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Top Studios Such As Pentagram Share Design Portfolios Dos And Don’ts
By Yoon Sann Wong, 16 Jun 2017
It never hurts to hear what top studios have to say about design portfolios—there just might be a thing or two that will help you enhance the way you present your creations.
Adding on to the previously featured tips on what companies look for in a design portfolio comes this new piece put together by It’s Nice That. The publication spoke to various creatives from leading design agencies including Pentagram, ustwo, Wieden+Kennedy and Moving Brands to get advice on this topic.
Discover words of wisdom from Pentagram partner Jody Hudson-Powell below. Check out the full feature for more golden tips.
Jody Hudson-Powell, Partner at Pentagram
Powell advises five main things that graduates should note when putting together their work: you’re not a commercial designer, yet; be clear about your role in the work you’re presenting; don’t overlook the power of text; reveal the process; your work showcase should be the priority.
You’re not a commercial designer, yet
Don’t focus too much on bringing your designs into the “real” world and continuously creating mock-up projects using LiveSurface; these don’t necessarily add value.
“Whacking your projects on the same fake billboards or vinyl cover templates that everyone else does visually places your work in a sea of generic things – it makes it harder for you to stand out,” explains Powell.
“Your portfolio doesn’t need to look like a big agency’s ‘Work’ section on their website, in fact one of the great things about being a new graduate or junior designer is that your work can come from a more creative and looser place. That doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be craft and rigour in your work, it just means you don’t need to wrap it in a layer of fantasy.”
Be clear about your role in the work you’re presenting
If you collaborated with others on a particular project, don’t try to claim everything as your own.
“We’ve seen a few people who have come in and shown the same project but not mentioned it was a group project or what their role in it was, which is off-putting. Signposting your role, explaining what you did and mentioning what you didn’t do [are] such [good behaviors] to learn. No one is going to believe that you did everything, be honest.”
Text is just as important as images
Don’t overlook the importance of presenting your CV with your design portfolio. “It’s a piece of communications design and is often the first thing we see in a portfolio; it’s your initial impression, spend time on it.”
Reveal the process
“At graduate level, process is as important as outcome.” Powell admits that while perusing resolved projects is enjoyable, contextualizing one’s other interests is important as well. “Show you have an experimental side, show some work in progress, show your sketchbook scans, some of the stuff that [led] you there.”
Exhibiting your work should be a priority
The Pentagram partner has simple advice for this one: “Don’t lead with a picture of yourself.”
Continue reading valuable tips from ustwo’s senior designer Matt Gypps, Wieden+Kennedy London’s design director Karen Jane, as well as Moving Brands’ design director Stewartt Davies and recruitment manager Madeleine Fortescue.
[via It’s Nice That, image via Shutterstock]
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