I was recently laid off at the end of January and have taken the time since to both apply to jobs and revamp my portfolio. Most of the work featured is from my time in college (I graduated last year), plus a few side projects and freelance work. This is version 6 of it, but I’m always looking to improve it!
Thanks for commenting on my YouTube video and following up by posting here. As I said in the the comment, if you did I would personally take a look at your portfolio.
So, here is my feedback after looking at the links as well as your site. It feels cleanly laid out, and you show process in the link, but the net effect isn’t as memorable as it could be. Is this representative of your current skills in sketch ideation, complex surface modeling, detailing, and rendering? This very much feels like student work still and I think you will need to blow up all of these projects to compete with other professionals who are out their job seeking.
You didn’t post a link to your website here, but there is a link in the google drive presentation. The website feels like industrial design is very much a second or their priority behind photography and video work. That is great if you have a side hustle from photography but I’d consider making it another site. They can be linked, but the main nav should be different in my opinion. I’d also nix the blog. Blogs with one post are always a bit odd. Do you see that as something you are going to be contributing thought leadership to? Who is the audience? That could easily become a time suck. My recommendation would be to focus on bringing the level of the design work up.
My website has been tricky and is still something I’m trying to figure out and is always changing. I definitely agree with what you’ve said! I’ve started creating graphics for each of the design projects on it that are based on the main portfolio. Having a second website to display my other work isn’t possible at the moment since I have paid for a Format website subscription which was a big investment, to begin with. I’ve also removed the blog portion now because of how little I use it (I’m more active on my instagram and network via that)!
As for my current design work, what is in my folio is a true representation of my current skillset. How could I augment them even further though like you have suggested? Would revisiting the sketches and CAD somewhere to start?
I do realize that I don’t have any real-world projects yet because of my path into Design Sales instead of Industrial Design right after graduation last year. There are a few volunteer projects/ personal projects I’m working on during this pandemic to kill time. These range between medical to furniture design and I plan on adding them in once complete.
Again, thank you for your help and input! I appreciate you taking the time! I’ll definitely put it to use in the next version of my folio!
Thanks for the input! I usually send the files via email, but for the purpose of this forum post I linked via Google Drive instead. I also have a copy of it uploaded to Issuu right now, but it does not seem to be working. I’ll reply again once I have this fixed.
To mirror what Michael said, it’s a good layout but it reads as very student and am feeling you could do with an internship or two under your belt. If you can that is and pandemic aside, know it’s not also always feasible financially.
What sort of work are you looking for going forward? Is furniture your thing? I recommend doing personal projects to hone your skillsets. Invest a couple of weeks on each…set out a problem, research, ideate and deliver. It’s what I did in the early days when I was looking for my first full-time position post-graduation. Example, I wanted to design a phone so set a brief of what that phone needed to have and showcased different skills such as market analysis, flat illustrator renderings, CAD & rendering etc.
Oh and finally, I’d recommend removing the Blender doughnut as that is the assignment from a popular YouTube tutorial. It’s fine to follow step by step to learn the skills (I do this) but I wouldn’t showcase it in a portfolio. Idea is to take what you learn and apply it to your own work.
Thanks for your input! As I mentioned earlier, I am working on a few projects to add in that range between medical and furniture design. Those are two fields I’d like to get into as well, especially furniture because of my previous experience working for a Knoll subsidiary.
The job market here in Canada isn’t looking the best from what I’ve seen and heard from fellow designers, especially in terms of internships. I’ve applied to internships with the intent to gain more experience (something I know I need), but nothing has come through in my search yet. That’s not stopping me though and the input you’ve provided is motivating me even more!
Personally, I think you have some fun and varied work and frankly your sketches look better than many of the student portfolios I have seen. There’s always room to improve, but it’s a good start for a recent grad.
Yes, it looks like student work, but you’re also only a year out of school, so I’m not expecting a portfolio jam-packed with recognizable products. I actually got stuck in a loop at an exhibit design job for a couple years out of school because every company I applied to wanted professional product work and I only had school work and exhibit design material. I started doing mini projects at home and eventually accepted an internship (after working a salaried job for two years), but it got me back into the field I wanted.
For me, as always, I want to see more sketching (they’re mainly small and faded out) and less renderings. I think your page layouts & graphic sensibility looks good and your research summaries are nice and engaging. Maybe you could work to flesh out a project with a little more ideation/concept development and some heavy CAD detailing/exploded view, and then trim out some fluff projects to get away from the student vibe. For instance, the skateboard/helmet are not particularly complex to warrant exploded views (even held against your Shift project), plus the skateboard, helmet, and doughnut renderings feel kind of flat and unrealistic to me. I wouldn’t miss it if that whole section got cut out… Even the materials on the Chuck project seem better rendered, so I don’t think it’s necessary to pile on more examples. Feels like filler?
I think you have a good foundation though, so keep plugging away and don’t get discouraged by a terrible job market. You can always try uploading to a free site, like behance, if you need an easier web home-base for your portfolio too.
I do feel the same way about showing more sketches/concept generation and I am going to do so with the mini-projects I’m working on right now. Those will most likely replace the CAD/Blender projects you’ve suggested to cut out.
As for CAD, I had a few viable exploded views of Shift that were saved on my laptop that had an unfortunate run-in with a cup of coffee one day at work a few months ago. I’m using Fusion360 now instead of Solidworks to remedy this (running bootcamp wouldn’t be the best idea on my 7-year-old machine hahah).
In the next few weeks, I’ll have a revamped version of my folio to show on here!
I definitely see a designer shining through your portfolio.
Especially if you are a recent (<1 yr) grad you deserve full credit.
Sure it is student-like; the CAD exercises just beyond basic level, the typos, the hotmail address
But I do enjoy your designerly concept explorations and you show good experience with 3D printing as well.
Your best project to me is the Flare photoframe for Umbra, it is very innovative.
See for future projects also if you can integrate them into a branding / business process.
What I am missing is the analytical proof-of-concept information; experiential user tests, expert input, economic and mechanical/manufacturing feasibility etc. Expanding on your design processes with a more diverse range of competencies will definitely uplift your design thinking and overall approach.