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Portfolio Critique (self-taught!)

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  • Portfolio Critique (self-taught!)

    Hello all, it's been a few months since I've had proper critique from this forum. I have been working hard since my last critique in January of this year and feel the need to destroy and rebuild my mindset again. My last critique was BRUTAL, and I walked away rethinking if I should even be a designer at all. I stuck to it and that's where you all come in. Any and all critiques would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
    Last edited by spyrocc; 08-17-2017, 11:23 AM.

  • #2
    Just realized this should be in the Crit Pit! Sorry Mods


    • #3
      If you consider yourself a student, the thread can stay in the student forum if you want it to. If not, I, or any of the other moderators, can move it for you.

      It seems the link you supplied just leads to Behance's main page, not your portfolio.


      • spyrocc
        spyrocc commented
        Editing a comment
        Well I guess it could stay here then. Thank you for notifying me on my link. Fixed.

    • #4
      Saw you post this on reddit today.

      I hope you're not spamming for views to your Behance profile, in any case I'll give you my two cents.

      What's your goal here? Are you trying to get a job as a branding designer, art director, creative director? You'd be hard pressed to find those types of jobs being self taught and not having years of experience.

      Most of your projects come off as free work or made up companies. I could be completely wrong (and please let me know if I am) but again I find it hard to believe that a competent business would allow someone with your level of experience to develop their brand identity. But then again fiverr is a thing.

      Design is so subjective. If you're looking for full-time employment two solid attributes you should have are:

      1. Education
      2. Experience (most companies seem to prefer agency experience for what it's worth)

      Talent can develop over time based on the above two.

      As far as your designs go, the presentations are very good (although get a little repetitive the more projects I view)

      I would fix or get rid of the parallel sound project as it is unfinished.

      [rant]Personally, I'm not a fan of this Behance presentation style where someone sets up their design in some unrealistic environment, being captured by perfect angles and perspective, with little to no text to explain the designer's thought process.

      But I get it...people (HR reps, recruiters, hiring managers) love this stuff. They ooo and aaa over how many different angled photos you can have a of business card.

      My advice to you, design for more well known companies if possible. If I see that you had a digital design contract with a company I've heard of I'm more inclined to think you know what you're doing then if I see some really great designs for companies that could be made up.

      Hopefully I am not discouraging you. But I think you'll find much more value on this forum then from the reddit community, which will most likely praise your work.

      I do find your work to be appealing, but I'll state it again "design is subjective".

      It's hard out there trying to make it as a designer. Keep working at it, learning the craft, reading design books and staying involved in the community if this is something you really want.

      Best of luck.


      • spyrocc
        spyrocc commented
        Editing a comment
        Hello Calebninja, and thank you for your input. I wouldn't consider it spamming for views as I'm genuinely looking for critique. Yes, most of the companies are made up except for Loochador Tacos.

        So would you consider self education a form of education? I realize that many agencies are looking for designers that went to design school, but is there absolutely no room for self taught designers with good looking work? How can I design for well known companies if these well known companies won't even look my way because of my lack of experience? Should I just set up my own agency and seek clients myself?

        I'm not at all discouraged and I thank you for your honest critique. I took your advice and nixed the "Parallel Sound" Project.

    • #5
      So would you consider self education a form of education?
      Many companies (I can't speak for agencies) run resumes through a text-recognition scanner before a person ever reads it. If that scanner doesn't "see" the credentials the job listing requires (like a degree), it's usually thrown out and a person never sees it. This is partially why a college education is important. Also, remember that a lot of the other people applying for the same job do have degrees.

      It is possible to get a job without a degree. But it is unlikely, unfortunately.
      Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.


      • #6
        spyrocc Like most people I am speaking on behalf of my own experience.

        It really doesn't matter if I consider self-education to be education, but you need to realize the challenges with the designer market today. In today's world most American cities are over saturated with Graphic Designers, many of which have a 4-year degree. If an HR rep or recruiter looks at your resume and sees you have no formal education, they may not look at your portfolio at all. So all your hard work and great designs will never be viewed by the right people. If an Art Director sees you have no formal education, they may think that you do not know how to set up a file correctly or the technical side of design and they do not have time to teach you the basics.

        Specialized roles such as UX Designer or Interaction Designer are becoming more and more common. This is why I was asking what your goal was as far as job type. My theory on why these roles are taking over and paying more is because it separates the people who have actually studied design and human response to design from the people who can just make visual eye candy. With design being so subjective, there needs to be science and research behind design to help support why these companies should be investing in a designer. Hence why UX/UI/Visual/Interaction Designers are so common now.

        As far as opening up shop on your own, I hear this all the time from other designers and have even tried it myself back in the day. Most of the time it fails unless you're extremely good at obtaining and retaining clients. Your best bet is to find someone who has made it with no formal education and see what steps they took to break out.

        P.S. My apologies for assuming you were spamming. I've seen a lot of people do that in the past with their Behance portfolios so I always assume the worst.


        • spyrocc
          spyrocc commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you for your insight calebninja. I think I'll try my hand at my own business eventually, no matter the odds of me failing.

      • #7
        To somewhat modify what Calebninja said,
        Entry level in this field is a 4 year degree AND 2 years of real world experience. That doesn't include freelance directly out of college.
        The reason is, I have yet to meet a college graduate who has any real practical knowledge of the technical skills involved in file prep for output. Any self-directed freelancing would simply be them re-inventing the wheel on a per project basis. They've been too busy in school doing pretty pictures and most professors don't bother to gig a student on the actual files they create (I would.) A few may have learned some basics in an internship here and there, but the actual dos and don'ts just aren't taught in college.

        I would say that up until the economy tanked in 2008, you could've maybe made a run at this industry without a degree. Not any more. If you look at the statistics out there, if colleges are pumping out several thousand design students a year, and there is an industry capacity for only 30,000 to 40,000 employment slots, the competition has to be weeded down somehow. Personally, I'd much rather an undegreed trade school design graduate over a college grad any day. But that's just me.....
        Last edited by PrintDriver; 08-18-2017, 09:47 AM.






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