Justin Skolnick lives and works in Portland.


I don’t love technology — I care that it be done well. From esoteric errors to stubborn autocompletes to “dark patterns” to loosening data structures, there’s a lot that can sour people on an interface, whether those people are clients, customers, or citizens.

Since my earliest adventures in HTML, I've made a goal of building simple, sustainable codebases, with just enough technology to get the job done. Twelve years later, some of my oldest work is in active use.

Like most designers my age, I grew up drawing. But my father worked in advertising, so I also grew up with press-and-peel Letraset, stock art catalogs, and rides to drop off camera-ready art at trade journals. While my friends bagged groceries, I was designing print ads and maintaining the website of an award-winning weekly newspaper.

My early advantages freed me to explore whatever interested me in college. The degrees I chose laid the groundwork for a return to school, to chase down theories about technology and creative culture and how they shape the ways we see ourselves.

With the front-end as a focus, I’m happy jumping in wherever there’s need, from graphic and UI design to LAMP and Rails development. I’m intuitive and have a knack for translating technical concepts to clients.

Past clients and employers include Chicago’s Design­kitchen, VSA Partners, One Design Company, and Thirst. I’m currently looking for work in Portland.

  • Oprah’s Angel Network

    Oprah’s Angel Network, 2008

    Front-end development with DesignKitchen. Image courtesy Steve Polacek. View project »

  • AIGA Chicago

    AIGA Chicago, 2007

    Front-end development with ThirdWave LLC. Writeup pending.

  • <cite>The Castle</cite> Literary Magazine

    The Castle Literary Magazine, 1999

    Graphic design at Wartburg College. View project »