Art Director - Illustrated Non-fiction

New York, United States Full-time

At Lonely Planet we live to travel. Everything we do is designed to inspire and enable travelers to get out there, connect with the world and have great experiences. Across all areas of Lonely Planet, we look for talented people who share our passion.


The Art Director will assist the Publisher (based in London) with the development and delivery of Lonely Planet’s Illustrated Non-fiction and Reference lists for publication globally. This includes gift, general reference, stationery and illustrated books, and excludes guidebooks.


This role has special responsibility for ensuring that the Illustrated Non-fiction list is designed with the needs of the North American market in mind, advising the Publisher in London. It will also be tasked with producing bespoke US products and covers as needed.

The role is responsible for the design, picture research and layout of Lonely Planet’s Illustrated Non-fiction and Reference lists. As well as hands-on design, they are responsible for sourcing freelance designers, illustrators, picture researchers and photographers, as appropriate. This includes holding briefing meetings, overseeing work as it is carried out and providing feedback. 


They also work with Sales and Marketing colleagues and external agencies to create sales and marketing materials as needed; with coedition sales teams to create coeditionable products for foreign markets; and with image libraries, repro houses and printers to create finished products on time and to budget.


Please note that we are expanding our London team by setting up a small team in NYC. As half the Illustrated Non-fiction team is based in London, the development of close working relations as part of a virtual team will be a key skill.


Key Result Areas:


Design Solutions

  • Design rich, diverse and exciting products for Lonely Planet’s customers
  • Help steer the global list to better meet the needs of the North American market
  • Where needed, design US editions of international titles to maximise sales
  • Ensure all design work carried out is delivered on time, to budget and in the most efficient way possible, whether freelanced or produced internally
  • Work closely with Lonely Planet’s wider Design team to understand the design direction for the brand, products and campaigns and interpret this in all design projects
  • Be responsible for product development as required, such as pre-research, stocks, finishes, quality control and template creation
  • Coach, mentor and provide guidance to commissioning editors, freelance designers, image researchers and illustrators to ensure the best product for the market
  • Develop awareness of US traveler and publishing trends and a detailed knowledge of competitor products


Product Delivery

  • Work with Production Manager to ensure printing is booked and budgeted correctly
  • Negotiate contracts, commission and brief resources (designers, illustrators, image researchers, packagers, repro)
  • Liaise regularly with freelance resources throughout production to ensure a quality product, on time and to budget
  • Conduct image research as needed
  • Work closely with Sales and Marketing colleagues and external agencies in the creation of sales materials (catalogs, blads & sales kits)
  • Maintain/oversee the upkeep of all files to required standards of file management


Teamwork & Communication

  • Work as part of the LP community to create a positive, tolerant and harmonious work environment
  • Be honest, approachable and responsive to the resolution of work-related matters
  • Deal with all staff in a helpful, courteous and respectful manner
  • Communicate ideas which may improve the efficiency, performance or standards of your department and be open to the consideration of new ideas
  • Actively participate in the giving and receiving of constructive feedback to ensure understanding and open team relationships


Policies & Procedures

  • Actively ensure that the workplace is kept free from harassment, bullying behaviour and discrimination through thoughtful behaviour and leading by example
  • Work in accordance with Lonely Planet policy and procedural guidelines
  • Comply with all Occupational Health and Safety guidelines, reporting any potential risks or hazards
  • Follow safe work practices for self and others.


Key Skills / Experience / Knowledge / Qualifications / Attributes:



  • Accredited design qualification and previous experience in a senior design role
  • Excellent Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Acrobat skills
  • Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of book publishing design and prepress
  • A sound knowledge of print production processes
  • Previous marketing design and product development experience
  • Up to date knowledge of design and market trends
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience working with external clients and suppliers
  • Ability to manage multiple projects, on schedule, to budget, with minimal supervision
  • Flexible and consultative, yet deadline oriented, with a demonstrated ability to work under pressure
  • Ability to coach, mentor and give feedback



  • Passion for travel

What’s in it for you? 

This is an exceptional opportunity to work for a growing team in a globally loved brand in a truly global company, with offices in the UK, US, Australia, Ireland, China & India. You will also receive 3 weeks of vacation, a competitive salary based on your experience and region, 401K and great medical coverage.

I’m In!

Please ensure you submit a cover letter detailing your salary expectations along with your CV telling us why you’d like to join our team.

Lonely Planet participates in the federal government's E-Verify program. With E-Verify, we are able to confirm the employment authorization of all newly hired employees through an electronic database maintained by the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security. The E-Verify process is completed in conjunction with the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, upon commencement of employment. E-Verify is not used as a tool to pre-screen candidates. For up-to-date information on E-Verify, please go to and click on the 'E-Verify' logo.