Design Principal

Maplewood, MN

At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $30 billion in sales, our 90,000 employees connect with customers all around the world.

3M has a long-standing reputation as a company committed to innovation. We provide the freedom to explore and encourage curiosity and creativity. We gain new insight from diverse thinking, and take risks on new ideas.

Here, you can apply your talent in bold ways that matter.


3M is driving creativity and design as a competitive platform for innovation and brand globally to enhance design-driven solutions for people and the world. We are looking for a Design Principal to lead the charge for our Industrial and Safety and Graphics Business Groups at the 3M Design Center, located in St. Paul, MN.

The person hired for the position of Design Principal will work with cross-functional teams and disciplines across the business groups to lead design and research programs that uncover meaningful human-centered insights which inform and inspire strategic decisions and design solutions and opportunities in both the physical and digital realm. The Design Principal will work closely with business leadership to identify and align strategic design programs, also overseeing design programs from strategy to execution.

Does your curiosity inspire you to imagine tomorrow’s solutions to today’s problems? Do you ever wonder how collaborative creativity can enrich innovation and make progress possible? Or wonder if design can drive competitive advantage for business, while also having positive impact on the world? These are just a few of the questions we ask at 3M Design every day. Our diverse, global team not only includes design talent from multiple creative disciplines, but also achievement-oriented professionals who keep the engine going for strong operations to ensure our design organization is world class. We’re looking for creative explorers who are excited to be part of the very inspiring journey of design at an innovation company like 3M driven by curiosity.


Basic Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited university in design, design research, design management, psychology, anthropology or human factors.
  • Minimum of seven (7) combined years of design, design research, user experience and/or consumer insight experience.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • M.S. in Design, Design Strategy, Design Research, Human Factors or a related field or equivalent practical experience.
  • 9-10 years of experience with product commercialization that includes driving a product from conception through launch and assessing post-launch effectiveness.
  • Proven record of using research to answer business strategy questions and needs.
  • Experience with design research techniques such as in-depth interviews, observation, immersion, documentation and insights generation to understand the customer needs and desires.
  • Understanding of a broad-range of qualitative and quantitative research methods and their trade-offs.
  • Experience in interpreting insights into potential design and innovation opportunities and solutions.
  • Strong story-telling and presentation skills and a passion for creative expression.
  • Experience leading and collaborating on cross-functional teams.
  • Please attach a file or include a link to a non-confidential portfolio of design work along with your application.



Primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Leads the design, scope and implementation of design programs and research processes and methodologies which contribute to every aspect of design-development projects.
  • Advises and consults with leadership teams to set short to medium-term directions and operating plans for the application of design research and development of design programs.
  • Utilizes resources across work areas and departments to create solutions for highly complex and multi-faceted problems.
  • Takes responsibility for strategic, relevant design-research projects that can inspire and inform innovative design in the form of products, services, processes, ventures or experiences.
  • Manages design-research expertise and external design research agency resources through building relationships, resolving issues, etc.
  • Utilizes design practices and effective story-telling to help business partners and leadership understand strategies and visualize concepts and future opportunities.
  • Translates design trends into information that can direct design development for product, UX and brand.
  • Ability to manage design and research programs, lead and inspire cross-functional stakeholders and execute programs that deliver value to our customer and the business.
  • Manages multiple stakeholder needs, interests, priorities and expectations effectively and sensitively.
  • Provides design direction and collaborates with other designers on projects.
  • May be assigned leadership responsibilities for tasks and/or people on an organizational basis.

Location: Maplewood, MN
Travel: Up to 25%
Relocation: Is Authorized

About 3M Design

3M Design is the creative engine driving design for innovation at 3M. As a global team of diverse talent that creates meaningful and consistent brand experiences, we stimulate collaborative creativity to translate insights and technologies into solutions that inspire and positively impact our customers, our employees, and our world. 3M is a global innovation company with $32 billion in sales, employing 90,000 people worldwide with operations in more than 70 countries. For more information about 3M Design, visit or follow @3MDesign on Twitter.

Must be legally authorized to work in country of employment without a sponsorship for employment visa status (e.e. H1B status). 

Learn more about 3M’s creative solutions to the world’s problems at or on Twitter @3M or @3MNewsroom.

3M is an equal opportunity employer. 3M will not discriminate against any applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status.

Please note: your application may not be considered if you do not provide your education and work history, either by: 1) uploading a resume, or 2) entering the information into the application fields directly.
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