Feedback on my portfolio

Hi all,

Looking for some feedback on my portfolio.

I’m looking for a job as a creative director/creative lead. I have a background in both graphic design and copywriting and am trying to showcase that I’m a well-rounded creative director.

I would like some fresh eyes regarding:

  • First-impressions of the portfolio
  • Strongest and weakest projects
  • Any practical solutions (show this and not that, wording etc)

Thanks so much for your help!

I am happy to share my thoughts; but there is a lot there to unpack, and it may take me a bit to give it the attention it deserves. A cursory summary would be that it looks like you do nice work, but the reader has to do some work to get there.

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Nicely done.
However, if it was me, I just wouldn’t include so much of my personal information.

It’s so nice to have nothing negative to say. For that matter, it’s way too rare.

A designer who knows how to write is another rarity (I love your About Me page).

I noticed you were the CD at Google Fiber, so I’m certain I’ve seen your work — it looks very familiar since I have Google Fiber here at home.

Your non-Google work is especially nice. I love it.

I’m sorry, but that’s my critique. I honestly searched for some critical bit of something or other to say, but I couldn’t find it.


You have some undoubtedly lovely work.

However, to an extent, I dismissed it initially because I was so overwhelmed by the Google aesthetic that I almost didn’t see the really good stuff. That’s not to say the Google work isn’t good, effective or doesn’t do it’s job, and of course you have to feature it heavily. It’s the show-stopper. Having worked on such a high-profile project will of course open doors for you. You don’t get to do that kind of work unless you are of a certain calibre.

Although Google branding is not my preferred aesthetic (of course, that’s redundant and irrelevant), objectively, it is well-considered, does what it is meant to do and sits well within the over-arching, parent brand. Fantastic work. But…

… it swamps what I feel is your better work. The Pebble Beach project is stunning.

All this is further compounded by what I think is the biggest issue, for two main reasons; the website itself. Firstly, the whole CMYK thing at the foot, the icon at the top and the mis-registered lettering all feels a little too gimmicky. You are far better than needing to resort to gimmickry.

Secondly, the heavy CMYK styling fights with the primaries of the Google work. It would be less jarring if all the featured projects were less primary like the rest of your work.

Additionally, the CMYK thing is often seen as the preserve of printing company websites. To my mind, you need it to look more like the website of a serious art director with a credible track record.

The site itself has some navigational issues, in terms of load times. I looked on an iPad, so will look later on a desktop, but, when you first click on print, it took so long to load that I didn’t know there was anything below it at first. In fact, it was only on a second try that I saw there was more. You may not get the luxury of a second try by a potential employer looking through hundreds of applications.

If it were me, I think I’d restructure it all and give Google its own category. That way, you can contain all facets of the project and emphasise the extent of it, without swamping the rest. They will then get equal time in the spotlight. The mere fact the Google project is what it is, means it won’t get lost or underplayed.

Don’t get me wrong, your work is great, but at present, it fells a bit like being at a party with a well-lubricated, loud and charismatic bon vivant drawing all the attention with tales of Vegas, when no one has even noticed Audrey Hepburn sat in the corner quietly with a coupe of Veuve Clicquot.

Overall, I’d downplay the site aesthetic, let the work speak for itself and think about how you give the other projects more airtime. You don’t want to get typecast as only being able to design for loud, primary brands and collateral, when you patently understand more subtle elegant typographic layout too. It is far better to be seen as versatile and able to communicate for any client than risk being seen as a one-trick pony (Does that even translate, or is it one of those unfathomable Britishisms?).

One final thing I am afraid I have to raise objection to; there’s no excuse for the Oxford comma. It’s up there with using straight- instead of typographer’s apostrophes!

Great work. Hope this helps in some small way.

[Much as I have always despised the Oxford comma, secretly I have used it on the odd occasion to remove ambiguity – but I’ll never admit to it.]


You all are so amazing! Thank you so much for your feedback!

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Seconding a lot of this. It’s fantastic work, but the overwhelming presence of Google isn’t giving me an idea of your range. As for the presentation of the portfolio, the CMYK branding is very common and somewhat generic. However, I love the changing taglines when you hover over the categories. It’s not always clear what the project is because the headings are so small. The work itself would shine more if restructured a bit. Again, great portfolio!

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