Ooh, ooh.. do me, do me !!

It wouldn’t be wise to pass up an oportunity for free insightfull critique
SO what do you think? Feel free to say anything.

Don’t want to p on your parade but your portfolio needs more work, consider things like you’ve used the same blue border on two different peices of work. Think what does this say to potential employers? You’re visually lazy? You can’t be bothered to come up with a different backgorund for different pieces of work? When’s the next interview? What’s for lunch today? These things will go through their minds, believe me.

On the plus side, there’s some nice 3d skills there, maybe you should pursue that side, but back it up with sketches, we lovvve to see sketches!

Hmm… thanks for the comment. Anyone else?
The presentation of my portfolio on Coroflot is not the best possible. Agreed.
The thing is, I find it hard that people will hire someone based on an internet portfolio.
About interviews… well I disagree, since I won’t be showing them my coroflot portfolio. (It is just a small sample of it… (old, grad portfolio))
How about my presentation says that I won’t waste time on graphic layout when I could be spending their money on developing design solutions? Meeting with suppliers… so on.
Fun fact: I’ve had 3 interviews for design positions, had 3 design jobs… following those interviews… 3 for 3… luck? i don’t think so.
Neverthe less, I was expecting negative, constructive comments for my post. Which is exactly what you provided, so thank you. Again, accepting all comments so keep them coming.

Artur, are you really looking for a crit or some props? You seemed to jump on Joe when he gave his feedback so let me know. I’ve got a few things for you, but I want to make sure you want to hear it.

The presentation of my portfolio on Coroflot is not the best possible. Agreed.
The thing is, I find it hard that people will hire someone based on an internet portfolio.

I have been granted 4 interviews based on my corefolio. First one I was in the top 3 for the job. Second wasn’t something I was interested in doing. 3rd, too wierd to talk about. 4th, just had my first interview last week. This position will require at least 2 interviews.

So yes your corfolio is important. Only 1 out of the 3 actually went to my website and checked out more samples (this was #4.) Put your best foot forward or don’t bother.

Yo - looking for an honest opinion, whatever that may be.
mostly crit than props. I know what are my strenghts. (I know what some of my weaknesses too) just want to learn something from this all.
Joe, sorry if I seemed to jump on you for your crit. Didnt mean to.
Laureng - not that they wouldn’t look at it, rather that they won’t hire you based on it. perhaps I’m wrong.

I;m not taking anything personaly, unless it was meant that way.
So crit the portfolio, not me.


I disagree…
the focus is on the product design ability…not on a broad scope of graphic layout designs. Providing a single layout design communicates a stronger marketing message to a potential employer than various layouts.

Simply put, having an organized layout that is carried throughout the entire portfolio looks more professional. Look at web-sites architecture and how they communicate information with an exciting feel/ design language.

About your core77 portfolio…
If I were you, I would try to develop a stronger layout presentation. Your current layout looks too much like an AutoCAD template for orthographics. You are on the right track with the blue layout mentioned, but make it more dynamic so that there is a better hierarchy of information communicated. Use the same layout design theme with your other projects.

In addition, I’m not liking the photograph of your gallery presentation, the photograph is so-so quality…I think the most interesting aspect of the photo are the prototypes on the table. But…due to the angle, I don’t get a good view.

Portfolio’s require as much work as one of your design projects…have fun, good luck!

They will not hire you based only on it, however I would disclude you based on it. If I had a designer submit this link with his/her resume and sampler, I would want to see that they put 100% into it and everything that they present. Perhaps I am a bit fickle, but I want a designer who gives 110% to everything they touch; whether it is a ground breaking new product or a press release detailing the accomplishments of the firm. If the designer presents 10 great items, and one item that shows it lacks in time and effort, that person goes on the B pile.

Personally I would like to see more process and less presentation layouts. Since you have had 4 jobs, you should know by now that designers are hired for their communication and thinking skills; their design skills are simply a means to communicate their thinking and problem solving abilities.

I like the second image, as it shows various process steps over a variety of projects.

However, you layouts bother me and I cannot put my finger on it just yet. I do feel you need to supply more process sketches, page full of exploration sketches for a project. For me the most successful candidates are the ones who have portfolios that I can look through without them saying a word, and still see and understand their individual methodology and design process. I have even hired one designer who had 10 pages of process sketches and only three full renderings. He knew Pro and SWX but only showed one page with a model from each program on it. No fancy layout, no wordy descriptions of products, just a strong presentation of his thought process and the tools he uses to communicate it.

I agree that a portfolio with a uniform layout, or lack of a deffined Graphic layout work the best for showing that you put effort and thought into the overall presentation. However none of the layout presented here are working. They all utilize too much of the page for the layout graphics, taking away from the information and thought process of designing the product…which is what you want to emphasise…correct?

Focus on the process and depicting how you think and how you work. Then develop a layout that emphasises this, while not overpowering the information, or distracting from it. Over designed layout draw the attention and focus, too often making the interviewer forcus on the graphic layout…and no ID grad can cut the mustard in GD with good GDers so it is always a loosing battle, IMO.

quick example of an effective yet uniform layout


But still not enough process shown…

Thanks ML.
These are the kinds of replies I was looking for Thanks everyone, I am still waiting for Yo’s comments.
I’ve had 3 jobs… not 4 that’s a misread, but that’s allowed.
I did pick up some new things here.

ML just curious, what’s your company?

I am not showing design process in Coroflot portfolio because I do not intend to. That was a thought through decision. I am not trying to defend my corefolio.

Thanks again and keep’em coming.

I am the lead designer (over 3 others currently) for a consulting firm utilized by some big hitters in the medical, surgical, sporting goods, and ceiling fan industries. No names…might get caught loafing…

I am courious as to why you descided not to show process!?!? This is both puzzling and concerning to me as hireing is mainly based on thought process, and ability to communicate this.

If you are set against showing process then:

  1. show either individual skills one image of ideation sketches, one of refined concept sketches, one of detail drawings, one of physical models, and one of CAD models. These images should be colloges of the speciffic skill not a single image. Only exception should be the detail drawing. I was recently offered a possition with another firm based on such a portfolio, however offered @ 20k less than currently making.

2.Other option would be to post presentation images of 5 finished projects, with background images of some of the steps leading up to the final presented concept. Commonly what you would expect to see if you were a design client shopping the net for a design firm. This approach will mandate that you have a strong command over presentation image composition, and image manipulation, as well as great final concept photography or renderings. Both of which are not illustrated by your current image set.

The market is competative, and eventhough you will have added consideration due to experiance (Also not illustrated here, only one sign company) you will need to demonstrate your thinking, problem solving and communication skills during either the interview of brief 2-4 week trial period. The 3rd designer I hbrought on last week was hired out of school over an aplicant with 5 yrs experiance becuase her communication and thought process was much more defined and represented through her portfolio, mailer, and Flash based video presentation. The other designer simply had photographs of the final products or prototypes Then when asked to provide process sketches he pulled out these highly refined marker renderings. Said he never needed to create concept sketches becuase he always worked his designs out in his head before he began to put it on paper. BIG MISTAKE, and just begging for failure.

My reason for not posting the development here is close to the #2 in your explanations. Except this is an ‘old’ portfolio. Started in 2nd year (just to hold the spot) and updated after graduation (like a week after). I basically just threw in some presentation boards along with some pictures. The main criteria for selecting waw: can I make it small enough to upload and still be readable and can I make it fast enough, not to spend a lot of time adjusting…
I tried plugging files, but they were too big. These were pretty much the ones that stuck. Ofcourse I did pre-select which projects I would post at first.
Not to end up with some of my not-so-favorite. There’s one which I would post but the idea is very good for an OEM not to snatch it up. (greed :slight_smile:)
I will be re-making my corofolio some time in the beginning of next year. just wanted comments.

And on the note of " I solve problems in my head"… that is truely bad, unless he’s a genius. But I too ‘solve problems in my head’, there’s no other place to solve them, only I draw diagrams and really ortho views… most drawings are for myself to help ME visualize, forsee, discriminate, archive (sort of). But I do not take time to render them out, not only to make them pretty, but even presentable. They’re good enough for me… thats it. I do sketch and render for presentations for the purpose of communication of an idea. Maybe that’s what he meant? I am like that too I guess. (there’re still enough process sketches which are presentable to be put in my portfolio though)

Use photoshop (or fireworks for you Macromedia users), and optimise the images for the web:
save as a jpg with 72 dpi, and around 725-750 pixle width. Will work and you will have enough storage for all five images. Also make smaller thumbnail images think the size is 124x64 but not possitive, it will say when you upload the images.

If you truely have had three possitions you can see the idiocracy in this statement, as this is highly unlikely. Or you have never had the pleasure of working with inventors to develop and try marketing the concepts to OEMs. Even if you do have the next best thing to sliced bread, you do not have the $100’s thousands it would take to bring a product to market successfully. Just use it as a portfolio peice. I have 3 of my student projects, entered in competitions yet never received even an honorable mention award, on the market from various manufactures…2 lighting and 1 modular desk system primaraly for the dorm room.

So you have little experiance collaborating in ideation sessions with clients, other designers, engineers, marketing, and target consumers to rapidly work through and begin to develop multiple solutions that you will prove out through the following development phases. This is why the rapid, clear, and ledgible visual thought process is key. You need to beable to on the spot visualize, on paper, what marketing, engennering, managment, and the end-users are trying to describe. Or in my firms more specific case working with surgeons, and researchers to develop effective and precise ergonomic interfaces and devices were an incorect interpretation or ill-placed style line can be the difference in life or death.

Doing the work in your head does nothing for the design process, except force you into the situation of designing in a vacume so to say…no live realtime interaction/collaboration.

This leads me to ask, do you currently work with others on your designs or are you the sole designer, simply passing off your designs to engineering? I mean no disrespect by asking this. It is a viable question pertaining to the bi-partison enviroment of the ID field of late. One side is stuck doing “solo” or “Serial-Design” with no colaberative effort between departments and no intention on doing so. While the firms who are experianceing strong growth are focussing more on the integrated development team approach, which in-turn requires the designers to illustrate (legibly) on paper as they are thinking the concepts through.

Yes you’re right. I work, and have been for most part as a solo. And when I worked with another designer we had our own language of commnication we got each other with simple lines, but that may be because we were working on the same products in the same direction, we did presentation quality sketches to the outside-of-design people. (Although school team projects I never had trouble communicating, but maybe again its because we were all seeing the same goal).

As for my super cool idea… that;s why there’s a smily face right after that sentence… i.e. to be taken lightly. But since you’re wondering. I guess my true reason is because I like it too much, it’s my favorite, and I wouldn’t like someone looking at it without me being there. Not that all my designs are like that, this just feels special. (it’s like personal poetry that you wouldn’t want floating around the internet, but you would share with people you trust/apreciate.).

About resolution, as I said, I wanted something quick ad readable (without a lot of explanation). I will get a nicer portfolio, just you wait and see :wink:.

About your ‘lost’ (term used loosely) products , that sucks. But since you’re sharing, i’ll share too. I didn’t win, but got artistic award for this:
Internet Ray Tracing Competition Results for September-October 2004 competition. Not to parade around, as Joe Blogger refferred.

And JoeB. was on to something, I mainly do 3d modelling now. I do some original concepts from time to time but then I still schematic-sketch for myself and render-sketch for others.

Thank you for this insightful discussion and your valuable point of view ML.

About your ‘lost’ (term used loosely) products , that sucks. But since you’re sharing, i’ll share too. I didn’t win, but got artistic award for this:
Internet Ray Tracing Competition Results for September-October 2004 competition. Not to parade around, as Joe Blogger refferred.

I do not see them as lost, justy produced for me. I draw pride and comfort knowing that I was on to that Idea, and have my predating protfolio work to back me up. As for the artistic merit, that is not impressive, I have seen much better come from SWX and PRO, with 10-20 min of scene set-up. Looks very introductory to me. Sorry but being honest.

Once you become more open to comments and suggestions repost, I am simply giving suggestions in terms of what many hireing design firms are looking for. Team player who can sketch and think on their feet. Cad skills are great, but being shipped over to india and china due to $10-$20 hour bill rate.

I am sorry to hear that you are currently locked into a CAD jockie possition converting other designers work into CAD. This is one of the fasted ways to loose out on design opertunities, as you begin to loose focus on the key tools of the designer, our hands and minds. My honest recomendation if you want to be a designer in the evolding design scene, get out of the CAD jockie arena it is a no win situation. I am 2.5 yrs out of school, heading up a 6 person design team (4 designer and 2 MEs, with most true CAD work being conducted in our off-shore offices…as you will see more and more mid to large size firms doing in the next few months, and 10 products on the market as lead designer), and pulling down slightly more than 75k.

Trust me CAD is a tool that we need to have in our box of tricks, but it must never become our main tool, too many young designers come out of school thinking that because they are hot-shit in alias, they will find work. Now they are on here pissing and moaning about not finding their first job.

Personally your answers are mimiking many designers who I have interviewed, who mearly do not have a solid understanding of the foundation skills…rapid (clean) sketching, group brainstorming, believable perspectives, and anunderstanding of materials and processes. Thenthey find it nessissary to constantly justify thier reasons for not having a strong portfolio or one laking certain key elements, as you have been doing here and YO pointed out to start with.

Personally I cannot wait to see your new core site, and would not mind seeing your actual e-mailer or pdf sampler. So far I have not heard or seen anything that would spark my interest in calling you in for an interview.

Again I may sound/come off as harsh, but I am simply offering my thoughts. Remember your audiance (perspective employers) will give any resume/sample 30 secs if nothing sparks an interest…it is filed…never to be looked at again.


Couple of things:

1] you want people to crit this portfolio, but then when they do your response is that it is old stuff.
Do you want me to crit a bunch of old stuff? [waste of time]
Do you want potential employers to judge you on old stuff? [not good]
This corefolio is all people will know about you, is this what you want to communicate to them

2] all of the work is solid good, but I don’t see anything GREAT. From what I can see in the samples I think you have the ability to do it though. At least one of those slides should be something GREAT, something that a potential employer will really remember

3] form work is a bit sophmoric, work on developing a more sophisticate form sensibility.

4] axe the graduation exhibit stand, too studenty and unprofessional

5] exploded view not getting you anything.

I just keep getting frustrated, like I’m trying to look into the graduation exhibit to see what else you’ve got. I can see on that slide you’ve got better, more intresting projects. Put up some current stuff and you’ll get a more accurate read.

All good advice, I think you’ve got something out of us here, now go and get that design job!

yes indeed, apreciate all of your comments.

From a PM:

What I meant by the exploded view not getting you anything is that it is visually unrelated to any design project. If you showed a bunch concept sketches, an awesome presentation 2d rendering of a compelling design, a sweet model and then an exploded view, all of the same project, you would have something, and the assembly would be the icing on the cake, the sauce for the goose, the gravy on the turkey. Right now it’s just gravy and some side dishes you got in there buddy, you need some meat.

I might post some of this in the forum if you don’t mind, I think it is good stuff. Thank you for posting your work, you are right, you will learn more, and faster by subjecting yourself to other people’s opinions. It can be difficult, and they are not allways right ( Iknow I’m wrong to some degree at least 90% of the time) but it is a smart thing to do.