Starting off the Portfolio: Updated 2/9/11

UPDATE 2/9/11:

Hello again,
So I’ve finally finished my first sophomore portfolio, and I got my first co-op at a consultancy in New Jersey! During my co-0p, I will be updating it with projects from this current quarter, so i would like some feedback on what doesn’t work too well so i can keep it in mind when I rework my portfolio. I’m looking for what projects to possibly remove, what is unclear in my projects that I should try and elaborate on, what I should change graphically, and any other feedback you have.

Here is my official link:

Thank you for your time and feedback!!

Hi core77!

This summer, I began the process of creating a portfolio layout for next year when I start to apply for internships. I have finally picked a color scheme and design “theme” (more like a trend… go pinstripes!) to base my portfolio on, and am kind of liking the way it is turning out. Right now, I have only included a few foundations projects as more of a “filler” (I don’t think these are particularly interesting enough to warrant being in my final book, especially when I finally take ID studios next year), and would like some feedback on a few things (don’t worry, you don’t have to answer all the following questions… I guess these are more things I considered while putting this together- any and all feedback is appreciated, especially as this is still in the primary stages of development):

anyways, here it is:

(also, I am aware that for the third page, there are two white boxes running though the images… I have no idea why they are there, but have fixed them… It would just take forever to re-upload)


  1. Of the three layouts (for the foundations pages), which one appeals most? Do none of them really work? Would you want to see more projects on those pages? Less? Process for the monolith? Is there anything I should try instead [layout wise]?

  2. Cover Page- does this format work? Is all the information clear? Is there too much/too little on the front? Is there anything you want to see instead/ in addition to what’s there?

  3. design philosophy/CV spread- I am aware how amateur/poorly written the philosophy page is… right now it’s probably more of a filler page than anything, but is it ok to dedicate a page to something like that? or would you rather see something else (like more of an introduction/about me or a photo of me (i’ve herd that’s a big no-no)? CV-wise, is all the information clear? (this page gave me the most trouble) Is there anything I can do to just make it… better? Maybe spread it over 2 pages (that would probably after I’ve had a bit more experience though…)?

Thank you so much for your time, and if there are any considerations I should be making now, please suggest them! I guess the main idea for this is that I’m making kind of a style guide for my “real” portfolio, so I don’t have to spend as much time freaking out over it, and more time on the actual projects.

I truly appreciate your time and feedback- all tips, advice, and critiques (even if you think I should start over from the ground up!) would be greatly appreciated!

I like the 3rd page best. Good amount of white space to balance the content.

Thanks Tarngerine! I’ll definitely play around with having more white space in some other possible layouts.

On an unrelated note- the blog for that class you’re teaching is really inspiring! It’s made me want to do some more sketching at home… so thank you for making it public!

Looks like a good foundation for a portfolio. Much cleaner/professional layout than most of the sophomores I saw out of UC the past few quarters.

I agree I like layout three the best aswell. I would also begin laying out a bit more process. Trying laying out research, sketches, and final shots, and see how those all interact within your grid. Seems like it would be fairly straight forward but also a bit tricky getting your hierarchy down for those page down the first time around. Just grab some random stuff from online if you don’t have that content yet just to try it out.

Your design philosophy page needs a work. You need to give the quotation a bit breathing room. Scale it down and give it a nice type treatment.

Also if that is 8.5 x 11 I would reconsider how large your “title” type is. Just trying to image it on other pages outside of final shots seems like it would be quite large on a research/sketch/process page.

let me preface myself with saying that i am a big-a lot-of a type and grid system freak; obsessive, actually. so take from this what you will and want :laughing:

i do love the cover page: what you need to know and nothing more with a beautiful line rule. however, i’m not sure if you should apply the sideways pinstripes to the letters, only because you need whoever is looking at it to not have any doubt as to your name. even though it seems big enough and obvious, i think it would look a bit cleaner and not quite so redundant to just leave your name in that bold helvetica-esque type. but what it does very well is have a beautiful hierarchy and “1-2-3” read. to further reinforce this even, you could size down “design portfolio” maybe a few points.

i do agree the design philosophy text is a bit obtrusive and large. definitely scale it down; don’t be afraid to have the text only take up 1/3 of the space. often times this is far more effective and powerful than having the entire space filled, especially with the minimal tendencies you have. i would also move the design philosophy and curriculum vitae to the bottom edge of your line rule; just helps base the type instead of making it feel like it’s floating off the page. if that is what you want, however, then leave it and job well done :{D.

i love the “curriculum vitae” page, not only for the impressive amount of achievements-well done, by the way, on your accomplishments thus far-but because there is very good structure. i can see a 4-column grid structure in your paragraph type; but, the “curriculum vitae” throws it all off, being just to the left of the body text.

if you want, and again i only give this advice because of my-possibly annoying-obsession with grid, you could set up a grid system of 4x4 column arrangement to apply to all of your pages. this will not only help structure those pages with text, but it also helps give form to when you showcase your work: where to put explanation paragraphs, line rules, pictures, sketches. there is a lot of information in portfolios, and to help guide the viewer appropriately and efficiently, i think it would be wise to make a grid template.

you have very good work. i love the monolith project, especially describing your analysis of the process of designing an object that people will naturally want to pick up and play with, and i completely agree. if i saw this on a desk in a room, i wouldn’t think twice about picking it up and playing with it. you might want to even just do an experiment of setting up a video camera in a room, placing this on a table, and leaving the room. then review the tape to see how many people pick it up. i think it would be a fairly good measure of how successful of an interactive object you designed. this lesson will be critical for your design processes, no matter the area you are designing for. being able to design an object that people will naturally gravitate towards, pick up, and start playing with, will be invaluable to you; well done. as far as the rest of the layouts: i would agree the third set of pages is the best; however, i would keep the layout the same. in that, you have the beauty shot of your monolith and secondary views in a left-to-right read. you should do the same on the pages of the grid systems experiments to keep consistency and to help keep the flow as smooth and natural as possible.

like what was mentioned, take a project that involves the whole ID design process and layout it. because this is really how your portfolio will end up being, you might as well practice a bit now: it will only help you further on in your career. don’t worry about getting it perfect the first time; the layout of your portfolio will change :laughing: and relish in those opportunities to reinvent yourself. this is a sign of a designer that is always progressing and only getting better

douglasthew- thank you for your feedback! I really worked it into my total rework of my new portfolio.

As seen in the updated first post, here is my official link, and would appreciate anything else you have to say!

Just as a note, It only has sophomore work, a side project, and a little bit of my professional work (that I was allowed to show)- so there isn’t anything really in depth yet. Our third quarter is our first big project, so I have quite a bit of time until that shows up in here…,


Thank you for your time and feedback!!