Can someone critique my portfolio?

Hey guys! I am currently looking for a new job, preferably at a firm that designs in a wide range of design mediums. I am currently a junior designer working at a small print shop. I am interested in digital design and I know a little Figma but have no portfolio-worthy digital design pieces.

I feel like there are a lot of job positions that I am interested in want to see some digital work. I am concerned that I am at a disadvantage because I don’t have digital centered-work to show. In addition, every portfolio project except for one is student work.

Portfolio: lioramoshman .com (I couldn’t add a link on here for some reason so I had to put a space before “.com”)

The forum doesn’t allow links for new people. It’s a spam deterrent.
You’ve hit the forum at about 630 pm EST. Most people in the US are off work for the weekend and the people in Europe are in bed.
So give it some time. Things are slow around here on the weekends.


The issue I am finding is that it’s not clear what is student work and what is actual work.
I looked through the portfolio and thought - wow that’s pretty professional and neat.
Then I saw you mention your company - so I checked out their website, and their portfolio work on their site is nowhere near as good as yours.

This brings up red flags. What in the portfolio is real, why is the work better than the work posted on the company website.

Separting your portfolio into real-life vs student work would help take the sting out of doing all the research - it’s more up front and honest. Which makes it easier to say
Hey they worked on this real life project
Hey they did this in college and it looks good.

When I look a portfolio I’m not looking at it to say ‘WOW’ look what this person did.
I look to see what this person didn’t do.

You’ve got so many good points going on - but the subtext of the presentation form is offputting.
In the fact that I can’t discern what is real and what is not.

So I’ll probably save yours and look at someone elses. And I find it easier to consume another portfolio or another 5 - because the portfolio is separated, I might not come back to viewing yours.

All the points are good on your portfolio
Nice work
Use of colour models; pantone, cmyk, rgb, hex etc

I don’t think you need to post links to the sources where you got mockups - there’s no need for that. It’s just a mockup - every tom dick and harry uses stock images for mockups.

The problem I have is that your portfolio is not plausible. How is the work better than the company that you work for?
Why isn’t that stuff on their own portfolio?

I feel like I’m rambling.

But I feel like that honesty will get you further in a process.

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Hey Smurf2! Thank you so much for replying and I appreciate your thorough critique! Everything except for Alpha Graphics 50th is student work. I am not sure when that particular project will end up on my company’s website…It is super outdated and updating it is probably not a high priority at the moment. The only other portfolio worthy stuff I did working there is not allowed in my portfolio because it’s state government work. (which I also don’t know when it will get used by the organization)

What is the best way to clearly show what is student work and what is client/in-house work? Mark each projects with dates or the class I completed the project in?

(also to be clear I work at Alpha Graphics Inc, a small woman-owned print shop, not the print shop chain, and the reason they have the same name in the same industry is another story lol)

Perhaps @Smurf2 isn’t familiar with AlphaGraphics in the U.S. Working there would be a great first job after college to learn about how the real world works, but it’s not a place for a designer to stay for a long time. Still, it might be a good idea to differentiate between any student work you might have and what you’ve done at your job.

Where I completely agree with Smurf2 is on the quality of your work. It’s really quite good — especially for someone only a couple of years out of college. I really like the collages and the soda cans.

I’m less sure about the splash page on the website, though. Having to scroll down to see your work is an extra step, and the menu item that says “Work” leads to the splash page instead of the work.

Really, though, you have some nice work.

Edit: I posted my reply before reading your response to Smurf2 where you clarified that the Alpha Graphics where you work isn’t the Alpha Graphics one might expect.

As for state government work, here in Utah, any work done for the state (and I’ve done a lot of it) is fair game since it’s public property. Maybe that’s not the concern you’re referring to, though.

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Yeh I think it might be a good idea to put a subhead in ‘Work’ call it ‘Student Work’
That way you could differentiate.

You could say that some work is NDA and only printed samples to view or something.

On top of all that.

I was nit-picking to the details because that’s what I do when I look.
I don’t want to be 'wow’ed so I turn off my wow-meter and try to find negatives.

But there’s not a lot of negatives. Maybe separating your portfolio will give better clarity.

As a side note - I really think your company might be undervaluing you.
I think you need to maybe have an honest conversation with them that you want to step up within the organisation and that your work speaks for itself.

There’s a typo on the back of the Tropical Hue box - there are 2 really (brochure too)
You’ve two spellings of Tumeric (both correct) - the bottle is spelled differently from the box

Where do I stand on typos in portfolios… I can’t stand it.
But on high-quality portfolios, I might overlook them.
But there’s really no excuse for not running spellcheck (which acutally wouldn’t spot the Tumeric error - so a proofread is always necessary)

That being said - you’re not responsible for the client-supplied text. If they supply it then you use it. If you find a mistake you can ask that they correct it or that you correct it on their behalf.

Ultimately, the client might hold you responsible, but the onus is always on the client to supply the accurate text - and the onus is on them to check and sign off.

You’d be surprised to know that each month where I work the top in all the mistakes made that in the top 3 of all trends are Text Errors.

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Thank you all for your comments. It’s been very helpful. I have a question about resumes…Where would be the best way to ask questions like that?

Beautiful work! I did want to mention a small thing: personally, it bugs me that I have to go back to the main page to see the next project. I think you should be able to navigate from project to project directly by including links at the bottom of the project pages. Also, for the Change Now project, when I flip through the pages of the Yumpu widget, the middle pages are empty. Not sure if that’s just me for some reason.

You are free to disagree with me because I don’t know what other work you have done besides what’s online and I could be entirely off base. I also agree about the splash page, I don’t think you need it. Your portfolio is definitely strong but not for a wide range of mediums. Your book when I first see it says digital advertising, and I also see packaging in there. Sorry if I offend you but your about section doesn’t match up with your work.It should clearly define who you are and what kind of work you want to do. “Creating and maintaining strong visual identities or making key information accessible to stakeholders.” You made icons for a U/X work, I don’t know if that’s strong enough to support that and you’d need to expand on this more and add some extra case studies for U/X. But you might get a low level role I’d keep it as an option, you never know. Maybe you have done more of this but your work doesn’t show it. Using the word stakeholder might indicate you want to work in U/X which goes against what your books is displaying. I do however see one piece that would be appropriate for digital U/X, U/I as I was just mentioning. As it stands now, looks to me like you’d attract digital ad or media work with your big bold use of color and full page images. This specific style I see a lot in that area. If you want to do identity work, you have to show more of that and the one piece I see is not an identity it’s just a logo with color options shown. Identity work is different from branding because it will show the brand’s imagery, the process, and how it works in situ. Do some research about the different areas of graphic design and you will need to tailor your work to that. Or keep what you have and get some work in a digital ad agency where you will have support from other designers.

Also, you might need to show what your role was for each project, if it’s a student work then that is more obvious and for student work, they may want to see more of your thinking and process.

To get around student work, you can do some re-designs and show your process and ideas, do this in the style that will attract the type of work you want to do and who you want to work for, so it might require doing some research. I am a branding and trained U/X designer so I apologize if I sound off base. Ultimately, it is up to you.

The book “how to create a portfolio and get hired” -Fig Taylor It’s on amazon. It will show you clearly how you can cater your work to the type of clients or companies you want to work with.

Speaking of UX and portfolio sites, I use Google Analytics on my own portfolio site to monitor how people are interacting with the site.

Rarely, as in almost never, does anyone spend more than 5–8 seconds on a page. This is enough time to scroll through the images but nowhere close to enough time to read, let alone contemplate, what I’ve written about the work. I get the impression that people only look at the pictures.

Then again, whether that’s important probably depends on the target audience. If the point of the portfolio site is to target that one individual out of several hundred who does take the time to read and study what’s there (for example, an art director following up on one’s job application), I suppose it’s worth it.