top 25 Most-Searched-For Design Titles — A column chart of the top 25 design positions that candidates search for on Google.
- 10 Design Job Titles and Descriptions — A list of the top 10 design job titles and descriptions that employers request.
- Creative Design Job Titles — A few funny job titles we found for design professionals.
Types of Design Jobs
During our search for the most popular roles in a design team, we found 7 types of design jobs. The most-searched-for design job titles fall under one of these categories:
- Graphic Design job titles
- Industrial Design job titles
- Interior Design job titles
- Web Design job titles
- Instructional Design job titles
- Creative Design job titles
- Tech Design Jobs
Art Director vs Creative Director
Art Director and Creative Director are searched on Google 6,800 times per month (combined), which puts them in the top 10 most-searched-for design job titles according to ahrefs.com. These design roles are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are some differences. Workfront says:
“By definition, an art director is focused solely on aesthetics, whereas a creative director will handle strategy, campaign execution, art direction, and more.
Depending on the size of the company, an Art Director may also take on the role of the Creative Director; sometimes called the Design Director. At larger companies, like Facebook or instance, the design team uses all 3 design job titles. At Facebook, these design roles are part of the Global Creative Team, each focusing on different products (e.g., Instagram, Whatsapp & Facebook general).
Large or small, the design team plays a critical role in most businesses. Let’s have a look at a typical design job title hierarchy.
Design Job Title Hierarchy
Below is a design job titles hierarchy chart with top seniority listed at the top, down to entry-level jobs at the bottom:
- Chief Creative Officer (CCO) – Chief Design Officer, Head of Creative, Head of Design
- VP Design – Creative Executive, Vice President of Design, VP Creative, Vice President of Creative
- Art Director – Creative Director, Design Director, Director of Creative Operations, Executive Creative Director
- Design Manager – Design Lead, Art Production Manager, Senior Design Manager, Creative Lead, Visual Identity Manager
- Individual Contributors – Graphic Designer, Interior Designer, UX Designer, Illustrator, Instructional Designer, Designer, Web Designer, Industrial Designer, Game Designer, UI Designer, UI/UX Designer, Senior Graphic Designer, Visual Designer
- Entry Level – Junior Graphic Designer, Design Assistant, Entry Level UX Designer, Junior Designer, Assistant Designer
Here’s a longer list of titles by each row of the pyramid with little more texture on each:
Job Titles for Design Leaders
Below are the top 8 titles I found candidates and employers using for Design leaders.
- Chief Creative Officer (ZenDesk)
- Chief Design Officer (Johnson & Johnson)
- Head of Creative (Airbnb)
- Head of Design (Logitech)
- Creative Group head (The Richards Group)
- Head of UX Design (Google)
- Head of Design and User Experience (Adobe)
- Head of Design Research (Amazon)
VP of Design Titles
Here are the top titles I found candidates and employers using for Design Vice President titles:
- Creative Executive (Voyage Media)
- VP Design (Ripple)
- Vice President of Design (Nissan)
- VP of Design (lululemon)
- Vice President of Creative (Williams-Sonoma)
- VP Creative (Walmart)
- Design Executive (NETGEAR)
- Senior VP of Creative (iHeartMedia)
- SVP Design Innovation(Levi Strauss & Co.)
Director of Design Titles
Here are the 10 most used Design director titles:
- Art Director (Facebook)
- Creative Director (SurveyMonkey)
- Associate Creative Director (Apple)
- Design Director (Workday)
- Executive Creative Director (PayPal)
- Director of Product Design (Eventbrite)
- Group Creative Director (Pandora)
- Global Creative Director (Nike)
- Director Design (Airbnb)
- Director of Creative Operations (Disney+)
Design Manager Titles
There are numerous Design Manager alternative titles to use. Here are the 12 top job titles I found candidates and employers using:
- Design Manager (Samsung)
- Design Lead (Walmart Labs)
- Art Production Manager (Fossil)
- Creative Lead (Google)
- Senior Design Manager (SEPHORA)
- Visual Identity Manager (Miami HEAT)
- Design Operations Manager (Dropbox)
- Design Progam Manager (Autodesk)
- Experience Design Lead (Netflix)
- Experience Design Manager (Airbnb)
- Product Designer Leader (Gusto)
- Sr. Design Manager (Instacart)
Individual Contributor Design Titles
When you get to the individual contributor level of Design positions, there is more granularity. Here are the top titles I found candidates and employers using:
- Graphic Designer (eBay)
- UX Designer (Splunk)
- Interior Designer (Airbnb)
- Fashion Designer (Burberry)
- Illustrator (GrubHub)
- Instructional Designer (Tesla)
- Designer (Instagram)
- Web Designer (Linkedin)
- Industrial Design (Google)
- Game Designer (Warner Bros.)
- Video Game Designer (Sega)
- UI Designer (Airbnb)
- UI/UX Designer (Hewlett Packard)
- Senior Graphic Designer (Oracle)
- Visual Designer (Splunk)
- Production Artist (Walmart)
- Textile Designer (Banana Republic)
- Technical Designer (Old Navy)
- Freelance Designer (Fiverr)
- Motion Designer (MLB)
- Design Consultant (Michael Kors)
- Motion Graphics Designer (Workday)
- Layout Artist (Paramount Pictures)
- Brand Designer (Zendesk)
- Logo Designer (Upwork)
- Packing Designer (Igloo)
- Senior Designer (Apple)
Entry Level Design Job Titles
Here are the top entry level Design titles I found candidates and employers using:
- Junior Graphic Designer (Yelp)
- Design Assistant (Williams-Sonoma)
- Entry Level UX Designer (JD.com)
- Junior UX Designer (REEF)
- Junior Designer (WeWork)
- Assistant Designer (Gap)
- Graphic Design Intern (General Motors)
- Design Intern (DoorDash)
- Creative Intern (Cartoon Network)
Top Design Job Titles (Candidates)
Below is a list of the top 25 Design job titles based on Google queries we found on ahrefs.
Graphic Designer is the top searched-for job by candidates and employers, followed by UX Designer, Creative Director, Art Director, and Web Designer. What does a graphic designer do? Media Bistro defines a graphic designer as someone who:
“creates visual concepts to convey information through photos and art”
Top 12 Design Job Titles and Descriptions (Employers)
Below are the top 12 design job titles employers request on Google, according to ahrefs.
I’ve included a brief description for each, as well as the # of job title searches per month by employers.
A Graphic Designer is responsible for creating various types of materials for an organization. A Graphic Designer develops layouts for magazines, posters, billboards, online marketing materials, and brochures. A Graphic Designer may also create designs for annual reports or internal communication pieces for a company.
# of job title searches per month: 3,900
A Creative Director leads the creative team and is responsible for making creative-related decisions for different types of design projects. Typical duties of a Creative Director include:
- leading brainstorming meetings
- mapping out creative goals
- providing design vision and feedback
# of job title searches per month: 3,300
A Web Designer is responsible for creating new websites from scratch or making updates to existing websites. A Web Designer uses various online tools and technologies to create a functional website. A Web Designer is also tasked with:
- designing navigational elements
- using HTML code
- incorporating SEO into websites
- updating and tracking website changes
A Web Designer:
“Applies UX/UI knowledge to a website rather than a digital product.”source: Charli Prangley Design job titles explained! (& how to pick the right one for YOU)
# of job title searches per month: 1,400
A UX Designer makes a product user friendly. A UX Designer does research on how to improve user experience and creates wireframes for the end product. A UX Designer also develops prototypes and creates different personas to test the usability of a product.
UX Designer is commonly known as a Product Designer these days, according to Charli Prangley, who talks about tech design jobs on YouTube.
# of job title searches per month: 1,300
An Art Director manages the visual part of a creative team. An Art Director is responsible for:
- create an artistic vision for the team
- develop creative budgets
- manage project timelines
- review and approve copy or designs
# of job title searches per month: 1,200
An Interior Designer creates a vision and design of interior spaces. Duties of an Interior Designer include planning, researching, and coordinating interior design projects. An Interior Designer works directly with clients to meet their budget and vision requirements.
# of job title searches per month: 700
A Fashion Designer creates and designs wearable works of art. A Fashion Designer is responsible for researching fashion trends, creates sketches of their designs, pitches to fashion producers, and manages the production process for their designs.
# of job title searches per month: 600
A UI Designer manages the user interface aspect of a design project. A UI Designer is tasked with creating the overall layout of a product and works with the UX designer to ensure a user-friendly flow. A UI Designer also makes updates to a product layout based on user feedback if necessary.
Many UI designers in tech are also expected to handle the UX design side too, Charli Prangley explains in her YouTube video on common types of design jobs in tech.
# of job title searches per month: 350
A Production Artist manages the execution of a design concept. A Production Artist, in many cases, is also a Graphic Designer and is responsible for making a design work for various mediums like billboards, online ads, brochures, and social media.
# of job title searches per month: 350
An Illustrator works with other design team members to create an overall visual theme for a product or design. An Illustrator focuses on creating the visual pieces that go along with text and other content in marketing materials. An Illustrator designs colorful images for books, ads, magazines, and more.
# of job title searches per month: 300
A Product Designer works with a product after its completion to add new features, make updates, and run tests for improvements. A Product Designer also focuses on creating the best user experience, many times on virtual products (apps, software, etc.) instead of physical products.
Design job title expert Charli Prangley says “Product Designer” is a very common role in tech design jobs and “probably the most popular.”
# of job title searches per month: 150
A Marketing Designer specializes in graphic design. Some duties of a Marketing Designer include:
- developing art for advertising campaigns
- designing marketing pieces (print or digital)
- building a brand or company image
- designing internal or external website design elements
Design job title expert Charli Prangley says “Marketing Designer” is her personal favorite when it comes to design job titles.
# of job title searches per month: 80
The 5 Types of Design Jobs in Tech
The tech industry, as usual, is a bit different with its job titles. The 5 most important design titles, says tech design guru Charli Prangley are below (with links to their start time in the video):
- 00:42 Product Designer
- 02:11 UX Designer
- 03:25 UI Designer
- 04:23 Web Designer
- 05:28 Marketing Designer
You can learn more about each in her YouTube video, Design job titles explained! (& how to pick the right one for YOU).
Funny Design Job Titles
Below are a few funny and creative design job titles we’ve found.
- Arts and Crafts Designer (Designer)…Method
- Clue Shredder (Lead Game Designer)… Kate Reynolds, SCVNGR Lead Game Designer
- Comic Sans Annihilator Graphic Designer
- Connoisseur of Pantone (Graphic Designer)
- Crayon Evangelist (Graphic Designer)…InteQ Corp.
- Director of Kerning (Graphic Designer)
- Dream Alchemist (Head of Creative)
- Head of Quietly Judging (Graphic Designer)
Want more funny job titles? Check out our 100+ Creative & Funny Job Titles [by Department & Position]
Design Job Titles Sources
A special thanks to these experts on Design job titles:
- Workfront.com’s blog on Which Role Do You Need to Hire: Creative Director or Art Director?
- Jenell Talley’s blog on What Does a Graphic Designer Do?
- Brianna Flavin’s article on Creative Director vs. Art Director: Drawing the Line Between Commonly Confused Creative Careers
- Graphic Design Career Hub’s article on What Does a Web Designer Do?
- Nick Babich’s article on What Does a UX Designer Actually Do?
- CreativeBloq’s blog on Being an art director: all you need to know
- Laura Barry’s article on What is an interior designer?
- Lisa McQuerrey’s blog on Difference Between a Fashion Designer and a Clothing Designer
- Lo Min Ming’s blog on UI, UX: Who Does What? A Designer’s Guide To The Tech Industry
- Hannah Meinke’s blog on What Is a Production Artist? The Experts in Creative Execution
- What does a product designer do, and how is it different from UX design? (by Georgina Guthrie)
- What Is a Marketing Designer? (by ZipRecruiter)
Why I wrote this?
My team and I share this research on design job titles to help you optimize your own titles. This supports our mission to transform job descriptions. Check out Ongig.com to see how our software transforms your job titles and job descriptions.