howzabout some constructive criticism?

Planning on updating/spicing up my portfolio for grad-school applications, would really appreciate some tips on layout, presentation, text etc. Its a PDF downloadable from my signature link.

Is a PDF even an acceptable format? I see firms asking for everything from flash files to power points to WORD DOCS. (wtf?)

First- Congrats on even getting this far, too many students fumble the ball with output of work or overdue and show everything. Impressive for someone to take the time to hit the different mediums.

Website- interesting front page- but directed straight to a pdf version of what you’d bring me for an interview… I’d try to add a few standard linked webpages, then have the ability to download this if I wanted to.

Booklet- Interesting layout. Possibly one or two too many projects- or maybe just not highlighted enough. To be honest, the orange font with all those other colors is screaming for something else: charcoal, greys, red… but orange, I don’t know.
Not much in terms of process except for the lamp (impressive by the way), and the chair- but that was mostly construction.
Font size- look at the first page- then the last two pages. Some more cohesion here would be nice.
Random color shapes, are the necessary, or perhaps you could rework them to not look so blocky.

It shows you spent time on your resume- good job, not too over the top, yet simple and READABLE!

I only scanned it quickly to be honest, but some quick thoughts.

Good luck, and good job.

first off, pdf should be fine.

first thing i notice browsing through it (and apparent on the first page) is the use of typography and layout is really whacky. you’ve got all sorts of different font sizes, some paragraphs are full justified, others are left justified, some things (like your name) are on different lines and unreadable.

next thing i noticed is there are no sketches. an absolute must for any design portfolio.

as far as content goes, theres a lot there, but nothing that really captures my attention. lots of small projects, too much text to make the project stand out, and some of the photos you got seem to be really low rez and have a funny fuzzy outline around them from cutting out the background.

look around the coroflot pages for some good examples of content to help tell your design story. would also be nice to have more of a focus in your projects to better understand your interest in a particular industry or project type if you have one.

dont mean to be too hard, but hopefully my comments are constructive and can help you refine it to take it to the next level.


Cheers for the feedback, its much appreciated. Anyone else?

Will be back in a week or two hopefully with a snazzy new layout and some sketches, to be sure!

Get rid of that “picture index” on the last page. If a image needs a caption it should be next to the image. Think of your book as a product, and from a users standpoint thats terrible usability. They read through 15 pages, aren’t sure what something is, then come to that last page and have to flip all the way back to try and figure it out again.

Good use of text and type is essential. Don’t left-right justify the text if half the lines are being hypenated and cut off. Left justify it, or adjust the size of your text block so that the words fit without that issue.

Be consistent and be concise. Designers hate to read. You should be able to describe a project in as little text as possible. Save the in-depth descriptions for when you present your work at an interview.

White space is your friend. Think of your pages in layers, what is the most important thing on each page, and make it stand out as such. It’s not a bad idea to have 1 page of just one or two very strong images (such as a rendering). When you layer so many images on one page it makes them all kind of blend in and recieve equal weight. You don’t want a model you spent 2 weeks on recieving the same amount of attention as one you did in 15 minutes. Your eye likes the chance to breathe and relax, and white space helps you do that.

And as was mentioned sketches are a must…I don’t just want to see the idea you ended up with, I want to see how you got there. Designers equate sketching to thinking. You don’t have to be an artist, but if you can’t slap out a page of ideation sketches it will reflect poorly on your ability to generate ideas.

Hope that helps.