I studied graphic design at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign from 2001-2005. During that time I created a wealth of work that I have been dragging around with me the past 5-9 years. I had no plans for the big portfolio folders hiding in the closet–I intended to drag them with me for the rest of my life, I guess. But we're downsizing to a much smaller space, & getting rid of things has been getting me high! I decided to photograph all of my undergraduate portfolios & projects to share digitally here, so I can cast off the weight of student work forever! This is going to be a long ride, keep your hands inside the trolley! (& click the images for a larger view!)
Before one is accepted to the 3 year graphic design program, one must take a year of foundation design & drawing classes to weed out the slackers.
First graphic design interview portfolio: boards/loose papers in a box
After another year or so of GD classes, I got a job as a student designer at the university counseling center. I also started making decent work in class. I started loving school! I made friends with my classmates & we had out of control makeout parties. Well, one anyway. Oddly, I don't remember ever actually interviewing with this portfolio.
Although the boards-in-a-box method is heavy, it is far superior to the method you will see later in this post. Why? Because the work is easy to see with no distractions.
For Rick Moody's "Boys".
Graduation interview portfolio
I became a decent designer & hurriedly put together a book of work to take with me to Chicago on interviews with big, shiny design firms. I was excited for the real world! I had an open mind! The company who hired me gave me a 6 pack on my way out of my interview!
This portfolio method of glossy-pages-in-enormous-binder is a total bust. The pages are simply too reflective to see the work properly! But it did the trick, & after getting hired at my first (& only) 9-5 job, I never had to use it again.
don't mind the pizza box under the trampoline
A spread for Ninth Letter:
Another web piece for Ninth Letter, featuring work by author Richard Powers.
And thus concludes my portfolio review! What did you think? Do you keep your old schoolwork or portfolios? Do you think a photo writeup like this is enough documentation to throw the paper out once & for all?