PDA

View Full Version : First Proper Portfolio - Critique / help / advice please!




LERsince1991
Jun 23, 2009, 03:01 PM
Download latest version (http://www.lukeriggall.co.uk/fileuploads/LR-Portfolio-09%20New.pdf)

click above or right click and save file to downloads if you wish to view in acrobat

I'm creating a portfolio and here the first attempt.

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x276/lersince1991/LR-Portfolio-09-front.jpg

Would be VERY helpful if people could post their critique, comments, advice and help please!

The portfolio will be made into one printed copy, probably available on my website and could be send via email and CD to companies.

I need a portfolio that I can add to when I get better work but I guess its mainly for a scholarship/sponsorship I have applied to.

Cheers!
Luke.

P.S. Please tell me if the link doesn't work - It should



xUKHCx
Jun 23, 2009, 03:16 PM
The text is a little hard to read with the large gaps between the letters. I'm no designer but it is just something that popped immediately.

Designer Dale
Jun 23, 2009, 03:21 PM
See my post on your other thread. Decide which one you want us to reply to and stick to it. MR can get real confusing at times.

You can't change a thread once you start it, but you can post a link to the one you want in the one you don't want. I think you have done this before.

Dale

LERsince1991
Jun 23, 2009, 03:34 PM
See my post on your other thread. Decide which one you want us to reply to and stick to it. MR can get real confusing at times.

You can't change a thread once you start it, but you can post a link to the one you want in the one you don't want. I think you have done this before.

Dale

Hi, again.

Your first link is dead but your second one works fine. I have some screenshots and will look at them after lunch.

Interesting cultural note: In the US the term "outhouse" refers to an outdoor toilet. "Outbuilding" and "shed" are what we call small storage and multipurpose buildings. A company in the US once developed a phone marketed as the Chat Box. It was sold in France under that name, where it translated into Cat Box...

Dale

Thanks for the feedback

I will change the text fonts/separations.
I am also going to change the text on the project but just haven't got round to it at the moment.
I will change the 'outhouse' reference to studio... I didn't spend work experience designing an outdoor toilet.
Thanks for the feedback.
Still a bit of work to do on my part but I'm working on it!

Luke.

UMHurricanes34
Jun 23, 2009, 03:37 PM
Link isn't working for me

LERsince1991
Jun 23, 2009, 04:21 PM
I've added another link if the first doesn't work

Designer Dale
Jun 23, 2009, 04:41 PM
Hi, again.

As usual, your designs are unusual, and that is wonderful to see. I have some observations on typography for you. As you edit this down, be sure that the headings and captions are all the same distance from the images. This makes anything with graphics, especially a PDF much cleaner if it is clicked through quickly. The title is really cropped off on the Novanta page.

The font looks like MyriadPro with 400 pt. leading. It makes the letters in the sentences "stack up" and look like Greek columns or something. Hard to read. Try another font with a little more character to it and auto leading. I added a sample of what I'm talking about using Optima.

The shot of the car racing the cheetah is great. I love the look of speed and acceleration it has. Being the dumb naturalist that I am, I couldn't help but recall that a cheetah tops out at 60 mph or something. I could put that in kph, but I'm too lazy to go out to my car. I think Saab had a race staged between one of their cars and a jet, which they also made. The car had better acceleration over the distance used than the jet.

Dale

LeviG
Jun 23, 2009, 05:05 PM
Personally I think you've taken the wrong approach with your portfolio.

Its all very well showing end products but you need to show some development too. Take your table for example, you've got one page with 3 cad rendered images, where are the images of the final model, the sketches etc leading up to the final design. An architecture course has model making involved (even if they are fairly simple affairs on the Lincoln course - you know my views on this already :)) and so it would be good to show something on that front. What happened to any reference to the show the tables going into too.

If I was to do a portfolio again (and this is basically how I did mine when I went to uni) is I had a few select pieces of work and showed a couple of pages per project with a bit explaining about the project.
I would probably go a3 landscape and then do half a page (ie a4) max before the first page explaining the project etc, and then 2-3 pages on the designs. Now obviously this doesnt work for everything but I would work around this basis.

Now regarding the current work. The main issues are:
1) Typography - theres too much spacing between the text, needs to be sorted.
2) Your titles - check the alignment and layer positions, several of them are hidden under the images on the page.
3) Get someone to have a read (and possibly rewrite) some of the text under the images, some of it just doesn't flow very well - page 5 for example.
4) Check spellings as a precaution (although I didn't look hard)
5) You need more hand drawn stuff, architecture still uses pen and paper etc to design concepts, at present you don't appear to be able to do anything but use a computer.
6) decide if you are having a border around the images or not

Changes -
Personally I dont like the cheetah and car picture and the description is also wrong as I'm pretty much certain the cheetah is a photo not a cad model. Also i Don't feel the car looks right, the wheels aren't blurred enough to represent the speed its supposedly going etc. (the camera would be slow shutter speed, to allow for the motion blur behind, so the wheels would travel further and as such have more blur)
I think that the order could be changed for p11 and p12 (or 12 and 13) so the 2 lambo pictures are together.

Split the 4 photos onto 4 pages, why waste the realtively good images, I'd drop the purple flower too personally.

p15 - do you really want to put in an image with a blatent spelling mistake (gorillaz is missing an l) :confused:


I think thats all for todays slating :D :p

LERsince1991
Jun 23, 2009, 05:10 PM
Hi, again.

As usual, your designs are unusual, and that is wonderful to see. I have some observations on typography for you. As you edit this down, be sure that the headings and captions are all the same distance from the images. This makes anything with graphics, especially a PDF much cleaner if it is clicked through quickly. The title is really cropped off on the Novanta page.

The font looks like MyriadPro with 400 pt. leading. It makes the letters in the sentences "stack up" and look like Greek columns or something. Hard to read. Try another font with a little more character to it and auto leading. I added a sample of what I'm talking about using Optima.

The shot of the car racing the cheetah is great. I love the look of speed and acceleration it has. Being the dumb naturalist that I am, I couldn't help but recall that a cheetah tops out at 60 mph or something. I could put that in kph, but I'm too lazy to go out to my car. I think Saab had a race staged between one of their cars and a jet, which they also made. The car had better acceleration over the distance used than the jet.

Dale

Great thanks a lot Dale!

You know I think I uploaded the scrappy version I did and just placed everything in, I've done a lot more now but can't remember if I made the changes before the upload to this thread, but its up now and a lot better!

old link - removed...
again say if you have any problems with the download.

You've put a good effort into helping me here Dale, the screenshots are great; the font 'leading' was awful in the old one.
Thanks for the compliments about my work!
It never occurred to me what a cheetah's speed was, I wanted the art to be abstract, I looked for an ostridge or rocket man at first but couldn't find anything good enough. ;)

Luke.

LERsince1991
Jun 23, 2009, 05:28 PM
Personally I think you've taken the wrong approach with your portfolio.

Its all very well showing end products but you need to show some development too. Take your table for example, you've got one page with 3 cad rendered images, where are the images of the final model, the sketches etc leading up to the final design. An architecture course has model making involved (even if they are fairly simple affairs on the Lincoln course - you know my views on this already :)) and so it would be good to show something on that front. What happened to any reference to the show the tables going into too.

If I was to do a portfolio again (and this is basically how I did mine when I went to uni) is I had a few select pieces of work and showed a couple of pages per project with a bit explaining about the project.
I would probably go a3 landscape and then do half a page (ie a4) max before the first page explaining the project etc, and then 2-3 pages on the designs. Now obviously this doesnt work for everything but I would work around this basis.

Now regarding the current work. The main issues are:
1) Typography - theres too much spacing between the text, needs to be sorted.
2) Your titles - check the alignment and layer positions, several of them are hidden under the images on the page.
3) Get someone to have a read (and possibly rewrite) some of the text under the images, some of it just doesn't flow very well - page 5 for example.
4) Check spellings as a precaution (although I didn't look hard)
5) You need more hand drawn stuff, architecture still uses pen and paper etc to design concepts, at present you don't appear to be able to do anything but use a computer.
6) decide if you are having a border around the images or not

Changes -
Personally I dont like the cheetah and car picture and the description is also wrong as I'm pretty much certain the cheetah is a photo not a cad model. Also i Don't feel the car looks right, the wheels aren't blurred enough to represent the speed its supposedly going etc. (the camera would be slow shutter speed, to allow for the motion blur behind, so the wheels would travel further and as such have more blur)
I think that the order could be changed for p11 and p12 (or 12 and 13) so the 2 lambo pictures are together.

Split the 4 photos onto 4 pages, why waste the realtively good images, I'd drop the purple flower too personally.

p15 - do you really want to put in an image with a blatent spelling mistake (gorillaz is missing an l) :confused:


I think thats all for todays slating :D :p

Really sorry I uploaded the wrong one before - was a blatant mess! just chucked everything in whilst I was thinking

Will reply anyway but I think I've addressed most things

1) Yes it was a mess ;) I uploaded the wrong file
2) Yup checked, brought them all to the front. I kept the titles close to the images on purpose - just spotted a few minor overlaps
3) This I haven't addressed yet - I basically copied and pasted everything from my website just for the time being. I will re-write everything so its more suitable and consistent
4) Didn't check the spellings but will do - everything was a copy and paste job form the site so it will be right.
5) I agree, there isn't much hand sketches, I have something against them ;) As I was recommended I WILL be doing lots of life sketches and drawings over the summer, at this time I don't have much as I used to draw then just chuck it somewhere...
6) Nope.

I have not thought about the order or the projects content much, I put pretty much everything into the file, under certain headings and then date ordered. I can soon decide to delete certain projects that aren't up to scratch.

As for the size, most portfolios are A3 but I wanted to do an A4 one simply because I can then stick it in a folder and into my bag. When I had an interview at a uni once I made a quick A4 portfolio by printing off work onto photo-paper and placing them in an A4 sketchbook. The interviewer (head of architecture) looked confused when I got that out but he changed his mind as it was really easy to flick through and looked good.
Basically an A4 is much easier to handle so thats what I'm trying it with first.

Nah - Those slating and comments were bang on for the file I uploaded ;)

Luke. :)

LeviG
Jun 23, 2009, 06:12 PM
Ok so its a new day now so I get to go again and with a new file :p
Review time :)
p2 - might want to change your picture, its not the most friendly looking image. Also I'd question the line "My style of architecture is very cutting edge ......" as in my view your images shown aren't very cutting edge, they are basically what America has been doing for ages in the likes of Florida. Cutting edge is Japan (and surrounding areas) and Dubai as they are pushing the boundaries of current engineering.
p3 - the small image overlaps (decide if they're supposed to as you have some that do and some that dont)
p11 - Desian, the bottom of the g is chopped off still, might want to put a white stroke around the text or change the layout slightly. It doesn't look like a design feature before you say that
p12 - the cheetah is still not CAD. Did you do the model or was it downloaded, you need to state if it was downloaded as I cant think of the word but its frowned apone and it would be assumed you did it.
Still don't like due to the reasons listed above and the top right small image is strange, the background is moving when the car isnt :eek:
p14 - small images same as p3
p16 - the spelling on the image
p17 - Photography - same as p11
p18 - Photography same as p11 and the small images same as p3
p19 - Photography same as p11 and the small images same as p3

panoz7
Jun 23, 2009, 06:22 PM
Hi, again.
The font looks like MyriadPro with 400 pt. leading. It makes the letters in the sentences "stack up" and look like Greek columns or something. Hard to read. Try another font with a little more character to it and auto leading. I added a sample of what I'm talking about using Optima.


Just wanted to clear this up before you learn the wrong terms. Leading is the space between lines, and was named after the thin pieces of lead used in traditional letterpress typesetting to separate the lines of type. What Dale was talking about is actually called letter-spacing or tracking. Regardless of the terms, he's right. Letter-spaced type rarely looks good, and you seem to be quite fond of it. Another typesetting term is kerning where you adjust the space between letters on a letter-pair basis. A prime example of where kerning is necessary is in the word Portfolio. Right now it looks like P o rtfolio. You need to tighten up the space around the o.

Overall the works looks good, but I agree with LeviG about showing more process stuff. Those cad renderings of your desk don't do it any justice. What's impressive about that desk isn't necessarily just the way it looks, which is definitely good, but more the design thought process that was necessary for its creation. Just showing the finished CAD files doesn't show any of the attention to detail that was so evident in your other thread. What you've got now shows you have good skills at creating CAD renderings. It doesn't show you're also a good designer.

I'm in the US so forgive me for not being familiar with the way your school system works. I'm assuming based on your other thread that you're probably in the equivalent of highschool and getting ready to apply to universities. Having been involved on both ends of that process I've learned a few things. At least in the US, and at my university, they aren't necessarily looking for incredible finished work, rather they're looking for potential and enthusiasm. Because of this they don't necessarily want to see the equivalent of your finished desk CAD renderings but rather they want to be shown that you had the right mindset and the required level of enthusiasm and drive to take that project from concept to finished product.

Designer Dale
Jun 23, 2009, 11:16 PM
OK. So there I was down at the gym lifting weights, and into my brain pops a 72 pt bold "tracking! I meant tracking!! Oh for the love of typography, I really said that..."

Making an occasional fool of yourself on a world stage is part of life online.

Dale, who must have checked the "Apply Global Stupidity" button...

semicharmed
Jun 24, 2009, 09:40 AM
Actually, the leading is also off. On the cover page, the first 'g' in Riggall and the 'i' in Design are almost touching, while the 'architecture' tagline is not touching anywhere. The page headings are also awkward, IMO. You have some titles with descenders and some without, but then you've placed the baseline of the letters right onto the edges of the dominant picture. Which loses the descenders on any picture with a dark background. If I were you, I'd move the page titles up and either add a border to the images or a line under the title to help with the spacing.
Also, you're put 'Industrial Design' into the table of contents and then tagged the corresponding pages with 'design', although that's kind of nitpicky.
Also, the tracking is still really loose on some pages, on the cover page, it looks like the values for 'Luke Riggall' and the 'architecture' tagline are set to different values; the tracking on page 1 makes the words hard to read at a quick glance, which isn't good for a table of contents.
Overall, the typography is pretty weak. But I'm a type nerd, was head designer for my campus newspaper, so incorrect leading/tracking/kerning/use of fonts annoy me to no end.

Content-wise, your copy could definitely use some work. I'm sure you have a friend who's good in English class who'd be willing to read over the copy and help you re-work it. Barring that, maybe ask a teacher for help? I know my English teacher during my last year of high school helped a lot of us with our college essays and portfolios having a second set of eyes is always helpful.
A lot of your biography is poorly-worded and isn't backed up by material in your portfolio. One example is the first column, fourth paragraph, you talk about increasing complexity and "technicality" (which I think is the inappropriate word), but don't SHOW that. Everything in your portfolio is CAD renderings or other forms of digital stuff, none of which have complexity shown. Increasing the pages dedicated to the desk would SHOW this; especially with a pictures taken during the construction process and then the final process. Throw in some mechanical drawings (NOT RENDERINGS) and you've now shown that you can take a project to completion.
You should be using this to SHOW what you've done, not to TELL. You should be prepared to talk about any piece you've included, so you might want to think about decreasing the number of pieces included
None of the pieces you've included clearly state what media/programs you used to create them. Or a size. Doesn't need to be fancy, or large, but it's unclear on the art pieces, especially on pages 15 & 16, whether they're photos of projects you did off the computer, or just presentations of a digital project.
Also, and this is getting more into semantics, none of your 'architecture' pages really feel... like architecture. Design, yes, and it shows your skill with a CAD rendering program, but architecture is more than just throwing together an outline and putting some pretty textures on it. (Note: I am not an architect, but two of my roommates and several really close friends are. I'm around it a lot...)
One example of this is on page 6, the 'honeycomb house concept'. The description does not go with what you've actually shown. You have some renderings and an ariel view of the house's roof, but nothing to show that the shape actually 'works' as a house no plan of what module serves what purpose, where additional walls would be placed, where walls between hexagons would be removed, where a bathroom or a kitchen would be placed.
Similar thing on pages 4 & 5, you mention "basement storage" but don't actually show it; on page 4, you talk about being able to drive directly into the basement, but the render clearly shows a car aboveground. Seems to be just sitting in the living room.

None of this is meant to sound unduly harsh, and I apologize if it does. But this portfolio seems to be important (you mentioned scholarships), so you definitely want to present yourself in the best way possible. IMO, the portfolio would be much stronger if you decreased the amount of work and increased the amount of information on each piece. SHOW the reader through the process for the desk. SHOW the reader something more in depth on ONE of your architecture pieces. SHOW the process of developing the Lamborghini render (and give credit for the cheetah, if you didn't model it...). And then maybe pick another 2-3 pieces, to include with less showing. And be prepared to talk about those.

Designer Dale
Jun 24, 2009, 02:22 PM
Hi, Luke.

I took a look at your "About Me" page and added some comments. The red indicates words I would rethink or remove if I were in your position. Comments are added in (these things).

I'm a decent editor, but I would rather see you develop on your own.

If it is hard to read the .doc, let me know and I will email you the .rtf

Dale

LERsince1991
Jun 28, 2009, 05:31 PM
Download (http://www.lukeriggall.co.uk/about/pdf-portfolio/)

Thanks for all the very helpful feedback, good time and effort gone into your replies and I really appreciate hearing from more experienced people and generally others so thanks!

Ok I've literally just had a few hours tonight to work on it. I used a master page and grabbed each frame out as needed so it should be consistent now.

I won't list everything but just quickly;
- page titles aren't chopped off from the images
- extra page for some technical work on Novanta
- tracking etc.. have been addressed a bit.. definitely an improvement and more consistent
- added software and equipment used on each page
- Altered bio content, removed crappy photo, added sample signature

Next things I need to work on are;
- the descriptions on each spread, haven't got time at the moment but definitely the most important thing to do next.

Sorry about the download I had to put it in 2 separate zip files... I'm trying to get it on a server so should be much better tomorrow

LeviG
Jun 28, 2009, 06:26 PM
You still haven't focused on the things that atleast 2 of us (who know what we're on about I might add :rolleyes:) have told you to add in.

You still haven't got any diversity in your work, cad is fine but you need to show you can DRAW and be creative!

Your table - what the hell is that grid of lines (p11), its not a technical drawing by any measure.
Either do a proper technical drawing (first/third angle) or leave it out as what you have there is a waste of time and all it shows is you know how to press a button to display your cad models in a different way (lines).

You've completely missed off the most important part of novanta table too - where are the pictures of the model making, you know the whole point of your project! :rolleyes:

LERsince1991
Jun 29, 2009, 05:53 PM
Lol give me a chance :P
I've been concentrating on the layout at the moment, some of the content needs working on, swapping around and fiddling with just haven't had chance.
I'm photoshopping some photos of me and the desk in the workshop at the moment but I need some good photos of the finished product which I don't have yet either.

Download (http://www.lukeriggall.co.uk/about/pdf-portfolio/f)

Ok done a bit of work on it today, a lot better again (in my eyes :P )

Cheers,
Luke.

Designer Dale
Jun 30, 2009, 01:03 AM
Hi, Luke.

I don't think you really understand what Levi keeps alluding to. Drawings, paper and pencil conceptual and technical sketches that show how you solidified the ideas for your work before you took it to the computer.

I learned drafting in high school in the '60s and I have never been able to get away from drawing things out carefully before I build them. I built the best rabbit hutch ever and a woodshed that outlasted on of the worst storms in a long time here in Washington. In the design classes that I just finished, a lot of the younger people had a strong tendency to dive right into the computer to layout a design.

Working with your hands is different from pushing a mouse around. You have worked in a shop and must realize how different it is to have your hands on something, bringing it to life.

If you don't do hand sketches of your ideas, then you will become a better designer if you do. Where did your desk come from? Did you sketch it on a napkin? You should have. Burt Rutan sketched this little plane out on a napkin. It later flew around the world non-stop.

Keep it up.

Dale

LERsince1991
Jul 7, 2009, 05:39 PM
I know I'm really bad at jumping to CAD, probably because I've just learnt it and I was drawing at the age of 2 or w/e so its new and fun for me. But now, lately I'm working on my drawings skills and they are already improving after 2 days.

As for sketches of the designs I have in my portfolio, I don't really want to put any in there... non are good or meant to be for presentation, just for my thought process really. I tend to do the majority of development in my head and only get parts down on paper every now and again. So no I don't like those rubbish sketches I've done of anything in the portfolio.

Any more comments on the portfolio as it is at the moment?

It's now on the homepage of my website so its easier to download the latest version.

Cheers.
Luke.

LeviG
Jul 7, 2009, 07:30 PM
non are good or meant to be for presentation, just for my thought process really.
You still don't get it do you - this is what they want to see you can actually do! Your concept sketches do not go into the final presentation but they do lead upto it.

creator2456
Jul 7, 2009, 10:32 PM
Layout feels about right, but don't under estimate the power of white space.

The typography needs the most work by far. Letter spacing, word spacing, margins, almost everything needs to be looked at.

Start by dropping the font size to 10, maybe 11. Next decide if you want justified or aligned right text. Go from there.

What programs are you using to make this? If using InDesign, I'll take the time to go through and make the changes to it that I think need to be done if you can send me the file.

LERsince1991
Jul 10, 2009, 06:11 AM
Layout feels about right, but don't under estimate the power of white space.

The typography needs the most work by far. Letter spacing, word spacing, margins, almost everything needs to be looked at.

Start by dropping the font size to 10, maybe 11. Next decide if you want justified or aligned right text. Go from there.

What programs are you using to make this? If using InDesign, I'll take the time to go through and make the changes to it that I think need to be done if you can send me the file.

Hey, thanks, I've sent you a PM!

Ok so for the last few days I've been working on my sketching and improving it, still lots to do, I'm trying to sketch every day and have been watching tutorials. Mikael Lugnegard is awesome!

Heres my first real sketches in just under a year :o
http://www.lukeriggall.co.uk/design/sketching/ (http://www.lukeriggall.co.uk/design/sketching/)

I might start to spend more time on each one though instead of doing lots, quickly.

Cheers,
Luke.

Charalambous
Jul 12, 2009, 08:48 AM
i cant say too much which hasnt already been said but one thing id advise is dont worry TOO much about making the text look right as most people have said, but worry more about getting rid of as much of it as possible.

nobody wants to read an essay about each piece of work they look at. a light explanation is always nice, but its nicer when the images speak for themselves.

this also ties in with people saying show your sketches and development work.

LERsince1991
Jul 29, 2009, 12:35 PM
I haven't had much time lately but I decided to have another look at the portfolio.

Link here (http://www.lukeriggall.co.uk/fileuploads/LR-Portfolio-09%20New.pdf)

There is 2 title pages and 2 contents pages because I'm trying some stuff out.

I changed my mind about the black on white, I've changed to a grey on white.
Text is smaller and some tweaks. Also added 2 pages of drawings and cut a few pages out that didn't deserve to be in the portfolio.

Luke.

Designer Dale
Jul 29, 2009, 04:39 PM
Welcome Back, Luke.

Let me start with the cover page and contents.

The second cover is better than the first one with the oversized 09. The size and color detracts the eye from what it is. Your portfolio. I read 09 something or other. The font and sizing is OK for the second one, but I don't really care for the color choice. I realize you work in metal and probably chose that color for you font, but it doesn't work for me. The orange is fine for the date, but I would go with black for the first and third lines and an even gun metal grey for "Portfolio".

Just my taste.

If you are going to put links into the PDF so that clicking the image jumps to that section of the portfolio, a hybrid of your Table of Contents would work better. I'm not sure you can do this with images in Acrobat, though. What ever you do with this section, please take to heart the pounding we have given you over l e t t e r s p a c i n g ! !:p You need to tighten up your kerning (spaces between pairs of characters). The page numbers look amateurish. Page designers in the forum have pointed that out to you on a number of occasions, but you seem to be very set in your ways. Stop it!:D

It's 10:30 over there. Go to bed, son.

Dale

LeviG
Jul 29, 2009, 05:03 PM
its still suffering from the same issue that you've had from the beginning. You are focusing too heavily on your cad and not enough on your development/concept generation skills, this is what tutors like to see when you start a course, not the fact you know how to use a computer program, this bit comes during your course.

I don't like the covers full stop, I think the effect (cut away) that you've tried to produce just looks patchy, its even worse on the smaller titles.

The biography just seems like a load of bloat and personally it isn't what I would class as a biography. Personally I would change your biography into a page detailing previous grades etc or similar with a small bit about your personal interests. It needs to be punchy and quick, no uni is going to spend time reading all the text you have, they have to look through a lot of portfolio's in a relatively short amount of time.

Designer Dale
Jul 30, 2009, 03:45 PM
One of my favorite instructors said that a bio should be short and to the point. He called it a "30 second commercial" based off this premise: "Who are You and What Do You Want?".

So...

Dale

JonnyNumber5
Aug 3, 2009, 04:52 AM
http://www.bibliothequedesign.com/#

keeping your all your text within grids can do wonders.
i like portfolios where the emphasis is on the images, supported by nicely placed type.

the above studio does that well, i really like em.
they did the layout for Adrian Shaughnessy's book 'How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul'

i only clicked on a few links, so if it looks radically different, sorry :(

also, I think everyone does the whole odd tracking thing at some point. you learn your lessons.