Seeking Associate's Degree Portfolio Critique

It’s that time of year, isn’t it?

(i’m new here and I can’t include a link…oh no! so after adobe, there is a .com)

I am graduating with my Digital Media Design & Production A.A.S. and I am going straight to the University of Tennessee in August.
I work in advertising so there’s a mix of actual client work and personal projects in my portfolio, showcasing editorial work, brand identity, advertising, and a public transit system with wayfinding.

I’m looking for general feedback, suggestions, critique, anything. I’m hung up on the idea that while my work actually does challenge expectations as I mention in the beginning, I have chosen more mainstream work. I feel like this makes my statement seem false or perhaps inaccurate. So I’d appreciate any thoughts on that as well. Did I sell myself short by including mostly client work and not flexing my out-of-the-box skills? Or is it smarter to showcase work that is more likely aligned with what a business would need?

I’m only sharing the pdf for feedback, because I’ve had a few copies printed of this and I am showing next week at a graduation portfolio show with local business owners, design firms, etc. So my website is important but I’m not focused on that today.

Thanks for your time

Clickable Link to Portfolio

This was my very first thought. Based on the statement on the first page, I was expecting to see some pretty cutting edge work. Then I scrolled down and saw the Cartter’s Trail logo and sort of had an “oh” moment.

The big thing that bugs me with your presentation is that it is designed to been seen as two-page spreads, but you’re only showing us one page at a time. Make a new PDF that is in reader’s spreads (page 2 to the left of page 3, page 4 to the right of page 5, etc.) and re-post that. As it stands, it’s a pain to decipher what I’m looking at.

Oh snap! You’re right. I will do that. Thank you

Bah. I should have said page 4 to the left of page 5, but I trust you get what I meant.

I do. I have a facing pages spread on my personal computer, planning to share when I get home :slight_smile:

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From my experience, this statement might be risky or even a turnoff for most clients. When asked directly, most clients and employers say they want something different and new. However, they usually choose what feels safe and familiar to them when making decisions. Words like “discontent” and “disrupts” can set them on edge — especially when said by relatively new and inexperienced designers whom they have limited reason to trust with whatever discontent and disruptions they’re proposing.

Going after clients who genuinely want to disrupt things and who lean into edgy is a viable niche to pursue. However, your work is rather conventional, safe, and mainstream, which isn’t a bad thing, but it creates a bit of a disconnect with your portfolio’s introductory statement.

By the way, I really like your absinthe bottle. Did you do the illustration? It’s nice.