Reflections on Reviewing Portfolios, or, some suggestions to help you get a job
I was honored to be asked by Northampton Community College, a school where I spent a year and half, to come back and critique portfolios of the current graduates. I remember what it was like to be on the other side of that table showing my own book, thinking how much I thought I knew while also finding the feedback and response to my work incredibly helpful.
I’m not sure I was as helpful as I would have liked to be, though I tried to give constructive criticism and feedback and generally challenge the students to think about why they made the decisions they made. I found myself saying a similar things to a few students and thought it might be of help to write them down to share here. These suggestions are less about actual design concepts like typography (it’s too big) or layout (use grids—obviously) and more about presenting your work in a thoughtful and intelligent way.
The work of Stitch Design Co. has been linked around a lot lately and deservedly so. This design duo consists of Amy Pastre and Courtney Rowson and together, the two have created a great portfolio full of letterpress-esque (possibly real letterpress - I’m not sure) pieces full of great patterns, textures and wonderful typographic details.
It took me a while to figure out how to navigate the portfolio (it’s probably not laid out as clear as it could be) but once I did I spent quite a bit of time digging through some of their great work. I also love how they present their print pieces; arranged nicely with small objects added in to reflect the client. Such a great personal touch.
The talented folks over at We Made This has a great new portfolio showcasing their design, photography and writing. Be sure to take some time to really look through their portfolio, they have a lot of great work ranging some interesting styles.
We Made This describes themselves as “We’re a London based graphic design studio specialising in rather tasty print work.” I like using the word “tasty” to describe design, too.
I haven’t linked to many design portfolios in a while because honestly, I haven’t seen much that has really blown me away in recent weeks. However, I am completely in love with the work of the London-based Telegramme Studio. I cannot remember that last time I was this inspired by an individual studio.
There work ranges from print design, illustration, web design, and art direction and it all features an obvious love of craft and bespoke aesthetic. They’ve produced a wide variety of work and it’s all thoughtful and elegant. I can’t recommend digging through their portfolio enough.