Sending portfolio in USB flash drives...

Yeah, probably not such a great idea right now, but USB flash drives are really cool!

Wow, what incredible self-promotion ideas:

A website.

Printouts.

A CD.


Man, those ideas are really going to make your portfolio rise to the top of the stack! They also do such a great job of showing how much the job is worth to you!

Oh wait, you don’t mean COLOR printouts do you?!!

Jamie Foxx handing his portfolio to Tom Cruise in “Collateral”.

Wow, what incredible self-promotion ideas:

A website.

Printouts.

A CD.


Man, those ideas are really going to make your portfolio rise to the top of the stack! They also do such a great job of showing how much the job is worth to you!

Oh wait, you don’t mean COLOR printouts do you?!!

If your work is any good it will stand out. If you work suxs then no gimmick in the world is going to help you. flash drives, although a different idea, requires the user to do too muich to view your work then show it to others.

There is a reason why we still use paper and have graphic (print) designers eventhough personal computers have been with us for around 20 years. Actually the use of computers now generates more paper.

[quote=“cg”]Wow, what incredible self-promotion ideas:

A website.

Printouts.

A CD.


Man, those ideas are really going to make your portfolio rise to the top of the stack! They also do such a great job of showing how much the job is worth to you!

Oh wait, you don’t mean COLOR printouts do you?!![/quote]

cg, you’re dead wrong. The support is usually irrelevant, except in this case where the applicant actually starts off showing poor judgement, i.e. overpriced time-consuming solution for its own sake when simpler, fully portable cost-effective alternatives exist. That is a classic “prima donna” warning too - the desperation to be “original” with absolutely everything. Not realistic, nor expected. Also, it’s how you express what you know about a potential employer’s line of work that shows how badly you want a job. Gimmicks are short-lived and do not work.

Now, if you really wanted some original presentation ideas, let’s start a contest, I’m sure many here would come up with stuff way more authentic (and practical) than flash drives.

I think cg’s post was sarcasm with a touch of satire

I’m hiring designers right now. You wouldn’t believe what passes for designer resumes. Even when my ads request portfolio samples or hyperlinks, I rarely get them.

Not one of those resume’s I have have been physically mailed here, so I’m dealing with a printout from some job database that HR forwards me (ASCII) or a .pdf.

If someone actually mailed a nicely done resume/portfolio and showed just that extra bit of care, it would make a huge impression. A well done, personalized cover letter does wonders too.

Those with a strong portfolio frequently flamed out when interviewed (even in prescreening phone interviews.) So much for those saying that work should speak for itself. There is clearly a reason there are so many “good” unemployed designers out there–just take a look on Coroflot for the proof.

My wife is a graphic designer who also went through this recently and experienced the same thing. At least the resume’s looked better, but you wouldn’t believe how many went straight into the trash for stupid stuff. She told me that the candidates that stood out in her mind did it through their coverletters: they took the 5 minutes to understand the job they were applying for and made a personal connection. Those that pissed her off the most mispelled her name, didn’t follow the directions of the post, tried getting in through the wrong channels or constantly called her.

Also, after not hearing back for weeks, my wife scored her dream job a few years back by going the extra mile and actually sending a clever follow-up “gift” piece that acted as a personalized reminder. The hiring manager immediately called her back for a follow up and she got the job.

PROMOTION WORKS PEOPLE. Pick up a copy of Communication Arts sometime and check out the self-promotion pieces that designers are doing and then ask yourself again if a USB portfolio is stupid.

cg man, have a drink pal, you’re way too defensive.

I’ve had to hire young designers too and always relied more on a quick preliminary phone interview for a pre-selection than any portfolio gimmicks some sent over. I mean, there are some real wackos out there ready for any publicity stunt to stand out. Problem is they’re more often better suited to the Howard Stern school of ID than the one I went to.

That said, I agree with you self-promotion is not a luxury today but, with so many job-seekers out there at any given time, an essential survival tool in this field. I look for passion and intelligence above skills and at least a hint of business sense in potential candidates. There are for a good designer endless more original ways to promote one’s work than off-the-shelf obvious stuff like USB drives, CDs and the like. I don’t want to drag my laptop everywhere I go, and let me tell you I sometimes have to review candidates’ work in places you’d never think of. And I’m not alone doing this.

The folio is the first product design I can evaluate a candidate on. For juniors, the work itself is mostly conceptual only anyways, so the physical design of the portfolio counts for probably as much in their case. It should be treated as a design project in its own right with all the market and user research normally going into one.

I will stop caring when people stop sending me crap and I can finally have a staff of decent designers. Unfortunately having a drink is about all I can do in the meantime.

I will stop caring when people stop sending me crap and I can finally have a staff of decent designers. Unfortunately having a drink is about all I can do in the meantime.

Right now there are many talented unemployed designers. You might want to ask why they don’t seem to be applying to your company?

Not aware there’s an opening
Salary too low for the job/cost of living
Bad location
Reputation of your company or your management
Not an industry that the top designers flock to
You’re unrealistic about the skill level of a beginning designer

Incidentally, all you “Guests” here, if you want to be taken seriously on this forum you should register. Enlighten us then, what industries do “top designers flock to”, because I’d like to hire one or two such stars.

cg, I know we’re deviating from the original post but, in your opinion, why does it seem more and more difficult to find young designers with a practically original train of thought, let alone an understanding of consumer psychology and business realities in 2004? Are selection criteria in ID schools now what they were even 10 years ago?

I’m not saying it’s all a bad crop out there, but man, talk about sameness and taking the quick, easy way out. Are young graduates today so desperate for any job they only output me-too crowd-pleasers?

It’s heartening to see so many aim for the absolute best working conditions, salary, location, industry and so on. While at it, maybe some should also aim to prove their actual usefulness to potential employers and leave their pretentiousness at home when they show up blase for interviews like they are evaluating the employer. No wonder so many will never get a head start in this field, they’ll only have their attitude to blame. I’m just curious as to who/what actually taught them this newfound sense of entitlement.

It’s heartening to see so many aim for the absolute best working conditions, salary, location, industry and so on. While at it, maybe some should also aim to prove their actual usefulness to potential employers and leave their pretentiousness at home when they show up blase for interviews like they are evaluating the employer. No wonder so many will never get a head start in this field, they’ll only have their attitude to blame. I’m just curious as to who/what actually taught them this newfound sense of entitlement.

Well if you can’t deal with the lack of life experience these designers have (immaturity) maybe you shouldn’t hire young designers. Many will grow out of this attitude once they realize what is really important. You were young once. I’m sure the elders then had issue with your values too. Stop sounding like a cranky old man/woman.

Personally I find your generalist thoughts about young designers disgusting. I know many young people in school that aren’t like this at all. But then again, they are graphic designers. Maybe this is an ID issue although I doubt it.

But then again, they are graphic designers. Maybe this is an ID issue although I doubt it.

This is just a generalist guess but arn’t graphic designers exposed to the commercial interactions earlier than IDers. Don’t friends and family ask them to create logos, websites, club flyers, etc … this may not be common place but surely that forces them to thinking about how much their time and effort is worth, getting it done on time, to standard and in budget.

My point is the barriers of entry to gain commercial awareness as graphic designer are probably far lower than for IDers.

I was chatting the other day with a top uk design consultant who has 20 odd years experience. He was concerned as well about the lack of commercial awareness of students today - causes sighted were;

  • the sheer number of students produced today v a decade or two ago (most just don’t have the opportunity to gain any experience)


  • many university / college courses allow students to spend too much time / focus on computers and the gloss making side of design. In the past students would have to study and practise the full scope a the design process and gain understandings of the implications of their design decisions.

For many students and even new grads working as lone inhouse designers places like core77 is the closest they will get to a professional design mentor - sad really.

Well if you can’t deal with the lack of life experience these designers have (immaturity) maybe you shouldn’t hire young designers. Many will grow out of this attitude once they realize what is really important. You were young once. I’m sure the elders then had issue with your values too. Stop sounding like a cranky old man/woman.

Personally I find your generalist thoughts about young designers disgusting. I know many young people in school that aren’t like this at all. But then again, they are graphic designers. Maybe this is an ID issue although I doubt it.[/quote]

Yes, this is a forum mostly for industrial designers in case you haven’t noticed. Your last paragraph proves exactly my observations interviewing recent graduates. If you’re one of the more arrogant among them, good luck to you, you’ll need it.

Yes, this is a forum mostly for industrial designers in case you haven’t noticed. Your last paragraph proves exactly my observations interviewing recent graduates. If you’re one of the more arrogant among them, good luck to you, you’ll need it.

Your “observations?” I’m in my early 40’s. I graduated years ago. Sounds to me that you prejudge all these young designers.

Hate to tell you this but people aren’t going to behave with your values. Sounds to me that you are the one being arrogant.

I find that designers of all ages have something to offer but we must be tolerant. The people bashing young designers here don’t strike me as tolerant.


BTW This forum has many graphic designers. Did you know that AIGA members can post their portfolios on this site?

-128MB USB Flash Drive - $30
-CD-RW Media Pack - $20
-Watching two idiots argue about meaningless crap on this discussion board - priceless

Can you moron add something of value to this thread or are you just using flushing your bowels here like the rest of them?

To the 40-ish graphic designer. Original topic taken in ID context, i.e. where end product is usually mass-manufactured at high cost and common sense a prerequisite to affect such capital expenditures. Maybe for graphics portfolios USB flash drives are OK.

This is a free discussion forum, you don’t have to like or agree with everything you read. Nor do I. Yes, I do “prejudge” as does anyone who’s had to sat through dozens of interviews at the corporate level, with many who have no real passion for designing FOR OTHERS, but only for themselves. It’s that type of designer I make it my mission to keep away. Good for them if other companies don’t care but it always reflects in the products these firms output - and their longevity. I never hired for the short-term nor am I interested in filler positions.

What I and other experienced designers occasionally do on this forum is share our concerns with the younger crowd, many of whom are sadly unprepared for what awaits them. Sorry we don’t always paint a pretty picture of employment reality in ID today but it would be a disservice to all to do so when it’s not. Unlike others here, I’m not being sarcastic or laconic but really trying to challenge those starting out ID careers to seriously question their motivations, purpose and uniqueness in pursuing lifelong work in this field.

The schools have oversold ID to many disoriented and poorly counseled individuals who would have been far better off in other endeavours, and some of my ID peers working elsewehere see it much the same. You ask some of these deluded youngsters what new they can bring to the table, so to speak, and they stare at you with that blank expression on their face, like what are we talking about here? I just want to draw up stuff, man. Really?

Yes, I too was a graduate some 16 years ago but me and my graduating class came from the school of hard knocks where you actually worked your sorry ass up the ladder before you gained confidence, respect and higher responsibilities. Why is it unfashionable today to expect the same? What could have changed so drastically since? Because I’ll tell you what has really changed - the way business sees and uses design and the oversupply of providers, qualified or not - and it’s not necessarily for the better.

A warning? Maybe. Portfolio aside, my main advice to young job-seekers: read, write, paint, travel and expand your horizons so you know yourself better and are able to effectively articulate your tangible added value to a specific employer in the industry of your choice. Talk the talk and walk the walk, learn the jargon of industry to make yourself clearly understood by non-designers too. No, it does not take years, it takes a personal interest first, and when it’s there it shows. Believe it or not, that is more original today than any cheap gadgets you can send over, you’ll mark no points with any responsible firm that way. Think of applying for a job as asking to be a minority partner in a business venture, and the question will always be what do you bring to the table. Lots of people have degrees and decent quality portfolios, LOTS of people.

To the 40-ish graphic designer. Original topic taken in ID context, i.e. where end product is usually mass-manufactured at high cost and common sense a prerequisite to affect such capital expenditures. Maybe for graphics portfolios USB flash drives are OK.

BTW I don’t support using a USB for graphic or ID portfolios. I am also product designer (yes I have a degree) as well. My focus is graphics.

I still feel there are great young designers out there with strong values. Not sure why you are meeting all the spoiled brats. So what is your industry?

32Mb USB key: $12

PS, I will happily accept your portfolio loaded into a new color iPod.