Thursday, September 30, 2010

Design Portfolios: Simplicity is the bee's knees

As a student of design, one is always looking for the best way to represent oneself to peers, teachers, and potential bosses and clients. The question is how does one go about doing this in the most effective way possible. The answer is a design portfolio that highlights ones skills and talents in the most direct and efficient way. This of course sounds much simpler than it really is. Designing a cohesive and effective portfolio is a very tricky thing to get just right. It is almost impossible to have "The Perfect" portfolio but there are a few simple rules one can follow to help make the best possible portfolio for the given individual. First and foremost, simplicity is king. Keep projects direct and concise so that the reader has no confusion of what the designer is attempting to convey. The more complicated a portfolio gets, the greater the tendency for the portfolio to become bloated and muddy. The second rule to follow is be consistent. It is important to keep an ongoing theme/layout throughout the course of an entire portfolio. This lets the reader turn through the portfolio without having to frequently change gears whenever a new project is introduced. This way the portfolio seams like a continuous body of work that represents the designer rather than a group of individual projects. The last important rule to follow is to make sure one shows examples of a wide range of work in different medias. This is important to show that the designer understands the process of creating a product as well as showing that they are a well rounded designer. Employers like to see two things: a wide range of skills, and the entire process of a project from beginning to end. Show too much of one thing and too little of another, the designer will not be viewed as well rounded. Follow these three tips and one will be well on there way to creating a portfolio that best fits and showcases themselves as a designer.

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