Strategic Marketing & Design



"The Best Way to Predict The Future Is to Create It" - Alan Kay

Morning coffee somewhere in New ZealandMorning coffee in the Tasman Sea off the coast of New Zealand


Acquiring new customers is tough. Keeping them is even tougher. I help my clients do both.

Over the past two decades, I’ve partnered with everyone from non-profits and startups to Fortune 500 companies — first in the trenches of Northeast Wisconsin and Minneapolis agencies and, for the past nine years, as an independent contractor. I’ve worked on ecommerce, direct mail, packaging, video and other media.

It all began with a love of great design. And, I guess I caught the business strategy bug somewhere along the line. Now I’m equally as comfortable talking typography as ROI and SEO, and I have to admit I no longer run from spreadsheets and budget meetings. It’s a mix that sets me apart from most traditional graphic designers. And it’s one that can mean a big difference for your next initiative.



Strategy first. Tactics second. Implementation third. Measure. Refine. Repeat.

Measure twice, cut once.


Defining target demographics & project goals can be a daunting task, but a few hours with the decision makers and a white board can work wonders.


What mediums & messages are most effective to the target demographics? How can we get there? Knowing the right questions to ask is more important than knowing the answers.


Working with the best developers, photographers, copywriters & printers ensures a high-impact project that accomplishes our strategic goals.




Concept. Create. Iterate.

DIGITAL (pixels on screens)

From my first 5-page web site in 1996 to the ecommerce site I'm currently working on with 50,000 products, I have the experience to help you execute successful projects.

PRINT (ink on paper)

Even though I lean toward digital media, I am still very entrenched with ink on paper. In fact, this year I am involved with the delivery of over one million pieces of direct mail. It still works.


Effective marketing begins with team members who strive to understand each other. I bridge the gap between creative, sales and technology to create effective collaboration.


When I'm not working hard for my clients I'm planning my next adventure. From motorcycles on racetracks & kayaking in Alaska to whitewater rafting in Patagonia I have a travel problem. Love travel? Let's talk.

Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.
Leo Burnett


Selected projects from a 20-year career


An early entrant into the e-commerce space with a desirable URL, had great potential but needed a refreshed look and modernized site. It was an ideal opportunity for me: I could rebuild a brand and, in the process, immerse myself in and implement state-of-the-art e-commerce technology and strategy.

Over the course of six years I collaborated closely with the owner, lead developer & fulfillment team on UI/UX, email marketing, SEO campaigns, conversion rate testing, video, social media, brand acquisition and vendor relations. The result? An 11x growth in sales. We competed with and beat top watch retailers including Amazon, Zappos and Zales on more than 100 key word phrases, growing through three different e-commerce packages.


Dental City

A dental supply company might not sound like the most exciting client, but for the past five years it has been one of my favorites. What began as a single project has evolved into an ongoing relationship, and I spend a few days a week working right on site and become part of the team, including attending weekly marketing & strategy meetings and traveling for events like the Internet Retailer & Convergence conferences.

An inspiring group of people, Dental City is evidence that a small company can build a brand and stand out in a crowded commodities market dominated by large, multinational corporations. I’m thrilled to be part of that initiative with a wide range of efforts, including strategic consulting, e-commerce, packaging design, direct mail, art direction, video production and catalog design featuring the photography of Launch Film.


Boys & Girls Club

Since opening its doors in 1998, The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Cities has experienced ongoing growth. Today, it serves 13,000 youth in seven locations with year-round programming. The core of the organization’s local efforts, the downtown Appleton location, was struggling to keep up with demand and sought a major expansion.

To help with the capital campaign that would eventually raise $6 million, I created a 24-page brochure, posters and print ads that either featured the photography of Image Studios (left) or were typography driven.



Developed in conjunction with the teams at Kimberly Clark, Balance Studios & The Karma Group, the Cottenelle customer loyalty site “Puppy Points” was designed to engage customers and build brand loyalty with fun content. The site included email marketing, downloadable games and animated banner ads featuring the golden retriever puppy playfully entangled in a pile of toilet tissue.



If you’ve never been to the Design Center in Kohler, WI, you probably have no idea how impressive a three-story wall of toilets can be. This brand continues to carve out a unique place in the minds of homeowners and interior designers worldwide with thoughtful design and exceptional engineering. I’ve had the pleasure of telling that story with video direction, 8- & 16-page product brochures, direct mail and consumer packaging projects.


Euro Moto Mornings

My love of riding motorcycles on the racetrack and the street brought me to a like-minded group of collectors who wanted to create a community around all things European motors. This personal project, while still in its early stages, is growing beyond our expectations. Plus, I get to drive a Porsche every once in a while. A big step up from my lowly VW GTI.


Alliance Laundry Systems

The world’s largest manufacturer of commercial laundry equipment, Alliance Laundry Systems is home to the Speed Queen, Huebsch, IPSO and UniMac brands. For the past four years, I have created email marketing and landing pages for each of their six brands every quarter. Additional projects for Alliance have included product brochures, sell sheets, and logos.


Corporate Identity

Summarizing the essence of a brand into one mark is a daunting and rewarding challenge. The process can be mindboggling: A designer creates dozens of marks yet knows that, after the final competition, only one can remain standing. Who knew that graphic design could be so much like Spartacus?


Music Marketing

My ongoing obsession with music as a listener, promoter and performer frequently puts me in the situation where I get to lend my hand to local musicians. As these examples show, I have had the opportunity to help some creative minds with packaging, posters and microsites as well as photography.


SCA Tissue North America

From design and development to custom illustration and CMS management, this web site for SCA Tissue North America, developed with Weidert Group, was a fast-track whirlwind that was launched on time, under budget and to great fanfare from the client and agency.


Renew Fuel

An alternative fuel provider, Renew sought a website that served as a station location finder, a compatibility checker and its primary brand vehicle.


Cranky Pat's - Frozen Pizza & Restaurants

My work with Cranky Pat’s began with promoting and booking live music. It soon blossomed into complete graphic design services, including a web site, packaging, print advertising, vehicle wrap graphics, in-store signage and television commercials. Each helped tell the story of this brand’s 50+-year history while creating an edgy, yet welcoming attitude.


Cellular Systems

From a web presence that is updated more often than your Facebook status to multiple television spots, this cell phone provider makes marketing a priority. My collaboration with Cellcom's perennial “Retailer of the Year” is all encompassing, and it’s producing remarkable results including a PPC campaign with returns 3x greater than average. Our multi-channel media buys are constantly polished to generate the highest ROI possible.



This ain’t your buddy’s fantasy football league. This is the big show. With over $2 million in annual payouts including a $300,000 grand prize and an in-person live draft at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas every fall, the FFPC targets a very different demographic than the typical office pool. It’s been featured in Forbes, in The Wall Street Journal and on ESPN.

My relationship with this brand goes back almost a decade to when two entrepreneurs saw a void in the marketplace and created their own niche. Projects for the FFPC have included logo & branding, website design, retargeting and display advertising, event materials and merchandise.


School Specialty Inc.

Designing and developing social media destinations for multiple brands under the School Specialty umbrella can be a complex task. Each brand has multiple product categories publishing to various social media platforms. So creating a system that is easily implemented and maintained – and that looks and functions great on a variety of devices – is crucial.

One of many projects I’ve done with this publicly traded, education-focused distributor, this responsive Wordpress site is custom designed and coded from the ground up to ensure a site that’s flexible for both the content team and the reader.

Marketing takes a day to learn. Unfortunately it takes a lifetime to master.
Phil Kolter


From Fortune 500 to local startups, I strive to help my clients move the needle.



POSTAL309 E Evergreen Drive - Appleton, WI - 54913 PHONE920.540.8420 SOCIALS
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