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VISUAL INFORMATION SPECIALIST

Essential Competencies

ENTRY LEVEL

Description: Performs visual design/display duties on an ever increasingly independent basis. Typically, works on less complex designs under the supervision of a senior visual information specialist.

I. Professional/Technical Practice

This competency requires an undergraduate study of fine arts, preferably in graphic design, and/or professional experience in the field of graphic design. Also required is skill for application of graphic design theory and process to the visual communication needs of the planning and design disciplines of the National Park Service.
A. Graphic Design Theory & Process
B. Computer Technology
C. Budgeting Time & Money
D. Typography
E. Photography & Photographic Processes
F. Government Printing Office Regulations
G. Publishing/Copyright
H. Color (Theory & Application)
I. Graphic Design Tools/Equipment
J. Understanding Visual Imagery
K. Analysis of Current Graphic Design Trends
L. Research Ability/Data Gathering/Analysis
M. Scheduling

II. Inter/Intra-Personal Skills

This competency demonstrates those skills and abilities required of graphic designers in support of planning and design functions while developing and maintaining productive and effective relationships between the park visitor, and
multiple disciplines represented by NPS staff and contract sources.
A. Effective Writing
B. Effective Speaking
C. Effective Listening
D. Time Management
E. Customer Service Ethics

III. NPS Management Policies, Philosophies and Ethics

This competency requires a broad understanding of the NPS culture with particular emphasis on the history and evolution of park planning related to the physical, social biological and cultural issues that form the current management policies.
A. Mission/Vision
B. Management Policies
C. Social/Cultural Sensitivity
D. NPS Planning Process

IV. Leadership & Management

This competency requires a broad knowledge of the basic principles of effective leadership, and independent thinking with special emphasis on working within the rapidly changing federal bureaucracy.
A. Creative Problem Solving
B. Tactical Thinking
C. Decision Making

V. Specific Technical

Graphic designers must be familiar with all the techniques of visual creation. This category includes specific technical competencies required to perform graphic design in support of planning and design activities for the NPS.
A. Graphic Design Theory & Process
B. Knowledge of Design Elements: Size, Line, Form, Symmetry
C. Computer Technology/Software Programs
D. Typography
E. Marks, Symbols, Logos, Pictographs
F. Illustration & Freehand Drawing
G. Figure/Ground
H. Photography
I. Photographic Processes
J. Color
K. Identity Systems
L. Grids
M. Conventional Pre-press and Electronic Pre-press Techniques
N. Figure/Ground

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Knowledge of NPS DSC's operational system and culture

Knowledge of techniques necessary to compose and produce computer-generated graphic material

Ability to plan, organize, keep records and complete project work

Knowledge of graphic art media and reproduction techniques including photography, silkscreening, and illustration

Knowledge of principles and techniques of correlating the written word with graphic design

DEVELOPMENTAL LEVEL

Description: Performs visual design/display duties on an ever increasingly independent basis. Typically, works on more complex designs under the supervision of a senior visual information specialist.

I. Professional/Technical Practice

A. Graphic Design Theory & Process
B. Computer Technology
C. Budgeting Time & Money
D. Typography
E. Printing/Reproduction Processes
F. Government Printing Office Regulations
G. Photography & Photographic Processes
H. Publishing/Copyright
I. Color (Theory & Application)
J. Graphic Design Tools/Equipment
K. Understanding Visual Imagery
L. Analysis of Current Graphic Design Trends
M. Research Ability/Data Gathering/Analysis
N. Exhibit/Display Design
O. Signage Design
P. Scheduling
Q. Public Involvement Strategies
R. Graphic Design Services Contract Administration
S. Cost Estimating (Time & Printing)

II. Inter/Intra-Personal Skills

A. Effective Writing
B. Effective Speaking
C. Effective Listening
D. Marketing Concepts & Ideas
E. Time Management
F. Negotiation/Mediation
G. Managing Partnerships
H. Creating a Vision
I. Customer Service Ethics
J. Conflict Resolution
K. Presentation/Briefing Techniques

III. NPS Management Policies, Philosophies and Ethics

A. Mission/Vision
B. Management Policies
C. Preservation Stewardship
D. Political Awareness
E. Social/Cultural Sensitivity
F. Partnerships in Government
G. Local Constituency Building
H. NPS Planning Process
I. Park Operations

IV. Leadership & Management

A. Achieving Mission & Goals
B. Creative Problem Solving
C. Leadership Development
D. Strategic Thinking
E. Tactical Thinking
F. Decision Making
G. Project Management

V. Specific Technical

A. Graphic Design Theory & Process
B. Knowledge of Design Elements: Size, Line, Form, Symmetry
C. Computer Technology/Software Programs
D. Typography
E. Marks, Symbols, Logos, Pictographs
F. Illustration & Freehand Drawing
G. Figure/Ground
H. Photography
I. Photographic Processes
J. Basic Marketing Concepts
K. Printing Process (includes knowledge of printing papers)
L. Color
M. Identity Systems
N. Grids
O. Conventional Pre-press and Electronic Pre-press Techniques

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Same as entry level plus:

Knowledge in design of visual materials used in interpretive publications

Ability to coordinate visual editorial tasks with review of the map and text content

Skill in effective communication for dealing with suppliers, GPO, multidisciplinary team and the public

Knowledge and skill in using language with the graphic design in wayside exhibit development

Knowledge of a wide range of specialized outdoor materials and construction techniques

Knowledge of a wide range of design and visual concepts, principles and techniques gained through a combination of study and work experience

Ability to produce rendered drawings, study and presentation models, construction drawings, graphic layouts, type specifications, lighting plans, and material specifications for complex exhibit installations

Understanding of basic communication skills and techniques as well as the limits and capabilities of exhibits, audiovisual devices, publications, and other interpretive media to communicate ideas and concepts

Prepares specifications for and requisitions camera-ready film type for wayside projects

Knowledge of the wide range of graphic art media and reproduction techniques that are used in outdoor exhibit designs, including photography, screen printing, and accurate illustration of exhibit subject material in pencil, ink and wash, and color rendering

Knowledge of a variety of methods, techniques, and materials used in the design and production of exhibits to produce exhibit plans, elevations and layouts

Develops plans for orientation signs, park entrance signs, etc., as required

Maintains a dialogue with other divisions involved in projects to avoid substantial modifications

Ability to determine project objectives, and facilitate problem solving

Knowledge and mastery of the principles and techniques of correlating the written word, design, and natural or historic features in creating wayside exhibits that are visually attractive and intellectually effective

Knowledge of a wide range of design concepts, principles, and techniques on a high professional level based on extensive study and work experience and skill in applying this knowledge to a wide range of publication possibilities

FULL PERFORMANCE LEVEL

Description: Performs more advanced visual design/display duties on an independent basis. Collaborates with in-house and external resource personnel.

I. Professional/Technical Practice

A. Graphic Design Theory & Process
B. Computer Technology
C. Budgeting Time & Money
D. Typography
E. Printing/Reproduction Processes
F. Government Printing Office Regulations
G. Photography & Photographic Processes
H. Publishing/Copyright
I. Color (Theory & Application)
J. Graphic Design Tools/Equipment
K. Understanding Visual Imagery
L. Analysis of Current Graphic Design Trends
M. Research Ability/Data Gathering/Analysis
N. Exhibit/Display Design
O. Signage Design
P. Scheduling
Q. Public Involvement Strategies
R. Graphic Design Services Contract Administration
S. Cost Estimating (Time & Printing)

II. Inter/Intra-Personal Skills

A. Effective Writing
B. Effective Speaking
C. Effective Listening
D. Marketing Concepts & Ideas
E. Time Management
F. Negotiation/Mediation
G. Managing Partnerships
H. Creating a Vision
I. Customer Service Ethics
J. Conflict Resolution
K. Presentation/Briefing Techniques

III. NPS Management Policies, Philosophies and Ethics

A. Mission/Vision
B. Management Policies
C. Preservation Stewardship
D. Political Awareness
E. Social/Cultural Sensitivity
F. Partnerships in Government
G. Local Constituency Building
H. NPS Planning Process
I. Park Operations

IV. Leadership & Management

A. Achieving Mission & Goals
B. Creative Problem Solving
C. Leadership Development
D. Strategic Thinking
E. Tactical Thinking
F. Decision Making
G. Project Management
H. Measurement & Evaluation
I. Managing Change in Organization

V. Specific Technical

A. Graphic Design Theory & Process
B. Knowledge of Design Elements: Size, Line, Form, Symmetry
C. Computer Technology/Software Programs
D. Typography
E. Marks, Symbols, Logos, Pictographs
F. Illustration & Freehand Drawing
G. Figure/Ground
G. Photography
H. Photographic Processes
I. Basic Marketing Concepts
J. Printing Process (includes knowledge of printing papers)
K. Color
L. Identity Systems
M. Grids
N. Conventional Pre-press and Electronic Pre-press Techniques

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Same as developmental knowledge plus:

Knowledge of contracting procedures for art, technical services and printing

Knowledge and mastery of the principles and techniques of outdoor exhibit design and fabrication that enable a superior level of exhibit quality and effectiveness

Knowledge of contract monitoring in the role of COTR to assure quality control of contractor-produced exhibit designs, layouts, and original art

Knowledge of program administration and work methods to achieve Service-wide design and illustration program

National Park Service
Training and Development Division
Essential Competencies
r-visual.htm

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