Mid/Senior Portfolio Review

I’m looking for a quick bit of feedback on the current state of my portfolio as unfortunately, Covid-19 has meant the virtual shut down of my industry for the last 3 years and we’ve entered into redundancy proceedings.

The reality I’m facing is there won’t be many design jobs available however wanted to share my current portfolio as it’s been a while since I’ve had to put it out. I’d say I’m currently middleweight and was in the process of starting to work with my manager to make a personal development plan to transition into a senior role. I’ve been lead on a few projects and have quite a lot of work in the archives that don’t make for compelling storytelling but are always available to showcase at interview through photos/renders etc. I’ve been involved in full-cycle product development from early-stage definition, in-depth project planning, costing and risk management, sector requirements, design for manufacture, communicating with suppliers (also model makers) and presenting to internal and external stakeholders.

There is always a lot of focus on grad/junior folios but when you move up the chain I don’t really know how to best present my skills. I’ve never been much of a flash sketcher (my username was meant to be an inspiration to change that years ago) but can pump out decent enough to communicate my ideas and excel in other areas.

This is the long-form PDF version (apologies for Google Drive). I used to have a website but took it down when I got settled in my current role as I didn’t see an ROI at the time (using Squarespace).

REMOVED PORTFOLIO LINK. Happy to share, send a PM if you want to review! Thanks

May only leave this available to view for a bit, happy to send over to anyone that is kind enough to want to offer feedback though if you see a missing link!

Just a couple of things

  • The portfolio is too jumpy - organize by client/employer or chronology

  • Get rid of the mostly blank title pages, make them more important or integrate the title into the description.

  • Edit, edit, edit - I think a bit too long.

Also, as your website no longer exists, edit your profile to remove the link - bad form to click and arrive at a dead spot.

Thanks Dan, removed the website…forgot it was still listed here!

I must admit that I have always struggled with self-editing my work. Worry being I’m not showing enough of the right thing or what I would remove someone else would respond well to.

Is it wise to layout by employer/chronologically? I’ve done it this way to grab attention and show variety with best work first and last and the middle being a filling. I’m proud of work done in 2015 but don’t want it to be the opening project or the last one…

Can remove the title pages, I’ve done it this way because in days gone by I’d get this physically printed to bring on interviews and those pages act as nice breaks.

Hi David,

I didn’t think it was too long at all. I prefer to see more work rather than less personally. It gives more insight into the person.

I do think the title slides are not working for you. They see really dull and flat. I suggest putting the title text directly over the image, and editing those “brief” paragraphs down to the length of a tweet.

Konica project, first render: what is the product? The wall, the chair? oh the printer… it doesn’t feel like the focus of the image. A little cropping and a vignette in photoshop would help it out I think… also, can’t see the sketches, which makes me assume the sketches are bad. Don’t let that be the take away from hiring managers.

Second airline project… feels a lot like the first airline project… I’d differentiate them together or group them.

Tupperware projects is good, but I don’t think strong enough to end with. Those sketches could be stronger.

Otherwise I think you have a lot of solid work cleanly presented. I’d edit the text down a bit. I hope some of this is a bit helpful.

Thank you for taking a look, Michael! I appreciate the feedback.

I didn’t realise the title pages could be such a pain point, they were just there to ease the transition and provide a break between projects. Will look in to combing them somehow in the brief page and reduce the text on those while I’m at it.

Noted about the hero render on the printer, will work into making that pop and be more clear.

Appreciate what you’re saying regarding the airline projects. Will work to differentiate them as they are targeting two different markets. First is long-haul wide-body aircraft where a passenger is stuck for 10+ hours. Second is no-frills, low-cost carriers for a 2-5 hour flight. Designed to be bare-bones whilst still being comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. Unfortunately, I’d only just completed the first project prior to the world locking down so all I have is photos and renders with all the process work back in the office which I won’t be able to get to for a while.

Regarding the sketches, always been my pain point. I’ve only worked in places where this sort of sketching is the norm, quickly thrown together in a notebook or drawing over photos/renders to perfect the form mainly being presented within the design team and sometimes to stakeholders as the vast majority of my experience has been in-house. The intention was to keep it a bit more raw and true to how I normally work as sometimes it really has been a product evolving from a quick sketch on a scrap bit of paper between colleagues.

Anyway, I’m glad you like the work nevertheless. I’m really pleased that I’m at a point where the bulk of my book is now products in production rather than just concepts and renderings so hoping this is also positive for a hiring manager in the future!