In a city of misfits, Ooligan is more than a masters program. It’s an opportunity to publish real books.


The Portland State Masters in Book Publishing Program is one of 8 such programs in the US and the only one west of Texas. They wanted to increase applications and increase the prestige of their program, as they primarily compete with schools with a much more established reputation in the publishing industry. The program is the only program in the country where students actually source and produce books that go on bookstore shelves.


After substantial secondary research on the industry and other masters programs we conducted 20 in-depth interviews with current students, alumni, and undergraduate students in the potential target audience. We explored ideas such as what they hoped to get out of such a Masters program, how the is program perceived, and the relationship our audience has with books.


The fact that the program was in Portland was a major factor in students decided to apply. They already knew they wanted to move here, they just had not yet found a vehicle to make that happen.

The hands-on work that the student-run press presented was an incredible opportunity for students to not just learn about publishing books, but actually, put a book out into the world.

There is an allure to Portland is very different from the typical corporate publishing scene found on the East Coast. Portland is home to the largest independent bookstore in the country, and host a vibrant independent book publishing community.

With this in mind, we developed the following guiding insight to inspire the creatives:

In a city of misfits, Ooligan is more than a masters program. It’s an opportunity to publish real books.



Ashley Peters - Strategist

Kevin Knickleoff - Strategist

Maranda K. Seney - Strategist

Caitie Sauer - Media Planner

Bailey Arvidson-Goodell - Account Manager

Jeanie Ng - Account Manager

Tobin Carlberg - Copywriter

Bao Phan - Art Director

Danielle Ochse-Emeka - Art Director

Samuel Barnes - Copywriter