Job description

As the lead graphic designer, you’ll be responsible for the graphic communication of the digital publishing team. You’ll be working in the bit of ONS that runs the website and social media. You’ll help us to tell human stories with our data. You’ll iterate designs based on evidence and user research. You’ll create graphic elements that underpin the information, interaction and service design of our public facing channels. 

Main responsibilities 
● Create clear, easy to understand designs that meet the needs of users. 
● Produce engaging and accessible products and services that will be used by the general public, government, charities and media outlets. 
● Work with a multidisciplinary team that includes designers, data visualisation experts, journalists, user researchers and front-end developers. 
● Help to develop a consistent, multi-channel design system. 
● Manage a small team of graphic designers. 
● Work with ONS partner brands, including Census. 

What we’ll do for you 
● Provide you with training, mentoring and support. 
● Help you identify and work towards your career goals. 
● Give you the freedom to work flexibly, with the tools you need. 

Skills and experience 
These are the skills and experiences that might be suitable for this role. An interest in solving the challenges we face is much more important than having experience in everything listed. 

● A degree in design or equivalent experience 
● Able to use layout, spacing, colour, type and iconography to ensure that content is legible and readable, and that interactions are seen and understood by users. 
● A portfolio of work that shows how you've met user needs. 
● Extensive experience of creating various types of design outputs. Including icons, websites, social media assets and presentations. 
● Awareness of appropriate techniques for the presentation of data and information. Including maps, charts, flow diagrams and data tables. 
● Experience of designing for different screen sizes. 
● Experience of sketching, prototyping and creating user journey maps. 
● Extensive experience of using design software such as Sketch and Adobe Creative Suite. 
● Experience of designing to web standards and using HTML and CSS. 
● Experience of accessibility best practices and standards. 
● Precise attention to detail, whilst able to see the big picture. 
● Experience of managing relationships with external suppliers and design agencies. 
● Able to support colleagues with feedback and design direction. 
● Experience of working in agile or multi-disciplinary teams. 
● Able to justify design decisions to colleagues at different seniority levels, with different backgrounds. 
● Excellent time management and organisational skills. 
● Experience of working with Welsh language content.


We'll assess you against these competencies during the selection process:

  • Changing and improving
  • Collaborating and partnering
  • Making effective decisions
  • Delivering at pace
  • Seeing the big picture

Civil Service Competency Framework



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

Successful candidates must pass basic security checks.

Nationality statement

Candidates will be subject to UK immigration requirements as well as Civil Service nationality rules.

If you're applying for a role requiring security clearance please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.

Selection process details

CV and statement of suitability followed by an interview and portfolio presentation. 

Your CV should cover details of education and professional qualifications, employment history, as well as giving details of relevant experience. The suitability statement should give details explaining why this post interests you and how you meet the criteria as detailed in the Vacancy Description and the attached role profile. Your statement should detail skills, talents,experiences and your suitability for the role, giving evidence of examples of experience. Ideally your statement should be no longer than two pages. 

In cases where there is a high number of applications the sift pass mark may be adjusted and candidates will be invited to interview in merit order, i.e. those scoring the highest. 

In certain circumstances, interviews may be conducted by Video Conference. 

An initial sift on one competency may be held if a large number of applications are received. If your application progresses to a full sift, all advertised competencies will then be scored. If your application progresses to interview all advertised competencies will be assessed. 

Applicants who are near misses for this specific role will have their details kept on file for a period of 12 months and may be contacted in relation to or offered similar roles in the future. 
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Contact point for applicants

Sift/interview dates and location

Sift w/c 22 January 2018 
Interviews w/c 5 February 2018, Newport

Further information

Current Civil Servants will retain their existing salary if joining on level transfer or move to the minimum entry point, whichever is greater. *If transferring from a post with a London pay addition to a National post you will be moved to an equivalent point within the relevant ONS National pay zone. 

Civil Servants joining on promotion will receive either the minimum entry point, or 10% on top of their base salary in their substantive grade, whichever is greater. * Employees transferring on promotion from a post with a London pay addition to a National post will be moved to an equivalent point within the relevant ONS National pay zone before the promotion increase is applied. 

New entrants are normally appointed at the pay scale minimum for their grade although there is limited scope for negotiation based on skills and experience in very exceptional cases 

For those successful candidates joining ONS we will record and retain your nationality information on our human resources management system for the sole purpose of understanding the nationality diversity within ONS. We will not report on this on an individual basis in a way that you would be identifiable. We will only retain this information for the shortest time needed. Should you wish for us not to collect and retain this information, please email: 

This position/s does not attract a relocation package. 

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Paul Cudmore, Office for National Statistics, Government Buildings, Cardiff Road, Newport NP10 8XG. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission at

Find out more and apply.