Posted by Steve DeCusatis @ 9:42 am

This Tuesday was AIGA Philadelphia’s annual Feedback event. This is a very exciting event and a wonderful opportunity for senior design majors to get real-world feedback/advice from area professionals. I had done this before and I really enjoy volunteering my time for this. I remember being in the same situation 10 years ago that these design graduates are in right now.

You get to see a nice mix of portfolios coming out of schools ranging from Tyler School of Art, UArts, Drexel, Moore, Delaware, Rowan, Art Institute, PhilaU, Kutztown, and many more. Plus, you get to meet the students who create the work. And very much of it is inspiring!

The students get to have a professional reviewer see their work in 15 minutes interview sessions. This gives a fresh look at their work and a great way for the students to gauge which of their projects are more successful than others. It’s also a great interview practice session for the students since they will be job hunting and interviewing with many people and companies. Being able to effectively speak about their work in this amount of time is crucial.

There are some common mistakes that tend to pop up while viewing student portfolios. I guess we’re always learning and what better way to do it than at Feedback. Some general advice for students would be to spell stationery with an “ery” and not an “ary”, photograph their packaging work with actual product in it (without the product, there’s no need to design packaging), number pages in publications with odd numbered pages on the right-hand side, and don’t scale down website designs (or if you do, please keep them proportional). Many site designs I’ve seen were shrunk down way too small, thus not showing the actual representation of their intended design.

I look forward to reviewing more senior portfolios at Feedback 15 next year.