Work   //   About   //   Contact

Work   //   About   //   Contact

About Stuart

I’m currently the Creative Director and Founder of Stack Creative, a boutique agency I started after working at some of the best shops around.

The Early Years (2007–2018)

From the start, I focused on creating a wide range of work at as high a level of quality as I could, most prominently websites and digital experiences, email and direct mail, and advertising across pretty much every channel.

I charted this path on purpose, because I firmly believe that the best work doesn’t exist in isolation—and it isn’t a one-off. Great work combines the spark of an idea with DNA that can evolve over time, and you can’t truly figure that big picture out if the answer is always a different version of the same mousetrap.

My career started with an internship at Ryan Edwards, and I eventually joined Proximity at the height of its success, with stints at AJ&Smart, BBDO, Cossette, DARE, DDB, Edelman, FCB/SIX, Idea Rebel, T4G, Teehan+Lax, and Trajectory. In 2018, I took this breadth and depth of experience and started Stack Creative.

Starting and Growing an Agency (2018–2022)

As my lens widened to include both creative direction and agency ownership, it was clear to me that a good shop has to ground its work in both consultative strategy and the creative product. Stack’s business model and approach to all aspects of the shop lived this “ask first, diagnose second, make third” philosophy.

Stack Creative focused our efforts on work with longer horizons, primarily websites and branding, plus broadcast, online video, print, social, digital, and email. Our approach to staffing combined a core team of art, copy, design, development, and operations with a network of freelancers and partners. This flexibility, while keeping high standards of work and process quality and integrity, is also why I named the shop Stack.

These 4 years as a solo founder have also been a bootcamp across every agency function. Services and offerings; strategy; pitching; pricing; scoping; contracts; law; finance; recruitment; management; leadership; operations; and of course, creative direction. Experience is the greatest teacher, but it’s not the only one, and I’ve augmented the day-to-day lessons with education in business development and sales, pricing, scoping, operations, and contract law.

The Future

It’s been an exhilarating journey with Stack. We’ve created a bounty of work I’m proud of, I’ve developed a team that I will forever cherish, and our roster of clients is one that I hold dear. It’s been a fulfilling and successful journey, and it’s validated to me that what I love most about this business is the people and the work itself.

Let's Chat

Email Me
Connect on LinkedIn

Won

Art Director’s Club
ADCC
Applied Arts
Cannes Lions
Caples
D&ADs
Marketing Awards
The One Show
Webbys

Judged

Applied Arts
New York Festivals
Marketing Awards

Taught

Humber College
RED Academy

Learned

Undergrad
BA, History
Western University

Cont. Education
Business Law, Biz Dev, Marketing Strategy, Agency Operations

Key Articles

A few articles that outline key aspects of my philosophy around creative, an agency’s impact on the world, better approaches to agency operations, and the generally wild, fascinating, exhilarating world of marketing, advertising, and design.

Expanding Branding: On expanding the notion of branding to better reflect the market realities of today.

Operationalizing Creativity: On solving the Mexican Standoff between cost certainty to the client, proper resources to the agency, and the ongoing match of a project timeline.

A Website is Not Just a Website: On the critical role that the most important owned channel has in defining a brand.

The Blend: On the unique nature of agencies as part consultancy, part production.

Building a Better Foundation: On approaching the holy marketing trinity of web, email, and content.

The Reason of Creative: On why this business event exists. In the words of Dan Wieden, it’s to “Move me, dude.”

Competition, Context, Heroes, and Villains: On creating a better brief.

Bravery in Marketing: On taking the leap to create the work that needs to exist.

Key Roles & Projects

Creative Director, Owner, Client Lead, and Strategist

on websites, branding, naming, and digital and traditional advertising work for all Stack Creative clients and projects, most notably the Jane Goodall Institute, IC Savings, Save the Children, Tafelmusik, World Vision, Mother Raw, Parallax, and many more.

Associate Design Director

on complex web builds for Canada Student Loans (Government of Canada) and Alberta Students Loans, and CRM programs for CIBC, Primus, and Azamara.

Art Director & Designer

on web builds for FRHI Hotels & Resorts, Loblaws, Mattamy Homes, Travel Yukon, Campbell’s, Mars-Wrigley, Mother Raw, Canadian Women and Sport, PFLAG Canada, and many more.

Art Director

on digital and traditional advertising and CRM for Bayer, Canadian Olympic Committee, IC Savings, Mercedes-Benz, RBC, Rogers, Samsung, Save the Children, Starbucks, Swiss Chalet, Ve’ahavta.

C.V.

Stack Creative

Creative Director and Founder
2018–Present

Jane Goodall Institute / Tafelmusik / Mars-Wrigley / IC Savings / World Vision / Save the Children / Mother Raw / Canadian Women and Sport / The Moment / Digital Research Alliance / HealthPartners / Governance Solutions / Parallax / Focus Asset Management / BILD GTA / Friends of Ruby / Memory Labs

 

BBDO / Cossette / DDB / Idea Rebel

Senior Art Director (Freelance)
2017–2019

Mercedes-Benz / Rogers / Samsung / McDonald’s / Kraft / Keurig / TD

 

FCB/SIX

Associate Design Director
2016–17

CIBC / Government of Canada / Government of Alberta / Primus / PFLAG Canada (Destination Pride) / Azamara Club Cruises

 

T4G

Art Director / 2015–16

FRHI Hotels & Resorts / Loblaws / Mattamy Homes / Travel Yukon / Saputo / Tourism New Brunswick / Manulife / Sheridan College / Enterprise Retail Client

 

AJ+Smart / DARE / Edelman / Ryan Edwards / T4G / Teehan+Lax / Trajectory

Art Director (Freelance) / 2013–14

Chang School of Continuing Education / Ontario Real Estate Association / Shipwire / Staples / Great West Life / Powerade / Intuit / Rheingau Founders / Letsfeedback / Scotiabank / Sheridan College / Bioré / and many more

 

Proximity Canada

Art Director / 2010–13

Canadian Olympic Committee / Rogers / RBC / Campbell’s / Starbucks / Swiss Chalet / Bayer / Research in Motion / RBC / Partnership for a Drug Free Canada / Shaw / SiriusXM / Ve’ahavta / Whiskas

 

Applied Arts Magazine
Community Manager and Online Editor / 2009-10

Fairmont Books
Graphic Designer / 2008-09

Ryan Edwards Communications
Graphic Designer Intern // 2007

Get in Touch

stuartthursby@gmail.com
LinkedIn

© 2022 Stuart Thursby

Projects

Canadian Olympic Committee
Governance Solutions
Jane Goodall Institute
Mars-Wrigley
Mercedes-Benz
Save the Children
Tafelmusik
World Vision

Additional work examples available upon request.

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