Critique of work?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by JustinG87, May 4, 2011.

  1. JustinG87 macrumors member

    JustinG87

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #1
    Hey all,

    I'm a Seattle-based designer and recent graduate looking for a job. It's been tough though. Been on a few interviews, but no bites yet. I'm currently redesigning my entire website from the ground up (I did it in the last month before I graduated when I was piled under a whole lot of other work) but I'd love to hear thoughts on the actual work displayed. Thanks in advance for any help any of you have to give!

    My website can be found at www.justgooddesign.net
    A few more samples can also be found at www.behance.net/justgooddesign
     
  2. davedee65 macrumors regular

    davedee65

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Hi Justin

    Just checked out your site and you have some very nice pieces of work. Really liking the Fall Blossom label and your own logo. You do need to add more examples/more variety, but I'm sure you're working on that with the new site.

    Great start and keep plugging away at finding a design job, you'll get there in the end I'm sure.

    Cheers
     
  3. AndyOrr macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    Location:
    New York
    #3
    Some pretty nice work Justin. Clean site. I like the examples you've put up so far. Are you more interested in web design or design for print?
     
  4. JustinG87 thread starter macrumors member

    JustinG87

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #4
    Personally I lean towards print a little more, especially enjoying book design, but these days you can't deny that a young designer that refuses to work with all mediums is going to be left in the dust. I'm trying to teach myself more about modern trends in web design to keep up.
     
  5. panoz7 macrumors 6502a

    panoz7

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #5
    I'm also a recent graphic design graduate, and thankfully was just hired for my first "real" job.

    A few suggestions:

    - I'd like to see more of your work -- not necessarily more projects, but more about each project. I think it's also important that you provide written descriptions of each project so that the viewer knows what they're looking at and any potential constraints / limitations that you faced. You've got that on the behance site, so I doubt that will be a problem.

    - I like that you used actual photographs of the project for the java u book design on the behance site. I'd do more of that, but keep a nice mix of close up detail shots, farther away context shots, and easier to read computer exports. Also, can you think of more creative ways to show certain projects? For example, this is a video of me flipping through one of a magazine I designed: http://griffinfriedman.com/content/mp4/magazine.mp4 . It was easy to make and potential clients liked that I had come up with a more creative way to display it.

    - If you can, go back and fix errors in the projects that you didn't have time to fix when the project was due. On the coffee video altitudes is spelled "altitutdes." It's a small, and pretty insignificant mistake, but there's no reason to leave in in there.

    - It sounds like you're changing the design of the homepage, so this may be moot anyway, but it took me a little while to see that there were links in the left column. The text on the initial page is right heavy that my eye immediately went there and missed the words in the left column. I think that was partially because my browser was pretty wide and there ended up being symmetrical light gray columns on each side of the dark area. Normally that would be a sign of a fixe-width design that was being centered and you'd assume the light gray was a background. I'd extend the dark gray so that it fills right no matter what the width of the browser is.

    - Is there a reason you don't link to your resume by default? I'm not sure what's typical, but it seems like it may be a wasted opportunity.

    All that said, this seems like a good start. Good luck with finding the job. Make sure to work any connections that you have -- I wouldn't have gotten my job without them. I know it might seem like you'll never find a job (or at least it did for me) but you just have to have confidence in your work and trust that you'll eventually be hired.
     
  6. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Location:
    Same country as Santa Claus
    #6
    I like your portfolio, nicely done.

    One thing I noticed is you should always save your website images as "Save for Web and Devices" as they give you much smaller file size.
     
  7. JustinG87, May 5, 2011
    Last edited: May 5, 2011

    JustinG87 thread starter macrumors member

    JustinG87

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #7
    Thanks so much for all your guys' feedback so far, I really appreciate it! As far as it goes for showing more of my work, I wholeheartedly agree. One of the big reasons why I'm redesigning my website is because it just didn't show enough detail on my projects, and I really want to give the viewer more content. The other part of it is that I think the design is bad in the first place.
     
  8. laurim macrumors 68000

    laurim

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    #8
    Great work, I really like it!

    You have a typo in your motion graphic about coffee. It's on the Coffee 101 for Robusta beans page. You spelled "altitudes" altitutdes. Potential employers will jump all over that stuff. Get someone anal like me to look everything over because you're too close to it to see errors anymore.
     
  9. JustinG87 thread starter macrumors member

    JustinG87

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #9
    Thanks! You're probably right that I would have missed it unless someone pointed it out to me. I'll have to go back and fix that.
     
  10. usclaneyj macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #10
    Hello.

    What is the purpose of the dark red arm on the Kimmerer logo? What does it communicate about their company? I am forced to notice the lowercase h character, but I don't see anything in the name or in the rest of the logo that references the letter h.

    I like your other print work. It is quality work for the positions you are looking to find employment in (entry level positions). As one of my old bosses would say, it is "good college work".

    Your websites, however, I'm not as crazy about. They are solid enough and they communicate important information effectively, but overall I find the designs to be a bit cluttered. Increasing margins in key areas would help them breathe more and make them feel fresh and new. To me, they look like websites that have been up for several years and are in need of a refresh.

    Solid work overall though. Much potential, and good luck with your site redesign. I suggest you look into the CMS "Cargo" www.cargocollective.com as it could save you some time and show that not only are you knowledgeable about web design, but you know when to use emerging technologies for your own benefit.

    //my credentials for validation of my opinions:
    7 years experience in Print & Web design. Currently Creative Director of a small internet startup focused on social brand engagement on the Facebook platform
     
  11. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #11
    Ok so I'm a little late to this one... But I'll give you some feedback and my POV.

    I like your work, it's clean and well presented, though I do understand where you're loosing out with regards to agencies.

    1) With the CV a you do need to add some purposing to each project, a little bit of an introduction to what was it for and how it was complete will add more dimension to your work. More importantly it will show structure, process, skillset and knowledge.

    2) Social media, behance, Linkedin, etc... are excellent for promoting ones portfolio, you need to add it to a more prominent area.

    3) No hero image when you hit the landing. CD have short attention spans, they tend to get lots of CV and will only ever "brush" through portfolios. The more clicks to find your best work the hard it will be to sell your portfolio, a good image and introduction will put you mile ahead of the competition IMO.

    4) Work out what your brand is. Are you print, web or broadcast? There is good work on you portfolio but work out what do you want to position yourself as. If you spread your skillset too thin a potential employer wont think your strong enough in the area you are trying to gain employment in.

    5) Too many clicks to get to your work. The more clicks it take the lesser the chance a CD will look at you portfolio.

    6) Work out what makes you special and how you can help build an agency's business.

    7) I'd simplify, put the graphics together on the one page, strongest stuff at the top. I'd also group them under headings on the one page. Really the best portfolios I've seen is:
    - Home: So a brief thing about what you do and why (with a good hero image).
    - About Me: Cut down CV and a general description about what you do
    - Portfolio: A list with a brief description, best stuff on the top.
    - Contact: All the social media stuff..

    Links
    The perfect portfolio
    Creating a successful CV
    69 of the best
    50 good portfolios

    BTW I've done over 9 years in creative and currently a Creative Director for specialist broadcast graphics agency...
     
  12. JustinG87, May 9, 2011
    Last edited: May 10, 2011

    JustinG87 thread starter macrumors member

    JustinG87

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #12
    Thanks to everyone so far that's given their critique, I really appreciate it!

    @laurim I've fixed the typo in my Coffee 101 video and reuploaded. Thanks for pointing that out!

    @usclaneyj The logo is supposed to be a combined letterform, representing her name as a monogram. It's not exactly telegraphic though, I'll agree. It should probably be 'Honna Kimmerer Photography' under the logomark, instead of just 'Kimmerer Photography.'

    @ezekielrage_99 A big part of my decision to redesign my website, apart from how much I dislike the current design, was the need to present more information about each project. That's definitely going to be a core part of the new design. I'm also going to have my work featured on the front page, so no one will have to click anywhere to get to my work.

    I'm also working on putting up a quick 'Coming Soon' page that will have contact info, CV to download and a few select pieces that people will be able to view, just to tide them over while I work on the actual website.
     
  13. BBrandDesign macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #13
    I also think that the design job is the best job because it’s a kind of creativity and interesting kind of job and makes us much more fashionable at every point of view.
     
  14. JustinG87, May 28, 2011
    Last edited: May 29, 2011

    JustinG87 thread starter macrumors member

    JustinG87

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #14
    Thanks so much to everyone so far that's posted! I'm posting an initial design here in the hopes that you will continue to post your critique and criticisms.

    I am a minimalist at heart, and I believe that you can communicate a lot through a little. This isn't an excuse to not do as much; when you're being minimal, every little element counts. Everything needs to be considered very carefully; what it adds to the design, how it fits into the overall piece.

    The pages here are initial designs for only two of the pages. Copy is of course not final. The entire left-hand side of the page is meant to be a stable element, it will not move. My work will be featured on the home page, and you can follow it through to see an extended amount of information on each project on the work page. The contact page is yet to come, but it will feature a lot more content than my current contact page. Social media, LinkedIn, downloadable PDF resume and portfolio, so on and so forth.

    I am drifting away from my branding here; my logo isn't even on the design currently. I'd like to know what people thing about this, as I'm a little apprehensive, and unsure about if it's a good idea or not, since I'm looking for an in-house position rather than freelance work.

    As always, thank you so much for your time and comments!

    Home Page
    Work Page

    Update!
    I've made some changes to the layout, and included below is a draft for the contact page. The footer design still isn't included; I haven't started on that.

    About Page
     
  15. JustinG87 thread starter macrumors member

    JustinG87

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #15
    Thanks to all that have given their help thus far! Any critique on the new site design is much appreciated.
     
  16. designguy79 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    #16
    I think it looks pretty good overall, nice job! It is nice and simple and helps emphasize your designs.

    I am not a huge fan of sans-serif italics, but it might just be me.

    Also, your name/logo seems bit redundant... "Just Design Just Good Design"

    Keep up the good work!

    ~ Jeremy
     
  17. JustinG87 thread starter macrumors member

    JustinG87

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #17
    I hadn't thought about the sans-serif italics. What is it about them you dislike?

    I agree that the logo is a bit redundant, and it's been bothering me. I've considered changing the Just Good Design to Justin Goodman instead. Thank you for your critique!
     
  18. designguy79 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    #18
    Not sure, exactly... maybe because there isn't enough contrast, so I am left wondering if it is a mistake or intentional?

    Or maybe it is because the script font is on a bit of slant, so you end up with a lot of slanted fonts.

    Sorry, I can't quite put my finger on it!
     
  19. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #19
    +1 for the font, I'd try something simple like Helvetica, Gotham, etc... from experience the best portfolios use one of two fonts max while relying on weight and size to create the typography.

    Add a little more padding top and bottom for the text, it will open the design up and showcase the work much cleaner. I tend to agree on the tagline as well, "Just Good Design" from a brand point of view doesn't seem strong enough.

    I've been creating taglines for a brand lately, from experience the best taglines don't really mention best, good, etc.. rather they tend to follow general rules for creating something memorable, these rules are as follows:
    - Alliterations
    - Double entendre
    - Repetition/Rythmic
    - Reversals

    Apple doesn't say "We make the best computers" it's "Think Different", while Nike's isn't "We make good shoes" it's "Just do it", they are strong and memorable while the branding promise is completely different to what out there. But I'd suggest looking here for slogans/taglines

    Hope this help, though your work is coming together very nicely.
     
  20. JustinG87 thread starter macrumors member

    JustinG87

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #20
    The font used in my design actually is Gotham, which is utilized almost exclusively with very limited additions of Liana to the execution. I mostly rely on weight, size and color to create distinction.


    Are there any sections where you have this in mind specifically?

    As far as the branding goes, how do you feel about replacing the Just Good Design under Just Design with Justin Goodman instead. The play on Just Good Design is meant to be a reference to my name, but I agree that having Just Design with Just Good Design underneath is redundant. This is meant to be more of a header than a full-on branding statement anyways, as I am trying to lean away from appearing like a full-on design studio, which I am not. The people I want to attract with this design are actual design studios that I want to hire me as an in-house designer.
     
  21. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #21
    I'd use web safe fonts for the site, it means it should look the same on 99% of computers without the need for font rendering.

    For the main content it needs more padding top and bottom, like 10-20px more. With regards to the branding, the JGD thing make sense and I can now see why you've gone down that path I think the "Justin Goodman Design" could be simplifed with colour or weights while remaining with both the name and the tagline.

    Justin Goodman Design

    Simplified and more direct, but you've got a good name to use that sort of alliteration (pardon the pun).
     
  22. definitive macrumors 68000

    definitive

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    #22
    this might be a bit off topic, but how did you make the vashon island poster which consists of letters? it looks like they're neatly packed one next to the other instead of just overlapping them which would probably be a much easier task.
     
  23. JustinG87 thread starter macrumors member

    JustinG87

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #23
    @ezekielrage_99 Font rendering has come a long way in the last year or two. If I were designing for a client that had a strong interest in being accessible to all browsers including the (accursed) IE 6 I would wholeheartedly agree and use 100% web-safe fonts. Since this is a design portfolio geared specifically towards design firms and other businesses looking for a graphic designer on the leading edge, I choose to step away from web-safe fonts and show what I can do. Cross-compatibility is still a very great concern of mine of course, and I will do everything I can to make sure that it displays correctly across browers. I am looking to increase the padding though, thanks for pointing that out!

    I'm still working on what I'm going to do about the branding. I don't want to just throw away my original logo so that issue's still being considered.

    @john-briner-art Thank you! It always helps to hear that I'm putting out some good work.

    @definitive The letters are individually placed. It is a whole lot of work, but in the end I think it paid off over taking the easy way.
     
  24. JustinG87 thread starter macrumors member

    JustinG87

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #24
    While the website is being worked on I took the initiative to redesign my portfolio and resume as well to reflect the new style.

    Resume

    Portfolio

    The portfolio copy hasn't been proofread yet so if anyone sees any errors, let me know!
     
  25. JustinG87 thread starter macrumors member

    JustinG87

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #25
    Just thought I'd give an update and seek out some further critique here. I decided to scrap the design, as there were just too many issues with it. Here's a preview of the new design. Any comments or critique is welcomed and appreciated!

    New Design
     

Share This Page