Work With People Your Mom Would Love
She’ll find us charming and really smart. We’ll do the dishes and she’ll send us home with a hug and leftover pie. Later, she’ll tell you she thought we were just the very best. Here’s why:
We do what we say we’re gonna do when we say we’re gonna do it.
Our talent is explosive but our egos are in check—so we’re impressive but not annoyingly so.
We are nurturers who care deeply about brands, clients, and moms.
We don’t mess around; we get things done. Then maybe we mess around a little.
This is who we are
Banko Creative Studio is an independent, creative content agency. From our locations in Hamilton and Bruce County, we create content and tell stories across all media for regional, national and North American clients.
We’ve been doing this for a long while —since 1996 to be exact.
Back then you might have known us as Banko Media. A name change and a few decades later, we’ve shared a lot of beers and a lot of cheers with small businesses, large corporations, and non-profit organizations.
Fancy wordsmiths would call our team “multi-disciplinary”; we just call us “really darn good at a bunch of really valuable things.” This ultimately means no cookie-cutter solutions (unless you’re a cookie-cutter business). We solve unique business problems with unique creative solutions, using a combination of our diverse in-house skill sets.
Thoughtful and well-planned strategies are integral to every great (and successful) campaign—for start-ups, long-established brands and all in between. We very intentionally and incredibly carefully select words and imagery to spread your message in a meaningful way.
From portraits, architecture and product photography to commercials, how-to videos and short film. Whatever your business requires to tell its story best, our in-house photographers and editors will capture and bring that story to life in a big way.
When we design and write, we do so for impact. And nothing short of that. We’re sticklers for work that can’t be ignored—or forgotten. We design logos, illustrations and ad campaigns. We write for websites, publications, and so much more. Our ideas are endless.
Whether it’s social media advertising, airtime on your local radio station, space in a specialty print publication, or reputation and community management—we’ll help you cut through the clutter.
Partner / CEO
This place doesn’t tick without Tara. She’s our CEO and has the lofty task of overseeing our client portfolio. Which, for her, is a breeze. Tara brings years of experience working with brands like ArcelorMittal Dofasco, [yellow tail] wines and Cineplex’s The Rec Room. She puts out fires before the embers get hot—proactive to her very core.
Tara is also a walking, talking, heart of gold. She pours her heart and soul into more than just clients; volunteering for the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and the Brantford Cultural Advisory Committee. Lest she seem perfectly perfect, she humbly admits to watching terrible TV.
Partner / Creative Director
Dan is the big cheese around here. Officially, he’s our Creative Director. Unofficially, he’s a super nice guy with a thousand ideas swimming around upstairs and always implements the very right one at the right time for the right client. Naturally, his dad still wonders what he actually does for a living.
He’s a dad and a coach, a photographer and a sculptor, a teacher and a wine and beer drinker (not at the same time). He’s a gutsy leader and a real friend. We like him a lot. (And he didn’t pay us to say that, we swear.)
Sarah’s favourite colour is rainbow. Handy when you’re an illustration-loving graphic designer. She can draw the pictures, design the layout and run the press, thanks to her time working at a large format print shop. She understands design from all angles. If she doesn’t know something, Sarah will figure it out and loves the chance to learn some new skills.
Sarah lives a colourful life. Three cats and a dog mean there’s never a dull moment at her house. If there is any quiet time, she’ll be reading comics, playing video games or listening to music. Sarah feeds her rainbow fix with thrifting for art, stickers, pins, and stationery—the more colourful the better.
Social Media Coordinator
In the maze that is social media marketing, Brianne is our guide. An experienced social media manager, she has produced communications and digital marketing content for government agencies and numerous B2C and B2B companies. Crafting strategy, creating content, engaging followers, analyzing campaigns—she knows how to cut through the clutter and help our clients to connect with the people who matter most.
Brianne loves trial and error and thrives on change, which is handy as social media is constantly changing.
We count on Brianne to try new things outside of work, too—like recipes, wineries, restaurants, and plants. Seriously. She always has a new plant.
Jennifer is a badminton playing, bubble tea drinking, pasta eating, music-loving, video gaming Graphic Designer. She brings her hawk eyes (she has seriously great attention to detail) to social media graphics, website banners, digital billboard ads, posters and more. Her perfectionist streak ensures every image, word, line, and logo are in the exact right spot.
A hard worker, Jennifer polishes off great designs, no matter how many are on her plate. Then she asks what more she can do to help. She’s a team player all the way. Except at karaoke. Then she’s a total mic hog.
There’s a little bit (and sometimes a lot) of Michelle in all of our work. She’s a designer first, but really she’s a creative problem solver with an impressively critical eye for detail. She’s a wizard at creating thoughtful, beautiful designs rooted in strategic thinking. We hear a lot of “Wows” from clients when we present work that Michelle drummed up. It never disappoints. Not ever.
Michelle is also a doer of all things. Literally, all things. She sketches, hikes, bikes, drinks a lot of lattes, loves stationery, collects cookbooks, crochets, makes patterns, watches period-piece dramas, and really, really loves cats.
In her past life, Julia was probably a juggler. That’s our explanation of how she can handle so many things at once—well, that and her legendary Google Sheets. Seriously organized, always up on social media trends, fluent in TikTok, and great at building relationships, she handles projects, clients and deadlines with ease.
Julia’s personal connections with clients mean that she can tap into their brands, anticipate their needs, and come up with unique strategies.
Plus she’s a tonne of fun (though we haven’t seen her actually juggle yet). She has an encyclopedic knowledge of RuPaul’s Drag Race and makes the best Spotify playlists.
Sandra joined our team in 2003 and has been keeping us on track ever since. She’s a talented photographer, works magic in post-production and stands in as a model when we need her. She also styles food and clothing and holds the title of Banko bowling champion. Come to think of it, Sandra is exceptional at pretty much everything. Which we’d find annoying if she wasn’t so darn likeable.
Sandra’s impressiveness continues outside of Banko Creative Studio, too. She once drove across the country with her husband and two kids and captured stunning photos along the way. We’re not jealous. At all.
A distant relative of Lucy Maud Montgomery (yes, Anne of Green Gables), Julia has storytelling in her genes. She honed her communications skills at McMaster University and Wilfrid Laurier University, specializing in digital communications, print marketing and media relations. A writer, editor and strategist, Julia loves the challenge of putting words together to create a picture, emotion, understanding, or action. She makes people feel things—but not in a creepy way.
Julia’s happy place is her 129-acre farm where she is DIYing her way through her house, “helped” by her daughter, rescue mutt, and the world’s best barn cat.
Taylor tells stories with style—and awesome video. Producer, filmmaker, editor, director, he brings an original, occasionally wacky, yet always practical approach to videos. When clients come to us with an idea, we know Taylor will take their vision and create a unique product that achieves their goals. He takes calculated risks, tries new storytelling techniques and is never satisfied with the status quo.
If you’re looking for Taylor outside of office hours, you might find him making music with one of the 13(!) instruments he plays. Or you won’t find him because he’s in the remote backcountry, canoeing, camping or hiking.
Here for a good time, not a long time. Samantha is a third-year graphic design student from Mohawk College joining us for a crash course in all things design.