At Bombas, Graphic Design Alum Finds His Match

Spring 2018 Issue

Leslie Hanson is in a good place right now. He’s the art director for Bombas, the social-impact sock company that gives a pair of socks to someone in need with every purchase.

The company has been featured on ABC News, Huffington Post and Forbes. Hanson even appeared with the company on “Good Morning America.”

“It’s been a combination of hustle, networking and pure luck,” Hanson said. “This didn’t all happen at once.”

Hanson’s graduation from Susquehanna came at a challenging time. It was 2008 and the U.S. economy had taken a downward turn. Jobs for graphic designers were scant.

“When I was fresh out of school, I was scraping for any job I could find,” Hanson said. “All designers have probably heard the we-can’t-pay-you-but-it’ll-be-great-for-your-portfolio line.”

He found himself working three jobs at once: waiting tables at a café, working the graveyard shift in the CBS video tape library, and designing at an ad agency as an unpaid intern. In his spare time, he took on freelance work and looked for full-time design work.

He eventually found it with Seamless, at the time a start-up New York-based mobile application for ordering food delivery. The company later merged with Grubhub and it was here that a colleague passed on to Hanson an opportunity for some web work for the then-unknown Bombas.

“I’m extremely grateful for the environment the founders have created, where we not only work hard and play hard together, but also are actively engaged in community service,” Hanson said. “Aside from being able to help shape the company’s visual aesthetic, I’ve been able to grow myself with the company as it grows.”

He credits his experience at SU, and in particular Mark Fertig, professor of art, with positioning him for career success.

“The education [Mark] gave us was especially focused around speed and technical mastery, which is a unique approach that isn’t done at a lot of other schools,” Hanson said. “He is an incredible mentor who spent some real time getting to know us and still influences me to this day.”

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