About Upstatement

Where We Came From

Upstatement officially opened its doors in 2008, but it was really born during late nights at The Daily Orange, the independent student newspaper at Syracuse University. That’s where Mike, Tito, and Jared met before graduating to the newsrooms of The New York Times and Boston Globe. Working in the media taught us how to tell stories, organize information, and work on tight deadlines — experiences that perfectly prepared us for the coming online revolution.

Now we apply our skills as editorial designers to a variety of websites and applications, with a particular affinity, of course, for news outlets.

Who We Are

Mike Swartz


Renaissance man who thinks big, sketches endlessly, builds furniture, and rides bikes. His last name is Dutch for humble giant (and as such, he did not write this). @m_swartz

Jared Novack


Creative coder who blurs the line between developer and designer. Also possesses Jared strength. Watch out! @jarednova

Tito Bottitta


Detail-oriented designer. Systematic thinker. CSS whisperer. Makes delicious ice cream, too — anyone for a scoop of earl gray dark chocolate chunk? @t1to98


Scott Dasse

Creative Director

Scott is a multi-disciplinary designer with an eye for typography, art direction, and storytelling. At Upstatement he uses his creative coding and leadership skills to shape beautiful projects. @sdasse


Mike Paulo

Technology Director

He’s an old-school developer from a more Perlish time. Mike now oversees the growth of our technologists and technical offerings. In addition to coding, Mike is a gardener with an affinity for decorative pine cones. @mptwoeleven

Jeff Vlahos

Senior Designer

Methodological thinker with an inventive hand. Advocate for a people-first approach to problem-solving and story-telling. Frequently turns nothing into something, while intuitively balancing both form and function. @jeffvlahos

Nathan Hass

Senior Designer

Multidisciplinary designer who fuels his passion for design with his curiosity and enthusiasm for creative problem solving. "Skate" is an up-and-coming Blades of Steel contender 'round these parts. @natronic

Grant Staublin


A deep thinking, content first designer, who looks beyond the problem at hand, finding the solution to the problem lurking underneath. He enjoys long runs, hot coffee and loud music, though not all at the same time. @gcstaublin

Keri O'Brian


A designer with clean, simple typography and a keen ability to balance a client's need with the user's best interest. When she's not designing, Keri is known to occasionally engage in high-stakes ping pong matches. @keriobrian

Holly Copeland


Burrito aficionado, Space Camp alumna class of ’99, and curator of Hum, a publication designed to share and archive visual and written work from Boston + LA. Holly is a designer who’s forever investigating the relationship between strategy, content, and design. @hollycopeland

Chris Plummer


More of a concept than a man. Chris is a developer who dreams big and loves translating pixels into bytes, business goals into features. @IntrusionSignal

Emma Baker

Junior Designer

Take one (1) starry-eyed art school graduate, marinate her in the big bad world of branding and advertising, bring her to Upstatement to catch the web design bug, add eyebrows. @ej_baker

What We Do

Upstatement is a small, cross-disciplinary firm that solves problems through design, code, and rapid prototyping. Both design and development are done in-house to ensure quality and project teams are kept small so everyone stays agile. We focus on the following services:

  • Strategy, Analysis & Planning
  • Information Architecture & UX Design
  • Visual Design & Branding
  • Front-End Coding & Prototypes
  • Back-End Solutions & CMS Work
  • Consulting