Any ideas?

Looking for constructive critique of my corefolio. Seeking entry-level employment… More sketching? Better representation of thought process?

Any helpful comments would be appreciated. Thanks!

Faded backgrounds are really done by too many people to be exciting anymore. You are right I would like to see more development, Not necessarily sketches but the story behind the concepts. The best Id portfolios read like good books and magazine articles

Yes, I agree that faded backgrounds are over-used… but I tried to use images that revealed more about the design (the recycling bin is my best example of this.) As for showing the evolution of my projects… my physical portfolio (on paper) best displays my design process. I consider coroflot a place to showcase a sample of my work, and feel a more in depth study should take place at an interview. Should I reconsider the role of my coroflot portfolio?

Thanks for your comment.

1,2&4 keep and build on. 3&5 are just art and useless to getting a PD job. Art is art and while important and beautifal and insiring is not ID.

Become a SPECIALIST in one aspect… damn I have to add this guy/gal one because…____________

Where are your sketches? There are 5 near-renderings about the washer-assistant. If you only do 5 sketches before building a model, you need to start doing more. If you have a bunch of sketches from those projects get them on your site to show some thought.

I wouldn’t worry about faded backgrounds…you aren’t looking for a graphic design job, and your layouts seem well constructed anyways.

It sounds like you already knew where your problems were, go fix them and good luck!

I think your sketching is excellent, maybe you should dump one of the art slides and replace it with a sketching slide that shows sketches from different projects and some development. I really like to show sketching examples, and lots of them. It shows that you can really come up with lots of ideas. If you have a lot of sketches (15-30) from a single project, then just do a slide with those. For a sketch page I would just put a clean header, let the viewer focus on the sketches without the distraction of a background.

Thanks all for the feedback. Indeed art is important but not essential to ID. I need to consider that.

Sounds like I need to show more sketches and thought process (who would have thought!) I guess I did know what I needed to do Mr-914. I’ll get to it and hopefully have an updated version for you guys to check out soon.

Thanks for the help!

One more question:

Could I land an ID job with the work seen here?

The entry-level market seems so competitive. VA Tech’s ID program is not well known. I know a post-secondary degree from a renowned ID school would give me more clout. But I do not want to spend the $$$ and time if I could score a design job with what I have.

Any advise?

I like the design work shown, but I would replace 3 & 5 with slides that show more sketches and though process/products.

Yes Greenman, I agree that projects 3 and 5 should be substituted. What I am getting at is whether or not I could land a job with the level of design seen in my portfolio (given that I can exemplify my design methodology and can show high quality/quantity sketching.)

Are the projects innovative, are the modeling and sketching skills up to par, etc…? Would some solo efforts (where the entire development process is well documented) be a healthy addition? Basically, do I have what it takes w/o a name-brand degree? Would an M.A. give me the edge I need? More along those lines.

I feel like I have the tools/ability I need to be a successful designer, but maybe my portfolio (namely the project selection) doesn’t reflect this?

Right now, you have 3 slides that document the design process for those projects pretty well. You have sketches, models, 3D renderings, it gives the viewer a good idea that you went through the process. If you have the projects I would go back and replace those 2 slides we discussed earlier with 2 new project slides showing the same scope of process. Try to show more sketches if you can, you have some nice ones, I personally would like to see some more. Nothing wrong with dedicating a slide to just sketches either.

Also, and this will narrow down more as you gain experience, but is important to start thinking about, is: Exactly what do you want to focus on designing? You have a trans project, and 2 product design projects. It looks to me as though your focus leans towards products, but like I said that can narrow down more and more into sub-categories like electronics, soft goods, toys, furniture, etc. Coming out of school design was very broad for me, I felt like I had pieces in my portfolio that could move me into any facet of design, this turns out not to be the case, and I found a focus in experience/display design, which was dictated by interest, but also by my experiences. So if you have a main focus, highlight it as best you can in your portfolio and give jobs that you find in that focus more attention.

As far as your skills, I think your sketches tell everything they need to, they’re legible, and your aesthetics are nice. I only see a few hand-made foam models, but they look pretty good, if you have more images of models in other projects it wouldn’t hurt to show them. I’m not sure what 3D software you used for those renderings, but I see that maybe the software’s tools started to dictate your form, it’s a hurdle everyone has to get over, looks like you’re almost there. That comes with practice, and learning the software features well. Depending on the software you use, organic forms can be tough to accomplish, however, feel no shame if you need to drop a 3D rendering in photoshop for finishing touches, clean up, graphics, shadows, highlights etc.

Don’t worry too much about not having a name brand degree, schools like CCS, Art Center, etc are good schools and really hone the student’s skills, but the one thing that no program can teach you is to have talent, and I see quite a bit of that in your port.

Thanks, that’s a very encouraging response. It’s good to know that talent outweighs a ‘top-shelf’ degree. You’ve also given me a very good idea of where my strengths and weaknesses lie.

I want to focus on commercial product design. The problem is that my most complete project (my senior thesis) is a fuel-cell vehicle – poor project selection on my part and warned against by my professor. So much is involved in the development of a vehicle, it can’t fully take shape in a year’s time. Also, I began modeling (in Ashlar-Vellum Cobalt 5.0) and dimensional restrictions began to control the form (as you supposed.)

I think I need to do an independent project (developing a consumer product) that is fully documented and a thorough representation of my design process – research → sketch → models → prototype. I need to get a project up that could stand alone if need be, and I don’t think any of my existing work could do that.

Thanks again for the excellent response! I’ve gained some great perspective and direction… much appreciated!


If I saw this work come across my desk, would I give you an interview?

Can I say I would hire you simply based on your portfolio? No, and no design manager will say they can look at a portfolio and say, I would hire them on the spot.

For me this decision is based on the overall prospect. Were the receptive of criticisms on their projects? Were their verbal and non-verbal communication skills up to presenting to clients? Were they confident in their design solutions, and did they do enough planning and research to validate their design solutions when confronted? Did they present a confident yet non-egotistical personality? Would I see them fitting in to this design team seamlessly, and providing beneficial knowledge and skills? Are they eager and willing to continue learning new techniques and technologies. Most of all is this someone I would want representing this firm to prospective clients.

And yes this is for entry, and all levels of designers.

I didn’t realize how much emphasis is placed on supplemental criteria (non-design related) until I was out of school. I assumed that great work got you hired and the other things evolved with time in the field.

I think that was the most important thing I learned from a series of interviews last spring: they want the real deal - and you can’t fake it, you have to be it. You really have to stand out in a competitive field. Excellent design skills may get you through the door, but it’s the rest of the package that gets the job.

Thanks for your comment.