Hello World, we are YupGup. We design guppy-sized experiences that foster communities.
With our recent site launch we wanted to formally reach out and say hello to our current and future internet friends 👋 💻 ✨
In our younger days we hosted LAN parties and ran anthropology clubs. As Big Serious Grownups™, we lead conferences, design teams, and parent-teacher associations. When we moved to new cities, we started meetups and held coffee chats. At the center of every group, there we were sweating the details, thinking up cool logos, and making new friends (remote and irl).
We founded YupGup around the idea that designing something that brings people together is worthwhile. A thing can be thrown out, user interfaces change with trends, but creating something that people can be a part of is the basis of nostalgia. Change and greatness can happen in these spaces where people come together with similar goals and interests.
Fond memories last forever. We want to help build those.
I purchased the yupgup.com domain eight years ago, always knowing I wanted to do something with it eventually, but nothing feeling quite right until recently. Over the past year or so the visual identity for this has taken some exciting and weird turns (mostly weird).
Here’s a look at some artboard scraps of original iterations that led to the current brand:
This strange aquatic adventure led me to the current identity. Here’s the brand board we used to help guide site design decisions:
Our team currently consists of myself, Joni, and Michael Trythall. We’ve been collaborating on projects together for ten years and have even managed to share a home office all this time thanks to high quality headphones.
Meet Joni: Strategy and Creative Direction
AKA “Joni Bologna”, I’m a designer, writer, and allergy-free foods enthusiast. From non-profit grant writer and program manager, to web designer, to teacher, to conference founder my passion has always been creating and contributing to initiatives with stellar missions.
Over my career I’ve secured $200,000+ in funding for not-for-profit programs, have published front-end books such as Pocket Guide to Writing SVG and A Field Guide to Flexbox, and taught design curriculum to women and girls, including: Dot Doodl, Intro to Writing SVG, and Tuts+ Town Workshop.
As co-founder and creative director of Ela Conf, a Philly-based tech leadership conference on its third year, I’ve talked a lot about the importance and scope of designing experiences.
I also have a drawing project with my son and he recently made many improvements to the YupGup logo in exchange for two large marshmallows.
Meet Mike: UX & Development
Michael has designed for the web for nearly two decades, working with companies like PBS and AOL to non-profits like United Way and Planned Parenthood. This experience guides us through tough decisions, mostly because he’s learned a lot from past mistakes.
As a jack-of-all-trades, Michael is comfortable writing code, designing for print, running meetings, or interviewing users.
He comes from a long line of talkers and enjoys getting to meet and learn from new people. So much so that if we ever open a physical office he’ll be parked at the front-desk and likely get nothing done.
We’ll be writing here often and have a neat project launching later this year so stay tuned 📻
You can get our attention by dropping us a line at email@example.com 🎣