Phonographik’s mission is to help small businesses grow sustainable and genuine brands through creative business strategy and identity design.

Phonographik symbol


Phonographik creates genuine and effective brand identity systems, as well as all the other parts that go with it. This is achieved by truly understanding a businesses culture, values, customers, and market long before designing anything.

Interested in working together? Check out this handy guide to see if we make a good fit:

Project Alignment Guide

01. Strategy

Brand Discovery
Brand Positioning
Ad Campaigns

02. Design

Brand Identity
Brand Style Guides
Print Collateral


Strategy first.

Creating a genuine brand identity begins with a clear and comprehensive strategy because it informs necessity and objectively defines the project direction.

Through an organized process, we uncover unique insights and facts about your business, position in the marketplace, and most importantly, the customers who actually need you. This creates a solid and sustainable foundation for structuring visual design elements.

Design Second.

The best creative solutions are informed by needs and facts. Only after we understand why and for whom a solution is needed, do we figure out how we’ll solve it and what it will look like. Good design is timeless, not typecast by a specific style or trend.

Too often, ineffective design is influenced by educated guesses, personal tastes, or pop culture. This approach may yield pretty pictures, but will ultimately lack integrity and sustainability because the result is based on subjective reasoning.


Phonographik was formed in 2000 in Madison, Wisconsin by Michael Kerwin. Since then, he has been partnering with businesses and other creatives across the United States, solving problems through print and digital design, advertising, marketing, and creative business strategy.

While the business has evolved over the years—from a generalist/do anything design shop in the early days, to a highly-focused, strategy-driven operation today—it has always adhered to a core belief of creating genuine work for small businesses run by people with a passion for their craft.

Michael primarily works independently and directly with small businesses. When abilities or scope of work exceeds his limits, he collaborates with other creative specialists.

The name, Phonographik, was inspired by Michael’s deep appreciation for music, vintage record players, and the sound quality of vinyl over digital: phono = audio, graphik = visual.