How much background info is too much?

Sorry, no portfolio here, I posted and got some advice already, so I’m building a new one. I have a question regarding how much information to put on specific projects though.
I’m currently working on my first ID internship, and it’s quite a major project. I’m the only ID person here at this little firm for the last two months, designing an aircraft cockpit for e-Go Aeroplanes. As you can imagine, after two months I have quite a large amount of work from this project, ranging from back of the napkin sketches to 3D sketches, to the Rhino/Solidworks models, to even the mold models. Beyond that there’s several pages of documentation that we’ve generated through ideation and whatnot. We are hoping to even start CNC cutting the molds before I leave (the cutter is currently reserved for airframe components though, so I’m not sure if we’ll have that done before I have to go).

ANYWAY, the question is this; this is my first real ID project (i.e. non-class). I feel that out of all the things I’ve done, this is far and beyond the strongest and has pushed me the most in terms of skill development - so I’d like to give it a central place in my portfolio. The question is, how much do I put before it starts to look like that’s ALL I can do? Or is it OK to put a ton, because it’s all relevant info that shows I can do these processes? To be honest I feel that maybe 99.9% of the other stuff I’ve done (all in school) is quite weak compared to this.

Thanks for the advice.

Now, I’m just about to start my ID undergraduate, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but I do have a bit of work, portfolio making & graphic design experience. I think it’s even an advantage to open with a big, in depth, well developed real-world project. Just keep it balanced, and show some other things as well. I think that up to half the portfolio could be one big project, if it’s good enough and you keep the number of projects to 3-4.

As long as you show multiple projects there should be no reason that they’ll think this is all you can do.

If we’re talking about a website, go bananas. However, as a PDF or physical portfolio, keep the length consistent between projects. This is good practice to be concise in your communication. Having it as a central piece is just a matter of placement. (and maybe a little bit longer than the rest, but not a lot). e.g. on a website putting it near the top of your list of projects or having a “featured” block, on a PDF in the front or back (start strong finish strong).

Just make sure you balance it, ie to show range your other work should be very different.

Thanks for the advice guys. :slight_smile: I just made a new portfolio, taking the suggestions from this thread and the last into account. Could I get some thoughts? Thanks. :slight_smile:

Your cockpit design project is pretty awesome and very unique. I think your simulator project looks impressive as well, but one thing that bothers me is that you start off the captions by apologizing for the poor image quality. Get better images and describe the process for the simulator the same way you did for the cockpit. Don’t ever put something in your book that you need to apologize for. I like the fact that your work is different from a lot of the cookie cutter student projects (i.e. apple something redesigns, cell phones, power tools, personal trans, etc…) that I’ve seen. I would show breadth but also continue to celebrate what makes you different. Good luck and nice work.

Thank you very much for the advice and kind words. I’ve taken your suggestion and added photos/redid all the descriptions in the Simulator project. Unfortunately I can’t get better pictures though (away in England, and I don’t have pictures of the construction process on anything other than my iPhone - we were rushing so much we literally didn’t have time to take good pictures with a decent camera). Is it any better now?