Archive for May, 2010

The Neverending Story

04 May

” Your portfolio is never really finished until you stop creating.  It’s merely a stage in your constant journey to better work and more satisfaction.” – Cynthia Baron

It is about that time!  Time to have a working portfolio that can represent me when I am present as well as when “thequotes,quote,inspiration,design,heart-ffe396a8836dead6c7ef0f4442c50e74_h portfolio must speak for” me.  I have made it through the planning, designing, and production stages of creating my portfolio, now all that is left is the cleaning and keep up work in order to keep my portfolio up to date and properly representing me.  The portfolio I have created so far consists of a website containing my reel as well as other examples of my work, my business card, letterhead, envelope, and resume, and a DVD of my reel within a hand made case.  I have tested everything as recommended and found that there are still a couple updates that I need to make, but that the majority of my portfolio is in working order.

“Belief Makes Things True”

As a designer you need to believe in your own work.  This does not mean brag and pitch yourself, it means be honest, be yourself, show interest and enthusiasm, and be proud of the work you have created.  Design is a passionate career choice, when it is something you love this passion comes through in your work.  If the client can see this clearly in the way you present your work this may even help you get hired for a job.  The most useful piece of interview information that I found pertaining to preparation and rehearsing for the interview is to have a “sequence”  planned for presenting your work this will allow you to be prepared but not memorized.  This will once again allow you to be professional but personable and proud of your work.


Uh Oh, Here Comes Trouble!

02 May

“Now that so many projects are digital there is a smorgasbord of ways to borrow, sample, copy, alter, and out-and-out steal creative work.  It is also harder to stay within the law, even when your intentions are honorable.” – Cynthia Baron

Talk about paranoia!  After reading Chapter twelve, Copyright and Portfolio, in Cynthia Baron’s Designing a Digital Portfolio that is exactly what I became. Paranoid.  The majority of my work I created entirely myself, but occasionally I have used stock images or videos, and in terms of music I almost always use songs from relatively well known artists.  In my portfolio I made sure to site every element that I used that was not my own original work, but I am still nervous that this is not enough.  This chapter also stated that “interpretation is key” meaning that the designer’s intent behind using the material has a lot to do with whether or not the designer will get in trouble for using a piece that is not theirs within their work.  The majority of the projects that I am using within my site to demonstrate my work are independent projects that were made for classes and not for profit.  That means that I am not using their work to make myself money.  However, does having these projects on my portfolio site, which I am mostly using to try and get myself a full-time design job, mean that I am using these projects to help myself make money?

Picture 1

Caption for one of my projects shown on my portfolio site

There is a lot about copyright laws that I do not fully understand, or even remotely understand, but I am hoping that I have done everything right in order to display my work while still respecting the pieces of work that I used from others.  One of the concepts that I am a little confused on is the idea of Derivative Art.  In one of my pieces that was created for a course and never used for profit I created a tribute to the designer Tibor Kalman.  Derivative Art says that only the copyrighted owner can copy, alter, or duplicate pieces.  In the tribute I altered Tibor Kalman’s print and product designs to bring them to life within a motion graphic piece.  It was obvious throughout the whole piece that I was working off of his work, but after reading this chapter  I am not sure if that is enough.  And then the fact that the designer is no longer alive confuses me about who exactly has the rights to his work.  I believe this rights move over to his wife, but I am not sure if all the of copyright laws remain the same between the original designer and the secondary person.


Give Me a KISS

02 May

“When you’re just hatched as a designer, a lot of times you’re more concerned with the entertaining factors of your site” – Layla Keramat


No, no, not those kind of KISSes!  I have just needed a little reminder to Keep Is Simple Stupid (or Seriously depending on who you listen to).  When you’re a designer your degree and GPA are not going to get you a job. It is all about your work and your experience.  So you obviously want to make  sure you make yourself look good!  Find a way to show all of your skills and find your pieces of  work that are going to get you noticed.  The problem is, when you are trying to figure out the best way to represent yourself, many times you end up trying to show to much- going the direction of extravagance rather than simplicity.

But How?

Designing a Digital Portfolio‘s chapter on Portfolio Interfaces gives all sorts of tips on how to keep your portfolio site simple in order to make a stronger portfolio.  So, I took these tips and made myself a sort of checklist of the suggestions and then compared each suggestion with the design I had planned for my own personal portfolio site.  Here are the results.

  • Limit your color pallet to two colors plus black and white. My site is black, white, and different transparencies of emerald green which fits within the recommended amount.
  • Create a grid and/or column based site.  My site has an obvious grid that is defined by the white lines and consistent throughout the site, which brings up the next point.
  • Keep your page size small and consistent.  I am not a big fan of having to scroll to see everything that I need to. I built my site as 1024 x 786 hoping that this would allow my work to be displayed large enough but still be visible within the user’s screen without needing to scroll.
  • Choose a smart typography.  This means legibility, not all caps, not too big- not too small, avoid Times New Roman, don’t center, and don’t use italics.  I used a combination of the Minion font that is used within my logo for main title sections to keep consistency within the site and then switched to arial for the body text descriptions of each video which is a sans-serif and more legible font.
  • Organize and arrange ideas into groups.  This was a difficult decision for me because I had to decide which pieces I wanted to include and which was the best way to organize this work as well as the informative information such as about me and references.

Overall I am happy with the way that my design is coming along and the adjustments that were made to improve it.