Design Director

SGS International   •  

Chicago, IL

11 - 15 years

Posted 242 days ago

This job is no longer available.


On Your Marks

Marks is a fast-paced and dynamic environment, fuelled 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

 The Design Director is responsible for the design process from briefing through overseeing final product delivery. Embedded within our client’s onsite 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 – turning insights and observations into solutions which deliver against client objectives. A master of their craft – the Design Director elevates the quality of the solutions their team produces. A skilled communicator and presenter – they provide our clients and teams with senior level support and service. 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 may be located onsite and/or within 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 role will be based in Chicago, and will require travel to St Louis every 1-2 weeks.


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

  1. 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
  2. Acting as a liaison between the client’s onsite team and Marks design and accounts teams
  3. Identifying big picture opportunities and driving our client’s business forward
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Encouraging the Marks design team to take ownership of their projects and to personally strive to improve and enhance their work
  7. Fostering an environment where questioning is encouraged and every contribution is recognised
  8. Driving the team’s design exploration into concepts that exceed client expectations
  9. Making sure that design work is presented for maximum clarity and impact
  10. Working hands-on when necessary across projects
  11. Fostering a collaborative approach between Marks offices and other agencies within the SGSCo design pillar
  12. Supporting, guiding, leading, nurturing
  13. Preparing for and art directing photo shoots
  14. Ensuring projects are accurate, consistent, high quality, and completed on time
  15. Seeking out and recommending relevant training for team members that supports the above objectives and the vision for the department
  16. Contributing to the development of processes and tools which support the Design Team
  17. Maintaining a positive and open dialogue with team members so they are fully informed throughout the project life-cycle
  18. Must have hands-on design experience 

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)
  • An understanding of Adaptive projects – including large scale design 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 food and drink is an asset
  • Expertise art directing photo shoots
  • Strategic and insightful thinking
  • 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
  • College or University diploma in graphic, packaging, or communication design is preferred