People-focused Design — Local Design Studio Prioritizes People over Profit


(Nate Kupish, owner and CCO of BLASTOFF! Studio with kids Ezra (left) and Arlo (right) | Photos courtesy of BLASTOFF! Studio)

BLASTOFF! Studio is a new creative design studio based in Bend that specializes in branding, websites and graphic design. On top of those specialties, BLASTOFF! also maintains an emphasis on supporting local by helping members of the community achieve their business dreams. Each project is worked on from a unique angle every time, meaning BLASTOFF! Is against the use of generic website and design templates. The studio was started in early 2022 by founder and chief creative officer (CCO) Nate Kupish.

Kupish was an instructional designer at Apple from ‘07 to ‘11. After that, he became the creative director at two other organizations and eventually decided to start his own studio for some altruistic reasons, “The decision to open up BLASTOFF! Studio came from a passion to help people move forward with life and learn how to do things that would otherwise require expert help,” Kupish said. “I just have a passion for helping people make their ideal reality happen in real life.”

This passion can be seen in Kupish’s professional pursuits, including a short film he and his team helped create that ended up raising over $215,000 to combat poverty and sex trafficking.

At BLASTOFF! Studio, Kupish plays an all-encompassing role where his people skills and passion for meeting new faces meets his professional design savvy, “In my role, I listen to people talk about their goals for their business and then strategize from a 30,000-foot view to see how we can realistically get there,” Kupish said.

Throughout his time at BLASTOFF!, Kupish and his team have been able to create a business that is, on all levels, people-focused. From prioritizing the family life of his employees (Kupish has a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old that keep him busy) to prioritizing the needs and dreams of each and every client they work with, Kupish and his team are evidently not motivated by earning as much money as possible, but instead head to work every day with the goal of helping others, “I could make a lot more money elsewhere, like back at Apple,” he said. “That’s not my goal. I’ve been lucky enough to work in this role where I get to work with people, designs and details on a daily basis.”

Kupish and his team have a soft spot for helping locals achieve their business dreams, as they see it as a way to truly benefit their local community. Around town, they hope to be known as the place to go for genuine human connection and high quality, people-focused design, “We want to be those people who everyone knows they can go to. We want to be known for high quality and good personal experiences,” Kupish said, while adding that he has a certain distaste for impersonal design and generic templates.

On every project, BLASTOFF! promises to provide clear communication to each client, so there is no discrepancy as to how far along the project is. “We’ve all had these bad experiences where we have to ask ‘is this person even working?’ and at BLASTOFF!, we avoid that by providing clients full transparency,” Kupish said.

In the long term, Kupish wants to keep things as personal as possible, “I don’t want to grow it into a 50-person company,” he said. “I do this because I love it. Poor design that I see on billboards or random fliers drive me nuts. Also I don’t want to just be a people manager, I’d like to remain working as a designer.”

In the future, Kupish would like to have a more visible office in Bend where clients feel welcome to hang out, enjoy a cup of coffee and chat about their projects in a comfortable environment. At the end of everything, Kupish plans on keeping things based on the people, “So much of today is just selling,” he said. “Hoarding money, climbing endless ladders, it makes me sad to see. I always want to be the friend that people can go to when they want to avoid stuff like that.”


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