Teaser Portfolio

Hi everyone,

First off, thank you for all the great information. I am a long time listener, first time caller so to speak.

I am looking to get some advice on the teaser portfolio. I know that it is probably not best to send out a full portfolio to a prospective employer, as it leaves nothing new to show in the interview. Up until now I have been sending out my website, which is essentially a web version of my print portfolio. I have recently been thinking about cutting it down to a few fully-developed projects with the disclaimer that it is a teaser portfolio.

My concern is that it will look underdeveloped in comparison to those with several projects put up on their site, or that an employer will think I only have a few projects worth showing. How are other people approaching this - sending out a full website but changing the layout/info in the print portfolio, or sending a separate pdf teaser? Any professionals have any preferences for what they look for? Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Welcome Canuck, congrats on the first post. Give us a link to the portfolio, it will help shape the feedback.

My take on teasers is that they are great to show of your skills but not necessarily how you think as a designer. Not saying that you can’t format a teaser that way but traditionally a teaser is one project per page and you have about 10 pages of stuff. I would much rather see your teaser in a case study format. I can tell if you can draw by looking at one or two sketches or renderings but what I really want to understand as an employer is how you think through the design process. Show me what you learned and how it made the product better. Tell me the story.

Thanks, Yo. Here is a link to the portfolio: http://www.jesseresnick.com

Thanks for the input, Foss. I agree that one page per project is usually not enough to show how you think as a designer. I have seen a few well designed one page project briefs, but they tend to only highlight one aspect of the design process rather than how the designer worked through the project from start to finish.

Hopefully seeing the portfolio will bring on some more feedback.

I think that teaser portfolio’s are importmant because you dont want to send out an entire portfolio of 20+ pages to employers and respone to job ads. I am a senior industrial design student and have been working on my teaser portfolio.

Here is a link to it if anyone would like to leave me some feedback it would be greatly appreciated!!


mzaleta21, slapped wrist for the post hijack, but then if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
I’ve been watching this post for a while to see if anyone was going to answer, as its been drifting down the list for a while. Looking at both your teaser portfolios I will say this.
There is a tendancy with students to miss the point of teasers. Their purpose IMHO is to get you invited for interview, therfore they need to be as enticing as possible, without giving everything away which leaves you with nothing to show at interview (when you really get the chance to sell yourself). Both teasers give far too much away. There is a danger of presenting every project, or trying to show all your skills etc. Most of the time employers will make a decision about whether to invite for interview within the first few images (For me it would be about 3 images). There’s nothing worse than being excited about a teaser in the first few images, only to get turned off further in as the projects get progressively weaker. This may be difficult for you to see, but you need to make teasers interesting without throwing up problematic questions.

As this is Canuck’s post, I’ll use the ‘his and hers speakers that function as bookends’ as an example. It would be impossible to produce from the dimensioned drawings as there are loads of undercuts, so you wouldn’t be able to mould it. Then, there’s no weight in it, or tongue that the books can sit on to hold them onto the shelf etc, so it would fall off and possibly break if the books fell over. Hopefully you will consider this. But in your teaser, if you just show the last image which is the strongest (without books, or mention of books), the employer will assume that you have thought of these things and you can say at interview, yes point taken, I’m only a student, or defend your design etc. From an employers point of view, I can nolonger see the speakers as a nice shape, or an interesting idea, all I can see is that you need to learn more about manufacturing and assume you made the design in CAD, without making a model and trying it. Employers make assumptions based on your images, so by showing a lot, you throw up lots of questions and if the majority of those are negative, your chances of getting invited for interview fall.

It’s a hard lesson to learn, and very difficult when you cannot see it from the employers point of view, but less is definitely more. Nice enticing images, clean and simply presented, not crammed on a page, that just leave an employer thinking - yes interesting lets invite him in - are what a teaser is all about - hence the title.

Some good stuff Jesse, your work has a fun feel to it. Good job showing research, ideation sketches, sketch models, prototypes, and final product. I would like to see a few more polished presentation drawings, but that goes without saying for me.

Really digging the Waterfall chair page.

On the cars page, I almost would downplay that since you didn’t do the designs, unless you want to be a 3d modeler. If you want to show off your 3d work, do it on one of your own projects.

I’m intrigued by the pyramids thing, what’s it for? Repeat tiles? Show it in use, in its environment.

Whoa! Get that hairy man hand out of the fold page! Get a girl to hold those for you.

Hmmm, the shoes, really bringing it all down man. Just not up to par there.

Sorry for the delayed response, and thanks for your comments. I just want to clarify that I don’t consider my site a teaser (and thus it definitely does give too much away). I am working to refine what I have now, and also put together a separate teaser.

Product Tank - I agree that most are only interested in the first 3 images. I’ve been working on pulling together some compelling photos/renderings to put into in a teaser. In regards to the speakers: thanks for pointing out the undercuts. Surprisingly, undercuts were never mentioned in the crits for this project, and I hadn’t considered it until you mentioned it. My bad. Also, a tongue is a good suggestion.

Yo - I’ve been working on my drawing, and should get some more polished drawings in there soon. I see your point about the cars. My thinking was that it showed 3d work that went into production, as opposed to all the other school projects. Irrelevant? The pyramids are tiles for a vertical wall surface. I’ll get a nice shot of them in an environment. Haha and yes, I’ll have a girl hold the mug for the photo. Working on shoes - I know I’ve got a ways to go. I’ll take them off the site. I’m trying to improve, and have a new shoe endeavour in the works. Could I send it to you for a quick look?

Sorry, for liability reasons, it is best if you post your work publicy for me to view. If you can’t post it publicly, you probably shouldn’t sen it to me either! :wink:

Keep up the work. Improving is a constant thing, it is a process. It’s important to recognize your on a journey with no finish line. Beat yourself up enough that you spot your problem areas and improve, but not so much that you prevent yourself from doing anything, or posting work! It is a careful balance!

There are several older threads on this topic, but I thought I would ask here rather than resurrect those. Not an attempt to hijack the thread, I promise. :slight_smile:

I am in the process of sending out unsolicited e-mails looking for work. I feel a bit awkward tossing my full portfolio around, and a teaser is a good idea, but do you think is it necessary to send a teaser with your first e-mail? In other words, is it stupid (for lack of a better word) to just send a plain old e-mail asking if they have any positions available?

If something SHOULD go in the first e-mail, what should it be? Just the teaser? Just a CV? Teaser + CV?

You never get a second chance…

Send something in your first email more than a CV. teaser, full portfolio, something… otherwise, why would anyone bother to contact you?


Hey Canuck,

You have some really great stuff. The presentation (web design for the page) is very nice to see. Your products are a little more interesting than the 2d stuff. One little thing that bothered me/caught my eye what the big photo in “His Hers.” It just doesn’t look very good. At least doesn’t look good enough to be your biggest picture for that product. As I scroll down though I am loving the schematics. All in all very good. I hope that helps.