July 21, 2010 at 8:48 pm #168734
I like your comments. One thing I’ve always had a question on that I’m sure would help others on this forum is related to the difference between a “portfolio” and what I might call “Initial Marketing Samples”.
Tim’s example above seems to be the latter because of its brevity. Would you expect all of what you mentioned in the initial samples or is it more advice for the larger portfolio that might be shown at an interview?
IE. Should the nuts and bolts be in the sample or held back to the larger portfolio.July 22, 2010 at 1:00 am #168733
I think thats a good question. I’m curious to hear what others think as well.
What you call ‘marketing samples’ I call ‘cut sheets,’ but maybe that’s another example altogether. I have thought of cut sheets as being ‘loose’ one sheet project samples, usually with your name and contact info on each sheet intended to be passed around.
Last spring 2009 I made two portfolios, an abbreviated version and a full version with projects, sketches, cad, gis, models, and even writing samples. The latter was over 60 pages if I recall and that was still half the size of some of the portfolio samples we were shown in school. I was under the impression that thicker was better.
I think a good portfolio length is between 10 and 25 pages or so. But I think a portfolio over 15 pages should probably be more narrative, showing process and complete projects, but still only your best work.
I’m reworking my current portfolio/samples and shooting for +/- 15 pages. I’m leaving out SO much work, which makes it difficult.July 22, 2010 at 6:01 pm #168732
Welcome to the forum! That particular image was done in photoshop, in the end I had something like 150 layers. A lot of the objects were cropped from google images, so basically that image is potentially $50000 worth of lawsuit on my head.July 22, 2010 at 7:00 pm #168731
To break away from the herd in regards to portfolios I would also like to reemphasize the identity aspect to your work. You have your own A) Process B) Style C) Perspective from everyone else. Tell the reader to lean into the imagery, the prose, and the detail of specific projects. Share a story that each is its own distinct project. Project one sets up a great opportunity to discuss the need to focus on details for intimate areas while needing to focus on the community masterplan… what stands out to you? If that doenst get across for you then it probably wouldn’t get across for the reader.July 22, 2010 at 11:15 pm #168730
I built it on top of an existing photograph that I took. Here is another view of it: http://timzhang.net/portfolio/temple2.jpg
^from that one you can tell the background image with dull green trees.July 23, 2010 at 2:05 am #168729
Terry DeWan, FASLAParticipant
Hey, there Are NO RULES in doing this! One of the best ‘initial marketing samples’ that I ever saw was done on a piece of torn-off yellow lined paper, neatly lettered, with a couple of quick sketches. It showed that the candidate had gumption, self-confidence, and an innate ability to communicate. (He got the job, btw).
For the most part, I’d err on the side of brevity. Think of your portfolio (or IMS’s) as a proposal… the real reason we write them is to get a ticket into an interview…. First impressions are very important (the 3-second rule!). Show your potential employer that you’re well-rounded, versatile, adaptable, flexible, creative… and can leap tall buildings in a single bound…
Tailor you submittal (whatever you want to call it) to the target audience…. If you’re applying for a job with the SCS, then there’s little point in emphasizing your skills at urban design.
By all means, leave something unsaid or unshown… Nothing worse than an interview where the only thing to look at is hard copies of material that you’ve already seen.August 2, 2010 at 6:49 am #168728
Thanks for all the helpful suggestions everyone, I have revised my portfolio based on the suggestions.
I uploaded it to issuu:
The yellow is supposed to mimic yellow tracing paper.. I donno if it’s too distracting.August 3, 2010 at 2:31 am #168727August 3, 2010 at 11:05 pm #168726
Here is my current portfolio, Tim and anyone else still following this thread.
I’d love to get some feedback.
The hardest part in creating this last version was cutting out 80% of my work.August 5, 2010 at 12:05 am #168725
It’s overall very clean and professional, but there are some little things that should be corrected imo. Some of the images are heavily pixilated while others are clear, like the TOD town center for example, it’s a great project but hard to see. I like it more when you have a thin white border around images like on Agri-Urban Landscape Plan page, you should do the same through out the portfolio and make the spacing consistent. I personally dislike the font Arial and I would size the text down to maybe 9. I used a variation of Helvetica for my portoflio. Text arrangement can be a form of art. The tone and content of some of your descriptions should be more upbeat like your paragraph about skiing. Instead of merely describing what you did for the project, describe why and how the project works. Showcase each of your projects like you’re selling something, because you are in fact selling your expertise to the firm you apply at. Hope that helped. You have very solid worksAugust 5, 2010 at 2:31 am #168724
That some good constructive criticism, Tim, thanks!
I was in a rush to get a copy of this out the other day only to print it after I had sent it digitally to find that some of the images were lower resolution like you mentioned. I also noticed some of the spacing issues–are you saying you also do not like ‘full bleed’ images or that there is just some incinsistency in spacing?
I agree that arial is a pretty lame typeface, though I dont mind it..I think what i actually used though is Swis 721. Some of the text is a bit large. I think its at 10 point now.
What did you think of the length? Too long, too short, just right? I have LOTS more work I could add..perhaps one more project?
I hope some others chime in as well. Thanks and hope you dont mind me borrowing your thread.August 5, 2010 at 10:40 pm #168723
Full bleed images are fine, however I wouldn’t put multiple images right against each other. The length is fine, however I’m not sure about the order. The first project you show should be your best work, also the last, in your case it’ll be before the sketches. Maybe show 1 or 2 more small scale projects to appear more versatile. The site photo confuses me as well, mainly because how big the image is in contrast to the solutions.August 6, 2010 at 10:12 pm #168722
I just want to say thanks to the creators of this website and its enthusiastic members, because I have obtained a full-time position in a firm with everyone’s help.August 6, 2010 at 11:52 pm #168721
Where are you working Tim?August 7, 2010 at 12:10 am #168720
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