A place-based design studio 

Old Try

In 2011, I started a company. I made 10 Southern art prints.

Over the years, we grew to over 450 SKUs, built wholesale relationships at dozens of companies, generated $2MM in revenue, and been written about in the New York Times, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Garden & Gun, Southern Living, Huffington Post, NPR, Boston Magazine, Mississippi Magazine, Charlotte Business Journal, Design Sponge, and Apartment Therapy.

We created collaboration and custom prints for Garden & Gun, the Southeastern Conference, Duke's, Charleston Waterkeeper, Criquet, Butler Pitch & Putt, Laurel Mercantile (Erin & Ben Napier's shop) & Graduate Hotels.

Reece Witherspoon once Tweeted about us, so we achieved just about everything we set out to.

I sold the company in June of 23. 

Boston, Mass. 
2011 - 2023

Brand Design
Product Design
E-commerce Site

The logo comes from mine and my wife’s birthstates. The hammer for The Yellohammer State, and the scissors in honor of the textile history of North Carolina. 

Execution Notes
Over twelve years, we did a ton of brand collateral design. Here is a small sampling. 

Main Product Line
We designed over 250 letterpress prints. Here are a few. 

Product Line Extensions
Sometimes people want prints. Sometimes they want other stuff.



Circle & Square

In 2021, a group of founders approached Villager looking for help. They were opening up the first microbrewery in my college town, and I wasted no time in jumping on that bandwagon. 

Oxford, Miss. 
2021 - Present

Brand Design
Can Design

The brewery sits beside the old train depot. I leaned into transit history - the Gill inspired rounded type from British subways (a nod to Oxford’s namesake), the and the swallowtails from railroad signage. The blackletter from Geramic beer halls was a nice sharp counterpoint.  

I’ve designed over 25 SKUs so far, and we can’t keep them in stock.



Whitt’s Barbecue

A fifty plus year old barbecue institution needed some design help. Having grown up on the stuff, and working there one summer in college, I was really excited to help out. And the design still looks pretty great with fifteen years of wear on it.    

Decatur, Ala. 
2007- Present

Bottle labels
Box design
Out of home

Hatch show print, baby! One of the Whitt’s went to Vanderbilt, and we’d often go up to Nashville to visit (and to Opryland). I wanted to channel that vibe as it just felt right.  

Execution Notes
To stay true to letterpress show print, each letter was hand set.  Photography and styling by Abraham Rowe.

☝🏻 Love these people with all my ❤️

Mark Whitt, President

In all the almost 60 years that we’ve been in business, the best thing I ever did was to call Micah! From our now famous Lunch Box design to our gift cards to our poster designs, just to name a few, Micah gave our business a long term shot in the arm. We call him “The Design Genius”. I really think he is also a “BBQ Genius “


The Alabama Biscuit Company

Jonathan Burch didn’t set out to change the biscuit game in Birmingham. He was jsut looking for healthy biscuits made from local sprouted grains for his growing family. And when he couldn’t find any, he decided to put his landscaping business on hold and try it out. Launched in 2013, Alabama Biscuit has become a Cahaba Heights favorite with multiple locations, serving up honest food for locals.  

Birmingham, Ala. 
2013 - Present

Brand Design
Retail Consultation

The flag of the State of Alabama shall be a crimson cross of St. Andrew on a field of white. The bars forming the cross shall be not less than six inches broad, and must extend diagonally across the flag from side to side.
Code 1896, §3751; Code 1907, §2058; Code 1923, §2995; Code 1940, T. 55, §5.

Mug Shots
I had a hunch folks would want something to share socially. Something without the logo. Something simple. Something that said “Yeah, I eat good things at cool places. And those things usually also have caffeine riding in a side car.” So we made this mug. Low and behold,  the mug shows up in about 75% of social sharing posts about the Biscuit Company. 

A final word from the client:
Watching Micah do design things is like watching Eric Liddell run in Chariots of Fire. A rare blend of humility and confidence leading to a finesse which can only be described as the real deal.

He’s done several projects for me and always under promises and over delivers.


Mississippi Flag Submission / Design

In July 2020, the Mississippi flag finally came down.

The state put out a call for submissions. Two rules: couldn’t contain Confederate imagery (!), had to contain the phrase In God We Trust. There were 3,800 submissions. Most contained a magnolia flower. 

I gave myself the assignment of creating something that could’ve been designed at statehood. What could a designer in 1817 have created based on the inspiration and best practices of the day?

I designed and submitted the Great River Flag based on the territorial seal of 1789. 

While the Commission picked a flag with a magnolia flower on it instead, my first nations star made it on that option. So, as it turns out, I’m now on Wikipedia and in the state archives. How cool is that?

But why stop here (other than being completely exhausted)? I also built out regional flags based on the design elements of the original.

The top five flew over the old state capital. And then there were two. 

I had a really great run and came in runner-up after the final commission meeting. But you see that star from the GRF? It made it onto the In God We Trust flag So, as it turns out, I was credited as a co-designer. Hello, Wikipedia

I thought it was important to finish well. So I penned this.

I first started designing twenty years ago, trying to give away free posters to Proud Larry’s in Oxford, Miss. I remembered this when I was sitting at the Larry’s bar back in January, mourning the loss of a close friend and mentor who helped encourage my craft.

When I saw the call for flag entries, then, I knew I had to jump in.

Had I ever designed a flag? Did I know how much work I’d put in? How many nights I’d lose sleep thinking about the ideas? Did I know how ugly the internet could get? No. But even if I did, I would do it again. In a heartbeat.

It is a rare occurrence for a designer where life experience (knowing Mississippi as an insider and an outsider) aligns with a life’s trade (a design portfolio based on typography and a decade-long art project based on connection to place), which aligns with the ability to perform a civic duty. For free. With little time. And 2,976,000 clients.

I’m proud of the Great River flag submission. I’m thankful for folks who helped bring the vision to life. For the council of the wise, for the hands of the busy, for the hearts of friends and strangers. I’m proud of the way we ran this thing. We kept it on the sunny side. We showed the potential and kept it hospitable. As is only fitting.

In a moment that feels like it has come full circle, I went from designing free Mississippi concert posters that nobody saw to designing free Mississippi flag designs that a lot of folks have.

I read someplace there were over 2,200 submissions that featured a magnolia. I’m not surprised to see a magnolia going on the ballot. I hope the voters of Mississippi vote it in with an overwhelming majority and then move on to focus on more pressing issues.

I have the distinction of being one of the few living state flag runner-ups. And maybe I’ll get a swing at the Massachusetts flag one day.

So. What will I tell my children about this experience? What advice can I pass along about this strange, trying, exciting, evolving season of life?

In a world of magnolias, don’t be afraid to offer a shield.

To Mississippi, with love,
Micah Whitson

Knowing what I do now about vexillology and best flag design practices, I would have submitted this piece. When you know better, do better, you know?