Aaron is a Graphic Designer at Level5 Strategy where he’s in charge of the visual representation of our brand and communications. He uses his talent and expertise to help us reach prospects and clients in a memorable and engaging way, while solving complex visual problems behind the scenes. His work is instrumental in translating the goals and ideas of our consultants into design concepts that broaden our influence and make an impact. Aaron graduated from Humber College with a diploma in Advertising and Graphic Design in 2019 and – besides being an artistic virtuoso – he has a compelling life story to share.
I chose graphic design because… I can’t not be creative.
I was always creative – I like experimenting with colour and building things. I drew lines as a toddler, created a comic book series based on a video game in elementary school and later dabbled in music production. In high school, I did really well in math and science but not so well in English and humanities. Once I was exposed to Photoshop in one of the courses, I discovered that it really helped express my creativity. I realized that graphic and video design was the right professional space for me.
I live with a disability but… it doesn’t prevent me from reaching my potential.
I live with invisible disability and was diagnosed with mild autism in 2018, commonly known as Asperger syndrome. Before that, in 2005, I was diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder. People with this diagnosis often experience socialization and communication difficulties so I was keen to improve social skills. During my years at Humber College I sought support through counseling and I pursued various avenues for speaking about my struggles.
I joined Level5 because of diversity of projects but stayed for… personal growth opportunities.
At first, Level5 Strategy seemed like a great place to join because of diversity of projects. But once I started working there I realized that the benefits extended beyond work. The Level5 team was great from the start – my colleagues gave me a tour of the office because I like to familiarize myself with the new environment.
Another thing about me is that I have super hearing so I may hear whispers from a few meters away or the sound of the pen moving along the paper. That’s why I wear headphones at work to block out the noise and everyone in the office is cool about it. As I grew professionally at Level5, I realized that I was honing my soft skills, improving my self-advocacy and growing as a person. In short, I’ve been really emerging out of my turtle shell. I’m now able to build a better rapport when talking to people. I’m much better putting them at ease when speaking to me about anything, from the little things to really important business things. Everyone in the office gave me the support I needed to become a better version of myself. I feel like I’ve been able to create a platform for myself that’s enabling me to make an impact.
The future of graphic design lies in simplicity and… animation.
These days, people prefer simple designs over complex ones. The demand is up for solid, uninterrupted colours and animation. In the past, the designs were all over the place without a unified trend in terms of logo design. Recently, logos are becoming more eye-catching – simple, but attention grabbing with lots of negative space. You’ll also see editorial designs with plenty of white that helps create a clean aesthetic.
COVID pushed me out of my comfort zone and… I miss my colleagues.
It seems to me that I was more efficient before COVID hit. When I first started working from home it was a big change because there was no separation between home life and work life. This has disrupted my routine because I’m not a huge fan of changes, but I got used to it over time. The worst part has been not seeing my colleagues and working with them from the office.
The best part of working at Level5 is… the culture and room for career development.
I love the culture at Level5 because I feel like I’m part of a family. My team members are always there to provide support in whatever capacity I require. People are accessible and receptive, which aligns with my belief that companies should value people and foster a climate of goodwill. Plus, as a young professional, I’m exposed to a number of diverse projects at Level5, which means I’m really flexing my creative muscle. Level5 offers a wide scope of opportunities that has noticeably accelerated my development.