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Globally Born, Detroit Bred.

We are global citizens. Our work is informed by a cultured perspective that is unique to our studio, earned by living and working across 5 continents.

We're also proud of our roots in Detroit. Our local networks are deep, as is our commitment to service and the community. We are wired with the hustle and grit to get things done. We've learned to remain fluid and adaptive as an independent design studio in order to be stable and strong through changing times—a resilience and relevance we're proud to own and apply to our clients' most pressing challenges.

500+ Local Networks

We are highly connected and have worked with countless local brands, companies, artists, policy makers, entrepreneurs, developers, architects and nonprofits — neighbors and friends that have shaped this city.

500 Volunteer Hours

We are a highly connected team that has worked hard to give back to our community. We serve on a number of high profile boards and volunteer across a number of organizations that support equality. Our employees give time on our time to allow them to pursue their particular passions for making the world a better place.

5 Continents

Our staff has collectively lived and worked all around the globe. We believe this makes us a dynamic group that has a unique firsthand understanding of different cultures, different ways of thinking, doing and sharing, that infuses our creativity for branding efforts.

1 Studio

Located in Downtown Detroit in a historic building that previously housed the largest Fluxus art collection in the world, we are constantly inspired by our surroundings.

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Meet Our Team

  • Angela Topacio-DiDio

    Angela Topacio-DiDio

    Co-Founder / Head of Creative

    Through Angela's leadership and creative direction, the BasedOn team is creating a different kind of Studio. People are empowered to be thoughtful and fluid; compelled to dig deeper and find the authentic truth behind each brand and present it in beautiful, engaging ways. Bringing over 23 years of experience in design, brand development and management, she has proven to be a disruptive thinker who brings new approaches to brands looking to break out and gain visibility and longevity. Respected for her ability to translate strategy into designs that incite action and encourage change, Angela has worked with leadership from a diverse portfolio of regional, national and international clients. As a lifelong artist specializing in printmaking and multimedia, Angela brings a keen eye for design and brand aesthetics to every project, constantly looking for innovative ways each client can develop and live their brand. Angela graduated summa cum laude from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, with a Bachelor Degree of Fine Arts. She has served on the Board of Directors for both the Detroit Artists Market and Woodbridge Neighborhood Development and is currently a mentor with Endeavor Detroit.

  • Matt DiDio

    Matt DiDio

    Co-Founder / Head of Business Development

    As one of the founding members, Matt brings a combination of management and business strategy expertise to BasedOn. With nearly 38 years of marketing, sales management experience, he has infused BasedOn's fast-paced culture with best practices of operating procedures. Matt's career began with Aeroquip Corporation where he became the VP of Sales and led efforts on the GM account. Shortly after, he became Director of Marketing & Sales for the newly formed Magna International full vehicle integration team. In 1999, Matt decided to leverage his art background and business experience in a new venture, co-founding BasedOn with his wife Angela. The Studio originally developed and designed marketing collateral and digital assets for various B2B and B2C industries. Believing in the creative precepts of being fluid and adaptive, Matt and Angela saw the studio through a major transformation over the years as it added Strategy to Design to become the Identity Studio it is today. For over two decades, Matt has forged and sustained long-term relationships with local, national and global clients in categories ranging from automotive to hospitality to consumer goods. Always a high-energy leader, Matt played college football for four years and was named All-American at Wayne State University, where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts.

  • Matthew Clayson

    Matthew Clayson

    Managing Director

    As Managing Director, Matt Clayson ensures our studio vision is clear and our path delivers outstanding work for our clients that balances beauty and impact. He is responsible for defining studio objectives that are actionable and measurable, while guiding our studio team to achieving success. He brings interdisciplinary brand experience to the table through his brand development and brand activation work with Shinola, MotorTrend, JD Power, Time, Inc., US News and World Report, United Way for Southeast Michigan, Design Core Detroit and the National Football League. He has also advised on digital strategy for The Coca‑Cola Company, Adidas, Cathay Pacific Airlines, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Microsoft and Facebook. Now he is engaging new clients for BasedOn, energized to solve the challenges they face and ready to activate these brands across various channels.

    Matt graduated from Michigan State University's Honors and James Madison Colleges, receiving degrees in International Relations and Political Theory, and a specialization in Western European Relations. He completed coursework on the formation and structures of the European Union and NATO at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. He received his Juris Doctor from Wayne State University School of Law, and is a proud recipient of the German Marshall Fund’s Marshall Memorial Fellowship and an active member of BMW Foundation’s Responsible Leadership Network.

  • Marc Topacio

    Marc Topacio

    Head of Finance and HR

    Marc oversees the company finances and human resources at BasedOn. Wearing two hats enables Marc to see the big picture and forecast for our studio, both financially and in terms of talent allocation, as our studio focuses on creating identities that inspire change. Formerly the CFO of a publicly traded logistics company, Marc has been with our company since 2006, bringing continuity as we change and grow and reach new goals. Marc received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor and his MSPA from Walsh College.

  • Tonya Tsoukalas

    Tonya Tsoukalas

    Head of Production

    As Head of Production, Tonya oversees the production and workflow of every project at BasedOn to ensure the smooth functioning of the studio and enable the creative team to focus on delivering excellence. She also brings years of account and project management experience and has managed large, multifaceted corporate events and sponsorships with the NHL and Corvette Racing during her 15-year career at Compuware Corporation. Tonya focuses on driving efficiency, team building and fostering a creative and collaborative environment. In addition to managing production operations, she supports the BasedOn team through mentorship and professional growth development. Tonya received her BS in Marketing from Ferris State University.

  • Lara Richli

    Lara Richli

    Head of Strategy

    Lara leads the strategy practice at BasedOn and is passionate about building brands and places—often simultaneously. Her professional experiences span creative strategy for Fortune 500 companies, placemaking for architectural icons, branding for global real estate players and event strategy for fashion, design, technology and art experiences. Before moving to Detroit in 2022, she spearheaded the placemaking practice for a real estate advisory firm in New York where she worked on development projects across the country for Brookfield Properties, Vornado Realty Trust, Two Trees and Atlas Capital Group. As a global citizen, having lived and worked in Europe, Africa and the United States, she understands the role that physical and digital spaces play in preserving history, driving culture and fostering community. Lara is passionate about creating human-centric destinations that become anchors for culture and reclaim spaces for people. She received a Masters Degree in International Business from St. Andrews, Scotland and a Bachelor Degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York.

  • Jin Kim

    Jin Kim

    Director of Technology

    Jin Kim has been with BasedOn since the beginning. He is responsible for all technical aspects of projects at BasedOn, including their planning and implementation. In addition, he is also responsible for the technologies used and the support of them at BasedOn.

  • Ben Weisbrodt

    Ben Weisbrodt

    Associate Creative Director

    Ben has worked in the business of visual arts for over 25 years. His path has led from graphic designer to magazine art director to college instructor and back again, as he now works as a graphic designer here at BasedOn. Ben also plays a large role in shaping the brand's identity during our strategy process. Thoughtful and insightful, his measured approach helps the team problem-solve from all angles. Through design, he further explores those branding possibilities, creating an authentic and impactful visual language for clients. Ben received a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan and his Master of Arts in Communication Design from Central St. Martins College of Art and Design in London, UK.

  • Tim Dimet

    Tim Dimet

    Associate Creative Director

    As a designer, Tim's career has led him along many paths from large agencies to studios to PR and freelance before arriving at BasedOn. His extensive experience has spanned marketing, advertising, branding, print, digital, event design and social media. Brands he has designed for over the years include Ford Trucks and Performance, Lincoln, Detroit Bikes, Drought Juice, Little Caesars and Bonnaroo Music Festival. Here at BasedOn, Tim brings his unique insights and critical thinking to every project with a disciplined approach to problem-solving for our clients. He enjoys the challenges of finding the best ways forward, always seeking originality through groundbreaking executions. An award-winning designer, Tim creates brand identities with impact, thoughtfully designed for long-term success. Tim received his BFA in Visual Communications from The Illinois Institute of Art.

  • Deon Mixon

    Deon Mixon


    Deon Mixon is a prolific creative who not only designs identities for our clients at BasedOn, but leads a design education company called Design Eye to teach youth about graphic design through lecturing and tabletop design games. He also enjoys creative writing, having written a Christian fiction novel series for young adults. With us since 2018, Deon brings his own keen eye and talent for storytelling to every BasedOn project. He is instrumental in creating the final identity guides for our clients and executing everything from magazine content to brochures, digital banners, environmental graphics and more. Deon holds a BFA in Graphic Design from Western Michigan University and, before joining us, worked in New York designing for brands like Colgate, Comfort Inn, Sabra and AT&T.

  • Kyle Spencer

    Kyle Spencer


    Kyle Spencer has worked across three cities and many design disciplines. His work has spanned Consumer Product Goods (CPG), designing packaging and point-of-sale displays, to print, social media marketing and developing full campaigns. Kyle's client experience includes Bonnaroo Music Festival, Altria and its family of brands, including Marlboro, Black & Mild, and Copenhagen. Fortunate enough to follow his passion for music, Kyle has also had opportunities to create social media campaigns for musicians like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Aaron Lewis and Kesha. Here at BasedOn, favorite projects include working on brand development and activation, from conception to production.

  • Deonna Camastra

    Deonna Camastra


    Deonna Camastra brings fresh thinking and mad skills to BasedOn with her Communications Design degree from the College for Creative Studies, Detroit. Working with the strategy for the brand and the verbal narratives developed, Deonna further brings that identity story to life along with the design team. She has a passion for print and specializes in motion design, envisioning how something static can move to tell an even more dynamic story. She's talented, multi-disciplinary and adaptive—and she's just getting started.

  • Skye Armstrong

    Skye Armstrong

    Design Intern

    Skye Armstrong is currently working at BasedOn as a Design Intern while she pursues a Graphic Design BFA at Michigan State University. As a senior, she is already contributing new ideas and winning brandmark designs to our studio that have been produced. She enjoys the discipline of brand identity and the power it has on the world around us, and she is ready to experience every step of the process at BasedOn. We're delighted to have such a talented designer onboard and look forward to seeing all her exciting work to come.

  • Kathy Starr

    Kathy Starr

    Account Manager

    Kathy brings extensive expertise as a seasoned digital marketing professional to our account management at BasedOn. With a proven track record in diverse client and industry settings, she has cultivated a broad-based background in eCommerce marketing, cross-platform campaign strategy development and operational management, advising and managing campaigns for Ford Motor Company, Jeep, GMC Truck, Warner Brothers, La-Z-Boy, Cooper Standard, Henkel and many others. She has also worked with non-profits, directing the website for the Meemic Foundation, overseeing the design and development of the first AAA bank website, and playing a pivotal role in strategic initiatives for both Meemic Insurance and The Auto Club Group. Here at BasedOn, Kathy is bringing her expertise to our clients in property development, automotive, the tech space and more, continuing her commitment to growing brands within corporate, nonprofits and local markets.

  • Katie Zimmer

    Katie Zimmer

    Account Manager

    Katie coordinates our BasedOn teams as both an account manager and project manager. She oversees the end-to-end process of multiple projects while also participating in brand identity creation and building strong relationships with our clients. She is a key connector between our teams and our clients and helps keep our projects on track, on task, and on point with work that has high impact. Katie's experience spans leading national brands to small nonprofits with proficiency in managing multi-channel advertising, content production for various platforms, creative campaign development, media planning and high-visibility sponsorships. Since she lives and works downtown, Katie brings a true Detroit perspective to projects. Katie received a Bachelor of Science in Apparel and Merchandising from Western Michigan University.

  • Nancy Sizer

    Nancy Sizer

    Strategist and Writer

    Nancy leads strategy development and verbal identity design for a wide variety of brand strategy and identity design initiatives. From discovery and research, through strategic positioning to verbal language design, she guides clients and the creative team through the process of uncovering who they are and helping them define how they are known. Prior to joining BasedOn, Nancy's career spanned management and program direction, writing, event coordination and fundraising for the nonprofit arts, culture and community development sectors. With her experience in program development, community engagement and communications, Nancy brings her keen insight and creative problem solving to every project. Nancy has a BA in history from Western Michigan University and has professional training and experience in design thinking, historic preservation, creative brainstorming and cultural placemaking.

  • Yasmin Moore

    Yasmin Moore


    Yasmin has been building brands for 20+ years as an Editorial Director, Associate Creative Director, Speechwriter and now Storyteller, helping formulate sound strategy and bringing brands to life. An award-winning writer with major automotive experience, she has worked on GM Corporate, Cadillac, Chevy, Lincoln, Jeep, Audi and Lamborghini with multi-product experience including HAP, U.S. Bank, A.Link Diamonds and Hush Puppies, prior to joining BasedOn. Here at the studio she works with the strategy team to help formulate brand frameworks, name companies and new products, and develop the verbal architecture and voice for brands looking to build a brand that resonates.

  • Russ Taylor

    Russ Taylor

    Studio Experience Manager

    Day-to-day, Russ is our Studio Experience Manager and sonic designer who brings creativity to everything he does. As the first person clients and partners meet “front of the house,” Russ is our BasedOn ambassador making everyone feel welcome. Anticipating studio needs, working with vendors, helping maintain our 100+ year old building, and participating in brainstorming sessions as a fellow creative, are just some of the ways Russ makes studio life a great experience for everyone. A master brander in his own right, Russ is also the very soul and spirit of SATORI CIRCUS - he is SATORI CIRCUS - and continues to be the longest lasting performance artist in Detroit. As an award-winning talent, he is a constant source of inspiration around the studio and our city.
  • Karen McNabb

    Karen McNabb

    Office Manager

    Karen comes to BasedOn via the healthcare industry, where she worked as an administrative secretary for the Department of Internal Medicine at Henry Ford Medical Center – Fairlane. At BasedOn, she started as a receptionist and admin, later moving to accounting and Human Resources to work alongside Marc Topacio, our CFO. As our Office Manager, Karen enjoys the atmosphere, the culture, the people and the friendships she's made through her work at BasedOn. Always a friendly face, she is an integral part of our team and one of the first people our creative partners and new hires meet as they get acquainted with BasedOn.