Vacancy: Creative Lead

Author: Ash Mann

Salary: £45,000 – £50,000 (depending on skills and experience) + benefits
Location: Flexible/remote options are available – the role-holder needs to be based in the UK and spend at least one day per fortnight in our Birmingham office.
Working hours: Monday to Friday, (we’re happy to discuss flexible working hours, the majority of our clients have office hours of 10-6)

Deadline for applications: Friday 14th May 2021

If you are thinking of applying (or have applied) for this role we have put together a short guide about what to expect.


We are looking for a passionate, thoughtful leader to join our team in the new role of Creative Lead. This person will be responsible for setting and maintaining design standards at Substrakt and will manage the people and processes involved in achieving this.

Why Join Substrakt?

At Substrakt we believe that arts and culture enriches lives and brings society together. We want to ensure that amazing cultural experiences can be enjoyed as widely as possible by harnessing the power of digital technology.

Substrakt creates digital solutions for cultural organisations. The types of organisations we work with include theatres, performing arts centres, music venues, museums, galleries, and performance groups in Europe and North America.

We work with some of the most exciting and interesting cultural organisations in the world including Shakespeare’s Globe, Santa Fe Opera, Royal Court Theatre, American Repertory Theater, Bridge Theatre, Malmö Live and Malmö Opera amongst many others. Read more about the work we do, and the people we work with.

We also provide consultancy services and training on analytics, digital strategy, ticketing, project management and digital community events.

By supporting organisations with their digital needs, we enable them to reach new and wider audiences so that arts and culture can be accessed and enjoyed by everyone.

Role description

The Creative Lead role is a new senior role at Substrakt. Because it is a new role we don’t want to be overly prescriptive about it as we would expect the person appointed to develop a strong vision for how they want to shape the role.

However there are a number of areas of our thinking and work that we would like this role to inform and lead on, and we think we have a clear idea of the type of person we are looking for.

This position would have a key role in leading and coaching the design & front-end development team at Substrakt, setting and maintaining a clearly articulated and understood approach to our design work (and accompanying standards) and talking about that work with clients and the wider design community.

All of our designers are also front-end developers and we would expect this person to also understand and have an appreciation for both sets of skills.

The ideal candidate

  • is passionate about design and user experience
  • has an entrepreneurial, problem-solving mindset, you enjoy and excel at identifying and diagnosing problems, and developing effective solutions
  • enjoys managing people and processes, you are emotionally intelligent and comfortable adapting your approach depending on who you are working with
  • is adaptable and comfortable being at the centre of a busy and fast paced agency environment where priorities and context switch daily
  • has an interest in, and understanding of, web development, web technologies, digital activity and user behaviour and feel comfortable and confident being involved in (and leading) complex discussions about these technologies and concepts
  • enjoys interacting with clients and colleagues to ensure we are always delivering the best, most appropriate solutions
  • has an exceptional eye for detail, always ensuring work is interrogated and tested thoroughly and meets requirements
  • is not afraid to sensitively explore and challenge proposed approaches and be the “critical friend” when required
  • is diplomatic and comfortable managing relationships with senior stakeholders
    always champions the user and put them at the heart of the work we do
  • has an understanding of and interest in web standards and accessibility
    enjoys working on highly collaborative projects where we may not be the only design partner
  • has an interest in the business of arts and cultural organisations and the needs of their users

Some of the following knowledge and experience would be helpful:

  • Experience of defining, developing and implementing design systems and standards
  • Experience and a passion for leading teams, to work efficiently and produce high quality work that keeps our clients happy
  • Experience of, and ability to, clearly communicate complex issues and proposed solutions
  • Experience of accurately estimating work (and understanding when and why estimates will be less accurate)

Life at Substrakt

At Substrakt we believe that work should be an enjoyable part of life and we put effort and resources into making this a reality for our team.

We have a friendly and supportive culture that enables our team to do their best work and develop their skills, we value curiosity, compassion and respect. We are selective about the clients we work with, so that we build rewarding relationships and work on exciting projects.

We invest in our employees and provide opportunities for them to grow. This includes formal training, going to industry conferences, and informal knowledge-sharing sessions.

We have a great set of benefits as standard:

  • Fully flexible working patterns, agreed in advance and available from day 1, including part-time hours, condensed hours, flexible start and end times and 100% remote working. We’ll discuss this with you upfront, so you can feel comfortable knowing a role at Substrakt will give you the work life balance you want.
  • 25 days annual leave (plus public holidays) and no fixed holiday dates, so you can use your leave when it suits you. Plus, your holiday will increase by a day for every two years you are part of the team.
  • Enhanced maternity, paternity and adoption leave policies.
  • Free NHS cashback health plan – enabling employees to claim cashback on health costs such as dental treatment, scans, prescriptions and much more. Access to an employee assistance helpline, counselling, and accident cover is also included. The plan is also available for our employee’s partners and children.
  • Annual profit share scheme.
  • Annual allowance of £500 to spend on books, courses, conferences and training – anything that helps you build skills to thrive in your role – and 6 days off per year for you to focus exclusively on your professional development.
  • Monthly health and wellbeing allowance of £50 to spend on anything that helps you feel your healthiest and best self. This includes anything from hobbies, to the gym, to childcare, talking therapy, a donation to a cause you care about, entertainment, or a nice meal out!
  • Free weekly yoga classes
  • Free weekly Distrakt sessions where we play games, do quizzes and other things to unwind
  • Regularly bringing the team together for outings to theatres, historic sites and cultural events through our network of client partners.
  • Quarterly team lunches and a varied selection of optional, relaxed social events.

To apply…

Please contact our HR & Office Manager, Laura on with details of your experience, examples of some work you’re proud of and an outline of why you think you would be a good fit for this role.

We would also like you to identify two examples of web design, one you really like, and one you think is really poor, and provide a short critique of each (no more than 300 words per example).

Substrakt is an equal opportunities employer and we welcome applications from all suitably qualified people regardless of their ethnicity, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation or age.

We particularly encourage applications from groups under-represented in the design and tech sectors.

Deadline for applications: Friday 14th May 2021