The Story of Our Experience

We launched Feisty Brown in 2017 with a solid mix of experience, spirit, and determination.

We believe that all graphic design is the opportunity to tell a story by turning it into an experience for the audience. We also believe that the strength of an organization’s identity comes from an equal commitment to the quality of both internal and external communications.

We understand that organizations of all sizes often need guidance in creating a unified voice and they need effective settings developed in which to use it.  We help our clients identify their voices and tell their stories in the most engaging ways possible, regardless of audience.

Our principals have over 30 years of experience working with recognizable American and global organizations like American Express, Capital One, Johnson & Johnson, the International Monetary Fund, New York Life, IBM, and the Irish Independent.

Julie Fels

Account Director

"I love looking at the progression of concepts we've developed for our clients. They tell the hidden story about how Theo and I work, coming at our clients' work from different angles, expanding ideas, until we find just the right solution that rings true."

Julie Fels is the head of Feisty Brown’s accounts and operations, managing the business side of the studio, developing project proposals, bringing in talent for each project, and, most importantly, making sure that the lines of communication with our clients stay open and that projects stay within budget and maintain the high quality our clients expect.

Previously, Julie was the studio and project manager for Theo & Sebastian and has managed projects for the Irish Independent News Group, the Voice of America, Johnson & Johnson, and the International Monetary Fund.

With a background in public libraries, Julie understands the importance of building community and creating a dialogue with the many personalities it encompasses.

Julie has an MLS from SUNY Albany and a BA in literature from Bard College.

Theo Fels

Creative Director

"I’ve always believed that a successful design delivers the power to remember content long after you’ve moved on to the next thing."

Theo was born in Los Angeles to a family caught up in the LA art scene of the 70s and 80s. Influenced by that era's vibrant combination of fine arts and graphic design, Theo’s approach to design is inspired and conscious, superseding the mechanical. He now designs media and websites for prominent news, corporate, and media/entertainment clients.

His most current work includes ongoing corporate communications for Capital One, the International Monetary Fund, and Samsung U.S.

A seasoned news designer, Theo directed the print and online redesigns of The Hollywood Reporter and the online redesign of the Independent newspapers in Belfast, Ireland, and England,. His first ever web project was designing in the late 1990's.

Theo oversees all design projects for Feisty Brown. His 30+ years of experience gives him a unique perspective on the management and direction of design projects.

Theo holds bachelor’s degrees in Art and Art History from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Erin Ryan

Graphic Designer

Erin’s passion is partnering with clients to deliver innovative brand development, print communications, and website design.

Erin has worked with Zone 5, an award-winning communications agency in Albany, New York and also held freelance positions with Newkirk Products, Inc. and Association Development Group. These experiences provided depth to her portfolio, and opportunities to develop educational pieces, seminar and event marketing, and design for financial institutions. She's an expert organizer–visually organizing ideas, arranging timelines and schedules, and composing layouts that are beautiful AND functional.

Erin earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts at SUNY Oswego.

Yvette Burggren

Studio Manager

As studio manager at Feisty Brown, Yvette contributes to all fronts of the studio, working closely with clients, designers, and partners to guide projects smoothly to completion. Yvette’s background as a freelance graphic designer, small business owner, and arts administrator gives her the ability to understand the big picture and support the team to produce their best work. She’s passionate about organizing and creating internal processes and standards for better productivity and communication.  

Born in Lima, Peru, Yvette is based in Ithaca, NY. When she’s not designing, she enjoys yoga, downhill skiing, cooking, singing, traveling, and being a mother to twins. 

Yvette received a BA in Psychology from The New School (NYC) and a certificate in Graphic Design from Shillington (LDN).


Development Partner

Cantilever, Feisty Brown’s development partner, develops websites with care, and it shows. They create innovative and user-friendly projects for clients from the Fortune 50 (IBM, Amex) to academia (NYU, Northeastern Law), startups (Flatiron School), publishing (Esquire Magazine) and the nonprofit world (American Bible Society, International Monetary Fund). They obsess, ask the hard questions, and seek the truth.

Cantilever’s philosophy is “Digital Hospitality” — the belief that websites are spaces people inhabit, not billboards to be glanced at from a distance.

Team Integral

Strategy Partner

Founded by Ethan McCarty, Integral works with Feisty Brown to engage, align, inspire and activate employees on behalf of our clients' organizations.

Integral's consultants bring a wide range of experience working with internationally recognized brands such as Bloomberg, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Lam Research, MetLife, Levi's, Amex, Nokia, Bristol-Myers, McKinsey & Company, Mercer, Warner, Sharp Electronics Corporation, EY, Genpact, and more.

Feisty Brown partners with Integral to provide:

  • Comprehensive, combined qualitative and quantitative assessments of employee digital experience touchpoints, mapping out where and how to raise the bar to consumer-levels
  • Analysis of existing content strategies and development of new editorial systems that are strong, flexible, and improve communication
  • Evaluation of employee “influence” across social media platforms and development of authentic activation strategies