UK based portfolio website

http://www.FreshDesignWorks.co.uk

I’ve just finished a major update of my portfolio website (see link above) which I built using Behance/Prosite.

I’d be grateful for your feedback. Please be as positive and constructive as possible though, I’m a graduate and I’ve been trying to find work for a while now and I don’t think my ego could take another battering.

Also, what are your views on the differences between ID and IDers in the US and UK?

Thanks

Hey Ben,

I’m David, a UK designer too. I think you’ve a couple of good projects in there but that overall your portfolio could be a lot stronger.

In my opinion, your furniture design is by far the strongest area of your portfolio. Lose the graphics section, the other design projects and the climbing wall, they’re not adding an awful lot of value to your portfolio. Focus on your strengths.

Your sketching is definitely not a strength, you need to revisit some of those past projects and not only produce some better sketches but present them in a better way also. They’re very very basic and don’t show a great deal of understanding of perspective or form, there’s no exploration or story being told through them.

With regards to the design of your actual website and the format upon which it’s built I’d maybe have a bit of a rethink. It’s great that you’ve kept it simple but it’s poorly designed with regards to alignment, layout and fonts etc. I’ve recently put together a free quick guide of how to create an online product design portfolio, perhaps that will help?


Hope that’s not too destructive and pretty constructive.

From what I’ve seen, the UK portfolios usually have a lot more process work and go into a lot more detail about how the project developed. They also seem to have a lot of text. US portfolios seem to be more short and snappy, and more of a “pitch” about the project rather than a documentation.

About your work, I have to agree with much of the above. The sketches need to be improved. Perspective, lineweight, basic drawing skills need to be improved and considered. As mentioned, the sketches need to show a development in form and function that I’m not seeing right now.

The way you present your portfolio is very important and much can be told about you as a designer from it. If you’re going to present those sketches, at least fix them up in photoshop, place them in a considered layout. Make them consistent (one of your sketch collages has a page of a sketchbook with binder still showing and some other loose leafs). If you’re not confident in your sketching, or think it could hurt you to show them, then take them out until you have better, improved ones to show.

Graphically, the whole site could definitely upgraded a bit. I know we aren’t graphic designers, but I strongly believe design and aesthetic isn’t confined to disciplines. A poorly laid out website will reflect on yourself as a designer. I must say I really don’t like that logo you have up there. Also, since this is your personal portfolio website (I assume), I’d rather see your name and make a personal connection rather than a brand identity that doesn’t really tell me much about you.

I think I commented on your site before, and some of the work does seem irrelevant. Its better to have less quality and relevant work than a quantity of seemingly unrelated work.

If graphic design/web design isn’t your strong suit, then I’d say stick to a traditional simple portfolio layout that is clear and to the point. A great example I can give is http://cargocollective.com/rochusjacob . If you check out this guy, he has some great work and a stellar resume, and he’s just using a simple Cargo Collective grid.

Oh and I’m also a recent graduate who was looking for a job for awhile. I know how it feels. I’m being very frank in this post because I think it’d be most beneficial for you. It wouldn’t help you at all if I sugarcoated it. The important thing is to remember that you will get there, and you can only get better. Always be improving your portfolio, take advice from professionals and your peers. Never give up, or get comfortable and keep your eyes on the goal of getting employed. Good luck!

Thanks for all the advice. As you can probably tell, I’m still quite new to all of this

One of the hardest things for me at the moment is not being around other designers. Do you have any tips for meeting other designers in my area?

I really miss having a mentor. It’s like you finish uni, and boom, your on your own.

Hi bwtalbot, where did you study, and does your Uni not provide employment support after graduating, I’d be very surprised if they didn’t?

Approach your past Tutors, I’m sure they’d happily see you once in a while and give you advice support if needed.

With regard to improving any particular skills, the internet is your friend. You’ll find websites offering tips and tuition from everything from sketching, graphical software through to CAD.

I studied Design Technology BSc (now Product Design BSc) at the University of Derby. The university provides a student employment agency, and some generic careers advice.

I’ve also contacted my old lecturer to ask if he’d had any enquiries from companies looking for graduates and he said he’d keep me in mind but with the state of the economy in recent years they’ve heard almost nothing.

I was referring to seeing your Tutor in a mentoring role.

There are jobs being advertised, at every level and in many areas of the UK. Spend sometime looking for the websites (that’s a clue) that advertise these positions, and in the meantime get working on those sketching skills!

hey bwtalbot, I agree with all the comments listed here.

One important thing I think you should do is remove that t-shirt project from your site. At best, it’s showing that you can use illustrator and photoshop. At worst, it’s juvenile and offensive. Sure, if you ran a t-shirt company, you could list that you ran it and link to the website, but in and of itself, that shouldn’t be on your portfolio site.