Portfolio with no sketches

HI everyone.
I’ve done a few versions of before and this time time round,
I’ve decided not to include my sketches.
I’m wondering then what you guys think of this.
Here’s the link for the download [ 10mb pdf ]

And if you guys are wondering about my processes,
here’s my blog


nobody will download a zip file. It’s too risky. Post a PDF.

In any case, a portfolio without sketches is not a good thing.

Is this spam?


Oh dear.
Ok. Here’s the linkto the pdf file then. unzipped 10mb
It was zipped anyway to have a forced ‘save as’ for visitors.
My apologies if it sounded like spam.

Okay we don’t want to download anything.

Just make it in to 72dpi images and post it as jpegs. Or put in on coroflot.

no sketches…that says you are embarrassed by your sketching ability. If this is the case look at some sketches from famous designers, they typically cannot sketch either.

ah ic.
so that how it works here.
Anyway. the recent portfolio with no sketches is a 4th iteration of its kind.
I’m not actually embarrassed by them. I do have a bag of them and they come with me during my interviews.
But then again, different portfolio types for different audiences shouldn’t it?

If you didn’t show me a sketch I wouldn’t hire you.

If your sketches stink, spend the next month sketching non stop and refinining your old sketches.

When presenting your portfolio no one cares if the sketches were done after the final product, as long as you can present your visual process in a way that makes sense to the viewer.

Not only is it important to show sketches in your portfolio, but I made sure to bring my sketchbook to my job interview so that the people who wanted to see more sketches could pass it around. No one may care about your car sketches if you’re going for product design, but its nice to have a booklet of them to show off your skills.

I think I am being reserved with my numbers here, but I bet 90% of the people reading this post will not look at this portfolio, even more download it, when they know there will be no sketches in there.

I managed to compress a 80pg pdf (full of images) from 200mb to just 5mb.

If you don’t have any sketch in your portfolio, then you won’t even get an interview, let alone showing them off.

Hi everyone.
I mean no disrespect, but i believe this thread is turning again into another
" Is sketching important" thread.
I do believe that sketching is important.

And all the replies I got so far where the ones about

  1. Include sketches in your folio
  2. You wouldn’t get hired.

But what if, just what if, the sole purpose of this portfolio is just a compilation of pretty pictures of final products meant for discussion and not really about me getting hired?

Well anyway, I do believe that no one has actually seen the portfolio yet or seen my mini CV in it before even posting a reply here. I’m just assuming. I don’t want and go on saying that " I still got a job even though… bla bla bla" Its the same old tired argument. Some people get lucky some people don’t But that’s not the whole point of why I posted my 4th folio in here in the first place.

I’m just asking for people to take a look at it. And say maybe get comments like

  1. decent layout but maybe it could be bit better this way…
  2. too much white…
  3. why didn’t i think of that…

You know, that sort of stuff. But I guess people are just instantly turned off when they hear that there’s no sketches at all.

And for the record , there are no processes shown either in this portfolio on top of not having any sketches. Maybe I should have mentioned that too in the thread title next time.

hmm, it’s a shame that you’ve started off on the wrong foot. You’re thesis project, the skate boarder recorder/projector is a pretty cool idea (coming from an ex-skater.) Also, the cardboard wearable guitar amp is interesting. I’d like to know more. You obviously need to tie it all together so that people will look at your stuff!

Maybe you shouldn’t have said anything about the content, just humbly asked for opinions?

You should present it as a “catalog” of sorts, similar to how a company would to showcase their products on the market. That way, you can just show your final output without getting reamed. If you say “portfolio”, that means process, sketches, etc… to your typical designer so yeah, it won’t even get a look. Or better yet, don’t say anything that would make anyone have an excuse to not look. Your final output may be so incredibly kick-ass that we all would forget that there are no sketches but don’t give anyone an excuse to not look ahead of time. Just a tip. Good luck to you.

Well I know I actually looked at it before commenting so I’ll continue:

Having a portfolio with no sketches is probably fine if your a seasoned designer with professional quality photographs of your products that are on the market. It’s also fine if you’re making a portfolio to show your grandma and you don’t think she would understand the sketches.

I think if if your final products were fantastic, then you could probably really interest people without sketches or process discussion. You said you weren’t showing any process at all - but you’ve shown a bunch of prototype goggles - thats process my friend, and it’s what people WANT to see. Your final product is a rather mundane bent piece of acrylic. How you GOT to that is MUCH more valuable then the final product.

If you strictly want commentary on your graphics:

Yes I think there is too much white space on some of the pages.

Also - set up a grid at the beginning and stick to it. Look at your page 5 and page 6. They have the same basic formatting but flipping between the two I can clearly see the images aren’t lined up to the same grid or spaced in the same manner. The same goes through the rest of the layout. Pick one layout, and stick with it up until there is a good enough reason to break it. And when you break the grid, make sure what you change still makes sense with the original layouts.

I also think you’ve stretched some of the projects out further then they needed to be. I don’t think you need 4 pages to explain a pencil when 1 or 2 would be able to fit all of your content.

Your portfolio is about explaining your body of work to a stranger. It’s about explaining your capabilities as a designer and your ability to think. When I browse through your portfolio when I get to the end - my overall impression comes off as an average student who just finished their second year in college. The body of work doesn’t scream “developed designer” to me. The fact that you have 2 degrees (yes I even read the resume) means you should be able to flaunt some well made CAD models complete with engineering features - but I’m just not seeing any of that work.

I’ll use this story as an example of why process is important:

At a portfolio review at the national IDSA conference a student presented a project to me that was a spatula.

Big whoop - anybody can crank out a CAD rendering of a spatula in an evening and they’d all look fine.

Then he turned the page and showed me a page full of human factors test models, research tests, form sketches, CAD renderings and an appearance model.

Suddenly that boring old spatula became one of the BEST portfolio projects I’ve EVER seen - and this was all presented in 3-4 pages with very little/no text.

Thats why when people go preaching on about why process is important you should listen.

Hey hey.
Looking good in here. At least this didn’t turn out to be some flame-bait thread.
Much appreciated the comments especially from cyberdemon, benny and skinny.
You guys are spot on. Makes me wonder why i even wanna get that stuff critique in the first place. I think for a start, I shouldn’t have called this a portfolio in the first place. It’s more a like a picture book of sorts for my granma. Yep yep. She liked it very much. And so did my neighbor.
The portfolio of that kind that you mentioned earlier, with the cads and the sketches and the engineering drawings are in my first 3 iterations.
Anyway, this picture book here was actual under the direction of my school. I’m not writing in defense though, its just that they wanted to see something different for a change. They didn’t wanna see the 20 odd stuff of human factors, mockups the works, this time round. Just pretty pictures.

If this is the case than you really should question your professors

Ask your professor(s) that gave you this advice if they have ever been a hiring manager at a company.

It doesn’t have to be sketches, but there has to be process. It really helps to show how you think, or at least give a hint at it.

Great example. I’ve seen a few of those as well. It’s a fine line, if the kid had a research paper with tons of text on spatulas, it might have turned into a snooze fest, on the other end of the spectrum, just a final image and who cares. Just the right amount give a prospective employer confidence that you can join the team and be productive.

Is that supposed to come off as sarcastic?

Sarcasm? Nah. I’m not good with those. I mean lets face it. After all this talk, the only people that really went wow, oohh and ahhh are those type of people I showed to.

We’re not saying there is no decent work in your portfolio, just that you need to show us how you think. That is what really makes up a designer.