Jake Szymanski
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I’ve produced content and digital campaigns for Levi’s, Red Bull, PATH, Google, and more.

From strategy to art direction, talent identification, being the client on set, and managing a media agency, I’ve done it all.



I merge my broad experience with a high standard for quality and obsession with photography to create beautiful work that connects with it’s audience.

Below case studies for three of my favorite projects.


Levi’s x VSCO

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Science tell us that stories stick better in our brains than numbers, so while I use data and research to inform every decision, I make sure to package it all in a compelling story driven by a human truth.


developing an idea

Every creative has their approach for tackling the first moments of translating a human insight into what will become the seed of your idea. I start by making slides. A LOT of slides.

I go bold, starting every concept with a story about where the audience is coming from, the human truth that makes them tick, and how we can translate concept into execution.




Between freelance as a cycling lifestyle photographer, brand ambassador, and my work at agencies teaching brands from my experience, I’ve spent a ton of time directing photography and editorial storytelling.


CYCLING photography

My personal photography has been featured by Rapha, Specialized Bikes, in four issues of Bicycling Magazine (including January, 2019), and by many other cycling brands. As a Board Member of Leave It On The Road (a 501c3 non-profit), I also use my talents to fight cancer and have contributed to the donation of over $100,000 to cancer research charities.



Drawing from my personal experience, I've written and art directed photography guides for Red Bull, YETI Coolers, Levi's, Stumptown Coffee, and Black Diamond. See select page examples below.


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UX Design

A better user experience is the priority and basis for everything I do. My college curriculum was built around Tim Brown’s Design Thinking teachings. I now frame every communications challenge through the frame of UX design. Even campaigns!



My approach to strategy has always been based in making, designing, and drawing as a means of communicating strategy by starting visual creative. As a result, the way I build the strategy team at Instrument, was a hybrid of UX design and brand strategy. Each strategist was a maker in their own right and was expected to draft information architecture, design wireframes, facilitate user testing, and be the primary UX writer on web and app projects.

I’ve lead UX design for a ton of projects including a special collaboration product for Airbnb, exploratory app UX for Sonos, websites for Dropbox Enterprise, Facebook Analytics, Specialized Bikes, Stumptown Coffee, and more.




The beginning of every project is an important time to involve everyone on the team, no matter their role. Even the greatest Creative Director can’t do it all on their own.

Creative development and concepting can often be a black box that leaves out key members of the team like developers, researchers, and clients. Contrary to this, I believe that the best work happens when everyone feels invested and free to share contribute their ideas.


inclusive creative

When everyone is empowered to contribute, it builds trust and gives everyone some skin in the game. While still creating time and space for myself and other assigned creatives to build and refine each idea, my approach makes sure that the entire team is on the same page, invested, and moving forward together.

The pictures below are from real workshops I’ve lead. They represent the process of projects I’ve directed for Snapchat, Airbnb, Microsoft, PATH, Dropbox, and more.