Free Agency Creative is a strategic brand design firm and placemaking agency in Vancouver, Canada. We’ve had the privilege of partnering with forward-thinking businesses and developers, seeing firsthand how the built environment impacts culture. Our agency is built with this in mind. We aim to encourage creativity that empowers people to improve the quality of life in our urban setting.
We’ve built a workplace where we support each other like family and bring a personal investment in excellence to every task, every day. Diverse, curious and intelligent, we combine our individual strengths to contribute to a greater brand story.
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Don is always looking for opportunities where others might not—and he knew he wanted to re-imagine the way agencies worked after his first job inside one. It was after returning to Emily Carr to complete his degree that he co-founded FAC with Tak to create a new proposition for a strategic brand design firm. He’s an ardent advocate for the power of design strategy to influence the trajectory of a brand, and as co-founder and partner at FAC, he takes a different approach to his role as Director of Business Development: rather than selling clients on a suite of deliverables for a project, he aims to show them how a shift in thinking can create possibilities and transform the impact of their entire organization. He translates client needs into tangible strategies and then empowers our design team to take ownership over how they bring these stories to life. It’s crucial to Don that FAC is larger than himself, and he takes pride in the way the people here have shaped our culture. He strives to build a team that’s not just creative and talented, but capable of crystalizing a vision and engaging with the community in a meaningful way. To that end, he continues facilitating an environment where the team can build fertile partnerships with clients—and help them make a far-reaching impact through their work.
As co-founder at FAC, Tak has worked to bring together a group of distinct personalities that share a common goal: leveraging creativity and strategy to make meaningful contributions in our communities. Now, he places his focus on Strategy and Cultural Development, stewarding the studio’s brand and finding novel ways to make our work even more relevant and effective. In tandem with his work at FAC, Tak is also leading the creation of the Urban Experience Alliance, a collective that’s working to elevate the importance of cultural placemaking in our communities. He believes in doing things deliberately and carving out time to consider projects and strategies from all angles. With careful attention, he works with clients to uncover opportunities—not just in individual project narratives, but in the broader systems, operations and company culture. After initially studying math and science, Tak decided to set his analytical mind to creative endeavours. He met FAC co-founder Don while attending Emily Carr and recognized a complementary personality with a similar vision to rethink the role and impact of creative agencies. He strives to mobilize our design team to look beyond what has always been done and find ways to make meaningful contributions to place and culture with their work.
As Operations & Project Manager, Karen brings a sense of calm control to FAC, helping us focus on our work and continually raise the standard for our projects. She oversees our high-level processes and manages day-to-day details—all while keeping the team happy and ensuring we meet client deadlines. Before joining FAC, Karen studied communications at Simon Fraser University. She worked in the film and video game industries, and oversaw operations at a start-up life before moving into interactive agencies. As part of our team, Karen brings cohesion to our everyday work—and always navigates the ebb and flow with a sense of humour. She enjoys a role that gives her the opportunity to grow and connect with talented colleagues who feel like family.
Trust that Megan has an eye on all the moving parts. As a Project Manager, she knows how to negotiate, balancing client needs and facilitating our team’s work to ensure everything is moving smoothly in the same direction. She coordinates people, oversees budgets, schedules project timelines and manages operations. After earning a double major in history and art history, and a graduate diploma in publishing, Megan has worked in boutique design studios. She has experience working with clients in industries as wide ranging as real estate, publishing, fashion, music and finance. She’s been with FAC for eight years, where she deftly manages complex projects while also building a supportive, collaborative atmosphere.
In order to bring big ideas to life, you have to pour care and attention into all the small details. As Senior Art Director, Kat ensures that each aspect of a project comes together to tell a compelling story. She works with our clients to distil concepts and then guides our designers to craft deliverables that feel relevant, thoughtful and cohesive. Kat is especially adept at toggling between the micro and the macro because she has done it all herself: she joined FAC as an intern in 2010. After moving to Vancouver from Ukraine, she completed her design degree at Emily Carr, where she first met FAC founders Tak and Don. Over the last decade, she has influenced the evolution of the studio, and she uses her talent and experience to help mentor the design team, making sure to support them and help them express themselves.
As an Art Director, Arnold is a visual storyteller with an honest and holistic approach. His favourite kind of challenge is bringing a brand to life across a variety of different deliverables. Print, interactive, environmental—each requires a unique approach to design, but Arnold has unmatched attention to detail that creates consistency across every platform. He discovered his aptitude for design via photography: After earning his degree in Visual Arts from the University of Victoria, he worked behind the camera, but always had an interest in designing layouts. Since joining FAC, Arnold has continued to push for excellence in every aspect of his work—and inspired our team with his uncluttered, cohesive cross-platform branding. He enjoys the atmosphere where everyone is dedicated to the details, and people are supported and pushed to pursue their creative ambitions.
It’s a powerful combination when a creative thinker also appreciates process—and this unique balance is what makes Katie an especially valuable addition to the team. As Junior Art Director, she creates diverse deliverables for our projects, from websites to environments to interactive media—and she also finds ways to analyze and improve how we’re working along the way. Before joining our team, Katie studied fine art and went on to complete her design degree at Emily Carr University. After graduating, she worked as half of a two-person studio where she developed a taste for taking on new tasks that challenged her. At FAC, she’s one of the first to roll up her sleeves and expand her comfort zone. The team here offers a balance of mentorship and freedom, allowing her to continue building her considerable skill set.
As an Interactive Designer, Jasmin is quick to put herself in the audience’s shoes to create experiences that connect with people. After working in various in-house design and production roles, she was seeking the opportunity to work with diverse brands and be more involved with the creative process. She found that at FAC, where she can apply her abilities for a variety of different clients and projects. Jasmin holds a BA and certificates in urban studies and electronic media design—and her interests naturally converge in her work here. She has a talent for telling stories with digital media, and she’s inspired by the open mindset and constant flow of fresh ideas from the team. Being surrounded by the creative minds here means she is always learning and evolving—a sure asset in the fast-paced digital world.
As a Designer, Aly spends her time interpreting brands and bringing them to life across different platforms. Whether she’s developing design ideas, presenting proofs or collaborating with external partners, her willingness to say yes and learn on the fly make her an invaluable asset at FAC. She graduated from Langara’s multidisciplinary Design Formation Program, where she honed her skills in graphic design, interior spaces, exhibition design and construction, visual presentation and marketing. She’s eager to continue learning and expanding her skillset—surrounded by a team that challenges and inspires her. And with each deliverable and project, she’s interested in the big picture: contributing to more sustainable, livable cities, and building brands that connect with people in meaningful ways.
Designing effective and beautiful signage, print collateral, ads, presentations centres and digital media is only one aspect of Mackenzie’s work: she’s always looking for ways to carry a brand forward while it’s in development. As a Designer at FAC, she works closely with the Art Directors to see their vision through, while in tandem, helping clients achieve their goals and objectives. Before joining FAC, Mackenzie studied at the Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, where she earned a certificate in foundations in design and a degree in graphic design for marketing. After graduating, she gained hands-on experience as an intern at Ion Brand Design and a junior designer at Subplot Design. Her unique mix of experiences—from place branding to packaging to postage stamp design helps bring a fresh perspective to our team. Mackenzie enjoys an atmosphere where everyone wants to see each other flourish and designers are encouraged to incorporate new perspectives to their work.
Heather’s job starts with the seed of an idea. As a designer, she takes the visions of her creative directors and brings them to life in the form of different deliverables. With a background in philosophy, her process is equal parts analytical and creative and she believes the key to finding the best solution is through iteration and exploration. Before joining our team, Heather completed a degree in Design and Visual Communication at Capilano University where she honed her skills in both design and illustration. Surrounded by a team whose talent and high standards inspire her daily, she is excited at the prospect of continuing to learn and grow as a designer.
As a project manager, Eliza understands how day-to-day operations contribute to the big picture. Her role requires a fine balance between strategic thinking and quick, creative problem-solving. Before joining our team, Eliza studied at the University of St Andrews in Scotland where she received an MA in Art History and Management and worked for advertising firms in Toronto and Calgary. With experience executing nation-wide digital and social media advertising campaigns, she brings a fresh perspective to projects as well as FAC’s own marketing channels. Armed with her trademark enthusiasm, Eliza values an environment where collaboration and a team’s combined expertise is productively harnessed to bring projects to life.
The most exhilarating part of any project is always the beginning when all you have is a blank canvas. It’s this moment of pure exploration that Anastasiia likes best. As a junior designer, she focuses her attention on digital experiences like websites and touchscreens, and she approaches each deliverable with a fresh perspective. With a background in performing arts, a master's degree in academic piano, and years of experience as a teacher, she brings a decidedly multidisciplinary outlook to every project. At FAC, Anastasiia has found a team to support and encourage her creative interests and ambitions as she continues to develop her considerable skills.