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Newspaper Designer

A quick note: This is a newspaper design job, not a graphic design position. It entails laying out stories and content generated by our local reporters on deadlines not building ads or other graphic design work. If your background is in editorial design, read on!

Do you love to design editorial content that is fun, imaginative and full of personality? That's our goal at the Observer Media Group: To deliver unique, hyperlocal content in a way that's relevant, informative and entertaining for our readers. We are constantly striving to surprise and delight readers with fresh stories and ideas, and we are seeking a designer who can use the foundation of our grid-based design to create packages that our audience can't wait to read.

A few years ago, we redesigned all of our papers with a Mondrian-inspired look that allows us to showcase stories and pictures in a grid to create movement and well-proportioned white space on every page..

Now we are looking for a talented, enthusiastic part-time page designer to join our editorial department to help us execute it in our newspapers each week. The right candidate sees design as a journalist, not just as an artist. They must have a passion for telling stories in a way that marries visual elements with text to create a total package that reflects the intent and tone of the story being told. We are not a design house — we want to bust out of templates, not adhere to them.

The ideal candidate should have a strong understanding of the print and newspaper industry and be knowledgeable in Adobe Creative Suite. Must be a self-starter who can work independently, but also enjoys being part of an energetic team and collaborating with reporters. The candidate should also have strong organizational skills, be able to work quickly and accurately under daily deadline pressure and be able to juggle multiple projects at once, all while injecting creativity into their designs.

This is a part-time position of up to 24 hours a week, with deadlines Monday through Wednesday and some occasional work required over the weekend to get ahead of those deadlines. Pay range is $20-$30 per hour, depending on experience and portfolio work.

Interested? Email a resume, your design portfolio and a note on why you are the ideal candidate for the position to Executive Editor Kat Wingert at [email protected]. Please put "PT Designer" in the subject line.

About the Observer Media Group

The Observer Media Group is a family-owned and operated multimedia company based in Sarasota, Florida. The company publishes 10 weekly newspapers and six magazines throughout Florida, along with five websites and mobile applications. Altogether, our newspapers and websites reach more than 400,000 readers weekly.

Staff Writer

Here’s the job - Write stories that matter to our readers. Take photos that show them what’s going on in the community around them. Be flexible. In one week, you might cover local marine biologists’ efforts to protect sea turtles and manatees, attend a restaurant opening, interview a bestselling author, and write about a political roundtable.

It’s actually easier to tell you what you won’t be doing. You won’t be stuck in meetings or waiting for assignments.

Some stories will fall into your lap. Others you’ll have to go out and get. That means developing a list of sources, listening, caring, and learning about the people who live here.

You might be a good fit if …

You like to tell stories and take photos. You’re naturally curious about what you see going on around you and you’re eager to learn the skills to succeed in today’s fast-changing, complex media environment. But first and foremost, you’re interested in being a writer and refining your writing skills. This is the place to learn, because you’ll be working with editors who are passionate about writing and have studied the craft.

Big bonus points if you’re an avid reader and like Netflix documentaries or binge-watch Johnny Harris’ videos on YouTube.

Why us?

We’re growing. At a time when other news outlets are struggling to keep the lights on, we’ve hit on a digital-first model that works. And we’ve come roaring back from the pandemic. The only thing slowing us down? We need more talented, passionate, creative writers and storytellers — like you. Here’s what separates the Observer from other newsrooms:

Why Sarasota?

Beaches. Endless summer. Walkable, eclectic neighborhoods. A thriving arts scene. Sarasota and its surrounding area has something to offer no matter what you’re into. There’s the spring-break party scene on Siesta Key, the laidback vibes on Longboat Key, where you can spot dolphins playing off the coast … and in Sarasota the options for going out and dining are endless with fresh, authentic, diverse menus found all over the city. Oh, and did we mention the free trolley that stops just outside our building and will have you at the beach in less than 20 minutes? With a gorgeous library, museums, theaters (there’s a comedy club across the street), live music, open-air markets and block parties, you won’t run out of things to do.

If you've made it this far, then here's how you can improve the strength of your application:

Please email a link to your writing portfolio and/or three of your best writing clips, along with a brief cover letter explaining your interest in the job to [email protected].

The Observer Media Group is a family-owned and operated multimedia company based in Sarasota, Fla. The company publishes 10 newspapers throughout Florida, along with seven websites. Altogether, our newspapers and websites reach more than 400,000 readers each week. Our newspapers are consistently recognized with awards for our print products and website.

Professional Sales Executives

Beth’s comments are typical of our multimedia sales executives. If that sounds appealing to you, we’re looking for more energetic, entrepreneurial achievers who are outgoing and money-motivated.

… This is the place for an exciting and rewarding sales and marketing career!

We offer competitive compensation with the opportunity for six-figure earnings, full benefits and a culture that encourages innovation and entrepreneurism.

With Observer Media Group, you find a company that offers rewarding work that makes a difference in the community. It’s a place where the company’s leaders value all their associates and are committed to helping them grow and succeed — professionally, personally and financially. It’s a place where everyone strives for excellence.

We have immediate openings in Sarasota, Winter Garden-Windermere, Winter Park, Palm Coast, Port Orange and Jacksonville.
Please send resume and cover letter to:
Penny Nowicki, Advertising Sales Manager,
1970 Main St., 3rd Floor
Sarasota, FL 34236 
[email protected]

Graphic Designer

Our graphic designers not only win Addys for their advertising designs, but they also are award-winning designers of special dog couture.

The #1 trait of our graphic designers is creative flair. But they also understand the principles of effective advertising design — being able to work with our advertising sales team to conceptualize and execute print and digital ads that generate response and create memorable brands for our customers.

Our designers must have a thorough grasp and flair for style and proportion; and how type, fonts and color work with images. In addition to advertising design, our designers also create brochures, media kits, posters, letterhead; business cards; and all varieties of digital ads — animated, videos, interstitial, etc.  

Ideal candidates have a positive attitude; are able to work in a collaborative, team environment; and must be able to meet deadlines and work under deadline pressure. 

We offer a competitive compensation plan, including full benefits, dynamic, fast-paced work environment; and the opportunity to grow professionally.

We currently have openings for a graphic designer in the Sarasota and Winter Garden locations. 

Please send cover letter, resume and five samples of recent work to:
Caleb Stanton, Creative Director
[email protected]