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Owen Fegan

Google
Evernote
The Cut
L'Oreal
Rolling Stone
New York Magazine
La Prairie
Owen Fegan
Country Flag NL
Hello. I’m an Irish-born, New York City-bred, and Amsterdam-based creative leader. I elevate brands, foster design-forward cultures, and drive growth through brand consistency and recognition in industries as varied as publishing, entertainment & streaming media, SaaS, and financial services. I make — and build teams who make — global brands, strategy, systems, environments, and 360° campaigns in the junction where humanity-centric creative thinking, operational efficiencies, and data meet. I've lead the internal creative teams of entertainment and media brands such as New York Media, Rolling Stone, SPIN Magazine, and the pioneering music streaming service Grooveshark. Most recently I was Creative Director at Amsterdam-based payment services provider — Mollie — where I built their internal creative studio, brought creative talent in-house, and developed consistent brand systems and scalable creative processes to position the company for international expansion, and prior to that, I was Chief Creative Officer at Yext — a B2B SaaS company based in New York City specializing in AI search.
Elevating Brands Through Human-Centric Creativity
Q

Can you tell us about your journey from being a musician in a rock band to becoming a creative leader in the fields of branding and design?

Oh, it's been quite the journey! My passion for music led me to found a rock band called Rubyhorse, which brought me to the United States, and even got the chance to collaborate with the legendary George Harrison. As the band journeyed, I discovered my love for creativity beyond music and found myself drawn to branding and design. That curiosity and drive to explore new avenues led me to transition into creative leadership roles, where I could elevate brands and foster design-forward cultures.

A mollie phone in portrait mode
Q

How did your experiences in the music industry influence your approach to creative leadership in other industries?

Being a musician taught me the power of creativity and how it can connect with people on a deep level. I learned the importance of storytelling, authenticity, and creating experiences that resonate with audiences. Those principles have been the cornerstone of my creative leadership style in other industries, whether it's entertainment, media, SaaS, or financial services.

The Yext front desk
Q

What motivated you to transition from working with entertainment and media brands to exploring other sectors such as SaaS and financial services?

I've always been intrigued by new challenges and opportunities. While I loved my experiences in entertainment and media, I wanted to explore different industries and apply my creativity in diverse ways. SaaS and financial services presented exciting challenges, and I saw the potential to make a significant impact on brands and businesses in those fields.

Q

As Chief Creative Officer at Yext, what were the key challenges you faced in scaling their in-house creative studio and overseeing the brand strategy during a period of significant growth and rebranding?

Scaling the creative studio at Yext was an exhilarating challenge. We had to attract and develop top-notch talent, ensuring that our creative output aligned with the company's growth and evolving brand identity. The rebranding process required meticulous planning and collaboration to maintain consistency while infusing fresh ideas. It was all about striking the right balance between creativity and strategic direction.

Yext website layout
Q

How do you balance humanity-centric creative thinking with operational efficiencies and data-driven approaches in your work?

It's about finding the sweet spot between creativity and efficiency. I firmly believe that human-centric thinking is at the core of great design and branding. At the same time, I embrace data-driven insights to inform our decisions and measure the impact of our creative efforts. By combining these elements, we can create work that is not only visually captivating but also strategically effective.

Yext store
Q

Can you discuss the importance of brand consistency and recognition in today's competitive market, and how you have implemented these principles in your previous roles?

Brand consistency and recognition are vital to building trust and loyalty among consumers. Consistency in design, messaging, and overall brand experience helps establish a strong brand identity, making it recognizable and memorable in the crowded marketplace. In my previous roles, I've worked closely with teams to develop brand guidelines that ensure consistency across all touchpoints, whether it's print, digital, or experiential. This cohesive approach reinforces the brand's values and distinguishes it from competitors.

A Mollie mobile phone
I make — and build teams who make — global brands, strategy, systems, environments, and 360° campaigns in the junction where human-centric creative thinking, operational efficiencies, and data meet.
Q

Could you share a memorable experience or project from your career that has had a significant impact on you as a creative leader?

One of the most memorable experiences was being part of Yext's journey from a growing company to an IPO and beyond. Leading the creative team through such transformative moments and witnessing the brand's evolution was incredibly rewarding. It taught me valuable lessons in adaptability, resilience, and the power of creativity to drive business success.

Yext stationary set
Q

You mentioned appreciating the value of authentic leadership and clear strategy. How do you incorporate these elements into your creative leadership style?

Authentic leadership is about being genuine, approachable, and leading by example. I strive to create a positive and collaborative environment where team members feel empowered to bring their ideas to the table. As for clear strategy, it's crucial to set well-defined goals and align the team's efforts toward achieving them. I ensure that every creative project is rooted in a strategic vision that aligns with the brand's objectives and that clarity guides our decision-making throughout the process.

The Onward conference
Q

With your diverse background and experience, what advice would you give to aspiring creative leaders who aim to build successful and happy creative teams?

Embrace your passion for creativity and be open to exploring different paths. Surround yourself with talented individuals who complement your strengths and share your passion. Create an environment where everyone feels valued, and their contributions are recognized. Remember that success comes not only from talent but also from fostering a positive and collaborative team culture. And most importantly, never stop learning and evolving as a creative leader.

A collaboration space
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Let’s get creative together.

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