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Portfolio Critique

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  • Portfolio Critique

    Hello GDF,

    It has been awhile since I've posted here, it feels good to be back, I've been working hard (hopefully it paid off). If anyone is willing to give my in-progress portfolio a critique. Currently there are only two projects up there, I've got more in the works, but I want to know if I'm on the right path or not before I put more up. A bit of background, I had been working as an art teacher and decided to make a career change to graphic design. I have a studio art degree and a masters in art ed. Any critique on my work would be greatly appreciated, I hope I've got what it takes to be a graphic designer, even if its going to be a long road.

  • #2
    Try looking at your pub sign from across the room. Can you see what it says? Can you see what the shapes are trying to be? As an art teacher, I presume you know a little something about hierarchy. Both pieces need a fair amount of attention paid to hierarchy. When emphasis is put equally pn all the elements, you have no hierarchy.

    Why do you have 1 gray, 1 gold/bronze and 2 blacks speced but use 1 black and 2 grays in your sign?
    Your menu has 2 typos in the first listing. That, as PrintDriver often says, would "bin" you immediately.

    You cake card: Is the company called "Paper Wish" or The Paper Wish"? You have shown 2 different logos - one labeled "final" that does not make it onto your business card. Seems odd to work up a logo - and then use something completely different on your business card.

    FYI: "Black and White" means Black and white only; no shades of gray.
    FYI: Specing web colors do not work for print or fabrication.

    Could go on, but I have to run. Maybe others will chime in.

    Sketching not only helps you work out good ideas, it helps you get past the bad ones.


    • #3
      Typos are a quick way to seal your fate. And unless your doing a newspaper spread, don't ever hyphenate.
      And why web colors for a project that seems entirely print media? It's one way to guarantee poor color output. Your local printer will shoot hot coffee out of his nose when reading that boilerplate.

      Not to be overly critical, The design work is simple, clean and has a classy appeal. I like the work overall.


      • PrintDriver
        PrintDriver commented
        Editing a comment
        I need a new keyboard, I should go over and look?

      • soundobjective
        soundobjective commented
        Editing a comment

    • #4
      Thank you both for the critique and advice. The typos are unacceptable, I found so many more. I realized I'm rushing through in reaction to pressure to find a job, which is obviously counter productive. I've been watching videos and reading for awhile now and this is my first go at it. I want to make sure I'm on the right path, the my art training and what I'm learning about design are vastly different.

      If anyone else has any constructive criticism I'd love to have it or see any areas I should revisit in my study or focus on for now.


      • #5
        Just keep producing pieces.Your designs will get better over time (not that they are bad now) - but the day you become content with your work, or fail to see the need to improve will spark your downfall. Keep tabs on design trends, keep tabs on your competitors, keep evolving.

        I remember when I was just getting started, and someone would point out a typo, or something I thought was so trivial (like hyphenating) - I remember thinking "how pretentious". But it's the attention to detail that separates the good from the best. Be thankful someone pointed it out. Many employers and peers will notice them and say nothing - leaving you to guess why you didn't get a position, or why your piece wasn't the one that won a bid.


        • #6
          I'll point out one thing that in graphic design, is paramount: READABILITY

          While you engage in trying to make a brand identity look elegant, or fancy, or industrial, or whatever is appropriate, you will invariably be navigating a typographical minefield. You must subject your work to unseen levels of ruthless scrutiny; your own and that of objective passerby.

          I mention this after looking at the final type treatment applied to The Paper Wish. The script-connected foot of the P turns it into an L, at least partly. Once I saw that, no matter how forcibly I insisted it was a P, my reading motor processed the word as "Laper." One such instance would be grounds for reboot, but even less of a stretch is the W, looking exactly like an uppercase U followed by a lowercase L. So sure, it does indeed say "The Paper Wish," but in terms of brand recognition, the very possibility of seeing The Laper Ulish injects enough ambiguity to be a deal breaker in my book.
          I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.


          • #7
            I would advise you to work on your current work. Concentrate on them and only on them. And, when you feel that you are well versed in them, sharply change the direction of work and try something close or completely new in your direction. This will allow you to look at things from different angles. I was helped a lot in my time.






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