I’m currently in the first quarter of my 1-year MA in Industrial Design.
Prior to this, I had started my undergrad degree in Industrial Design but switched out halfway for illustration. After wanting to go back, I realized many companies wanted to see a degree (whereas illustration doesn’t require one) so I’m currently undertaking this MA program in an attempt to “fill in the gaps” of the two years I missed in my undergrad program.
I’d love some feedback on my portfolio and to hear what you guys would like to see in a portfolio of someone you’d hire. Is this too long? Would you mind if it were longer?
I want to add more projects as I go through my MA program, but I’m also concerned about the course of study. This grad program seems much more about theory and research, while my undergrad focused on the sketching and modeling. While I’m told that theory and research are very important, scanning through the top portfolios on Core77 always result in very little research and a very large number of pretty sketches and sleek renders. How can I marry these two? Do companies want me to? I’d love any and all help in order to get my portfolio to that level. Thanks so much!
My portfolio link is here: Arthur's Portfolio 2012 by Arthur Wang at Coroflot.com
I am just a student as well but I do believe that companies value both skill sets but I think companies would hire you for a design position in which case they will value the sketching/presentation/idea generating skills more, but i suppose it depends on the the firm. In some small companies one guy probably wears all the hats. And it all depends what you are more interested in/ what kind of job you see yourself in down the road.
Skimming through I noticed a few things:
MAD photoshop skills! That final render at the end of Rebus I thought was from a 3D package, not photoshop. So good work on that! Definitely find more ways to flaunt those skills in your portfolio.
On another note, I see your sketching is a little weaker and could use some work. Look at idsketching.com or that great doodling thread ( Using downloaded shaders from aliaswavfront website? )over in the sketching section for some inspiration. I think your sketches need some more differentiated lineweight and don’t be afraid to be a little looser with them.
I also would love to see some more depth to the projects. Ask yourself why these things needed design improvements and how your design addressed those needs? I think your portfolio is missing that element of storytelling that pulls in the reader and makes them care about your projects, so they’re not just another pretty picture. Maybe start off with a problem photo or a nice sketched storyboard that shows exactly what’s wrong with the current design. Then show your sketch process, mockups, etc. and end with a hero shot with callouts or a blurb explaining exactly how it addressed the issues you identified in the opening of the project.
Edit: I just looked at it again and I realized that some of those elements are indeed present, I missed them on the first time around. So make the reasons your design exists and known issues with the current design immediately identifiable and easy to see if someone is just skimming through your portfolio.
One last note, your portfolio is also very very concentrated on consumer products. Do you have projects covering other subjects (Furniture, transportation, Outdoors products etc.), it would be good to show a little more diversity unless you are applying for a strictly consumer product type company, but maybe a bit more depth would be good to show in any case.
Keep up the good work and good luck!