Justin Skolnick lives and works in Portland.

The Castle Literary Magazine

Wartburg College

When I arrived on campus, The Castle’s editor recruited me to help her scour the magazine’s fifty-year archive for material to reprint in the upcoming anniversary issue. More interesting than the decades-old text was the long-discarded mark we discovered — a quill pen in a crown. We restored the mark on The Castle’s next cover.

In my third year, my co-editor and I decided to remake The Castle. Our precursors showed a weakness for novelty faces, so I pressed for discipline: a serif for body copy, a heavy sans for display. We expanded the magazine’s format from half-letter to half-legal, a change that helped the staple-bound booklets lay flat on the campus’s desks and coffee tables.

The next year, as the The Castle’s sole editor, I set immediately to reworking its visual style, aiming to leave it looking less like a student hobby than something the college community would actually want to write for and read. Regular author events and an earnest attempt at convening a writers group rounded out my efforts to spur a major spike in the publication’s profile on campus, and I got it.


  • Graphic design
  • Editing
  • Front-end development: XHTML and CSS
  • Cover design

    Cover design, 1999

    The hands belong to Erasmus and Luther, respectively.

  • Cover design
    Cover design
    Cover design

    Cover design, 2002

    True small caps and a white-on-blue vellum title page.

  • Home page

    Home page, 2001

    News and announcements in a liquid CSS-based design.