Navigating the Dynamic World of Packaging Artwork Management with Christina Troutman


In the ever-evolving realm of product packaging, behind every eye-catching design lies a skilled project manager and packaging artwork manager, responsible for bringing brands to life. In this episode of the “Product & Packaging Powerhouse” podcast, host Megan Young Gamble engages in an insightful conversation with Christina Troutman, a seasoned packaging artwork manager, as they explore the challenges and triumphs of this dynamic role.

1. Every Day Brings New Curveballs:

As Christina recounts her experience as a packaging artwork manager, she emphasizes that no two days are the same. From unexpected client requests to last-minute changes, the role requires adaptability and quick thinking. This constant flux keeps the job exciting, as every challenge presents an opportunity for growth.

2. The Crucial Role of Communication:

Managing complex packaging projects requires effective communication with both clients and internal teams. Christina highlights the importance of promptly addressing client requirements, discussing graphics placement, and considering factors such as retail, international placement, substrate choice, and pricing. Transparent communication helps ensure everyone is aligned with project expectations and prevents potential setbacks.

3. Hands-On Experience: The Key to Success:

To excel in the packaging industry, hands-on experience with products is invaluable. Christina encourages listeners to personally examine their products, research the materials used, and familiarize themselves with recycling symbols. This knowledge empowers professionals to make informed decisions regarding packaging and product development, ultimately contributing to sustainability and consumer satisfaction.

4. Bringing Diversity to the Forefront:

Megan points out the lack of awareness surrounding the packaging industry and its wide range of career opportunities. The podcast further emphasizes the need for diversity within the field. Christina shares her personal journey of discovering the industry and overcoming misconceptions. She highlights a program at Michigan State University that aims to bridge the diversity gap and urges listeners to mentor and educate students about the packaging industry.

5. Experience Shapes Perspective:

Megan and Christina discuss their personal experiences growing up, initially unaware of the packaging industry’s vast possibilities. Christina acknowledges that the scarcity of representation in the field stems from a lack of knowledge and awareness within marginalized communities. They emphasize the need for effective communication and outreach to ensure that opportunities within the packaging industry are communicated widely.

6. The Challenges of Balancing Client Expectations:

Managing conflicting demands from different stakeholders can be a formidable task. Megan and Christina delve into the delicate balance of navigating the expectations of clients, sales teams, and design departments. Emphasizing the importance of proactive communication, regular updates, and transparency, they stress the need to adapt to changes while ensuring positive client relationships.


Being a packaging artwork manager involves navigating a complex landscape of design, marketing, client expectations, and production realities. Through this episode of “Product & Packaging Powerhouse,” Megan and Christina shed light on the wonders and challenges of the role. From effective communication and hands-on experience to promoting diversity and addressing client expectations, packaging artwork managers possess the power to shape the way products are brought to life. As the podcast concludes, it inspires listeners to embrace the opportunities and possibilities within this thriving industry.

Christina Troutman, an Atlanta native, began her career as an admin assistant and receptionist. Feeling dissatisfied with her current job, she decided to explore new opportunities. Christina interviewed for an admin assistant role at a gift wrap and greeting cards company, but unfortunately did not secure the position. However, a few days later, she received a callback for an interview for an associate product development manager position. Despite not knowing what the role entailed, Christina agreed to give it a try. To her surprise, she was offered the job right after the interview. This unexpected turn of events marked the beginning of her journey in the packaging industry, which she has now been a part of for over 7 years.