Portfolio Website vs. PDF

Hi Everyone,

I am about to graduate in June from The Ohio State University and would love some feedback on my website (http://www.idrachelsandoval.com) and/or on the pdf version of my portfolio. Also does anyone have an opinion on whether its worth it to learn Corel Painter in addition to sketchbook pro?


Will check it out when I get back to a laptop. On the road for 4 days and your site won’t view on an iPad (flash). You never know who is going to want to see it where, flash might not be a good platform.

I don’t think you need to know painter.

Its great to see you have research, sketches, and process. Maybe, to travel between the projects you dont have to go back to main page every time and have a link within. You could probably put in some content such as " about me" in the home page as there is lot of space below where I scrolled down and it was empty, or you could stop it where it ends now.

Android FTW! :sunglasses:

Hey Rachel,

first of, you got good work there. Your skill set seems to broad and well developed.

However, I’d like to give my impression about the overall feel of the site. Unfortunately it seems like Wix isn’t doing you any favors. I am looking at it in Safari on Lion and all images are grainy and at very low resolution.
You put a lot of work into your projects, I’d suggest to put some effort into the website as well. Right now it comes off as a little drab.

The Honda Console project for example, introduces with a messy image of garbage in a car on the first slide.
It certainly is a presentation technique to show the problem first and then end with a glorious hero shot. This project doesn’t have it, out of contractual reason I understand, but everybody in your pictures look like they had a terrible time working on it. Maybe you/they had, but don’t let it show.
I understand that due to it being developed you can’t show the results, but maybe you can find a way to inject some life into it nontheless.

I am the type, who like to show the hero shot first to set a positive tone in presentations and to give people the chance to already on the first slide decided if they are interested or not. I never got this “big reveal” thing at the end. It is hard enough to get anybody important to look at your work I and want to show them the hero right away.

Your sketching is good but where are the models? You got a few, rough ones but none that could qualify as appearance models or that you could use for great in-situ shots. With the exemption of the Sapling Lunch.
It would be great to arrange a photo shoot with some kids, to give your portfolio some life. Shooting your setup at the Senior show is not really enough.

These are some thoughts, maybe some of it is helpful.


Thanks so much for the great advice! Are there any website builders that you would recommend or have used in the past? I really liked how clean your website is and I have been having trouble finding website builders that are easy to use and give you full control without templates.


I totally agree with you about the white space and everything! With any luck, I can probably do those edits before the day ends. Thanks so much!

Well, less control is not necessarily a bad thing.
I use Indexhibit for example for my personal site and Cargo Collective for the site of the studio I run with two partners. I love them both, it’s free and very simple. Most importantly it is easy to manage and to customize.

Unless you want to go into webdesign, coding your own site seems a waste of time to me.
I am crazy useless with coding but it still took me just about a weekend to get my site up and running.

Also I should mention that Indexhibit has a fantastic support forum.

Behance Prosite is another great option too.

I think a member of this forum runs http://idskills.com/ and has a great intro into websites. Recommend checking that out.

Thanks so much Sain & Bepster! I feel a little less lost now that I know what builders to use… Also I just have a general question, if I am in an interview would it be odd to pull up my website on my phone or ipad instead of having a physical copy? I am only asking because it just seems a lot easier than lugging around 5 hard copies of my portfolio in case I am being interviewed by more than one person…

No problem, Rachel. Glad we could help.
Also, feel free to post your progress.

My answer to your question would be to absolutely not show your work on a smart phone, unless it is at a casual party or you happen to find yourself in a situation where you did not have the time to plan. I once got a client on an airplane after I gave him an impromptu presentation on my iPhone.
So, it is good that that option exists.

However, at a scheduled interview, I would definitely make sure you chose a presentation method that benefits the interviewer.
I have written in response to somebody else who asked a similar question, that I prefer a printed portfolio in Tabloid size, big enough to accommodate a whole team gathered around it. Pages can be taken out, you can easily flip back and forth and physically point to special details you’d like to highlight. Also, I have noticed, it makes hand gestures really easy and natural and encourages your audience to engage with your work.

I don’t see really the point in having a printed book for every person attending. They are supposed to follow you and not flip on their own. Rather I would see a risk of confusion with everybody, literally, being on a different page.

But this is personal preference and you should go with what makes you comfortable. People seem to like the iPad option and I have used it at fair for example where I meet clients in cafes and booths. There the iPad is very handy and it feels appropriate. In a scheduled meeting though, I haven’t liked it as much. Too small and impersonal.

Also, why not ask beforehand if you will be presenting to a group? I usually do that and ask if they would like me to prepare a digital presentation or if a round table discussion with print outs is fine.