NickLevesque (Creative Director at Asana)

Nick Levesque is a creative leader and artist igniting creativity and clarity for brands. Based in San Francisco with experience managing multidisciplinary creative teams, Nick builds talented teams, inspiring work, and distinctive brands.

He/Him • San Francisco, United States • May 8, 2024

What led you into design?

From an early age, creating and building have always been a part of my life. Crafting with my mom and helping my dad with drywall fueled my love for making things by hand. In high school, I dabbled in graphic design, which led me to pursue it as a career because it seemed like the most obvious choice. During college I earned a fellowship, working part-time at a local design agency where I created my first logo. Post-graduation, landing a full-time position at another agency exposed me to a breadth of projects, including iconography, infographics, album covers, and trade show booths.

After moving from my home state of New Hampshire to the West Coast, initially finding a creative role was tough. I resorted to freelance work, crafting logos for companies I found on Craigslist. I struggled to break into the tech industry and took up odd jobs like making fairy ornaments (a story for another time). But I was determined not to give up on a creative career.

One of the companies I designed a logo for on Craigslist kept offering more freelance work: business cards, a website, and even product design. Also being in the San Francisco area, they eventually expressed interest in hiring me full-time. I joined their team, finally stumbling into the tech industry as a graphic designer.

What does a typical day look like?

I split my week between three days in the office with the team and two days working from home. The best office perk, besides the in-person collaboration, is definitely the food and occasional sweet treat (when I’m deserving). But my home perk is working alongside my husband and our dog, Ash.

Most work days are filled with meetings like stand-ups, show and tells, and creative forums. One of my favorite segments in our weekly team meeting is when someone new presents their HIGH (How I Got Here). I also have 1:1s with directs, our producer, and peers. Work involves planning, kicking off, reviewing, or presenting projects. I also co-write creative briefs with stakeholders to ensure the team is set up for success. I host brainstorms and workshops—guiding discussions to draw out great ideas and inspire collaboration. I by no means have all the answers, but I hope to create an environment where creative and innovative solutions feel achievable.

Occasionally, my days might involve an in-office photo shoot, a team visit to SFMOMA, or traveling to New York or London to creative direct company events.

What's your workstation setup?

Where do you go to get inspired?

In my work, along with my team, we are tasked with solving specific problems and finding effective ways to communicate ideas. During brainstorming sessions, I often find myself turning inward, recalling references and memories, sometimes rediscovering forgotten ones. Which feels like a perfect metaphor and parallel to the found objects I incorporate into my work. These references and objects may remain untouched for a long time but resurface when the perfect project reveals itself.

What product have you recently seen that made you think this is great design?

The dating app Hinge, known for its "designed to be deleted" motto, released a book filled with ideas to disconnect from screens by various artists and collaborators. I love that they took a risk in creating something with no immediate return, but is tangible and beautiful that aligns with their brand and mission.

What pieces of work are you most proud of?

Professionally, some recent work I’m proud of is what the team created for The Workback, Asana’s business magazine. The brief was to reimagine Asana's blog into an editorial-style magazine for business leaders interested in the science behind collaboration and the new era of work.

Roger Hensley, art direction | Hillary Chin, web design | Chean Wei Law, web design manager | Aubrey Rogers, producer | Jordan Bogash, Hannah Minn, Hoi Chan, illustration

Also, the work we made at Zendesk was a game-changer for me. I had been following them for years and saw they were making artistic and unconventional work, especially for a B2B software company. Joining Zendesk allowed me to expand my skills beyond graphic design, enabling me to build with my hands, art direct, and tell stories through imagery.

Marta Dymek, photography | Kevin Cline, film | Tamara Austring, producer | Samantha Minasi, producer

Personally, the work I’m most proud of is my matchstick silhouette art, Red Hot. It’s one of my most celebrated pieces and ironically created during a low point in my life. Now it’s not just a part of my brand, but a reminder to push through self-doubt and find strength in creative expression. It exists in several forms, like prints, shadow boxes, and sculptures.

What design challenges do you face at your company?

Over the last couple of years, Asana has made the move upmarket, catering to more of an enterprise audience. It involved a shift in our tactics, like more thought leadership content and events, creating our own research lab and think tank. It also gave us the opportunity to refresh our brand—how we look and what we sound like to speak the language of exec buyers, not just prospective users. 

What music do you listen to while designing?

Any advice for ambitious designers?

Become a great salesperson. You might be a fantastic designer, but ultimately, you must sell both yourself and your vision. Enhance your presentation and negotiation skills to have the influence needed to see your ideas through the finish line, despite any obstacles you encounter. These are skills I continually develop in order to be successful in my role.

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