My ID Portfolio:

Hello everyone,

I just graduated and I can’t seem to find any ID jobs. What the heck is going on? Can some of you guys look at my work and give some feedback?
Everyone at school tells me it’s awesome.



One of you biggest problem in this site is that the is no design process shown. I can see that you are a great artist but the on thing I don’t get is that you are a great designer. I need to see sketches and sketch models and just how you think when it comes to design. Design isn’t only about creating pretty products its about solving problems and we don’t see any of that in you site. Also talk your site on as a design project as well. Make it look like a designer did it.

My 2 cents…

All my teachers say I am great, why am I having such trouble with employment. I think my web site looks great by the way.

My name is Nick and I just use the screen name “jerrymouse”

What do you mean “solving problems?”


My website is great… Everyone thinks I’m great! Lets start with a bit of modesty.

My first comment would be that your work isn’t really industrial design oriented.

Yes, I’m in agreeance with GHarvey_ID and Package ID…

First, modesty is a huge part of it. Mnay employers will completely ignore you if you walk in the door saying, “I’m great, everyone thinks I’m awesome” In fact your rather confident comments and reiteration of your screename almost makes me think that you want to get flamed by someone, or you are posting someone else’s work to get them flamed. Call me cynical, but people do that…regardless I comment assuming you are genuine, as I hope you are…

Look, Towson University is just a small part of the world of design… you need to take a look out there at your competition. Just because your classmates enjoy your work, that doesn’t mean the rest of the I.D. world or your employer will. Sad to say but just because you have been through school and done some projects, that won’t get you jobs. You have to be better than the other people who want the job you do.

As a senior in Industrial Design, you should have a website that shows you are a senior in Industrial Design. If you are directing your potential employers to your site, you need to show them you care enough to make a site that can really stand up against your other competition. Its a decent first attempt for a site, but you need to go looking for some inspiration and redesign the site… things are scattered, the images, while good, aren’t big enough to show detail. The sound that plays is not very appealing from a design standpoint either, you’d be better off taking it out.

In addition, Package ID has a very solid point, you have to show the process. You didn’t just make those things in one try. You did sketches, trials, you did the project in stages, you need to document that. Its imperative in the business world to show that you know how to solve problems thrown at you (for example, the see through drawer project you did didn’t just appear, you had to work on it through a process, show that). Also, you only have three drawings, and GHarvey stated, its not really I.D. oriented. First, you are going for a job, don’t put high school work in there, even if its amazing, or at least don’t tell them that. An industrial designer needs to show that they can draw in LARGE quantities. I’ve heard that some Industrial Designers pump out like 50 sketches a day… (probably an exaggeration in some cases, but 20 is at least the minimum…). By only putting three up there its like saying, “I don’t draw a lot” or rather “I don’t draw well enough and fast enough to produce large quanities of images for my employer” Now while its evident you have skills to draw fairly well, you gotta show you can do quality and quantity.

I gotta stress, you really need to show the Industrial Design work, a lot of your work seems like Fine Arts with a bit of an Industrial Design twist. Look, don’t take mine, or the two other commenters above comments as ridicule. You asked for critiques, and we are going to be honest to help you become a better Industrial Designer. You obviously have some decent 3D hand modeling skills and some drawing skills, you just need to focus them. Go get a book on web design and start tweaking the site, go look at other designers websites for inspiration. Or, just ignore the site all together gather your best work and make a small portfolio and post it to coroflot, you may have better luck. Really re-evaluate your work and polish its presentation, take some cues from the comments above and the comments of the other posters. Don’t be afraid to change, designers do that.

Good Luck


What do you mean “solving problems?”


I mean that is what ID is all about. We solve problems in creative ways and you have to show that you are a problem solver. ID isn’t only about style. I am a package designer but I am not just designing a pretty box with nice graphics, I am designing an experience for the consumer. This includes the way it is merchandised the way it talks to the consumer, the way it fits on a retailer’s shelf, etc… But to accomplish this there are a lot of “problems” that have to be solved. We have to figure out what the consumer wants, what the retailer will accepts, and so on.

When you get out in the work force you never know what your next project may be. You may end up working for a company that doesn’t have a lot of style in their products, example industrial equipment or medical. But there are a lot of problems around usability and interaction. These companies need to see that you have the skills to think on your feet and solve these problems.


I think your instructors might have ill prepared you for the design world. I browsed through the Towson University website and couldn’t find any information about Industrial Design. At this point, if you would like to become a product designer, the best thing might be to enroll in a school with a dedicated ID program. It is a competitive field. Here are some great examples of student and recent graduate portfolios:

Thank you, yo for mentioning that. I too found it odd that a senior in Industrial Design had a logo for Towson University was rather pixelated/odd quality and it led me to think Towson wasn’t for real. And yes I couldn’t find an Industrial Design major there either. Also, Towson is in Maryland but JerryMouse you claim you are from California. Like I said in my first post, call me cynical…but people do this… I hope you are genuine…

And in agreeance with yo, moving into a dedicated ID program would be your next step…

Has anything I’ve done on my site qualify me for a typical ID job?

What should I tell my instructors, they really believe in me and I don’t want to let them down.


I don’t think we are telling you that you do not have what it takes, I think we are telling you that you need to show us your thought process. We can’t tell you that you have “it” without seeing what is going on in you head when you are designing a new product. This is what seperates a designer from a craftsman.

Does your school have a real ID program??? This is something you should have learned in your first year. Secondly, Instructors, family members, and friends are always going to tell you that you are great. It posting your work in forums like this and a showing it at protfolio reveiws is where you are going to get the real answers.

Are people really that better than me? I mean no place I apply to will even respond. The wood sculpture shows my innovative form ability, and the drawings show my sketching ability. I just don’t get it. Please Help…

Hi Nick,

I mainly work with Sr. Designers, but would love to give my 2 cents, if you don’t mind. I suggest that you put your portfolio on Coroflot. I find it to be very clean and easy to view. Getting a job straight out of school is very hard. You can’t rely on sending a blind e-mail of your resume and portfolio. I suggest that you put together a comprehensive portfolio that shows your concept to completion. Show the progression between your sketches and computer work to the finished products. Then, figure out what type of company you want to work for. Do some research and find out who the Director of Design is and call them directly. It could take 100 calls, but once you get them on the phone sell yourself. Give them a reason to want to look at your portfolio. If they like your portfolio, then you have a chance at an interview. When you send a resume by e-mail, you are basically sitting in line behind thousands of other designers. If your resume does not catch their eye, then you portfolio will not be looked at. Your main goal should be to have the best resume to present your work and then to get someone to look at it. You will not be noticed, unless you make yourself noticed.

dude your an artist not a designer…your web site even states the fact. If you want to become a designer (and work for someone) follow the advise given here. I would also say to go take a brief from a product design competition to kick off your design portfolio.

I think the previous comments all had good points. As far as comments about the actual website layout/design I think it needs work. Portfolio site should be clean, simple and easy to navigate. I think your site would be better if you got rid of the green background, and changed it to something a bit more muted. And the biggest key is continuity. When pictures are floating around like yours it makes it look unprofessional. Like any field, it is important to present yourself as if you are already a professional. Also if your teachers are being that nice, then you MUST NOT be in an ID program, I think we can all understand that. lol

I’m afraid not.

Does your bachelors diploma actually say “Industrial Design?”

I think that you are coming across as cocky. I was in the same boat when I graduated. No job offers and I tried to be confident- and came across as a total douche. I believe at one point that I had the term “brilliant sketcher” in a cover letter- makes me cringe thinking about it.

I dont think that your projects are half bad. Unfortunately pure abtract form development is useless for the most part. As mentioned you need to fill in the back story of the whys of your product. The acrylic shelf has promise as does the “Thing” Addams wine bottle holder- dang I just realized that it was a beer bottle holder- totally different vibe. Perhaps a little abstraction might help.

Get yourself a good camera and set up a decent photo studio. Your images are crap. The website is crap as well. You have a decent portfolio that lost a butt load of credibility with your presentation. Get a corefolio or even a blog.

If your projects are a little short on innovation create addenda to them that might improve them functionally. If you do have a rationale then explain it.
Take out any mention of how awesome your class thought it was. The world is bigger than your class. Have a look around. Is your work really up to the quality of the best folios- not the average-the best. Most of the average guys dont get jobs. Take out any mention of yourself in the portfolio.

Where do you want to work? You have to shift your focus- from yourself to your client/employer. I would not hire you if I thought that you were not willing to learn. Dont be so defensive- if your intent is to get a job then follow the advice that you are getting here- all good so far- except I might not go so far as redoing a degree- are you looking for internships or an entry level position? My suggestion- Internships- get a lot of real world experience. If on the other hand you wish to be an artist- please feel free to pursue your art and develop art that really touches people.

The designers I respect have a distinct personal viewpoint, an understanding of manufacturing techniques, and an empathy with the issues of the user and the client . Using this frame of reference there is not a lot to recommend your work- with the exception of the personal viewpoint and that is coming off as hubris. The personal viewpoint in my opinion needs to be presented sparingly.


Ditch the current website. Redesign it.

Take better photographs. Get your hands on a DSLR camera.

Consolidate all your “teeth” projects into one project, Try and find a rationale for it. What is the reason? What is the resonance you are trying to create? Why teeth? “It is in the eye of the beholder” does not cut it in the design world. The engineer will come in and say “That is too difficult to tool” the marketer says " this is not a dental hygiene project" - immediate death of your concept. So that is why your rationale is so important.

Ditch the drawings section. If you really want to create sketches with those techniques integrate them into your process. For example you could explore some sketches of the drawer in the style of your wineglass canson sketches.

Look at some high end home furnishing/design mags. Look at how work is presented with credibility.

Develop the bottle holder- make it classy not redneck
Show some development work on the acrylic drawers. Good photography will really help this one out.
Finish the walnut chair and present it well

I believe that you have some of the beginnings of a good portfolio. All the encouragement from your peers has given you a false sense of security. Perhaps these board suggestions will help balance things

Good luck

I hate to say so, but I agree with MasterBlaster.

You can’t be a great designer when you’ve only just graduated. Someone needs to tell you you suck.

My teachers let me know I suck, even though I know I don’t really suck that much (when I compare myself to other students). If people always tell you you’re great, you’ll lose your ability to properly reflect on yourself and the will to improve yourself.

The problem is that students think far too local. All of us review work from Moscow to Ahmedabad. Use the class as a frame of reference only if you are not the best. If you are the best in your class then use the best of the web as your reference. Actually you should be doing both at the same time. It seems endemic. Students put on blinders to the rest of the world.

I reckon this guys on a wind up… probably too much time on his hands over the weekend

:slight_smile: Perhaps you are right