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

Partner  •  @m_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).

Jared Novack

Partner  •  @jarednova

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

Tito Bottitta

Partner  •  @t1to98

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

Jeff Vlahos

Designer  •  @jeffvlahos

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.

Grant Staublin

Designer  •  @gcstaublin

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.

Nathan Hass

Designer  •  @natronic

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.

Emily Taylor

PM Dawn  •  @theresourceress

Fearless communicator, creative cat wrangler, and Upstatement’s first dedicated Project Manager. She collects antique scissors, will beat you at thumb wrestling, and was a teen model.

Keri O'Brian

Designer  •  @keriobrian

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.

Holly Copeland

Designer  •  @hollycopeland

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.

Chris Plummer

Developer  •  @IntrusionSignal

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

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