Job description

Purpose of the Job

Create and deliver cost effective and sustainable packaging solutions in the form of ideas, plans, drawings, specifications, prototypes, and structural samples that meet Customer and prospect requirements. Ensure routings are accurate and develop SWIs for new assembly/kit business. Develop solutions optimized for Coastal’s material and equipment advantages. Maintain a “show-ready” design lab that showcases Coastal’s design and readiness capabilities.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Design – Manage the team that creates and prepares in Workflow timely, cost effective, sustainable designs and samples requested by Sales, Accounts Managers,or Manufacturing. Translate concepts and information into prototypes as well as 2D and 3D drawings; use feedback to modify designs. Develop packaging from physical product samples, prototypes and 3D solid part files. Evaluate design ideas based on factors such as design-function relationships, serviceability, materials and methods engineering, application budget, price, production costs, methods of production, market characteristics, and client specifications. Stay current on changing industry trends, requirements, new equipment, processes, and materials (e.g. frustration-free packaging and sustainability initiatives)

Coordination – Work with Sales Team, Accounts Managers, and Operations teams to understand customer expectations, production options, capabilities, and efficiencies in development of design ideas. Provide and maintain clear project development detail in Workflow (include development documents, photos, drawings, email communications, CAD files, 3D drawings, dimensions, routing detail, quotes, etc.) Query and provide supplier quotes (die & print plate quotes, foam, chip, PCORR, etc.) per supplier interaction as needed. Participate in quality improvement or lean process improvement actions and participate in “Fast Response” meetings reviewing production quality issues. Ensure new business transitions smoothly from design to manufacturing. Participate in launch meetings to ensure Sales, Account Managers, and Operations are aware of new designs heading to production.

Test and Development – Ensure a robust testing capability to serve ISTA, ASTM, FedEx, and specific customer requirements. Organize and present results for customers, Sales Team, Customer Accounts Managers. Understand customer needs and offer cost-effective options and improved designs to optimize their needs. Analyze test results and offer alternative solutions to problems. Maintain Design Lab ISTA certification and ensure team has current Packaging Laboratory Professional certification. Stay current on ISTA test criteria and methods, as well as customer specific test criteria and methods. Perform, interpret, and record common Material tests (ECT (Edge Crush Test), Basis Weights, Mullen (Burst) Test). Organize & schedule offsite testing (Tests Coastal cannot perform onsite). Develop existing, and implement new, test capabilities.

Customer Service– Assist Sales Team with quote requests and pricing submissions. Provide ‘short run’ and emergent support when necessary (in order to meet customer expectation). Provide support for Item changes and design revisions. Accompany Sales Team to client locations when necessary to understand and support client needs and expectations. Describe or demonstrate developed design ideas and concepts.

Project Management– Drive assigned projects through planning, development, testing, acceptance and production (Workflow). Manage rapidly changing priorities based on customer and Coastal needs (Lab Action board). Work with customers (on and offsite) and Sales Team to understand the vision for packaging solutions, time to production, product costs, and delivery dates.

Strategic Planning– Develop department budgets and approve expenditures for supplies, materials and personnel, ensuring that materials, labor and equipment are used efficiently to meet operational goals. Analyze changes in the industry and research innovations in equipment that can be adapted to company operations.

Readiness – Coastal’s design capabilities and talents are an essential part of our value proposition. Ensure design lab stock of corrugated paper and supplies and any special materials required for lab performance. Ensure design and testing equipment is maintained and calibrated. Schedule preventative maintenance for lab equipment by internal or external maintenance services. Ensure the design department is clean, organized and “tour ready” at all times.

QMS – Provide leadership to the department’s procedures and work instructions. Develop initial Standard Work Instructions (SWIs) for new assembly/kit business.

Training and Development – Continuously improve the knowledge and skills within the design department. Support improving box making knowledge across the business including hosting education sessions for new employees.

Safety – Model safe behavior and promote safe work practices and security procedures; meet department safety goals. Observe all safety policies and regulations for operation of testing and cutting machines.

Performs other duties as necessary in support of business objectives. Other duties will likely enrich this job. This document provides guidance and is not intended to limit the thinking and creativity of the person in this role.

Educational & Experience Requirements

  • BS in Packaging Science or Design highly preferred
  • Equivalent technical training and experience acceptable
  • Continuing development in job knowledge and responsibilities
  • Current Packaging Laboratory Professional (CPLP) certification preferred
  • Five (5) years’ experience in drafting, structural design, graphics or related field – corrugated design experience highly preferred
  • Two (2) years related experience and/or training in managing a design team
  • Five (5) years’ experience in manufacturing, corrugated or packaging experience preferred

Essential Competencies

  • Proficient in use of computer systems and software including; ArtiosCAD, Workflow, Solidworks, Adobe Illustrator, Cape Pack and Amtech software, and common Microsoft Office.
  • Ability to communicate clearly to internal and external customer requests for service and assistance regarding designs, specifications, structure, and durability. Can communicate effectively verbally and in writing with both internal and external customers.
  • Effective communication with customers and vendors to respond to changes in manufacturing and/or delivery schedules.

Job Type: Full-time


  • 401(k)
  • Dental insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Health savings account
  • Paid time off
  • Vision insurance


  • 8 hour shift
  • Day shift
  • Monday to Friday

Ability to commute/relocate:

  • Holland, MI 49423: Reliably commute or planning to relocate before starting work (Required)


  • Adobe Creative Suite: 2 years (Preferred)
  • Adobe Illustrator: 2 years (Preferred)
  • Graphic design: 5 years (Preferred)

Work Location: One location