Strategy First. Design Second.

A solid strategy informs necessity, removes subjectivity, and defines direction and design. It is integral to developing your visual identity and growing your brand because it uncovers genuine facts and unique stories that frame the design, messaging, and future goals. We learn all about you, your position in the marketplace, and most importantly, your customers. Because when we understand who we’re talking to, we understand their needs and how to speak their language.
Without strategy, the end result is most likely shaped by educated guesses, personal tastes, or fashion trends. So while it may look pretty, it will lack depth and clarity. Understanding your business, customers, and market creates a foundation of sustainability and fosters empathy, authenticity, and trust.

View Features and Capabilities

Features and Capabilities

Every problem I solve is first rooted in strategy. Because of that, I’m unable to design anything without first having that understanding.


Business/Customer Discovery
Naming & Messaging
Integrated Campaigns


Identity (logos, color, style guide, etc.)
Product Packaging
Wordpress Websites
Print Collateral

If you’ve already solved your challenge and simply need someone to execute your plan, a freelance designer or desktop publisher may be a better fit in that situation. But if you are instead seeking a more comprehensive plan for the long term,


Benefits and Results

Work with Phonographik and you’ll gain:
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Alignment / Clarity

When you know who you are, where you fit, and who you’re talking to, it’s much easier knowing what to say and do.


Understanding who you really are creates value and sets you apart from competitors.


Solving business and customer needs before personal tastes creates more authentic, quality content.


Strategic, objective solutions make navigating the future of your business more sustainable.


When the look, tone, and message are in harmony, that’s cohesive and groovy.


Consistency in look, tone, and message fosters memorability and trust.

I’m not an agency.

I’m not a freelancer.

I’m the sweet spot in between.

My name is Michael Kerwin and I am an independent Brand Strategist and Identity Designer based in Madison, Wisconsin. I help entrepreneurs and small businesses discover and align their true identity, ideal customers, and position in the marketplace by seamlessly connecting creative business strategy and design.

For just over 20 years, I’ve been collaborating with a wide range of businesses across the United States, solving problems through advertising, marketing, identity, digital and print design. My abilities and experience are competitive with most agencies because every problem I help solve is rooted in a strategic framework, so that the end result is informed by facts and genuine stories, not personal feelings or tastes.

I am passionate about creativity, process, and organization. Brand strategy and identity design are the perfect combination to align all three.

Michael Kerwin / Owner, Brand Strategist, and Identity Designer