Portfolio Critique

I’m in a bit of a panic because I know it’s not quite right and I need to fix it up fast. I’m hoping to send off to decision makers this week.

So let me have it! ANY feedback is much appreciated.


It all depends on who those decision makers are.
And what else you send with it.
And what type of job you are applying for.

The Short:
Well… I just found out this afternoon that the position has been filled. But I am looking for a job, i would send this link with a cover letter and resume. I don’t know what exactly where I should or even want to land.

The Long: (I’m sorry!)

I have a print and branding background but I’m open to new focus and mediums. I love vector illustration and design, minimalist art, and more. I’m even open to web but how do I spin a tiny bit of html/css, webdesign positively?

I’ve been at the same place for three years and just started updating my portfolio and resume over the past month or so. In that process I’ve improved my resume and LinkedIn content but I’m lost on what to put in my portfolio. I have more designs but I don’t know what to put out there or how to organize it. I’ve taken out a lot and added new work.

The other issue is display. Do I do mockups for every logo? So many things and I’m not sure what’s best.

PS. I’m sorry for the length of this. And thank you so much for reading!

The first thing that strikes me about your portfolio is that it looks like a college student portfolio, yet you say you have 3 years of real world experience.

What is missing is a short and sweet blurb for each of your logos describing the client and the usage. The thing about mockups is they are very “student.” They are all the rage now and not many of us like them because they a) look fake, and b) they tend to be used to hide design flaws. If the logos are real, used for real clients, in real situations, show those situations. Did the logo become a store sign? Did you print actual business cards? Photograph them. Did the logo end up on a website? Use a screenshot. Don’t use a mockup. Any print work that you’ve designed can be in a portfolio you bring with you. The tactile feel of a print says a lot about where you as a designer.

I’m curious about the pullup banner you show. Is that a real item? The purpose of one of those things is usually to draw attention, either at a tradeshow or event as wayfinding or bulletpoint illustrations. The elements on that particular piece are so small you have to be right up on it to see it. Even with a plus view, it is illegible.

As we say quite often, with graphic design, it isn’t really at all about what you love. It’s all about what works for the client at hand. Your stuff comes across as very ethereal and minimalistic. How would you handle a client that required a Heavy Metal look? You don’t always get to choose your clients.

Your resume should be about what you can bring to a potential employer’s bottom line. It shouldn’t be about finding a place where you “can learn and grow.” You should try to gear your portfolio to appeal to the places where you want to be working. The work you show should illustrate your skills and problem solving abilities. “Fun” is all well and good, but an employer is looking for results. Fun is on your own time. If you are going to feature “fun” call it something else and figure out how it is marketable.

Good luck.


Yes, I’ve been at this job for 3 years. I’ve been in the “real world” for 4-5 years though. I agree that my portfolio isn’t up to par like I said, I’ve been lost on what to put in my portfolio.

The pull-up banner is real. They were used for their opening event inside the entrance to direct people to specific areas of The Hub. They were meant to be seen up-close. The client had very specific requests here.

Thank you for your feedback @PrintDriver !!! I really appreciate your input and I will keep all of this in mind as I further improve my portfolio.

I think the comma after your name should either be a period or the word “and.”

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Just a couple of lines about you and your background might also be useful to have. This is apart from the resume you will send to apply for the job.

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Some thoughts:

At first glance, it looks like you only have a handful of pieces in the portfolio itself. But on closer inspection, you have some links with names like ‘Other logos’ which lead to more pieces. I would pull these out so they are visible on the main page.

This would also make your filter categories more useful too. Filters are only really useful when you have a large number of items to show, and at the moment you dont really have enough. Either remove the filters completely if possible, or bring out more of your work as detailed above to flesh it out a little more.

Finally, I would have a bit more explanation about each piece. Who was the client, what did their business do? Did you work on each piece yourself, or was it part of a team? If possible, try and indicate any positive outcomes as a result of the work you did - increased sales, more signups, a successful business launch, whatever it might be.

Hope this helps!

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