Images and Rights Officer

£13,800 pro rata, based on the full time equivalent of £23,000 per annum
22.5 hours / 3 days per week
Position Type
Closing Date
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The Design Museum

Main Duties


Established in 2015, Design Museum Publishing produces innovative and thought-provoking books and exhibition catalogues encompassing all areas of design. The museum’s publications reflect the scholarship of its curatorial and learning teams, and have been designed by some of the most celebrated editorial designers in the world. Design Museum Publishing aims to publish valuable, authoritative and beautifully designed resources for design students, practitioners and enthusiasts alike.

The Images and Rights Officer will be responsible for sourcing images, negotiating fees and clearing rights for the museum’s publications. While the role is based in the museum’s Publishing department, the successful candidate will be a central point of contact for all licensed-in images across the museum.

Job scope

Reporting to the Publishing Manager and working alongside the Assistant Editor, the Images and Rights Officer will work on at least four titles per year (two per season), researching images for each publication and securing the required image rights for reproduction. This role will also provide picture research and copyright management for the full museum exhibition programme, working with colleagues in Retail, Marketing and Exhibitions to ensure one contact point for all licensed-in images, for both commercial and non-commercial purposes. With support from the Publishing Manager and Assistant Editor, this role will also be responsible for tracking spend, ensuring costs remain within budget for each book title or museum project they support.

This role is offered part-time, 3 days / 22.5 hours per week, on a 23-month fixed term contract. The deadline for applications is Sunday 29 September at midnight. Interviews will take place on Monday 14 October 2019.

Job description

  • Researching and sourcing high quality, high-resolution images from archives, picture libraries, public and private estates, photographers, designers, artists, museums and collections.
  • Clearing rights for the reproduction of images, often for multiple uses within the museum (both commercial and non-commercial).
  • Negotiating fees in line with the overall image fee budget for each project, be that a book, an exhibition or a retail product range.
  • Working within project budgets to ensure image rights fees remain cost-effective and affordable.
  • Issuing, organising and archiving image permissions contracts per the publishing department’s digital filing system.
  • Creating and maintaining coherent and organised image trackers, to contain all relevant information in relation to the image source, cost, availability, time-frame/term and credit lines.
  • Maintaining rigorously organised image files in line with the department’s filing and file naming protocols.
  • Researching and confirming all necessary information for image captions, working alongside the Publishing Manager, Assistant Editor and book editors.
  • Drafting picture credits per the department’s editorial style guide.
  • Analysing images of various formats, including digital files, transparencies, prints and illustrations, for defects of either a technical or aesthetic nature.
  • Commissioning photographers, whenever needed, to supply images for a title, providing direction and assistance during shoots.
  • Liaising with the commissioned book designers, reprographic houses and printers regarding the supply and quality of images.
  • Working closely and effectively with other departments – Exhibitions, Marketing and Retail – on image sourcing and copyright requirements.
  • Maintaining strategic and lasting relationships with archives, photo libraries, photographers and collections.
  • Assisting the Publishing Manager with budget projections for image rights fees for future titles.

Skills and Experience

Person specification


  • Demonstrable experience working in picture research or image rights management in any area of design, or in a related field such as art, art history or photography.
  • Knowledge of photography agencies, image archives, picture libraries and any other relevant sources.
  • Up-to-date knowledge of copyright law surrounding the reproduction of images, including but not limited to design rights and the representation of design objects.
  • Familiarity with the Design & Artists Copyright Society (DACS) and other copyright collecting societies (ARS, VAGA, ADAGP, etc.).
  • Proven experience negotiating fees in a cost-effective manner, tightly controlling image fee budgets.
  • Experience reviewing and handling image permissions contracts and agreements.
  • Sufficient IT skills, particularly in the use of Google Sheets, Microsoft Office and Dropbox.
  • Highly and consistently organised regarding image files, folders, file-naming, spreadsheets and other relevant administrative needs.
  • A strong eye for compelling visuals across all areas of design and architecture (or of any related discipline).
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • The ability to work independently and to take the initiative to solve problems.
  • The ability to work closely and collaboratively within a small team.


  • Experience with photo editing and retouching, including familiarity with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Bridge.
  • Familiarity with other applications in the Adobe Creative Suite, such as InDesign and Illustrator.
  • Familiarity with and/or experience working with reprographic houses.
  • Knowledge of and passion for design and architecture.
  • Picture research and copyright qualifications and/or certifications from training courses.