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Hiring: Design Director

KISS are seeking a full-time Design director to lead the creative in our studio in Leeds.

Hiring: Design Director



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Who's KISS?

KISS are seeking a full-time Design director to lead the creative in our studio in Leeds. This is a search for an exceptional creative, dedicated to producing outstanding work and who wants to help us build global recognition for brand design.

KISS is a strategic branding studio, lead by Poonam Saini & Matt Kilb, nestled along the riverside in The Calls, Leeds. KISS’ purpose is to keep things simple. This means creative projects are led by the founders who cherry-pick an expert support team from the KISS collective on a project-by-project basis.

The studio mission follows 3 aspects. One, to help brand owners and senior leadership fall in love with their brands again or feel confident to bring a new brand to life. Two, engage with new fresh audiences to help future-proof their brands. Three, transform the business to be prepared for the multiverse of branding.

Projects span a diverse range of markets across food and drink, place-making, enterprise, tech, retail and hospitality with a broad range of brand-oriented services. All united by a burning desire to be set for a successful future.

As a young company, we’re run by young minds with fresh ideas, transforming the brands we love and we act as a close creative partner to those businesses.


The Role

You will be a key player in our small team and leading creative output in a truly diverse array of projects, bringing brave ideas and quality execution to enhance our client brands and projects.

You will work closely with our Founders and creative team to conceptualize, develop, and execute outstanding design solutions that drive brand success. You’ll be responsible for leading the creative process from concept generation to development, brand world implementation across identity, packaging, digital and environment – effectively answering the brief and manifesting the collective vision to the highest possible quality. 

 KISS is highly strategic and will require applicants to have a strong understanding of the commercial and strategic impact of design.

Branding agency experience is a must,with a minimum of 9 years and be able to demonstrate your ability to create and steer high level creative and work comfortablywithin a small team.



What we're after

Creative Leadership

  • Provide visionary leadership to the design team, providing a clear way forward to answer a brief.
  • Collaborate closely with the team to develop and execute design strategies that align with client objectives and project goals.
  • Set the creative direction for projects, ensuring that designs reflect the brand’s essence and resonate with the target audience.

Creative Execution

  • Execute and conceptualize and create visually compelling brand identities and design assets that align with client objectives and project goals.
  • Develop design concepts, mood boards, and visual guidelines to guide the creative process.

Team management

  • Build, mentor, and manage a team of designers, nurturing their growth and professional development.
  • Oversee the allocation of projects, ensuring workloads are balanced, and deadlines are met.
  • Conduct crits, offer feedback, and promote a positive and collaborative work environment.

Client Collaboration

  • Understand client needs, and translating them into design solutions.
  • Present design concepts and ideas to clients, effectively communicating the rationale behind creative decisions.
  • Foster strong client relationships by consistently delivering outstanding design work and exceptional service.

Quality Assurance

  • Maintain high standards of design quality and consistency across all projects.
  • Conduct thorough design reviews and provide constructive feedback to ensure designs meet client objectives.

Innovate and be in-the-know

  • Stay updated on design trends and best practices to drive continuous improvement and innovation within the studio.



What we’re looking for

We need someone who strives for excellence and represents this in their portfolio, showcasing a variety of conceptual brand work, distinctiveness and strategic thinking that’s well crafted.

Frankly, we’re looking for someone that lives and breathes design and has a willingness to push it, someone who wants to use KISS to make an impact in the industry and be a core pillar in a growing business.

We’re looking for someone with the right qualities:

  • Brilliant mind and brilliant attitude: Wants to achieve inner brilliance and do so with a positive mindset. Leave baggage at the door.


  • Creative Visionary: Generate new ideas and novel solutions; think broadly; have a sharpness of thought; cut through and deliver creative solutions; make new connections; look at broader scope rather than getting caught in detail.


  • Challenger: Always looking to improve what you do or other aspects of the business and brands you work on. Striving to deliver high quality work, meaning that you will proactively look for ways to improve client work, proposing solutions and recommendations.


  • Influencer: Have a grounded confidence; ask the right questions; demonstrate clarity of thought; adapt tone/approach to suit client needs; present a positive, honest and professional self image; sell self and work into clients; challenge confidently; read situations and build relationships.


  • Maturity and Resilience: Has the ability to handle responsibility with grace and grit. Especially during high pressure situations such as first stage creative. Understand that setbacks happen and bounce back easily, not taking them personally, be willing to progress concepts that may not have been generated by you originally.


  • Cool Headed: Have patience in the face of looming deadlines, client feedback and unforeseen hurdles, and good at managing multiple demands on time.


  • Excellence: Has a high standard of craftsmanship and creative flair, and will actively look to enhance skills.


  • Cheerleader mindset: Has a positive attitude that is energizing and uplifting in nature to both clients and the team. Back, with strong belief, the projects, the founders and KISS’ long term ambition by jumping in and mucking in.


  • Collaborative: Desire to collaborate with the founders, the rest of the team and third parties to bring brands to life; continually building a network and comfortable to liaise with the founders, illustrators, motion designers, web developers and videographers and actively learn from the KISS collective.


  • Commercial Head: Have solid understanding of the creative and strategic process and what it takes to answer the brief, can understand brand strategy and articulate and create design strategy based on outcomes.


  • Well rounded individual: Someone who’s an anorak at heart and has interests beyond work and the pub. Someone who naturally enriches themselves and others around them.



What we offer

  • Salary bracket: £42-52k
  • Hybrid working (min 3 days per week in studio)
  • This is a full-time position with 35 working hours per week
  • Studio opening times are 9:30 to 5:30
  • One hour lunch break, to be taken at any time
  • Six month probationary period
  • 2 week remote working opportunities
  • 28 days holidays including bank holidays
  • Discretionary extended Christmas Holidays – the studio closes for an extended period over Christmas 
  • £1,000 per year skills and training allowance
  • Studio by the river in the heart of Leeds. Close to city culture, event and commuter links, easy train links to major cities
  • Become a key member of a growing business
  • Be integral and take ownership of a diverse array of exciting and unique projects


Join KISS and be part of a dynamic team that creates impactful and memorable brand experiences. If you are a seasoned brand designer with a passion for creativity and a drive to shape the future of brands, we’d love for you to apply.

Send your CV, Portfolio and why you’d love to be a part of KISS to