PackageID's portfolio feedback

I am thinking of redoing my portfolio Justin Coble, Design Strategy Lead - Snickers, Twix in Somerville, NJ . I have my own views on what needs to be changed, added, updated, etc… but I thought I would put it out to the forum to see if you guys could give me a bit of feedback. Please feel free to be brutally honest. I can take it!! :smiley: Thanks in advance.

Portfolio:
It appears that some in the packaging pop folder focus more on technical ability than your ability as a designer. I would remove those and consolidate some stuff into that folder.

The salt and pepper shaker series appears to be more about the layout than the actual designs. I would re-order those and remove the current diamond shakers slide from the deck.

Window blind folder looks good just reorder.

I’m not sure about the misc prod folder. Your sketch folder appears to be much stronger and communicates a similar skill set.

I’d consolidate the packaging sketch folder into the other pop/packaging folder.

The graphics folder doesn’t do much for me.

Overall, I think you need to decide on if you want to organize your sets based on skill sets or project attributes.

Profile:
I would rewrite your summary on the top. It should be a quick “elevator speech” on who you are. At the moment, I don’t think it’s bringing any value to the layout. You need to snag the viewer in the first couple lines. Your strongest information needs to be at the vary top and then work your way down. I would move your Core77 involvement down the page or just remove it all together. You could possibly classify it in it’s own catagory instead of under work experience.

Some bullet points under experience are irrelevant or can be consolidated. At most I believe you should have 5 bullets and less as you go back in your work experience. I’d move your education up over skills.

These are just some initial thoughts. If you’d like clarification, just let me know. :wink:

Not so much about your portfolio per se, but if you had anything to do with the Starburst FaveRed concept, my pregnant wife thanks you dearly.

Now that I look at the folio, I’d second Boosted’s comments. Notably the technical ability comments. Perhaps you should create a section based only on technical stuff…

Boosted. Thanks a lot. I have not updated this in a while and I feel the same as you. The portfolio is a bit all over the place that is why I have put it out here. I have a few questions, but I will wait for more feedback and throw them up all at one time.

hahahah…Nah Starburst is now part of Wrigley. We gave them all our sugar stuff after the acquisition. I do know the guy that put all that together, but cannot take credit for it. We have been kicking that concept around for a while.

What do you guys mean by technical ability. Rendering? Thanks!!

Some stuff in your portfolio appear to be already existing packaging formats or environments. So, my take away was that it was done to show your mastery of the software and or technical ability (sketching, etc.).

Got it! thanks and you are right.

Anyone else have any suggestions? I would love to hear everyones feedback!!!

Hi Justin,

A few notes.

  1. The angled images on the portfolio slides kinda irk me. I feel like I keep needing to turn my head. Maybe just less of an angle or maybe just make it horizontal for the large image, and the smaller ones can be on an angle. Maybe just intersperse some more straight slides with those on an angle. Overall maybe just too many angles esp. in the large images where it doesn’t add much.

  2. Maybe it’s because I’m not that familiar with packaging design, but on many of the slides (ie. Dove retirement gift, 3M mint render, Focus and Mojo renders, etc.) I’m not really that clear what part you played in the process (since there is no process shown). Did you redesign the Muskateers logo, do the packaging construction, just the render? Maybe be more clear, or if possible, show process. The process on things like the MM tin show really well and make it very clear, though I still wonder if you did the initial concepts then someone else did the final graphics? Again, perhaps it’s just that I’m not familiar with the industry, but also would guess there are many people involved, so would be good to be clear what your involvement was.

  3. I really dig the blow molded insert thing for the shakers. It changes what could be just a styling exercise to something very functional and innovative. Can you show more of this? I’m guessing it was maybe a school project? Perhaps re-render some images and make the focus on the project about that…The last slide was the only mention of it, and it came as a bit of a (good) surprise.

  4. I didn’t really get what the Outdoor trip planner was all about. Too much text to read it. But the sketches are nice.

  5. Most of the stuff in the Misc Product section I don’t think is as strong as your other work. Would get rid of it all except the MM party things.

  6. Product sketchbook seems a bit all over the place (which I suppose is the point). Better might be to combine a bunch of the random sketches into 2 or 3 collages of “doodles” to show sketchwork. Might be nice to showcase a few pages full of visual interest with a bunch of different products, etc. Maybe one page digital, the other analog.

  7. Same with POP and packaging sketchbook. Individually the sketches are not as strong as they could be, but I think if collaged could look good. Sorta like this (doesn’t need to be monotone) -


7. Agreed, lose the graphics section. Not that strong.

  1. CV- Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer past tense in describing job functions. ie. instead of “Design new products…” “Designed new products”… for some reason the present sounds really odd, esp. for past jobs.



    R

R, thanks for the feedback. I was hoping you would take the time to give me a critique. I thought I would come in a give my own view and a bit of a self-critique as well as comment on some of the points you made. Please let me know if you all agree.

  1. The angled images on the portfolio slides kinda irk me. I feel like I keep needing to turn my head. Maybe just less of an angle or maybe just make it horizontal for the large image, and the smaller ones can be on an angle. Maybe just intersperse some more straight slides with those on an angle. Overall maybe just too many angles esp. in the large images where it doesn’t add much.

The layout has been bugging me as well. I was on this kick of making these tilted Polaroid and picture look for a while and that is the first thing that is going to be changed. I think it looks a bit sloppy and very amateurish. It also is kind of distracting and does not show the work as well as it could.

  1. Maybe it’s because I’m not that familiar with packaging design, but on many of the slides (ie. Dove retirement gift, 3M mint render, Focus and Mojo renders, etc.) I’m not really that clear what part you played in the process (since there is no process shown). Did you redesign the Muskateers logo, do the packaging construction, just the render? Maybe be more clear, or if possible, show process. The process on things like the MM tin show really well and make it very clear, though I still wonder if you did the initial concepts then someone else did the final graphics? Again, perhaps it’s just that I’m not familiar with the industry, but also would guess there are many people involved, so would be good to be clear what your involvement was.

This is a bit of a mixed bag. When I was first hired at Mars I was primarily there as a 3D rendering guy. Because of this I have a ton of renderings, such as the 3M Mint, Focus, Mojo, etc… Maybe I should create a section around renderings. The issue I have with this is that I do not whan that to become the focus of the portfolio. Also I would rather have a project focused (I know now is primarily skill focused) portfolio. What are you thoughts here? Would showcasing a few great renderings in a skill section be okay in my corefolio?

On the other hand, the MM tin was all me. From the graphic concept to the structure. But you bring up a good point. A lot of my work is done in teams or in collaboration with outside agencies. I design the structure, concept graphics or graphic direction, and then manage them to complete the final. How do I show this? This has been a concern of mine for a while.

  1. I really dig the blow molded insert thing for the shakers. It changes what could be just a styling exercise to something very functional and innovative. Can you show more of this? I’m guessing it was maybe a school project? Perhaps re-render some images and make the focus on the project about that…The last slide was the only mention of it, and it came as a bit of a (good) surprise.

This was a school project and has been a favorite of mine for quite sometime. I like the idea of showing more about the insert. I do have a bit more, but I think reworking some of it, maybe a bit better.

  1. I didn’t really get what the Outdoor trip planner was all about. Too much text to read it. But the sketches are nice.

This project is not translating well online, but I feel is a very valuable skill. This was a project that is still kind of in progress around designing a device that could be used to help outdoorsman plan their trips (packing lists, directions, first aid, trail maps, etc…). What I was trying to show here was a persona exercise that I went through to show the consumer and the difference and similarities in the generations. I agree that it does not come across too well here, so I need to not only finish the project, but also make it easier to understand. I put this in, because I have started to move to more of a consumer insights role, with figuring out behaviors and how to design the right product and packaging around them.

  1. Most of the stuff in the Misc Product section I don’t think is as strong as your other work. Would get rid of it all except the MM party things.

Completely agree. I had thought of just moving them into a sketching section.

  1. Product sketchbook seems a bit all over the place (which I suppose is the point). Better might be to combine a bunch of the random sketches into 2 or 3 collages of “doodles” to show sketchwork. Might be nice to showcase a few pages full of visual interest with a bunch of different products, etc. Maybe one page digital, the other analog.

I like this idea. This has been a spot that I have just posted random sketches that I do in meetings or when bored.

  1. Agreed, lose the graphics section. Not that strong.

Once again. Agree and will take it out.

Missing something. Or is it perfect :wink: (J/K - hope the sarcasm come across)

R

Hahaha Meant to delete that but since you brought it up. A bit of this is questions and a bit of my own critique

1.I am struggling, with the skills I have v/s the projects that I can show. I have done a tone of concept projects, which bits and pieces of what is in my corfolio (example the valentines section) come from, but because they have not hit store shelves I cannot put them online. This has been a struggle for me. Things have started to change, but I still will not have designs out until this coming holiday season. I feel this has caused my corfolio to appear disjointed with not a lot of thought or direction. How is this addressed with others? I know I cannot be the only one with this issue. I am know I have some pretty decent skills and can hold my own when it comes to design theory, but you are only as good as the work you show.

2.I fear my portfolio lacks direction. Am I a package designer, or am I a product designer. Or it could be the opposite, maybe I want people to see that I do not want to be pegged as a package designer rather than an Industrial designer like Yo mentioned in his last Yodaesque advice post. I would love to get out of the corporate world one day and work for a consumer insights and design theory driven design consultancy. This brings me to my next point.

  1. How do I approach design research projects. I have done quite a bit of research driven project, with figuring out what candy means during the holidays and gifting occasion, to broad studies observing how to people snack and how we can strategically place our products in those areas or come up with new product to fit the consumer needs. These projects and the data is pretty confidential and cannot be put up here online, but I feel it is a very valuable skill that I have acquired over the past few years.

  2. The point above addresses my problem with process. I can show the sketches behind my work, but I don’t think this full addresses the process as I struggle with how to show the background. Like many of us have said before that sketching is just a tool to solve the undermining problem. Without showing the background I really am not showing the process of the problem.

I reworked a bit of the Outdoor Consumer work. Let me know if it is easier to understand now. I am trying to get more into consumer research and theory so I wanted to show that in my corfolio. There is more to come, as this is just the front-end part of the process.

Can’t recall really what it looked like before so hard to say if better, but overall looks pretty good. The personas seem a bit stereotypical, but that’s usually the case when making up those kind of profiles. Still I think they can serve their purpose.

Most interesting slide to me was the one with the competitor analysis. I like the little graph for each competitor showing it’s strengths and weaknesses. I wonder however how you came to the relative sizes of the bars and how they are to be compared.

Also, the matrix you show beside that doesn’t really make sense to me, if I read it like a graph that it looks like. The axis are not really a continuum from one thing to another (say call for help to planning), so as a result, each object is just in one box and there isn’t really anything shown by the matrix. Would be better to just ditch it and replace with something that shows why one device is more navigation than another, or perhaps the relative position of each device relative to the others.

All that being said, in the end, I also still see a big gap between the profiles, research and whatever you came up with in the end. Seems like 3 different projects, not phases of the same one to me. I don’t read a connecting thread.



R

R,

Thanks for the critique. I am redoing a lot of things at the moment. I will post as aI go.