Recent Grad: Graphic Design

recently graduated

You may have the same problem that I do. I am really good at a few things, pretty good at a whole slew of things, and only bad at a few things. There is no single skill that I have developed to a ‘world class’ level.

Your flot portfolio sitting at that ‘pretty good’ level, and it is taking more than that to get noticed right now.

With that said, here are a few concrete things you can do: No Illustrator live trace (especially on more than two color output). If its easy everyone does it, and everyone does that. Don’t include the newspaper unless you are applying for jobs at newspapers. You seem to have a knack for logos and cool color combos. Do a few more of those. I also like the museum spread. Explore that style some more.

And you can always learn from the pros. http://www.iamalwayshungry.com struck me as a really solid offering. You can train yourself if you have the discipline. First try to determine what others are doing that is working for them. Then try to reproduce it. Once you understand how they do what they do, change direction and apply the underlying principles to something else. Then you will be ready to start your own work.

You and I both have a lot of work to do to get noticed, and get a job. We had better get to it.

Grant
-California

Don’t get me wrong man but its all in your hands to be confident and unique in style. There is tons of sources on internet for typography, graphic design,style etc…(much more than ID thats for sure)… watch good documentaries(helvetica ),etc…

I think your right…When I was at F.I.T. I was immersed in a creative culture and I learned so much every day. I think I need to get back to that mindset. Thanks.


Lots of people are looking! Pleasssse make some more comments!!!

Well I have had a chance to review your portfolio and you do seem to have some very good basic Graphic Design skills. You really seem to understand layout design and do have a knack for logos. The Beauty Riot I think is great. It is nice and simple and has a lot of character.

Now for the critique… The first thing you need to do is have more confidence in yourself. Your first post initial post you seemed to be very down on your skills and did not seem to have confidence in your work. You have to have a positive attitude and almost be a little full of yourself to succeed and as a designer no matter what kind of design it is. Remember you are always going to be selling yourself and your designs. If you sell it with a negative you will always get negative responses.

Now for the work…I agree with some of the comments above. You have some great work, but there is nothing that really knocks my socks off. I can see you have the skills and are capable of this, but there is no wow factor. I would suggest the same as above in looking at other peoples work and try to steel some of their style and add it to yours. I would also suggest doing some made up projects on your own and add those to you portfolio. Maybe you pick one of your favorite brands out there and decide to do a mock rebrand or graphic update of that brand. Maybe there is one out there that you feel could use and face lift. U-Haul is one that comes to mind for me as it has remained the same for the past 10 years. Do you research on the company, sketch out some ideas, and put together logos, truck designs, store signage and so on. Maybe that is not the right brand, but you get the idea.

Another issue I was having with your portfolio is that it seemed to be a bit unorganized. I would see one brand and then all of a sudden I would see a newspaper and then I would be back to that brand again. You want to make sure this flows and it goes from brand to brand to brand, or it goes from logos, to editorial to layouts. It is just easier to read in that kind of way.

I would also like to see some process work around you designs. I know you are a Graphic Designer but I would love to see some sketching to show your thoughts on how you got to your designs. This seems to not be happening as much in the Graphic community like it used to and I feel it is a real shame as it show who you are as a designer. If you do not have any of this than I encourage you to start adding this to your process. It will help you in getting to a better design as well as a much more creative one. It is also a great skill to have in you bag.

All in all like I mentioned I think you have some great skills, you just need to push them furthered. I think taking on Mock projects is one way to do that like I mentioned do not stop at the logo take it to the POP/POS materials all the way up to the packaging. Also have confidence and if you want to get there and you think you can do it than you will succeed.

Edit- I would also not get rid of the newspaper stuff as it shows that you really understand Grids and Layout design, but rather put it in its own section so it is concentrated. I also just realized that 8mismo has a U-haul project in his port. Not trying to steel his thunder.

No one is ever at the level that they wish they were. If that were the case than we would all be out of a job because everyone would be great and there would be no competition. If you have faith in yourself and confidence to get out there and work you ass off you will succeed. We all had things we needed to learn and improve on when we graduated college. Trust me I have seen many grads have to relearn everything they know when the got their first job or adapt and change things to even get their first job. It is all in your hands to make it happen.

Wow …great advice! I am definitely going to do some mock projects to show off more of my skills. I want to make my own website, so I will be able to better organize my portfolio on there. Reading what you wrote really helped my confidence! Sometimes I forget that I need to have a more competitive attitude. I agree with you on the newspaper projects. They may not look like they belong, but they do show some important skills so I will keep them in there own category. Once again, your post was sooo helpful. Thank you!

Glad I could help. Just remember that we have to craw before we can walk. We have all paid or dues and we have all had thing we needed to over come to get to where we are. We also have things we need to over come to get to where we want to be. Have confidence and you will be okay.