What does a Lead Design Manager do?

Design managers manage a design or graphics team, collaborate on projects with colleagues, delegate tasks, and check projects for quality and consistency. Design managers often apply their artistic nature in corporate environments. They also collaborate with marketing, sales, and product engineer teams to check designs, ensure they succeed, and ensure messages land appropriately with customers. They develop and implement successful design strategies by outlining how the design team will create the project’s deliverables. They often manage several designers and evaluate individual design deliverables alongside team performance, delivering critical feedback when necessary.

Design managers encourage team members throughout a project. They collaborate with other teams, often marketing and development teams, to ensure the product’s looks and presentation are sufficient. They represent strategies to upper management and speak to specific numbers and expected outcomes for the product. When finalized, design managers track and collect product feedback by filtering through customer service responses and checking in with focus groups to gain an overall picture of how well the design performs. Design managers need a master's degree in graphic design from a visual arts program or other related fields and at least seven years of design experience or three years of design management experience.

What responsibilities are common for Lead Design Manager jobs?
  • Assist in the development and training of the design and construction team.
  • Assist with budget to actual variance explanations for construction projects.
  • Support team to disrupt, improve and evolve ways of working when necessary.
  • Ensure all work areas meet quality, safety and compliance standards.
  • Establish creative strategy, budgets and schedules for key design projects.
  • Responsible for final construction project move in and go live.
  • Operationalize and implement a standard system for design delivery.
  • Work seamlessly across organizational structures, partnering with marketing, product and business leadership to develop holistic brand systems.
  • Manage the development and review the quality and accuracy of large-scale project designs.
  • Ability to establish department goals and objectives that support the strategic plan.
  • Partner with site and product teams to ensure brand is consistent across full customer journey.
  • Capture all states, cases, and functional logic in partnership with product and engineering team to ensure seamless execution.
  • Partner with product leaders, build and maintain, relationships to develop a clear understanding of overall business and technology strategy wherein design is a key part of what is delivered.
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for design.
  • Collaborate with a diverse group of stakeholders, including content developers, IT, senior management, internal business partners, and vendors.
  • Keep a pulse on the culture of product design amongst designers (and design partners) to ensure designers are capable of doing their best work.
  • Provide reporting on the implementation of projects while in progress and upon completion.
  • Collaborate with product and marketing to educate on and maintain a cohesive brand.
  • Solve business challenges with the goal of improving experience for prospects, customers and staff.
  • Maintain established corporate brand standards and consistency of message across all published materials and media.
What are the typical qualifications for Lead Design Manager jobs?
  • Graduate's or Bachelor's Degree in engineering, civil engineering, architecture or business.
  • Experience with Adobe Creative Suite.
  • Experience with InDesign, UI Design, AutoCAD, CAD, HTML, CSS, and Agile software and systems.
  • A collaborator and problem solver.
  • Prior experience as a consultant.
  • A leader in project design and negotiation.
  • Will strive for organization transformation.
  • Strict attention to detail and prioritization capabilities.
EducationGraduate Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.7 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.8 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does a Lead Design Manager make?

Confident
$149,200 /yr
Total Pay
$103,179
 /yr

Base Pay

+
$46,021
 /yr

Additional Pay

$149,200

 / yr
$91K$250K
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
See More Insights

Lead Design Manager Career Path

Learn how to become a Lead Design Manager, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Lead Design Manager
$149,200/yr
Principal Design Manager
$219,273/yr
Lead Design Manager

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
0%
2 - 4
80%
5 - 7
20%
8+
0%
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Lead Design Manager Insights

Read what Lead Design Manager professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Pioneer Machines & AutomationPioneer Machines & Automation
Senior Manager, Design
Aug 5, 2022

“It is a great place to work and learn new technolical advancements in automation field.”

KvadratKvadrat
Design Manager
Nov 22, 2022

“Mostly nice people to work with (depends very much on the department!).”

Bolo IndyaBolo Indya
Creative Design Manager
Oct 25, 2021

“It is great to work with the outstanding & supportive team who truly churns out the best from you.”

HubSpotHubSpot
Product Design Manager
Aug 21, 2020

“Being at HubSpot is the best thing that's happened in my career and has been a huge benefit to my family.”

HowNowHowNow
Chief Designer Officer
Apr 2, 2021

“I was given many opportunities to increase my salary and expand my own knowledge working within the company and it's one of the many highlights.”

Godfrey Phillips IndiaGodfrey Phillips India
Assistant Manager - Design & Development
Jan 11, 2021

“Job are safe and well”

CrombieCrombie
Head of Design
Mar 28, 2021

“Great place to work and good”

La-Z-BoyLa-Z-Boy
Design Manager
May 12, 2022

“Though there’s no cap in commission there’s no way to increase your base salary or commission percentage based on what you sale.”

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Lead Design Manager Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Lead Design Manager

The most similar professions to Lead Design Manager are:
  • Creative Director
  • Interior Designer
  • Designer
  • Design Consultant

The most common qualifications to become a Lead Design Manager include a minimum of a Graduate Degree and an average of 0 - 1 years of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.

Related Careers

Creative Director
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No skills overlap
Interior Designer
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Designer
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Design Consultant
$64,992
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Lead Design Manager Jobs