• Northern Ground

    means ambition

    and foundation, risk

    with practicality.

    Northern

    Ground

    means

    ambition &

    foundation,

    risk with

    pragmatism.

We Are Obsessives

Northern Ground is an experienced digital studio in Milwaukee. We offer strategy, design and code development for clients that are done with big agency bullshit. We make a lot of stuff too, because what we do needs content. We're grounded in a belief that digital can change the World. We are design oriented and sales focused. Our virtue lies in our adaptability and cross industry chops.

We like feeding our brains and our schizophrenic portfolio reflects it. We've designed user interfaces for GE Healthcare cardiovascular machines, built e-commerce sites for a fashion designer to the the stars in Hong Kong, made interactive drone experiences for Intel in Best Buy, social media content for a national frozen pizza brand, built a crowdfunding platform for a bootstrapped startup, developed recipes for a craft gin company, and we built the website for our insurance agency becuase we really like them. We'd love to learn more about you and see if we fit.

Our clients know that a small, experienced shop can produce results big agencies can't - no gaps, no telephone game, no 20-person meetings. We aren't 'imagineers' or 'makers'. We aren't part of a global agency network. We don't have a mandatory rally cry or a an out-of-state board. We're a tight-knit group of designers, developers and producers that help our clients solve complex business problems. We stay close to the work. We obsess over all of it. You'll get everything we have.

After our clients have worked with firms that force them to compromise, they often seek higher ground. If thats sounds like you, we're humbled you found us.

Partners

Ryan Janecek

Co-Founder, Strategy

Ryan Janecek

I am the unrelenting proxy for our clients and their customers.

Principles:

  • Know yourself and know your work. Oh, and give a damn.
  • My relationships are everything; they are the by-product of our results.
  • No telephone game. I sit 8' away from our dev team.

Jay Beckman

Co-Founder, Design

Jay Beckman

Beauty removes fear and confusion from technology.

Principles:

  • Stay excited by what's different. Nostalgia is a bad habit.
  • Design with purpose. Always be deliberate, even when you're wrong.
  • For good or ill, digital can actually change the world.

Matt Retzer

Co-Founder, Technology

Matt Retzer

Code solves business problems and creates real value.

Principles:

  • Always be honest, in code.
  • The technology just changed again, just now. It just changed again. You just missed it. When? Just now.
  • Work the code. Build systems. Make tools for tools.

Jenni Madson

Partner, Operations

Jenni Madson

I’m like glue, I fill in spaces and hold things together. Plus I'm nearly impossible to get rid of.

Principles:

  • Do what you say and do it before they need it.
  • #Slack is life.
  • Helping people achieve their own successes brings me joy. 

Team

Mike Grunwald

Front End Director

Mike Grunwald

I am happiest when I turn a static design into an experience.

Principles:

  • Performance. Performance. Performance.
  • Set the baseline experience and enhance progressively.
  • Learn something new everyday and master your domain - see what I did there?

Tim Grove

Sr. Technical Architect

Tim Grove

Clean code is happy code. Build it right.

Principles:

  • Code development must never sacrifice user experience.
  • Technology should be seen but never heard, unless it's Siri.
  • Teamwork is everything. And beer. Oh, and Musky fishing. 

Brandon Morreale

Art Director

Brandon Morreale

Never be satisfied. Work hard, don't sleep, drink coffee.

Principles:

  • Be a storyteller first and a designer second. Set the tone for the user.
  • Keep it simple and intuitive. Don’t get cute.
  • Be confident about a design intuition but still be empathetic.

Andi Woodward

Content Designer

Andi Woodward

Everyone has a story. Tell it, never retreat.

Principles:

  • Stay humble and hungry.
  • Every component of design and video should serve a purpose. Cut the crap.
  • Good design is like a perfect burrito, you just know.

Betty Allen

Content Producer

Betty Allen

Don’t make dull stuff - the world has plenty. I say let it get weird.

Principles:

  • If you're not scared, you're not trying hard enough.
  • Look side to side but mostly keep looking forward. 
  • Make stories. Make coffee. Just make.

Cassie Bonner

Studio Manager

Cassie Bonner

I'll be the first face that greets you. Aren't you glad it isn't Ryan?

Principles:

  • I take care of the crew and help them help you.
  • My office nickname is Checkbox and it's a long story.
  • Never be too cool for anything and try it all. 

Raw Data

An experienced digital team that gets called up for challenging projects.

Founded:
2012
Employees:
10
# of Meetings 
Per Week:
Way < 5
B2B vs B2C Clients:
50 / 50
# Of Diet Coke Cans 
On Matt's Desk:
At least 3
Average Size of
Our .PSDs:
3.6 gb
# of Project
Managers:
0
Studio Size:
4,100 sq. ft.
Furthest Client:
Hong Kong
% Of Stats That
Are Total Bullshit:
64.8%