Seeking portfolio feedback

Hello everyone.

I am a senior in ID and have just updated my portfolio a bit. As you all know, it is an endless work in progress, so I am looking for some feedback on my layout, storytelling, ideas, or anything else worth mentioning. Any and all tips or criticisms are very appreciated!

Here is a link to what I have online currently. Thanks in advance!

[ Deleted ]

Thanks for the advice. I have since uploaded my portfolio on Behance, located here for a more painless viewing experience.

Any other advice or criticism is much welcomed and appreciated. Thanks!

Hey there!
I like the general layout. Not for how cool it looks but for its no-nonsense approach. White background. Pictures. A bit of text. Maybe not the prettiest to look at but I prefere it like that over wannabe graphic design styling. Personally I really don’t like the rounded corners. I get what you are trying to do, but for me it doesn’t work. Rounded corners on images always have a power point kind of feel to me. But other people might think differently. I also don’t like your logo. The way it looks combined with “quality style” feels like a label you would find on some item in the supermarket. I also think your “design philosophy” is not WRONG but feels so damn generic that you could just skip it. It doesn’t really say anything about you.
Now to the content:
Your sketching is not great or pretty to look at but does the job. Good enough in my book. Definiteley room for improvement, but depends on what position you are looking for in what industry. Internship? Junior designer?
The rough cardboard mockups are great. That’s something you could even show more of. Always good to see how you work. Too many students rely too heavily on sketching and rendering. But you should show more clearly that you actually built more than one mockup. That can easily be missed and be misinterpreted as “he went with the first one that was kinda okay” :wink: It’s a pity you never really have a nicely finished final design model. Unfortunately the renderings are not good enough to fool me :wink: Oh, and if you would cut the wood of the chair legs like that - against the wood grain - they would snap like a twig immediatly, you should really change the direction of the texture.
Generally you project lack a bit of polish. They are a bit vague and don’t really go into detail. They lack a bit of refinement. Take the bbq as an example. To me some of the details are a bit unclear. Do you really need an external pouch? and if so: you should make it clear to me as the viewer that it is absolutely inevitable to have an external pouch. The other thing is formal details. Take the holes in the front for example. I am not sure what they are for, but is there a reason they are not all lined up equaly and symmetrically? Is there a reason the buttons are so close to the small holes? Things like that: proportions, consistency, clear shapes. That’s something that is very hard to get right right out of school but you should try!
You also miss some opportunity to go into the details. How do you solve the small things? For example to me the least interesting part is the fact that you can carry the stove around. More interesting are things like: how do you remove the grillage for cleaning? How does the hinge work? Where and how do you insert the gasbottles? Sure, you can find very basic, easy solutions for all of that. But this is something where you could easily shine and make something special out of a boring stove. Same for the storage thing. The least interesting part is that you can put sockets inside. It’s actually more interesting how you want to construct it. Actually you show some detail here already. But how do you really lock the containers onto each other without them falling off when lifting the whole thing? You don’t really show it. That would have been a great opportunity to show some sort of clever locking mechanism.

I think the biggest problem with your portfolio is that you on one side miss out on showing the small, interesting parts how stuff works in detail. And on the other end you are not really daring. All you projects are really tame in a way. The stove is still a stove. And the parking meter is still a parking meter… only with a display! That stuff could be way more weird! Be a little crazy! If you would be steve jobs and you have all the ressources to rethink parking meters - would it really look like a parking meter … with a display and a few buttons? That’s really all you would change? Don’t get me wrong, the ideas and executions are not horrible - but your future employer will hire you based on how fresh your ideas are. And right now it seems you are restraining yourself unnecessarily because you want to make stuff that looks like it would “fit in” into the existing world. But you are still a student and should use that opportunity to do something more wild and experimental. Something where I would think: “If that really works it would be pretty cool!” You DO get extra points for trying the impossible :slight_smile:

Hey Peter,

Great to see another Hokie out there :wink:

I really like a lot of things in your portfolio! Looks very clean and I can see you have a good graphic sense, eye for design and modelling capabilities. I’d love to see more sketching/rendering. You show some thumbnail ideation sketches in your process (great for telling your story) however,…can you use a Wacom? Have you used SBP? How confident are you in this area? <–That would be my first question in an interview with you.

Hope it helps!

It is good to see you putting your work out there and asking for feedback. That can be a challenge for some but clearly isn’t for you. Your portfolio is nice. My opinion is that you get re-work or rid of the design philosophy page. Make it visual and stand out or get it out of there… I agree with other posters that it comes off as generic. Are there some particular images you might be able to use on this page to illustrate some of your main points here? It could be a good addition if re-worked.
All of the projects seem to have the same format and story. Intro. research. sketch. model. story. … I’d rather see you tell the story of the projects as they need to be told and that may not require the same story for each. Yes, development is important, but repetitive format many wear on some viewers. That being said, look to increase the visual impact and interest of the pages you do include. Your sketches need more visual impact. You have faded edges and some strange elements… We don’t need to see bad or strange sketches unless they are critical to the development and story. Everyone will be including sketches… the key is making yours stand out. Re-work them if you need to. Your grill sketch page is by far the most successful. Great job notating your thoughts. This helps. Add some appropriate on-trend colors to make it pop.
Some other friendly advice is to seek input from a graphic designer. Buy them some beer and have them sit with you for a session. It can make a HUGE difference. There is nothing here that is getting in the way necessarily, but it could be working a lot better for you. It’s hard to do it all great. There is nothing wrong with getting help from people with different skills. You’ll learn a ton and it will drastically improve the way you present and work.
Best of luck!


Overall I think your portfolio is good, but there are a few points that could use some tweeks.
As people have said on previous posts, you need your work to stand out from the rest. I think the stove project is the best laid out and shows the best examples of process . The concept development in this project is good and the user interaction (or card model) page is one of the strongest in the whole portfolio (IMO). You obviously have good skills in model making.
I think after this project the portfolio looses a bit of excitement, maybe its the colour (sorry, I’m English) choice for the background blocks. I think the yellow is a bit too intense for the parking meter project and takes the eye away from the project.

Have a look through some other portfolios and see how other people do this, I’m not saying steal their ideas, but take inspiration and work that into your own style.

I’m a particular fan of the logo on the front cover and well done for the work done so far :slight_smile: