Brand-Spanking New Portfolio! Critiques?

Howdy fellow I.D. folk. I would really like to get some critiques and comments on my latest portfolio. I feel that it does a pretty good job at telling a story for each project (something emphasized during my recent internship at Dell), and shows a strong, diverse skill set.

So, how about it? Let me know what you think!

The portfolio can be best viewed here: Kenny Lohr Industrial Design Portfolio Fall 2010 by Kenny Lohr - Issuu

This is great! I can see your process nicely, although the pages may be too crammed sometimes, and the stark grid you have is static and sometimes overwhelming (the storyboards at the end, for example).

But this is one of the better portfolios I’ve seen, and I’ve learned a bit from it! Nice work, too!

  • at a very quick glance it all looks very nice and thorough, BUT to build on Juius’ observation, many of the pages seem to lack a clear hierarchy. So everything seems to be at the same level of importance and my eye doesn’t really know where to
    go, leaving me feeling overwhelmed. If you lead my eye for different level reads it’s easier to follow and digest the info.


I was looking at the print-out of this on your desk the other night. It looks really good man. I really like how thorough each project seems. I think you did a good job of putting more emphasis on a certain part of your design process according to the project. Also, the dell sponsored project looks great–did you go back and touch it up a bit?


Yeah I agree that it’s very strong in terms of your actual projects/solutions. As for the portfolio itself, I had a really hard time. I felt overloaded with information and images which, like IDiot said, were all on one hierarchy. In addition to emphasizing certain portions of your pages, I think your text blocks could be reduced to shorter blurbs and more white space could be used in your composition.

Also, (and this is a little peeve of mine) I’ve found that Helvetica and especially Helvetica Neue Light makes for a very poor body font in most situations. It’s really hard to read chunks of text set in such a thin and widely-kerned sans-serif. Switching to a serif for body text (and reducing the font size of your captions) could help differentiate different types of content, increase legibility, and save you some space.

good job!

Ditto to the above. It looks like you have great stuff and thought behind your projects, but for me at least there is too much information to wade through on many of the pages, and there is little hierarchy. Often the high-contrast grid structure detracts from the content.

Don’t be afraid to take things away. Maybe desaturate all but a few of those sketch renders, remove rectangle backgrounds, etc. I think I may take this to the extreme, but the more visually concise you are, the more powerful your good work comes across to someone flipping quickly through portfolios.

Great sketches and projects by the way. The signal to noise ratio is just a little unbalanced IMO.

Thanks Julius! I definitely agree that some of the pages are too dense and that the grid makes the content appear static. I’m still learning about grid usage, and I think what I need is a more dynamic template with layers of hierarchy. The system I used here is very basic, with a fill-in-the-blank approach. I really appreciate your critique and encouragement!

Agreed. I’ll make sure to work on the hierarchy so that the viewer can breathe a little. I think that in it’s current form, and you make a good point of this, I’m making the reader work too hard to digest everything- I need to make this more like a movie, and less like a novel.

Thanks Quinn, I appreciate that man. I was really focusing on telling the story and process of each project in this latest portfolio, which is a big reason my page count jumped from 14 to 40.

The Dell sponsored project was indeed revamped too- the monotoneness (new word?) and lack of detail was driving me crazy. Plus, the Dell branding was off, which seemed sacrilegious after having the real stuff nailed into my head for 6 months…

Point taken on the information overload. I think a strong, hierarchical system will do wonders in presenting the content, and I definitely plan on working white space into whatever system I come up with.

Also, nice insight on Helvetica and H. Neue for body type- I have to agree! I chose Helvetica Neue for the body text because I was always under the impression that Helvetica can do no wrong, but your reasoning makes perfect sense and it looks like I’ll be typeface hunting for the next few weeks. Thanks a bunch for the insightful critique- it means a lot.

I’m noticing a trend here…hierarchy, here we come.

I’ll definitely try to be more concise and clear in the next iteration. It’s harder to say a little than a lot about such extensive projects, and I think the noise/info overload here is the result of me struggling with this. Your points make perfect sense, and I really appreciate your insight. Thanks!

Just went through it as well, would have loved to have had such a portfolio when I graduated. Yes, it’s dense with info but I rather like it. Really pulls me into the projects and shows your process very well. Loved the firehelmet project!

I guess it might be a bit heavy for a quick glance of your work (like a teaser) but personally, I wouldn’t change much, especially if that would mean dropping any of the information. And maybe add a light/fun/quick project if you have it.

All in all, well done!