Bowers Portfolio Critique

Hey Everyone,

I have been working on my sketching/rendering abilities to upgrade my portfolio to the next level and would love some feedback on how to make my work more realistic/dynamic/exciting. Any and all help is welcomed!

Good initiative!

But… is there more to look at? The thread says “Portfolio”.
It would be great if you could show your sketches and renders a bit more in context of a project.

Hey Bepster,

I’m more than happy to share my entire portfolio later tonight. I was hoping to dig deeper on an individual render to improve my abilities specifically in that category than open it up to the entire book at this time.

Feel free to check out my website which has my portfolio work (just not in pdf/book spread format) if that would help your critique.



Attached is a link to my current pdf version of my portfolio!


Any thoughts would be helpful!

Thanks for the time,

[ Deleted ]

Hey Keno!

Thank you for your response! I appreciate the insight.

I’ve been wanting to shrink it but have a hard time cutting out the pages of research that I did for each project, as I thought these pages helped in telling the story and explaining the narrative of each project and it’s importance. However, I agree with that because of that I end up only showing like 20-30% sketches, rendering, prototyping. Any thoughts on how I can overcome that dilemma?

Also, do you have examples of where my typography, presentation, narrative are greatly lacking? I rarely hear that critique so I’d be interested to see what you see.


Hey Patrick,

the typeface you chose call a lot of attention to itself. Sometimes because of its size, often because of the recurrent use of the ‘bold’ weight.
Correcting this, it will make most of your pages way lighter and pleasent to look at.

Hierarchy is the key-word. What is the message on every page? What I want the reader to see first? What second? Is there space for more stuff in this page? Do I need to show more than what’s already there? I am myself editing my portfolio right now and I’m trying to answer these questions.

Your portfolio is a nice documentation. But it has to be a presentation. Especially for someone who will take just a couple of seconds of his time to see your portfolio.

I hope I could help a bit. Feel free to comment on mine too.

Overall, OK, but I think could be easily improved.

  1. Graphics and layout is clean and non-intrusive, but also a bit boring. See if you can up your graphics/layout game. I don’t mean pick 100 different crazy fonts and backgrounds, but add a layer of depth and detail to it. Hierarchy as mentioned above. Go look at some magazine layouts. Now seems a bit basic.
  2. Far too long.
  3. Too much “set-up” and too little pay off. Lots of pages on research or showing the problem that nobody is going to read and doesn’t look like a design portfolio. Very few sketches and process work in comparison.
  4. For almost all projects, I didn’t get a good understanding how the final design/model/solution works. Most are renderings or photos with no people or showing the product in use. This is a big weakness as didn’t allow me to really see if the design was good or even useable. For example I have no idea what the Pushup center does and until I went back to write these notes had no idea even of scale. I thought it was something small you hold onto with one hand and no realize its a giant 6ft tall thing!!
  5. Truck first thing … have no idea what that is about or what you did.
  6. Don’t need any blank pages. Someone will think it’s over and not click ahead.
  7. Overall sketch quality can be improved.
  8. Keep in mind someone is going to click through the whole thing in about 30sec. Do that and see what you come away with. Right now I’m not getting much and nothing memorable. What’s your strength? Selling point? Why pick you?


Doug and Richard,

Both make excellent points and points that I need to hear. I appreciate it!

My biggest question is how can you (or should you ever) incorporate individual sketches/renders that do not relate to specific projects? Does a portfolio have to be project after project explanation or can it (should it) reflect a skill set more and show renders, sketching, prototyping individually?

My fear is this will not “tell a story” but I know that this would leave a larger impression after 30 seconds of flipping than research pages do.