Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Word on Portfolios

Over the past few weeks, I've been sifting through my projects from the last couple of years and selecting those pieces of design for my portfolio that best represent the way I think and work. It's been tedious work; trying to make the same story you've told over and over seem new and interesting is not that easy. I found some inspiration on Coroflot's Creative Seeds though, in the form of Carl Alvian's April 17th article: Building Your Portfolio Website: Six Things to Always Do. Alvian's portfolio must-haves are these:

1. Make sure
you are in there somewhere.
2. Get your own domain.
3. Be broad. And deep.
4. Make sure at least some of your images are professional quality.
5. Pick--and stick to--a consistent visual style.
6. Make it easy to get additional information.

Some of these suggestions are obvious, but the points that really rang true for me were number one and three. He goes on to say that the most impressive projects that he sees in portfolios are not necessarily the most elaborate or for the biggest clients, but rather ones that the designer is obviously passionate about: "A portfolio that contains nothing but sober, perfect client work can get in line with hundreds of others just like it". The point is that a good example of your passion could come from anywhere; a school project, freelance work, or from client work.

"A portfolio that contains nothing but sober, perfect client work can get in line with hundreds of others just like it."

Point number three is also very relevant to what I'm doing. It is important to show both breath and depth of your skill set in a portfolio (being "T" shaped). This communicates that you are a well rounded individual in a very timely manner, without making your portfolio take an excessive amount of time to review.

1 comment:

Cody Stonerock said...

The part that struck me the most was "Make sure you are in there somewhere". Part of sending work to companies or interviewing is to try to make them want to hire you, but the other important part is that they are hoping you will want to work for them. It is a two way process. It comes down to the fact that they need to know you more as a person so they will know if you will be compatible in the company. It does not matter if you are great but nobody likes you, you might do more harm than good. having yourself in there somewhere shows them more than your work. If there are two equally qualified people applying for a job, it could easily come down to this.