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.
If you want to tell an authentic brand story, you need to do your homework. That is Lisa’s first step whenever she sets about breathing life into a project. She approaches her work by considering every angle before creating the strategic platforms that underpin each deliverable. As a Creative Director, she oversees research and discovery and sets objectives and themes to guide our designers. The details matter to Lisa, and so do the people. She has a natural aptitude for mentorship and enjoys guiding the curious and tenacious team at FAC—who, in turn, push her to bring her best every day. After completing her communications design degree at Emily Carr, she worked in-house and freelance before joining FAC. As a 12-year veteran at the agency, she’s played a major role in nurturing the collaborative, creative culture here. Her drive to produce meaningful work and continue building her skillset helps inspire the rest of our team to do the same.
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 a Senior Designer, 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.
When it comes to creating a strong brand identity, the devil is in the details. Senior Designer Brittany knows this well—and her discerning eye is often the difference between a good design and a great one. After studying fine arts at Grant MacEwan University, she moved to Vancouver to complete a degree in design and visual communication at Emily Carr. There, she studied under FAC founders Tak and Don, who recognized her talent in design. After graduating, Brittany joined the team and her role has continued to evolve to match her considerable skill. Here, she’s been able to lean into her passion for interior design, making brands tangible in the built spaces. And although she’s serious as she is about her work, she’s the first to foster a laid-back environment of creativity and collaboration. She’s a key part of the tight-knit culture and takes every opportunity to continue learning from the diverse team here.
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.
Svenja doesn’t just have a knack for keeping projects on track: she lays out long-term strategic plans and knows exactly which daily course corrections are necessary to ensure we arrive where we’re going. As a Project Manager at FAC, she oversees schedules, budgets, external partners and facilitates communication with clients and internal teams alike. In other words, she’s something of a lynchpin. Svenja has a background in Business and Economics, and before joining our team, she worked in-house in project management and retail expansion strategy for an eyewear brand in Amsterdam. Not only did this give her a taste for real estate, but also a deep understanding of the client-side of the project management equation. At FAC, Svenja enjoys the culture of easy collaboration, creativity and ambition. The opportunity to work alongside the different personalities here—and bring them together in service of a shared goal—is further honing Svenja’s already-formidable skillset.
Erika is always thinking several steps ahead, and if she doesn’t have the answer to your question, trust that she knows where to find it. Before she joined FAC as a Project Manager, she worked for communications and events agencies in Stockholm, Sweden, where she travelled extensively to organize large events. Here, she plays a crucial role in the collective effort to bring our projects to life by keeping us organized, on time and on budget—and that’s no small feat when every day is different. Erika is energized by the variety that comes with the work at FAC, and enjoys collaborating with a team that’s professional, detail-oriented and always supportive. She’s always finding ways to make our lives more streamlined with new planning tools or techniques to bring out the best in each individual. The tight-knit team and open, supportive culture helps Erika foster an environment where everyone's voice is heard—and people are empowered to leave their unique mark on our collective work.
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.
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 Lagara’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.