Hey there, so I’m looking to brush up my portfolio and add in some of the projects I’ve worked on, but I’ve got a kind of dilemma that I’m not sure how to handle.
So because I know I tend to ramble, the TLDR is that I’m still pretty fresh in the field, and trying to figure out how to include and organize the different projects that I’ve worked on in different capacities, because I’ve got a lot of stuff where I came in somewhere other than the start and I want to be honest about my role, but still show that I did play a part in them. There are more details below, but I did try to keep it brief, because you probably don’t need or want all of them.
I’m currently working at what is still my first job in the design field as the in-house designer for a print shop, where I’ve been for 3 years. I’ve got to do some great projects where we started at the ground and worked up, but there are also a lot where the original design work was done by someone else, and I’ve come in from behind to make adjustments - sometimes simply preflight stuff like adjusting the provided files for the proper output requirements, other times actually adjusting/updating/changing the design and composition significantly.
The trouble I’m having is, while I know that both design adjustment and prepress work are valuable skills, I’m not sure where to draw the line on what is appropriate to include in my portfolio, or how to label such works in a way that’s not misleading, or self depreciating. Currently I’m thinking of organizing them into completely original designs, guided/restricted designs, and production work; I think those titles are pretty self explanatory, but I’m not sure if that’s a weird way to do it. And even if it is clear, I’m not sure the lines are - does the use of stock imagery detract from the originality of a design enough that it should go from original to guided, or should there be a fourth category? Or is that overkill?
I’m not sure if I’m just overthinking or if my concerns have good answers that I just don’t know being still pretty fresh in the field. I know I want to include some of those projects in there, because being able to gesture to work I did on that scale is nice, but I don’t want it to come across as though I’m claiming responsibility for the whole project when I was on the tail end of it.
Normally, I’d be happy to share my portfolio and just ask for feedback on it, but I’m currently agonizing over whether I want to trash the whole thing and start over or try to prune it into better shape, so I’m not quite comfortable with that at the moment.