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Skinny Dipper Magazine is an independent publication and lifestyle brand dedicated to catalyzing self-discovery and human connection through storytelling. 

Brand strategy and positioning

I learned brand strategy through building and positioning a brand of my own. In co-founding Skinny Dipper with art directors TJ Rinoski and Lynn Nakamura, I demonstrated my capacity to generate and structure complex ideas by developing a positioning strategy and business model that led Skinny Dipper to sell out across two 114-page, annual publications.

content strategy

As editor and content strategist for both issues, I was responsible for curating the brand's editorial voice and building a cohesive narrative framework that aligned with our overall brand strategy. This included mission and vision development, slogan and brand copywriting, pitching concepts, and basic wireframing to get a sense of the visual and vocal message of each story. 

Product design

I worked hand in hand with art director, TJ Rinoski, to conceptualize apparel collections and other merchandise products. I often leveraged creative copywriting to come up with seed concepts (such as "The World Needs Us Naked" collection seen below) and then provided direct and ongoing input into the visual design and physical production process. I was also responsible for directing the promotional video and photo shoots connected to each release, seen below.

Marketing

I served as the strategic and conceptual thinker behind an array of marketing campaigns and events designed to engage brand followers and acquire new readers. This included release parties, interactive community exhibits, art shows, a 3-day event series in DC, and time-oriented campaigns such as "State of the Earth Day." Shown below are event or campaign fliers designed for social media and targeted store and street postings. I provided design input and copywriting for each.

copywriting and visual concept

I collaborated with my art director to produce a variety of ad hoc visuals that aimed to carry quick, poignant, and often political messages. Though each situationed varied, I was generally responsible for coming up with the concept for each visual and executing the message with concise copywriting. For example, concepts that I created include "Closed for Climate Strike," "Uncle Sam at Bar," and "Moving Forward, Seeking Balance." In other situations, I was responsible for retrofitting a visual concept to fit a message, such as "Dear Men," which was originally a cowgirl tipping her hat with courtesy. In this way I demonstrate that I can plug in at every stage of the creative process and provide constructive feedback across disciplines.

EXPERIENCE DESIGN

In keeping with our brand's principles of authenticity and vulnerability, I was responsible for conceptualizing meaningful and interactive events that brought readers into a sense of community and shared experience. Most notably, 400 people came out to "Buzzed", an interactive social that featured a 3-phase exhibit and multiple participatory touchpoints along the way, such as voting boards, audio recording reflection rooms, and community message boards. I created the bee/Buzzed theme based on the design criteria of using black and yellow color schemes (because we had a lot of yellow paper) and I connected it to a brand purpose of breaking down Buzzwords from our editorials. I also led the content work behind each interactive or narrative component of the experience, such as informational displays, program handouts, and reflection prompts, while providing feedback to my art director to bring it all to life. 

campaign management and fundraising 

I learned how to develop and implement effective campaigns through two Kickstarters that raised more than $15,000. With each campaign, I was responsible for engaging donors with effective and evocative messaging that communicated why and how to contribute. This includes brainstorming thoughtful incentives and connecting them to direct calls to action. My role also included program management to keep the campaign on track and community outreach to raise the campaign's visibility and reach. 

There has never been a more pressing time to be alive. So keep going.

© 2020 by John Schengber

View Scrapbook For Strictly Personal Matters