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Portfolio Crit. {Please}

PostPosted: August 4th, 2016, 2:48 pm
by sketchie105
Hi Core,

I'm in the market for a new role. I've asked every Director, Manager, Senior, Mid-Level and expert that I have access to their opinion and now would love to hear what you all have to say.

Thanks in advance.


Re: Portfolio Crit. {Please}

PostPosted: August 4th, 2016, 3:17 pm
by yo
Hi Nick,

You have some nice work. Overall this is my take away, kind of free form stream of conscious as I go:

Strong prototyping skills. Solid thinking. Pretty good presentation skills. OK sketching, not high enough to work in our studio right now, but it seems like you work hard at it which is good. CAD skills, hard to tell. Look pretty good though.

On the main page, the project thumbnail pages are not engaging me. Your work is better than this page looks, which is a very fixable problem.

On the prototyping page, hard to follow this page. I recommend putting the images in reverse chronological order and putting some kind of a divider between projects.

On the projects I'd start with a great money shot of the final solution, then tell the story.

On your resume, make it look more consistent with your site. Use the monogram logo in both places or don't use it at all.

3 helmets? Do you want to design helmets?

Shoe project. Needs more content.

Polarity. It took me two scroll throughs to get it. You need an image showing it flipping over with multiple exposures and an arrow. And on the shot where it is flipped show two people sitting on it. You can photoshop them in if you need to.

Rydaware. The unit that attaches to the stem and the unit that attaches to the seat post look like two different products. There is an opportunity to make them look like a system. They should have the same design language.

All of these things are very doable. You have the skills and I think addressing even a few of these things will make your portfolio pop a lot more.

Re: Portfolio Crit. {Please}

PostPosted: August 4th, 2016, 3:36 pm
by KenoLeon
Hi Nick:

My usual disclaimer: I am not hiring, don't work for a big ID firm, but love ID and have looked at 1oo's of portfolios and agency sites by now, so here's my 2 cts:

My 10 second read: I feel that the vessel itself is pretty good, there are very few things I would change, ( the resume should indicate it is a pdf and that it will take you to another site for instance) and other minor UI/content issues, so I think the first step of displaying your work was simply and efficiently managed.

The issue I encountered next ( which again most portfolios don't even reach this stage), is the project presentation, I struggled first being reeled into your projects and then understanding them at first pass, some of them are self explanatory, but the ones you are trying to tell a story with, I think don't quite succeed, sorry, maybe others got a better time.

All in all, I think your display is too wide and dispersed to make an impact, so maybe focusing it more and concentrating it could work, I normally shy away /cringe at bios and mission statements, but in your case I think and brief overall mission statement could help as well.


Re: Portfolio Crit. {Please}

PostPosted: August 4th, 2016, 6:29 pm
by sketchie105
Yo and Keno! Thank you so much for the quick replies.

Firstly, Yo, Could you give me a few suggestions to get my sketching to the next level.. I know it takes time and work and I'm cool with that but if you could give me some specifics that would help me tremendously.

Do you think Mint, Rydaware and Flatline tell a story? I'm going to be honest when I say this is where I struggle and I need to become better. Any suggestions from either of you would be greatly, tremendous, incredibly appreciated.

I would love to design helmets, is it okay to have three? One is a full idea, one is just some class A in rhino and one is an old project more so showing more CAD skills. The story on this one is so lack luster that I'm really hoping the CAD shines through. This is honesty and I understand this but would really like my CAD to be shown because I do believe that I'm good at it.

Shoe project.. was a project that turned into a CAD project.. the CAD work came out well but def. lacks. I removed it for now, but would take some suggestions on this.

Polarity was done in school. I'm proud of this because it was created and shown in Italy. Do you think that I should use this project? The idea is based on Introvert and Extrovert personalities, but this doesn't come across very fluently and is quite old now, going on 7 years.

I would really like to stress that I am so very grateful for you both and your recommendations won't be wasted I can assure you.

I will post again when I finish all of the updates.


Re: Portfolio Crit. {Please}

PostPosted: August 5th, 2016, 8:55 am
by smyoung
Hi sketchie105,

The "Work" section is a grid presentation while "Prototype" section is drop down and "Digital Sketching" switches to a sidebar menu. I think one format should suffice. Looks like you're using squarespace so that should be an easy fix.

In your Work section, both contents of ABCs of sketching and weapons of mass destruction can be added to your "digital "sketching" category, if you were to just rename that to "sketching" and provide two grids section, one for hand sketching and another for digital sketching.

Keep up the good work & best of luck! :D

Re: Portfolio Crit. {Please}

PostPosted: August 5th, 2016, 9:16 am
by sketchie105

Solid suggestions, Thank you.

All, what do you think of creating just a CAD rendering section?



Re: Portfolio Crit. {Please}

PostPosted: August 7th, 2016, 3:05 pm
by sketchie105
I have updated my website.. If you guys would be so kind to check it out I would be extremely grateful.



Re: Portfolio Crit. {Please}

PostPosted: August 8th, 2016, 8:41 pm
by KenoLeon
Hi Nick:

The organization reads considerably better, but I still have some issues with the overall quality and message ( not sure if it would be enough for an entry position which I think is your goal).

sketchie105 wrote:Do you think Mint, Rydaware and Flatline tell a story?

I think the biggest thing a storyteller can do for him/herself is to for one moment occupy someone else's shoes as to get an objective perspective with fresh eyes, forget for a moment you were the one who build the thing, it is incredibly hard, writers put aside their first drafts for a few months and then come back to them, but they have time, imagine also your audience in this specific case has very limited time.

This is how Rydaware reads :
(The objective here is to troubleshoot, not to bring down your work or person).

-The thumbnail makes no sense, you have enough space to display the actual object and save some time once clicked.

On the page:

-There is a thing in the handlebars of a bicycle.
- Charts and Text (Tiny Text). NONE of them made sense to me until I read them, at this point if I was actually reviewing your portfolio I would have closed the Tab.
-More infographics with components, I am beyond confused at this point.
- Sketches of low quality, is this a signaling device ?
- More sketches, that don't convey meaning, I can't understand them, what is their purpose, more confusion.
-Concepts ? for what ? what is that alien looking chart in the middle ?
- Nice mood board, how is this related.
- More sketches, now a little more polished, but the text ? I can't read your writing, what's wrong with normal text.
- Renders and lights that still make no sense.

It took me about 3 reads to figure out what the product was, the key was buried in the text and I had to use my imagination to figure out how it worked, about 15 minutes in total.

Sorry, that was brutal and I don't have all the answers, I guess my suggestion would be to reduce the overall number of graphics ( 3 maybe) and text ( 1 paragraph) while Increasing the presentation values . ( and try again and again).

Edit: I forgot to mention, but on the resume page, include a link to a download or a google/docs page as well, ( that way a recruiter can print it, download it,you can attach it on an email etc).


Re: Portfolio Crit. {Please}

PostPosted: August 9th, 2016, 4:53 am
by sketchie105
Keno, Please, stop apologizing. Brutal is fine, as long as it's accurate.

- I'll work on the small text and the infographic ambiguity.

Anyone else's thoughts. I'm wide open to feedback. Positive and negative.




Re: Portfolio Crit. {Please}

PostPosted: August 25th, 2016, 5:58 pm
by John_Mauriello
I think the sketching is good, in fact it's one of the strengths. I disagree with Yo's comment about the sketches being "not that great". Even the lowest quality ones are at an acceptable level, and the high quality ones are similar to the ones that his designers pump out (based on what I've seen on their portfolios). But that's highly subjective.

Overall the presentation is pretty good. I think the concepts are all pretty good ideas. You clearly like helmets, I guess.

The flatline has zero sexiness factor, but to be fair, it's hard to make a car rack look cool. Also, I think it's good for it to look at least somewhat utilitarian. It might be worth revisiting this concept and figure out how to make the design really pop visually. If you can make a car rack look sexy, you're probably a pretty good designer.

Keno is right about the handlebars concept, though. Those graphics/charts make absolutely no sense to me. Simplify them. With that said, I still understand that it's a rear-view camera for bikers from the "How This Would Work" slide. The other ones are terribly confusing.

Overall the work is pretty good. Keep at it.

Re: Portfolio Crit. {Please}

PostPosted: September 13th, 2016, 2:29 am
by ralphzoontjens
you have some good ideas. The chair is a great concept, I am sure if you refine the aesthetic and can drive down costs this will be a great success. Especially for use cases like on outdoor terraces at bars, restaurants, ice cream salons, waiting rooms etc. when more people are joining than there are chairs. Consider gas-assisted IM or rotational molding.

Regarding your presentation, you build a lot of fluff around your projects and don't tell much of a story. With elegantly composing text and the necessary images that communicate, you can build a more cohesive story. I'm not into the way of presenting projects like a rolled out powerpoint, and your way of sketching is different with each project. You can work on that and build your own style. I speak from a background in the mobility sector and your sketches and 3D work is just up to par, it's not very good though. Search for something that stands out. Refine your sketches and use white more sparingly. Use pencil instead of ballpoint to sketch underlays for ink drawings. Some of the digital sketches are ok. Also simplify your typography - when opening a project page there are 5 different typographic styles on the screen. Small caps works only with small caps fonts, and even then only with a few of them it actually works well.

Some of the helmet sketches are pretty good, make sure you gain feedback from your user group, especially with ski helmets this is often a major factor in the purchase decision.

Overall it's a decent portfolio - you can mainly improve on storytelling and refining your design skills.