Sophomore Portfolio Review: Critical Assesment


Even though it has been a slow process, I have begun to completely immerse myself in design, and not just inside the classroom. I find myself thinking about the kind of typographic choices other designers make, and question how graphics play a role in the way information is shared (accurate or not). One thing that I have noticed in my work is a set process, that is continuing to develop. It is extremely important to develop a certain work ethic when it comes to design. Through the projects I am highlighting, I show that this process has helped me create something sophisticated in the end result.

Being able to identify how these projects all relate in the design world is also extremely important. Through them, I have learned to start with the basics, meaning starting with the definitions and what exactly it is i’m trying to do. When I first began designing, I thought that you just created a visually pleasing piece and THAT was what design is. I am learning that it is all about process. I had a really difficult time with both of these projects. I spent a lot of time researching what it is I was trying to utilize through the projects and it took up a large chunk of time that I put aside for them. I feel like this is the reason these pieces are so successful.

Just like with any written project or debate, it is important to have a verbal conversation with yourself to fully understand what it is you’re trying to get out of a project. WIth my style project, this meant actually talking to my partner about what it is we wanted out of our photos, and the style we picked. Ultimately we came to a middle point and we were finally ready to start finding things that could help us visually articulate what we wanted.

The symbol matrix project was more difficult. I was just learning how to develop a process, and I spent A LOT of time researching. I was really excited to share this part of my life through design work and I wanted to make sure I knew exactly what it was I wanted to share. This made me fall a bit behind, but It helped me develop a quicker work ethic, and also helped me create ways to shorten this process, while still getting the information I need. One thing I did in this project that I usually don’t do, is pick iterations that I favored, over others. I didn’t take the time to doubt my work and in the end I created something that I was actually proud of, and I learned a lot about myself as a designer at the same time.

There is always room for improvement in all aspects of my life. I still struggle with time constraints and sticking to a specific work ethic, but I feel like even after years of experience I will continue to develop this. I need to go with my gut when it comes to design decisions, even if they aren’t extremely popular with my peers.

I definitely give myself more time to do research, and begin to create iterations of my work (and more iterations). Design is a process. In order to create sophisticated work you have to have follow some sort of process. It doesn’t only help for immediate projects, but for overall development and growth as a designer.