I started Uptown Studios in 1992 after I closed my business that was so appropriately named “Graphic Design” (I started that business in 1976 and the term commercial design was changing to Graphic Design and, well, I thought I was so clever – but in hindsight it was like naming a restaurant “Food”). Uptown Studios began as a design business right in midtown Sacramento, I was working on my Mac Quadra (which was stunningly awesome at the time) in the front window of the same house I live in now. I was right next to my fax machine that I used for proofs with clients and I had a laser printer that was a beast – it weighed 200 pounds at least. It was just me, managing my clients and showing up to volunteer at so many nonprofits in the early 90s.
I had big dreams and I wanted Uptown Studios to be a company that provided excellent design and creative to nonprofits and causes where I would work on creating social change and behavior change. I started with a new marketing plan to implement – show up and do good – then talk about it and show my clients how to use “doing good” in the community as a marketing strategy. Well, that strategy has worked to build the Uptown Studios into one of the top three marketing firms in town. We all work hard to show up and help build a greater community.
In the 90s when we started it was just me doing design work and in 2000 I hired my first employee, Damian Sol – he was interested in the internet, the world wide web and I got him hooked on figuring out how to design and develop websites. It was a long process of learning and growing but today we have a web team of five top notch developers and coders that keep our clients running at a high level and their clients tapping their sites on a regular basis. You will find our team very customer focused and truly caring about the quality of work that we create.
In 2002 I hired a really young (18) and super creative and talented designer, Chris Lee (now running his own business https://www.thebeastisback.com/- check him out) Chris jump started a unique style for Uptown Studios and we grew and grew from there. Thanks Chris Lee! Today we have a creative team of four super talented designers and project managers that really lean in to what your goals are with your materials that we are working with you on. What does your target audience need from you and how to relay that through the creative process. Our design team has grown and morphed over the years and expanded with the use of design tools that are now so huge – if you can see it – we can do it!
Our marketing team is one of the best in the business – we lean in to our clients needs and those of the target audience with the implementation of human-centered design techniques. We create empathy with our target audiences and design marketing campaigns around what they want and need. We are very specific and we get results because the target audience sees themselves in the materials we create.
The final piece of our fabulous team was the video and animation team we have built. Kate Moore, my wife and business partner, joined Uptown Studios in 2007 and we built the video and social media team around her skills and involvement in Uptown Studios. Since 2007 we now have a full time Director of Photography, a drone operator, a project manager and a full time animation expert – full service.
Wow, how we have grown over the 30 years.