Monday, July 28, 2008

Final presentations: Photoshop bad habits

Hi students, this is the most difficult period for you..some of you are preparing (or just finished) the final presentations in Design classes or the Thesis for Diplomas.
I know that many of you are concerned with their own portfolio quality and content, and you better be because I see around (during my design school's visits or on internet) a lot of recurrent bad quality problems...

Few weeks ago I have been invited by a Design school in Europe to be part of the examination committee as their president.
This was a Transportation Design Dept., I have seen 15 portfolios presentations and given (I hope well accepted) a lot of suggestions and hard realistic critics to all of them.
I admit it has not been easy for them to go through that day, but I hope that with the short time left they will really rethink about their portfolio trying to rework it as suggested by me and the teachers and other members of the committee.

What was their main problem?

Except for 2 students (at a very high level in terms of talent and organization) all the others abused of Photoshop getting a poor result on each presented project. Moreover, they decided not to give importance to their original hand made sketches (extremely important for us designers and recruiters) putting together a sort of lifeless portfolio with no emotions!
The other aspect penalizing those students was also their sufficient ability in using Photoshop, basically no extraordinary stuff putting in great value their design proposals. The result has been poor and compromised the general perception of their protfolios.

What to do?

To me, the first thing to do is to give importance to original sketches (but no fingerprints or destroied paper..lets be professional).
The second thing is to add some digital work but without exaggerating (we do not hire you because of your ability on Photoshop..).
The third thing to do is control the rythm of your portfolio, in a few words do not bore us..be careful at the order you choose for your projects (what to put first? What at the middle?What at the end?...)
The fourth thing is you! You have control of what you present so sell it to us in a convincing way! Before going in front of a committee try at home your presentation, yes you have to try it to gain selfconfidence and to learn well what to say and mostly the how.

Good luck!
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