OSU Design Class Portfolio - Sophomore

I’m looking for some feedback/comments/constructive criticism for a portfolio documenting my first studio design class. I am currently a sophomore at OSU’s ID program and this is a class where we are introduced to general studio work (ID+VC+interior students all together). These were almost all weekly assignments. The actual class portfolio was done in about a 1.5 weeks. The audience is really only the OSU design professors (probably ID only, many whom I have not had classes with yet). Some of my own observations on improvement:

  1. Title page could use some graphic to perhaps hint at what the portfolio is about content-wise through some visual reference (perhaps of my work or perhaps something more subtle).
  2. All the pictures are photos (except for the digital works done in Illustrator) … I probably need to scan in all my works to get cleaner images.
  3. I do like some of the photographed pages that were Photoshop cropped around to make it look like it was more 3D/physical object. I’ve seen in ID books/portfolios that some ppl have their sketchbooks/moleskins photographed (?) and then Photoshop cropped on a white background which looks quite nice rather than scanning in just the image.
  4. Part of the assignment was to show documentation and process … I really need to take photos of my work as I go along and not at the end of the quarter. I could do a better job telling the story of the process as well.
  5. How is the grid layout? Does it make sense? Most of my classmates stuck to a strict grid for every single page bc that’s what our teacher strongly suggested. A few were more free flowing.
  6. I would have liked to have an intro page to tell the reader what this class is all about and maybe introduce myself (but since the audience is other design professors, they know about this class already … plus my instructor told me not to put it in). If I did have such a page, where should it go? In the very beginning before the table of contents? Or just after the table of contents? Or at the very end?
  7. Is this class portfolio not suitable to show to prospective internships? I would like to get a design, preferably ID-related internship this coming summer, but I hear it’s very uncommon (at least at OSU) because our first ID-specific classes start spring quarter. I think internship apps/openings have already begun as well. This is really the extent of my work so far in ID (besides random sketches).

Thanks! Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Ok, I don’t seem to be getting much feedback. I posted this on reddit in their design_critiques subreddit and the few comments that were made mostly stated that it was too wordy (and there was some informal wording), which I agree with.

Hopefully you have downloaded and read through. http://portfoliohandbook.com/ If not, I recommend doing so as I’ll repeat a few things from there.

1.) Title page. Off the bat first thing I see is Design 251. What does that mean? Cool if its a project assignment. But it’s your portfolio. Convey some personality or design philosophy with it.

  1. Table of content. I usually care less about this. Not going to read it, I’ll just tab through the pages. If your going to have it, make it visual.

Projects. Sketches could be cleaned up and made bigger. Your showing off your work. All you work and images are smaller than the descriptions of the project. Again people will not read hug blocks of text. Visually show your process. If you haven’t figured it out. Everything needs to be visual.

  1. Yeah, I agree that I need to show more of my personality on the title page or at a minimum show something that tells the viewer what this booklet contains inside.
  2. Table of contents was a requirement, but I am wondering, do senior ID portfolios usually have them? If organization is important, I’d expect a table of contents to be necessary (especially if you have say 5+ project to showcase).
  3. I agree that sketches need to be more prominent and not semi-thumbnails. Do you have any suggestions on what size this class portfolio should have been (I emphasize that this is a class portfolio, not a senior ID portfolio, and the real life audience are OSU design professors)? I printed this out on 8.5"x11" landscape because I had a hard time figuring out what was an appropriate size. Just by looking around at random senior ID portfolios, most seem to be at least a little larger. It seems like even if I cut down on text, there isn’t enough space for the sketches/process photos (the three responses/prompts were mandatory but I admit I probably wrote more than most of my classmates).

Finally, it seems like a class portfolio like this one has some differences from a senior ID portfolio … but there are definitely commonalities and things to learn in this portfolio that will help me with my senior ID portfolio two years from now. I did take a quick look at the UC handbook before I started this project and it’s really amazing! I think I need to just invest more time into the portfolio and work on/mess with it to get a better product in the end.

I think you covered most of what I would start on in your own critique of it. Scanning would make a huge difference. Grid is good but might want to mix it up and perhaps have one full page of sketches perhaps.


You seem to have a good understanding of whats needed. Just need to implement it.

Class Portfolio, Senior Portfolios, Process books, Final Presentation Plots, all should be treated very similar. Each are trying to tell a story. Whether is a story about process, your skill sets, or whatever they all get treated very similarly. You can grab inspiration from all these.

Do you find any advantage of photographing sketches at all? I often see graphic designers and IDers showcase their moleskins, photographed I think, on white backgrounds with the pages/edges/bookmarks/etc (perhaps Photoshopping out the edges if there are artifacts). I’m guessing either way is fine as long as the actual sketches are clear. So photographing with the edges to give sketches/sketchbooks a more physical feel should be fine as long as the sketches are as easy to look at and understand as if they were scanned?

Sain and rkuchinsky: Thanks for the feedback!

I would stick to scanning for now.