Senior Structural Designer

Minneapolis, MN

Employees are Our Greatest Asset

Privately held, Great Northern is one of the nation’s largest independent producers of corrugated packaging.  For more than five decades, customers have turned to Great Northern Corporation for integrated, comprehensive packaging solutions in industrial, commercial and retail markets.

Great Northern exists to live out the core values established by our founders – integrity, personal growth, entrepreneurial spirit, and a shared future.

Our vision, “We help our employees win through personal growth and a shared future” is a call to action to deliver on building a people-centric culture, developing leaders from within, and sending people home fulfilled about their role and contributions. The “win” for everyone is a trusting and collaborative culture that helps us be at our best every day.

Our mission statement, “We help our customers win by doing what others can’t or won’t” gives us a clear purpose and raises the bar for performance. Doing what others “can’t or won’t” for our customers is demonstrated by a willingness to serve customers, value-added partnerships and proactively developing innovative solutions to our customer’s challenges.

We are excited that you are looking to join our great culture. Here are some details about the position.


The Sr. Structural Designer to provide development of package and display design concepts to assigned customers, markets and/or projects.

The Sr. Structural Designer is responsible for fabricating final samples of design concepts for approval and write specifications for cost estimates and Production, and act as a resource to sales and other internal teams to enhance the ability of the company to present the concepts to the market.

This position will report to the Director of Design & Client Services


  • Degree in Package Engineering, Industrial Design or Related Field AND 10+ years of hands-on package and instore display design experience.
  • Practiced knowledge in the use of ArtiosCAD, Kongsberg/Zund Sample Tables, and Topps/CAPE software packages.
  • Demonstrable experience through portfolios, CAD files, etc. of packaging and display applications.
  • Applicable retail store knowledge that translates into your designs.
  • Ability to take a written concept and translate it into a physical sample or 3D rendering.
  • Guide and direct less experienced designers in the execution of their concepts.
  • Work on highest profile accounts, assist in trouble-shooting challenging concepts, project outcomes and information discrepancy.
  • Provide a resource for sales team to filter potential opportunities through.
  • Strong ability to lead a group of Structural Designers during client interactions to ensure client needs are met
  • Creative approach to design that fits with the urgency of our culture.
  • Proven ability to meet aggressive deadlines, consistently delivering exemplary work while juggling multiple priorities.
  • Exceptional work ethic, sense of urgency, and ability to use time productively, maximize efficiency, and meet challenging work goals.
  • Ability to anticipate potential hazards in a solution and work towards a creative and viable result.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills and a desire to interact in person with clients (when necessary).
  • Familiarity with a wide range of substrates, with a concentration on corrugated, folding carton and flat signage applications.
  • Desire to become familiar with production equipment to ensure design concepts can be manufactured.
  • High-level attention to detail, ability to learn from past experiences and a desire to grow.


  • Direct and assign workload levels of the department providing necessary balance to meet project deadlines and requirements with available resources.
  • Act as a resource for other structural design team members for work concept and direction.
  • Function as the backup for the Director of Design and Client Services (DODCS). When DODCS is not available, makes decisions specifically related to structural design department.
  • Create new package and display design concepts by using CAD system to develop designs that meet customers’ needs and expectations in a creative, timely and efficient manner.
  • Coordinate design concepts and fabricates samples of design concepts; i.e. containers, interior packaging, and displays.
  • Responsible for the design deliverables on multiple projects at one time.
  • Establish and maintain vendor relations to obtain support materials for design projects. Identify vendors and processes to improve our design products and outputs.
  • Seek additional information on key markets to present new and innovative designs and solutions to assigned clients.
  • Document accurate and detailed specifications on completed design projects for Estimating and Production.
  • Maintain information on freight regulations, production equipment limitations, hazardous materials requirements, packaging materials and performance and drop testing procedures.
  • Understand variables related to production costs and estimating procedures.
  • Develop fabrication assembly drawings of specific designs as requested.
  • Participate in design trade shows and seminars and remains abreast of new state-of-the-art design systems and equipment. Develops and maintains relationships with other design firms, reviews catalogs, and periodicals and newsletters focused on package design concepts.  Seeks information from retailers on design requirements.
  • Confer with customers and/or Sales Representatives to provide solutions and ideas to enhance GNC’s ability to secure additional business.
  • Advise customers and Management on efficient packaging procedures, innovations in packaging materials, and utilization of sealing and fastening devices.
  • Maintain awareness of display and packaging trends, looks for methods to adopt innovative solutions to display and packaging challenges.
  • Interface daily with Sales, Customer Service, Marketing, Shipping/Receiving and Production employees to design and develop optimum structural designs.
  • Possess and seek understanding and knowledge in a wide variety of fiberboard and non-fiber substrates.
  • Develop and maintain an efficient and significant level of knowledge as such relates to Artios CAD and Truck loading software.
  • Act as a training and knowledge resource for less experienced members of the design teams.


In addition to excellent wages, Great Northern has a competitive benefits package including Medical and Dental Insurance; Life Insurance; paid vacation; paid holidays; profit sharing and 401(k) with company match. We also offer our employees a safe, clean, friendly environment and room for growth!

Great Northern is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Find out how we can exceed your expectations

We welcome new challenges and continue to provide innovative solutions to the packaging and instore industries.