Huston Design H logomark

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About Us

No contracts. No retainers. No nonsense. We’re here to help you win. (and win you back over and over again.)

We’re a small, savvy team of experienced designers & writers. We thrive in the digital world, but we’re still old fashioned enough to believe that it’s on us to earn your business every single day. It’s how we started more than 22 years ago, and it’s worked out pretty well. Most of our clients have been with us for about as long as we’ve been at this.


John Huston
Creative Director

In more than 20 years leading Huston Design, John has never grown tired of the amazing range of challenges that come across our desk and serving up creative solutions. Some are design challenges. Others are just good old problem solving, like how to efficiently make a library of thumbnails for more than 600 pieces of art efficiently (P.S. It took 4 minutes.) John’s known for being “disarmingly chill”, applying design thinking and a cool head to even the toughest task. He’s come a long way since his teenage days in Spencer, Iowa, slinging newspapers and Happy Joe’s Pizza, and building Formula 1 crash barriers one college summer while home from Iowa State University. This year, in addition to designing logos, websites and annual reports, John’s looking forward to cooking, woodworking and biking in the Colorado Mountains.

Huston Design John Huston Madison Wi
Huston Design Hilary Kleese Marketing Madison Wi

Hilary Kleese
Partner | Marketing | Writer

Hilary is a writer at heart and in practice, a lover of words and story that can be harnessed to compel audiences to action and grow brands and businesses. She loves collaborating with designers, but she’s tired of hearing “too many words / trim the copy” every day of her life. (Will she never learn?) As an avid reader, she’s quick with book recommendations across a range of genres. She can also offer you recipe recommendations, especially for comfort food, and enjoys knitting, camping and travels around the Midwest and beyond. Her heart will always be in Iowa, though. She’s an Iowa farm girl through and through, with the Twin Bing crush, University of Iowa Hawkeye swag and wrestling cheerleader war stories to prove it.

Katie Thompson

Katie creates. It’s in her DNA. Even when she’s not designing for our clients, she’s crafty in all kinds of ways, from knitting and painting, to making sculptures and jewelry. She was inspired to create from her very first job as the official Sticker Counter and Gel Pen Tester at her grandparents’ office supply store. Katie loves getting to know our clients so that she can delight them with design solutions that resonate. After all, the better we know our clients, the better we can design. As a self-proclaimed homebody, Katie picks a woodsy cabin over a busy beach any day. With a book. And ideally a fireplace. She’s in it for the cozy. Serve up a bowl of Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos and turn on a thriller/suspense/horror movie, and you’re her new best friend.

Huston Design Katie Thompson Madison Wi
Huston Design Daria Sabinina Madison Wi

Daria Sabinina

Daria is happiest when she’s being creative, from designing websites or a new logo, to cooking, knitting, and playing VR-games, especially Beat Saber. Daria is teaching us about Ukraine traditions. She and her husband came to Madison from Ukraine as the result of the war. She loves natural areas (especially Olbrich Garden) and says that seeing so much wildlife feels like a Disney cartoon. She also loves the downtown vibe and Capitol views, the kind people here and Ukrainian flags that show support. Daria’s other faves include the restaurant 1855 in Cottage Grove, the Italian band Maneskin and TV series like The Office, How I Met Your Mother and House MD, which she’s watched at least four times. Daria says she loves our “small talk culture” here, one more thing that lets her know she’s surrounded by friends.