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Renzsu

Tips for creating a portfolio

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Guest sensemille

hey guys, realy interesting topic.. kindda complicated though ^^, anyways this is helping me out bcause im trying to build a portofolio to get accepted to do my masters in the academy of eindhoven.. so i realy wanna do a kick ass portofolio because the guys at the academy r all pros in the field and they prolly have higher expectations then the employers do.....

 

1.one question i have that i havent seen anything written about is this: should the portofolio have a certain theme to it ? or would it help if it did???

 

2.another ideea that comes to mind is, in case u have a website that is. what if u send just a small stylised sheet of laminated paper, not necesarily standard A5,A4,A3, even cut out personaly, in wich to show just a few of ur best work and a big link to ur site, the paper u send acting like a teaser...

 

3.about the picture in the portofolio, i personaly dont see the purpouse in adding one..... they will most probably call u for an interview after liking ur work, not ur face..

 

PS pls reply about the theme question:)

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Guest DGA

well,

 

I've got another question...

how can a student with little experiences in the field of actual industrial design / product design put together a portfolio that communicates his willingness to work hard, to LEARN ?

how can a student find a job in an area that is not of his expertise?

 

I want to do a lot of things, but I don't wanna start out by styling mobile phones or cars- what about advertising, what about architecture?...to me, this should the bandwidth of a designer's abilities, but after three years of "ID", with projects from abstract to CONCRETE ( pun intended ha ha ha. ha. haaa...), I wanna do some fashion, I wanna do some more architecture, I wanna do advertisements-

but still- no graphics design office will ever hire me!

 

so---yeah.

dunno what the question is, really ^_^

my portfolio, right now, is a compilation of anything-but-glorious works that were done half-heartedly, because university projects are something I can't identify with...

what about me? am I lost now?

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Guest lufbrasketch

I can sympathise with what you are saying.

 

The answer to this lies in you doing design related work outside of university, in your own free time.

 

If you are truely not happy with what you do at university then you have to do other things, like competitions or briefs set by yourself, to build up your portfolio. What other way is there to build your portfolio if you aren't happy putting in university work?

 

I think also, you need to really think about narrowing down yourself what field of design you are going to study, as that will give you a bigger sense of "where you are going".

 

Of course, as you said, it is good to show the bandwidth of a designer's abilities, so throw in one or 2 projets related to other design fields which will support your personna, but not conflict with your actual area of design expertise, be it industrial design, graphic design, architecture etc.....

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heres my tip.

 

you should make the cover of your portfolio clean and simple.

but at the same time.

interesting enough that someone will pick it up and look through it.

 

think of it like a bookstore. imagine you book with everyone elses,

if someone comes down your aisle and picks up yours, and flips through it.

thats a good sign.

 

if however anothers is picked first.

you should also go check it out, to see what they did, that you didnt.

 

----------------

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Guest douglas the 2
hey guys, realy interesting topic.. kindda complicated though ^^, anyways this is helping me out bcause im trying to build a portofolio to get accepted to do my masters in the academy of eindhoven.. so i realy wanna do a kick ass portofolio because the guys at the academy r all pros in the field and they prolly have higher expectations then the employers do.....

 

1.one question i have that i havent seen anything written about is this: should the portofolio have a certain theme to it ? or would it help if it did???

 

this is a question i had while reading through the posts. when i had my first portfolio review last friday in an intro to product design class, i filled a 20 sleeve portfolio binder with work all related to ID. what i did, however, was give each class a theme of its own. there were a couple the teacher really liked and he said to stick with one of those throughout the portfolio. thinking this might be a bit boring; however, i think it would be ok to have slight variations of a general theme for different classes or projects, but it should be generally consistent.

 

i just recently purchased http://www.talk-mania.com/store/index.php?...category_id=167 this to help create layouts for future portfolios and projects.

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Guest larryworkshop

How about using A4 size paper as the complete portfolio, would that be fine too?

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Guest Bo!
well,

 

I've got another question...

how can a student with little experiences in the field of actual industrial design / product design put together a portfolio that communicates his willingness to work hard, to LEARN ?

how can a student find a job in an area that is not of his expertise?

 

I want to do a lot of things, but I don't wanna start out by styling mobile phones or cars- what about advertising, what about architecture?...to me, this should the bandwidth of a designer's abilities, but after three years of "ID", with projects from abstract to CONCRETE ( pun intended ha ha ha. ha. haaa...), I wanna do some fashion, I wanna do some more architecture, I wanna do advertisements-

but still- no graphics design office will ever hire me!

 

so---yeah.

dunno what the question is, really ;)

my portfolio, right now, is a compilation of anything-but-glorious works that were done half-heartedly, because university projects are something I can't identify with...

what about me? am I lost now?

 

Hahaha, same problem here. I recently graduated from a somewhat crappy 3rd world university with a bachelor degree in architecture, but I'm dying to involve in some industrial/product design job. My portfolio is... I don't know how to say it... I mean I like my designs but I hate my presentations. I only had participated in 2 non-architectural competitions, a futuristic phone design competition which my work seems too simplistic and a poster design competition which my name didn't even shortlisted.

 

Do I have to say "I'll be back!" and do more product/industrial design competitions while working in an architecture bureau for 1 or 2 years? And after doing so, do I have to throw my current portfolio to the shredder and make a new one, which do not include architecture at all? Would any design company teach an old dog a new trick? (I mean at that time I may be too old to be a Junior Designer)

 

And last question... is my english sucks?? :(

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Guest STOPNGO

Hi guys,

 

I'm going to graduate in a semester and I'm trying to really refine my portfolio for my job hunt. My problem is that I have allot of sketches that are on loose paper and sometimes I have a great sketch on the same sheet as one that I just scribbled over. My questions are....

 

 

What is the best way to present sketches to an potential employer?

 

Should they all be originals or are scans ok?

 

How many renderings should you have relative to concept sketches?

 

When presenting your work to an employer how many pages should each project have?

 

Some off my projects have 15 to 20 pages of work after research, sketches, renderings, mockups, computer and physical models, specs, and sometimes prototypes.

 

Is necessary to show each project in detail from start to finish?

How does one condense so much information?

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Guest Eddie12

Hey guys and gals,

 

I recently graduated from Uni, doing ID. A few questions about what to include in my portfolio....

 

Should I include my first year projects in my portfolio?

 

I got good grades for these (mostly 1st's) but compared with my second and final year projects I think they look pretty amateur (I think mostly because I couldn't use any 3D CAD particularly well... esp. rendering).

 

Is it best to re-work/re-model those first year projects?

 

Also, I've found that my portfolio is a bit CAD-heavy, as my process work in sketchbooks aren't up to presentation quality. How much CAD should you show for each project? Should I include my rough concept sketches (not great line work - v.sketchy, perspective not quite right) ?

 

Cheers peeps,

 

Eddie

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Guest headplow

This is a great topic of interest for any working designer or student, the portfolio.

There are some great questions as well as suggestions. I figured I would throw in my 2 cents worth having worked professionally as an illustrator/designer for the last 17 years.

 

Think of your book as more than a record of previous work. Your book itself should show you as a designer as much as the actual working files depicted. If you are conservative perhaps your book layout should reflect this, if you are a rock star so too your work should reflect this. The book layout,feel,design all speak volumes about your nature and your approach to design.

 

As far as those who have suggested "Always do this" or "Always do that", bear in mind formulas can be dangerous to the creative. While there are some general principles that are good to follow, always be consistent, there are times that will call for exceptions to any rule.

 

As far as what to include in your portfolio- I had an instructor tell me upon leaving school to enter the professional arena,"Well now all your heroes just became your competitor's!" Man was that a sobering thought. Nothing but the absolute best should go in your book! If it is remotely questionable leave it out. You are only as strong as your weakest piece. As far as how many pieces well that is debatable also. It has been said that if someone can't tell what you do in 10 excellent pieces then no amount will sell them.

 

Lastly, and this is just my opinion, I would vote no on the photo of yourself in your book. It could come off as pretentious. Wait until you are a design rock star and then the media will take your picture.

 

Sorry for the diatribe, just my thoughts. Might help someone make some decisions.

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Guest Peter Brown

After graduating and having a tough time finding a job, my networking abilities have kicked in. This is what I have learned from the director of a top branding company in the uk.

 

A brand/theme, simple and easy to follow which makes it stand out.

 

Keep the layout very simple, allow people to follow the story, what the problem was, the audience, the solution and development to it as well as possible user testing + scenarios.

 

I have put an image in of myself, this is at the start, shows who you are, what your design goals are, your interests in a few short sentences.

 

My portfolio is extremely varied, but include development work for the important ones/the ones you really want to talk about. SKETCHES, SKETCHES, SKETCHES + CAD

 

SHow off all your skills that you put in your CV, eg. research, ethanography, co-design, conceptual thinking, sketching, model making, development, prototype building, testing, manufacturing, CAD, project management skills etc.

 

Finally something at the end which says what you want from the viewer, eg. internship, job, freelance.

 

From this portfolio, the feedback has gone from low, to ace. Internship at brilliant UK Interactive Technology Design firm, accepted onto Masters in ID at TU/e, extremely good interview with director of a design company.

 

 

Though what I can say is.....network, its more than half the battle the rest is your work + you. Plus persistence, most people are so busy if you only contact them once they won't reply straight away and then your most likely lost. Keep emailing, telephoning.....Etc.

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Guest Kamal Aoun

Hi everyone,

The thing everyone missed (except Peter Brown) is that it is YOUR portfolio. There is no standard way to make a portfolio, only a personal one that reflect yourself. The choices of your work, the balance between pages, the presentation the balance between sketches and cad drawings and even attaching the personal photo are all personal choices and I really don't expect from an employer to have a list checking if each portfolio passes specific criteria. The only way to procede is to design the portfolio like anything inside it. I mean we are all designers in this forum (I think) why not consider the portfolio as any project of the portfolio itself. Whatever is the result, I think that any employer would be looking for this sincere outcome as if looking to the person itself.

Cheers

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Hi All

 

Really interesting thread, i do some writing for DEVELOP3D and was thinking about an article on this very topic.

 

Most of whats been written has been about a physical portfolio. Other than the Coroflot profile at the start, do you have an online portfolio? If so are there other sites like Coroflot?

 

Jno makes a good point about the importance of networking, however your online portfolio could include being active in discussions on Twitter, in LinkedIn groups and commenting on peoples work on Coroflot etc...who in return can refer back to your portfolio.

 

Interesting stuff...

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