Enter your keyword

Communications Design Industry Discussion, Inspiration, & Tutorials

Dec 15, 2012

Portfolios That Inspire: Moxie Press & Co.

By On 07:55
If typography is high art, then letterpress is the best of paint, brushes, and canvas. Moxie Press & Co., the brainchild of Maryland designer Chris Undi, does it so well. This one-man shop offers design services, illustration, and printing. Not only is Chris a fantastic designer/pressman, he's also a good friend. Check out more of his work and see Moxie Press on Facebook:

Dec 11, 2012

The Online Portfolio

By On 18:11
Today is the perfect day to get started on yours. OR to update your existing online presence with recent work!

Having an online portfolio does a lot to boost your street cred among potential clients and employers. It’s also:

More Convenient than a Resume
and saves time in a job search.
This tool gives potential employers and clients a preview of your skills and abilities. In addition to the pieces that you present, folks are impressed by the design of the portfolio site and the user experience.

Showcases Your Talents
Online portfolios instantly show off your work. To establish yourself in this industry, let your designs do the talking!

Makes you Readily Accessible
Having your portfolio online makes you accessible to clients worldwide, instantly. This can open up opportunities to work internationally. Potential clients from other regions are now able to access your portfolio and maybe even hire you! Plus your contact information / link helps get contacts in touch immediately.

Saves Time
Virtually all e
mployers have embraced the concept of online portfolios. They expect to see you’re your samples when you apply for a position in their company.Look at it from their perspective. Employers have to search dozens of resumes, choose the right candidates, schedule and conduct interviews. This is very time consuming and virtually impossible without design samples. Having an online portfolio saves employers time and they can see your design work instantly, enabling them to find the right fit for their company.

If you don't have the time to code a site yourself, here's a list of great website and portfolio resources for you to check out. Compare all five: 

  • CarbonMade: Cutesie. 
  • Coroflot: A simple way to connect with creative opportunities worldwide. Upload your portfolio, connect with other designers, or post jobs.
  • BeHance:  a favorite of design professionals nation-wide. The javascript that powers this site is elegant and lovely.
  • Jobrary  and Krop:  Both sites have similar look and services. The site is UI is clean and minimalist.
A great alternative is to use a blog site and create something a bit more interactive. I always suggest Blogger, Wordpress or Tumblr to those who ask, but using social media site is also a great way to do this. TwitPics, FB pages, or even LinkedIn updates are becoming fantastic designers' tools for highlighting work.

Dec 10, 2012

The Portfolio: Not Just for Creatives Anymore

By On 06:00

My buddy, Barbara*, works in marketing and does a lot of media writing. This year she gave a riveting AIGA talk about interviewing with a portfolio when not in the creative arts field. Today, a great article on Idealist.org loudly seconded her sentiment. It's good enough to share.

According to Barb and Idealist every professional should arrive at an interview with a portfolio in-hand; "we do more than just our job description" and a portfolio book is an excellent way to show it. A professional portfolio--or leave behind--gives the potential employer a great idea of our skills, abilities and range. It's also pretty impressive!

How Does it Look? This simplest presentation of your leave-behind is a spiral-bound book separated by tabs. These can be printed and bound, in quantity, at retail copy shops or by yourself if you have a spiral binder at hand). Be sure to select  a heavy weight paper and substantial cover stock. Spiral-bound books are not the only option. This publication can also be a highly polished design piece that profiles your creative skill as well. If you choose to go in this direction consider hiring a graphic design student, freelancer, or recent grad to help layout / design a polished look.

Here are a few examples of print portfolio books:

What Does it Contain? Your portfolio is a great supplement to the interview conversation. As you speak about your projects, accomplishments, or accolades, refer to the samples that you have in-hand. Here are Barbara's suggestions for basic content for this book:
  • Your resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Listed technical skills, software, and hardware
  • Printed samples of your work or projects on which you've worked--with descriptions of the project, your role on the project, and other pertinent information
  • Writing Samples - if you have relevant, well-written pieces; include 2-3 samples of technical writing, public relations, media or editorial writing
  • Kudos and accolades on your work or performance from colleagues or employers

Why Not Go Digital? If making a print portfolio is outside of your means and expertise, create an online portfolio. There are several free sites that offer open formats for you to showcase a variety of projects. An online portfolio gives potential employers a look at your scope of skill, and also makes you look very web-savvy; this is more important across all industries. In addition to portfolio sites like: Behance, CarbonMade, Jobrary.com there are several blog format sites that allow for maximum flexibility; like Blogger, Wordpress, or Tumblr.

*her name isn't really Barbara.