Portfolio Feedforward

LINK TO PDF: Edzard Contze Portfolio.pdf - Google Drive


I’m a 3rd year grad student Industrial Design Engineering at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands.
I’m looking for an internship starting in February. And I’m hoping to get some feedforward on my portfolio.

I would love to do an Industrial Design internship at a design studio or a big design consultancy firm like Frog, Aruliden or Smart Design. But I’m still looking at places to apply.

As for the portfolio, I’ve made it into a short summary of the projects I have done in university. Where there are mostly pictures over words.

There are a couple of things that I’m still not satisfied with:

  • The titles of the projects, currently these are the titles of the courses. But I’m not sure they fit well.
  • Is the process clear? Or should I more process pictures?
  • Is it clear to you when a project ends and when another starts? Should there be a more significant signifier?
  • What do you think of the qualities of the projects? Is it good enough to apply for a big firm?

I’m looking to improve my portfolio so all the critique is very much appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

Welcome Edzard.

Here are a few things to think about:

On the project naming, I would definitely move it away from assignment based titles. For example, this is a current title you have:

Assignment: Design a lamp from one kind of material and it has to be sheet
material. Connections must be formed with this material.”

Which could be something like:

“Really cool lamp name
A lamp made from a single sheet material with no fasteners.”

The drone project doesn’t look finished as it is right now.
Keyshot renders are not adding much value at the end. I’d either add more renders of different models or take it out.

Hope some of this helps take it to the next level.

Hi Edzard,

I too am a young designer still learning, but have a few comments that I think could help get you closer to your goal.

  • Flipping through your portfolio, the first thing that I notice is that the graphic layout isn’t consistent and is distracting from the images and content. Try making the images bigger and/ or centering them on the page. For example, p. 7 “Concept” has a lot of dead, white space. Try making the image fill the page, then shrink the text, make it a lighter color, and place it on the image, but not over the lamp. Hopefully that makes sense.

  • While I understand that these are student projects, a lot of employers will not want you to present them as assignments because it’s not compelling and interesting to listen to. Instead, try to tell a compelling story with each project. For instance, and I’m making this up as an example, “1 million wallets are thrown away each month and those wallets do not break down in the landfill for 1000 years. I wanted to create a wallet that can be composted to lessen it’s impact on the earth.” Then show the design process.

  • Another suggestion I have is to show more form development and 3/4 perspective shots of your drone. It looks like you spent some time dissecting Ducati’s VBL, but without a perspective image of the final drone, I’m having a hard time understanding what the final design looks like. Either a nice digital sketch rendering or a CAD model rendering would help this project out a lot.

  • Finally, I think you have too many projects in here which makes it hard to develop a story around any of them. It kind of feels like you grabbed 2-3 pages out of each of the projects and threw them into a pdf. I would rather see 3 well- developed projects that show a problem that goes through a process and then yields an awesome final result. There isn’t much process here right now, so try to include more sketching, model making, CAD development, etc.

Hope this helps!

  • Zane


I agree with Yo - sell what you have.

Also imagine your future employer having to go through a stack of online and pdf portfolios - you have to at least in some sense present your story, what sets you apart from the others. Your presentation is very descriptive - this was the assignment, this is what I made, these were the tools. But what did you want to do with it? How does it fit your story as a designer? Your employer wants to also learn about you, what motivates you in design.

In addition I miss going in-depth - there perhaps is some there, perhaps there isn’t. But you need to tell more about the process leading to your designs - develop a design rationale in parallel with the sensory explorations.

Your Solidworks and Keyshot skills are developing well! Also those need to fit into a story. No need to present the tools - does a programmer present his literal code at the job interview? It would be good to separate the projects by a clearer use of graphic design/typography. You can be minimal, functional, and make it attractive at the same time. Then mind some of the awkward image croppings, and typography (through, powerfull) - these are just my red flags…

The lamp is beautiful, and you show talent for form design as well. So again from this portfolio it is not clear enough if it’s there though not presented well, or if it’s not there and not presented well.