Im curious to get the forums opinion on this topic. I find it extremely annoying when i am reviewing a portfolio and i then find out that this was a project they “redid” because they have improved their skill set since they did it.
why it annoys me.
I can usually tell that they have redone it as there are obvious clues
if you dont tell me that it is a project you have redone then i feel as you are misrepresenting the work
If all you did was improved the presentation/cad/sketches then it tells me that you have only improved those skills and have learned nothing about product development
if you tell me it was a 3 week project, but then dont tell me how many weeks you spent “redoing” it then you are misrepresenting what you can achieve
The benefits of not “redoing it”
You are showing me your development and growth from one project to the next. I get to see where you came from and are heading
i will higher a person with greater potential over a person who has not shown growth.
I guess to make a counter point here, I’ve had many times where I’ve poked at a project only to have the person say “well I did that 2 years ago in school it doesn’t represent what I can do now…” … to which my response is always “great, so why are we spending time talking about something that doesn’t represent what you can do now?”
I think it is ok to redo a project, I just would remove it from the context of school completely and put it not the context of something that represents more closely what your capabilities are now. For me, what is worse is when you bring someone in and they do not operate at the level of there portfolio (in the sense that their average performance does not represent the level of work in the portfolio).
i think perhaps if you where to redo a project and show case how your skills have grown as well as your thinking. but do it in a story i.e show the old work and then show the project redone, and highlight what you changed, why you changed it to communicate how your thinking process has grown, and the execution skill improvement should speak for themselves.
I’ve been out of school for six years and only about 4 products that I’ve designed actually made it to market. I worked in startups for half that time and consultancies for the other half. You cannot show a lot of work because it’s under NDA, so that’s why the “re-do” projects come out. While I don’t have any re-done student projects, I do have a lot of re-done personal projects on my portfolio that are loosely based on my professional work that is under NDA.
In my case, i´ve lost all the cads, renders and digital stuff of 5 uni years (laptop and backup hard drive stolen)… Now when i’m on my way to make my first portfolio, i’m going to re-do some of the school projects but unfortunately, not going to be able to compare and show all the improvement through the years…
I agree on re-doing when you really evolved as a whole designer, not just the “illustration” facet.
I think if someone does a re-do, they need to bring something new to it. Thinking back to my school projects, the manufacturing was always the weakest link. I think if I re-did a project, but focused on manufacturability, it would probably add some realism to the projects. Plus, I’m so old that just redoing the renders would make improve the projects.
As for misleading…I don’t get this. If someone did the projects over a semester at uni and then refreshed it over 3-4 weekends, they still did the work. Then again, I never get too worked up over duration. In my experience, projects expand to meet the deadline. Keep a tight deadline and a good designer will still do great work.
I agree, if you are doing it over then something new should be brought to it other then better sketches or cad renderings. I point of misleading is when the project is described as a 3 week class project done in 3rd year. but then fail to say that they spent another month at a later date redoing everything… where this can get them in trouble is the first project i give them all of a sudden they cant deliver the same quality of work in a 3week period…
So if someone redoes a project you think it misrepresents the original scope of the project… but if someone sticks to the concept but updates the renders and sketches you also blast him/her for not bringing anything “new” to the project? Sounds like it is pretty hard to please you (also I DO think redoing the visual part is something “new” regarding your skillset).
Let’s be frank, the person who applies for the job doesn’t want to put subpar work into their portfolio and the person hiring doesn’t want to see shitty old stuff that doesn’t reflect the NOW. In my opinion it is pretty uninteresting to look at some project from 4 years ago without being updated. What exactely is that supposed to tell the portfolio reviewer?
So if someone redoes a project you think it misrepresents the original scope of the project… **(if they dont tell me that they redid the project yes)**but if someone sticks to the concept but updates the renders and sketches you also blast him/her for not bringing anything “new” to the project? **(nope i dont blast them but then i look at the work as simply showing me that you improved certian tools but found no way to improve the design)**Sounds like it is pretty hard to please you (yup ) (also I DO think redoing the visual part is something “new” regarding your skillset).
Let’s be frank, the person who applies for the job doesn’t want to put subpar work into their portfolio and the person hiring doesn’t want to see shitty old stuff that doesn’t reflect the NOW. In my opinion it is pretty uninteresting to look at some project from 4 years ago without being updated. What exactely is that supposed to tell the portfolio reviewer?[/quote]
This perhaps all stems back to a person who i hired (asked if the sketches where theirs and they answered yes) As they had stated this was a project i worked on i didn’t think to ask further- came to find out their job was to simply take other designers ideas and re-sketch them for presentations. When i asked the person why they didn’t tell me that they responded with “you didn’t ask” . That person was far less creative in generating solutions then their work showed. So this could be my hang up- but i am definitely refining my POV from the feedback to the OP so thank you too all.
I think it can often depend and can be a double edged sword but perhaps the key would be showing progression in your skillset in later projects. If a project worked well and you can talk through your decision making then to redo some sketches I think is a bit of a lie because that isn’t really how you got from A to B at the time. On the flip side though, when someone sees hundreds of folios that bad bit of work you did in school may now not be where you are currently in your career so it could end up costing you an interview. We do work in a fickle industry.
I have a project in my folio (it’s getting close to being pushed out mind) that is one from school but I completely redid it at a time when my skillset had vastly improved. The final design still had the same thought process and function as when I handed it into my tutors but I completely redesigned it right from initial sketches to polished CAD/renderings when I had a better appreciation for form and manufacturing.
My general rule of thumb is not to put anything in you are not proud of. I know myself and many other hiring manager hunt through your portfolio to find your worst sketch, your worst model, your worst render. We do this because we assume you are going to stuff the portfolio with your very best, but some of your everyday average work might sneak in there so you can get volume. So one way to cut through a huge stack of portfolios is to assume that the worst piece of creative in someone’s portfolio is actually their average output. Assume the person looking at your work is looking at dozens of portfolios. When I was at frog I’d have to sift through a stack of 100 intern portfolios. Don’t put anything not worthy in there. If you have to redo projects or do new speculative concept projects, because maybe you don’t have enough releasable work to show, that is fine by me, just show me what you can do now.
I suppose this also comes down to how much context do you really want in a portfolio, vs something that is presented at an interview.
At first glance of a portfolio I would rather see an audit of your current skills as much as possible than dredge through some garbage 2nd year work which only stands to show me “yes you learned something in college”. That’s totally acceptable for a new grad, but for someone who has had a lapse between graduation and employment I’d be thrilled to see them taking the initiative to improve old projects, draw up new ideas and improvements that they didn’t have time for during the initial brief, etc. IMO that’s a clear demonstration of initiative and drive for improvement.
As yo mentions - when you’re sifting through folios you want the good stuff to bubble up in less than 30 seconds. If I start clicking into 2nd year paper mache studies the chances of me investing a proper amount of time into their thesis project is now cut in half. Likewise, I understand the desire to try and show as much breadth as possible, so showing off new CAD models of some project you did to float that project quality up is a pro in my book.
Give as much context to any project or skill you present.
It’s a portfolio, not the Library of Congress. It can and SHOULD evolve.
My “portfolio” / Studio brochure is constantly changing. Every opportunity I have to send it out, I’ll take some time to have another look, see if anything can be replaced with a newer/stronger project or if something can be tightened up a bit.
I want to know WHAT you can do, WHY you do it, and HOW you do it.