We’re super excited to announce the addition of a third—count ‘em, three—creative director to the Vital team, in one Aaron Nickulas. Aaron joins Jesse Rand and Julia Ahumada to round out our trifecta of amazeballs (yes, that’s a word now) creative directors. Talk about a dream team. You may have noticed that Vital’s been growing, and part of this growth means bringing in new leadership at the top to take the lead on creative projects for our branding, web design and web development projects. Now, I know Jesse hates it when we use the word “ninja,” but trust us, this guy is a ninja (he even has an alias—going by “AMN” at times).
We have been recruiting for this position from our Boylston Street office in Boston, as well as our Portsmouth office here on Fleet Street. We were searching high and low, and getting resumes from some of the top talent in these creative meccas. One stood out among the rest—and wouldn’t you know it, after searching through the cream of the crop in Boston and Portsmouth, the standout candidate ended up hailing from Manchester, NH, of all places (we double-checked his credentials, don’t you worry). Aaron’s resume exceeded all of our expectations, and the more we looked into him, the more it became clear that we wanted this guy on our team.
Aaron has been designing since he was 15, back when MacPaint was really the only design software out there. He’s even taught graphic design for Pioneer Computer School of Visual Arts in Hookset (no longer around, as evidenced by calling themselves a computer school), instructed at Good Brain Academy (which IS a pretty cool name), has worked for print design shops (remember books and magazines?), done some impressive branding and identity design, and, in recent years, has truly excelled running teams of web designers and developers at growing digital agencies. He spent seven years at wedü in Manchester, then was recruited away to another Manchester digital agency, SilverTech, where he spent three years producing, leading and directing digital design and development teams.
He brings to Vital experience working with clients such as Dell, 47 Brand, Disney, Hasbro, and Jabra, and has a history ranging from commercial illustration, experiential concept design, package design, print and web design, and complex application design. Pretty impressive, right?
You might be saying to yourself, “Okay, wow, this guy sure has an impressive background, but I bet that makes him a bit of a snoozefest on the personal front, right? Must be one of those grumpy workaholics.” Bzzzz, wrong. Not only does his love for legos and music get their own icons on his resume, he also spends quite a bit of his free time at various roller derby arenas, cheering on the Seacoast Roller Derby team on which his wife competes. And he has already brought the Vital team baked goods on no less than three occasions in his first two weeks. So. Yeah, he’s pretty rad.
The feelings are mutual. “I was drawn to Vital because of its emphasis, and focus on, high-end creative, story telling and design process,” says the man himself, “I often found myself looking at their work thinking ‘this is what I want to do.’ I view websites, and apps/online tools as opportunities to tell a story while solving a problem, and enabling users to find and/or consume the information needed. It’s of top priority for me, and Vital very clearly champions all of the above. I’m super excited to join this smart, diverse and energetic group of folks, and proud to call myself a fellow ‘Vitalian’.”
Aww, shucks. We’re blushing over here. And as fun as Aaron is to hang out with—which is no small consideration for anyone we look to hire at Vital (see our recent post on Vital culture)—it’s his skill set and experience that was a must for filling the role of Creative Director.
“Vital has grown by leaps and bounds in the past couple of years, so hiring is nothing new for us,” said Creative Director Jesse Rand. “However, a position like Creative Director is high profile, and something we didn’t take lightly. To bring in a new face and essentially give them the keys to the castle requires this person to have a mountain of talent, industry know-how and experience with large clients—all of which Aaron brings to the table. We know that bringing in senior-level talent is going to positively advance both the company as a whole, and more specifically those under their guidance.”
After 2 weeks, he hasn’t been fired yet (the baked goods are definitely helping), so check him out. He’s already started work on some really cool client projects that we can’t wait to share with you. Stay tuned for more great things!