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Brand Design Lead 🔥

The Role

At Upstatement we believe branding is inseparable from product and web design, an approach we call “brand through digital.” The work we deliver benefits both clients and their users by creating meaningful ways for them to interact — and brand is at the center of that relationship.

  • Lead teams and engage clients through the entire project.
  • Develop verbal & visual identity systems for digital-first brands.
  • Plan and run a design process that delivers on core business goals.
  • Design solutions that unlock opportunities for teams and clients.
  • Explain decisions, win over stakeholders, and fulfill the creative strategy.
  • Navigate complex business, user, and team needs with empathy.
  • Shape the growth of Upstatement's brand practice.

Last but not least: People who succeed here are empathetic teammates who are candid, kind, caring, and embody our core values [1]. We believe that diverse, inclusive teams make the most impactful work. Upstatement is deeply invested in ensuring that we have a supportive, growth-oriented environment that works for everyone.

Why Upstatement

We’re a digital product studio with an editorial mindset. Our 50-person team works with big clients like MIT & ESPN and emerging clients who are about to change the world.

  • Work with ethical and mission-driven organizations across industries.
  • A high trust environment that believes in empowering creative ownership.
  • Build a portfolio you can be proud of.
  • Small studio culture full of top talent and peers who help you grow.
  • People-first, with a deep commitment to DEI, making each other better, and making the Internet a good place for humans.
  • Progressive and values-driven [2]; we believe in life-work balance and is experimenting with a 4-Day Work Week [3].

What You’ll Do

On Projects:

  • Deliver portfolio-worthy work: As a hands-on designer and team leader.
  • Drive research: Develop a deep understanding of each client’s goals, business context, user behavior, and opportunities. Run interviews, workshops, and analysis.
  • Define the why: Establish foundational strategy through design that will unlock goals and drive future creative output. Inspire content creators, engineers, product managers, and clients with your ideas.
  • Make from the start: Use your strength as a designer and communicator to synthesize insights that inspire any room to believe in your vision — and act on it.
  • Engage clients: Demonstrate expertise that builds long-term relationships. Relentlessly explain the why behind every decision, winning over stakeholders, and fulfilling the creative strategy throughout the project lifecycle.
  • Navigate complexity: Resolve tensions between clients, users, and teams effectively and with empathy.

Inside Upstatement’s brand practice:

  • Continuously improve: Plan, run, and refine the way brand projects go at Upstatement, documenting and sharing best practices so they set the new standard.
  • Develop others: Coach teams to achieve their best, providing opportunities to own tasks and build expertise.
  • Expand capabilities: Make every project more impactful than the last. Grow our network of project partners, from freelancers to agencies.
  • Integrate brand with digital: Help teams translate brand to products and websites.
  • Promote expertise: Collaborate with business development and marketing teams to attract top talent and client prospects.

About You

  • 8+ years of hands-on brand design and project leadership experience at a digital agency.
  • Independent design leader with a portfolio of work demonstrating business impact across brands, products, and websites. Thinks of brand as the experience itself, especially in terms of complex interactions and content.
  • Proven ability to lead research programs — ethnographic interviews, workshops, competitive audits — that result in impactful design executions across a wide range of audiences and industries.
  • Expert at breaking down complexity and understanding each client’s business context. Actively works to identify the big opportunity. Clearly articulates the why behind every decision.
  • Demonstrates craft by designing around new ideas. Designs brand systems that drive all content and technology decisions. Delivers tools and guidelines that enable client success.
  • Capable of managing and motivating a multidisciplinary team. Protects the team, ensuring their work is always aligned to the core idea, and works to create space for them to make decisions and grow.
  • Confident communicator and active listener that can lead any room to trust your vision. Maintains strong relationships with collaborators and client stakeholders, even when challenged. Expert at change management.
  • Sets the pace of velocity and efficiency through every step of the process, course correcting based on feedback and improving how we work together.
  • Ability to succeed even in the face of complex, ambiguous projects. Comfortable working iteratively. Can step into this role with minimal training.

Salary & Level

Upstatement is committed to helping our people grow and providing transparent salary benchmarks. This job fits with two levels in our skill progression framework (something we’d love to share during the interview process). The level depends the candidate’s unique qualifications, to be determined during the interview process.

Level: 4
Official Title: Lead Designer
Department: Design
Salary Range: $120,000-$140,000

Level: 5
Official Title: Senior Lead Designer
Department: Design
Salary Range: $140,000-$160,000


  • Competitive salary
  • Health, dental, and vision insurance, and supplementary health benefits (FSA, IVF coverage, TalkSpace [4])
  • A company-matched retirement plan
  • $1,000 home office setup stipend
  • $1,500 annual professional development budget
  • Short/long term disability insurance
  • 3 weeks vacation to start, plus company-wide closure between Christmas & New Year’s Day (fully paid)
  • 12 weeks paid parental leave
  • One Medical [5] membership
  • Internal events, workshops, and seminars (like our Friday Talks [6])
  • Hubs in New York City and Boston as well as a fully distributed workforce

  1. https://upstatement.com/blog/upstatements-values/
  2. https://upstatement.com/blog/upstatements-values/
  3. https://upstatement.com/blog/why-were-trying-a-4-day-work-week/
  4. https://www.talkspace.com/
  5. https://www.onemedical.com/
  6. https://www.upstatement.com/events/

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