Old-School Portfolios

Priority Design, a product design firm based in Ohio, posted a page on their site describing their Old-School Portfolio review. The employees were invited to bring in and share their college portfolios. Everyone from the company president through designers to model makers, with varying years of professional experience under their belts, participated. The portfolios showed a different face of the employees than what most of them knew.

Below is a random image from my college days:

Approximate date - 1994. Note the small size, and GIF format - screens were 640 X 480 back then! Now I am a partner at Core77 - who would have known?

How about some some other old scool posts? Include your current position.

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This is not my design. This sketch I did for a presentation board at the begining of a sophmore project. It was a redesign project. I’ve always liked those watercolor architecture renderings, so I tried to give this old popcorn popper that look. I think I did a good job. It also enhances that retro-70’s look.

My professor told me about the ‘popcorn pumper’, “someone thought this looked hot enough to approve at sometime”. Indeed.

I’m currently a freelance designer with two years experience. I’ve designed skates, car audio equipment, coffee dispensing machines and a few other things.

Circa 1994…

My first ever 3D model and rendering!!! Alias version 5, SGI Indigo circa 1994

My first 3D rendering ever - freshman or sophmore (?) year of college, ca. 2001 (I haven’t been at this too long!). Modeled it in Rhino in my spare time; taught myself Rhino for fun. lol. I’ll have to see if I can find any of my early hand renderings.

back in the old country, we would render at the farm, now we have whole ‘render farms’…ahhh, how times have changed
an old stereo illustration i did back in college, all traditional media

digging this one up… Just came across some pics I took a while ago of my old portfolios. Who else got.

@Mr-914 can you believe this was almost 20 years ago when you posted here!

Here’s my first, second and third year portfolios…



Many of you know I founded a small firm in 2007, specializing in two areas. My side consists of research/ design/ development & manufacturing while my partner’s side is marketing strategy and communications. Our team members are located here in the States, in the EU and in the Far East. We are one of those rare one-stop-shops.
My portfolio was built in 1994 (29 years ago…wtf).
For you kids out there, PCs had become mainstream to only the wealthy. Our schools PC lab consisted of two giant super-computer looking towers with ridiculously deep monitors. They only ran a rudimentary ACIS modeling package designed by one of our professors (just after I graduated I heard they bought one of the first seats of Solidworks v1). The tower desktop I had in my apartment was huge, slow and expensive but my sweet dot-matrix printer was state of the art.
Everything was still analog, and our portfolios were truly ‘built’ and needed to be lugged around from interview to interview. My ID program at CCS emphasized creative presentations.
My apologies for the massive number of images but the storytelling was important!

I vac-formed a rolling handled case suitable as a checked bag for flights (you can guess the scale by the size of that top handle - it’s a BIG case):

Then each project was put into a portable showcase of sorts. We varied short and long ‘stories’ to keep a viewers attention.

A sculpted camera concept:

Summer independent study - a hydrogen fuel cell powered, hydroformed framed, plastic bodied sport ute. Funny enough this is what got me my first corporate job, at GM.

A folding interactive treadmill:

A study in minimalizing the aesthetic shell of a product, in this case a cordless phone:

An expandable interior light suitable for everything from small closets & kitchens, to garages & hallways, etc. The geometry of the plugsthat allowed lengthening the lights formed an unfortunate pattern that wasn’t noticed until last year when I lugged this out for a few students - the first time it had been unearthed since 1996:

As I look back on this I think, ‘Wow that was cheesy and not particulaly good’ but it got me my GM job in 1995 and then my Black & Decker job in 1996 so I suppose it served its purpose!


Oh man! “Boards” are so ID! I totally forgot about that. haha. I love the case too.

I also always tried to “package” my portfolios back in the day, but not quite as huge. I often made multiples of packages to mail-in when applying for job. (Wow, that just sounds so old fashion now)

Here’s my post grad portfolio package. Complete with “trading cards” and gum inside. I thought the gimmick would be memorable I suppose, not that it really had anything to do with anything.

The individual pages were color printed and laminated to PS sheets. I remember each one cost me something like $40 to print and another $20 to mail.


:heart_eyes: :star_struck:

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Y’all make me feel young again. Not only with digging up Stu’s post from a million years ago (waves) but also talking about stuff I recognize ;p Lovely, thank you!

Lemme see what I have in this hard drive to share from prehistory. Circa 1991 or 2, memory dims and I can’t recall but it was already September or October, that much I remember, when I spotted the call for proposals in the newspaper for a design studio to assist in prototyping a full body fairing for a moped - styling work. The boys at work (everyone in this photo with a moustache) were over the moon at the thought of this opportunity, so my job was to pull the proposal and pitch together and send it off in reply to the ad. We not only got shortlisted but we won the project from Hero Puch (related company to Hero Motors, now defunct as a stand alone brand). Seen on the wall behind us are the original concept sketches, rendered painstakingly by hand.

The studio was known as Whisper Design Pvt Ltd, in New Delhi. The founders were all graduates of the product design program at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad graduating circa 1989-1990, the year I was in the program after my engineering degree (only 10 people offered a place after three rounds of admissions processes, but full scholarship with stipend from the Ministry of Industry. I was the only girl in the department the year I joined). One founder (with the afro looking hair) was from Visual Communications.

I was the first designer to build a professional marketing and communication function (job description) and program for a design studio in India, and also the first person to professionalize customer relationships from first contact through to payments and contracts closure. Only around the early 2000s, at ID IIT Chicago did I realize that what I was doing was rudimentary design planning and the fuzzy front end as I went back and forth building cognitive bridges between clients and designers.

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You sir win the CoreBoards for the day.


This thread has intertwined with the other “what do you do with good/old work” so that I now resolve to memorialize my old s**t here, and finally burn the whole pile in the next bonfire.


I think this is a remarkable feat given the time and place.


Our biggest challenge was making the case for original design. Back then, Indian manufacturers found it easier and cheaper to just buy blueprints of older model products from abroad. This was just before the market “liberalized” and opened up. People did not see the value of paying for “intangible” stuff or ideas. Respect for IP was non-existent.

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Wow @Generatewhatsnext ! Next level!

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You reminded me how expensive those were! We had a Kinko’s on Woodward Avenue that was always packed with CCS students.

I did a lot of rubdowns for that portfolio and the product models - those were crazy expensive as well!

This is how it used to be done. God help you with a loaded carousel presentation and you got a slide upside down, back to front, or both….

(edit) Adding Mad Men reference


“It’s not a wheel. It’s a carousel.” So awesome

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@slippyfish one of the best episodes. I was at frog when that episode came out and we dissected it from the standpoint of how to give a client presentation :rofl: … it’s been long enough, I should probably rewatch the entire series.



I used to watch it on the plane to ORD, get psyched up to talk to the sugar-water purveyors.