Design Director

sgsco - Woonsocket, RI2.9

Position Title: Design Director

Team: Near site Design Team

Reports To: Creative Director

Location: Woonsocket, RI

On Your Marks

Marks is a fast-paced and dynamic environment, fueled by design thinking. While packaging design is at the heart of our business – our teams flex their problem solving and design skills across all channels. We are proud to produce creative work that is amongst the top tier in the industry, for some of the largest Consumer Packaged Goods brands in the world. Our focus on globally delivered design adaptation – the art of using design to amplify brands in the most effective and efficient ways possible – has positioned us at the head of a fast changing industry.

Our team members possess an open mind, positive attitude, and are adaptable to change. We pride ourselves on challenging ideas – not people. We are nimble, team-oriented, fun, friendly, honest, and supportive.

Role Overview

Embedded within our client’s near site team – the Design Director is integral in establishing a culture of design excellence in an environment which inspires organizational talent to achieve and surpass their potential. The Design Director is a strategic thinker and problem solver – turning insights into solutions which deliver against client objectives. A master of their craft – the Design Director elevates the quality of the solutions their team produces. The Design Director is responsible for the design process from briefing through overseeing final product delivery. They are detail oriented – understanding and managing complex packaging design systems as they rollout across large scale Adaptive design projects. A skilled communicator and presenter – they provide our clients and teams with senior level support and service, acting as a liaison between onsite and offsite teams. Working in conjunction with the Creative Director this role also has the day to day responsibility of creative quality assurance and sign off.

The Design Director acts as a coach to the designers on their team – who are onsite and/or offsite within other Marks studios alike. They will champion and understand their team; leveraging their strengths and supporting their development. The Design Director is a mentor – providing guidance, and monitoring the progress of their team’s work across projects to ensure their success. The Design Director leads by example, acting as an ambassador and advocate for our culture, brand, and community.


The specific details of the role will vary, but common activities include:

Creating a team spirit that extends beyond the department to unite and inspire the entire agency to care passionately about our clients and our work
Acting as a liaison between the client team and Marks design and accounts teams
Ensuring design intent and integrity is championed and maintained across Adaptive design projects
Identifying big picture opportunities and driving our client’s business forward
Reviewing all briefs for accuracy and “readiness” – working with brief authors to raise brief writing quality where necessary, and distilling client briefs into actionable concepts for the design team
Managing, filtering, and working with scheduling department to assign design projects, and ensuring that jobs are appropriately staffed to deliver on the client’s brief in an effective timely manner
Encouraging the Marks design team to take ownership of their projects and to personally strive to improve and enhance their work
Fostering an environment where questioning is encouraged, and every contribution is recognised
Driving the team’s design and adaptive design exploration into concepts that exceed client expectations
Participating in brainstorms, playing an active role in shaping strategy, and creative territories
Making sure that design work is presented for maximum clarity and impact
Working hands-on with the designers and production artists across projects
Fostering a collaborative approach between Marks offices and other agencies within the SGSCo design pillar
Inspiring, supporting, guiding, leading, nurturing
Preparing for and art directing photo shoots and/or illustration needs
Ensuring projects are accurate, consistent, high quality, and completed on time
Seeking out and recommending relevant training for team members that supports the above objectives and the vision for the department
Contributing to the development of processes and tools which support the Design Team
Maintaining a positive and open dialogue with team members so they are fully informed throughout the project life-cycle

Ideal Candidate Will Possess

A demonstrated understanding of design strategy and building brand experiences
Great design chops and a killer portfolio (which reflects your leadership across a broad range of work)
Strong conceptually with an ability to think outside the box
Experience in leading Adaptive design projects – including large scale design systems, packaging rollouts, and final art
A nimbleness to lead a design team across large and small projects
Expertise in branding, packaging design (Consumer Packaged Goods), and shopper programs
Experience across other channels and disciplines is an asset
Experience in beauty, food and health care is an asset
Expertise art directing photo shoots
Well organized thought and work processes
The ability to support a team in their design and final art execution at a level that is among the top tier in the industry
An understanding of print processes and finishes
Excellent interpersonal, communication, and presentation skills – both written and verbal


10+ years of experience in Art Direction/Design in a packaging studio, retail agency, or creative firm, and experience leading design talent
Proficient using Mac OS, Adobe Creative Suite (Expert knowledge of Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign), Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint (or Keynote)
A valid passport and ability to travel – to work in conjunction with our sister agencies, clients, and photo shoots