Phonographik’s mission is to help small businesses grow into sustainable and genuine brands through a combination of creative business strategy, identity design, messaging, and marketing.

Phonographik symbol


Phonographik is a holistic, strategy-driven creative studio that offers small businesses actual solutions to their creative challenges, not just pretty pictures. This is achieved by truly understanding the businesses culture, values, customers, and market long before designing anything.

Interested in working together? Check out this handy guide to see if Phonographik is the right option for your business:

Project Alignment Guide

01. Strategy

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 identity design, 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.