Michelle Clark Graphic Design

My 2009 PDF Portfolio
May 31, 2009, 7:09 pm
Filed under: Design, Marketing, Photos, Portland, Typography, Writing | Tags: , ,

My downloadable 1.3 MB PDF Portfolio.

My 2009 Graphic Design PDF Portfolio


Portfolio Piece #1 – Guys & Dolls
May 18, 2009, 10:15 pm
Filed under: Design, Photos, Posters | Tags: , , , , , ,
Guys and Dolls poster design

Guys and Dolls poster design

A poster and playbill design for the Mt. Hood Community College’s Winter 2009 production of Guys and Dolls.

As winnter of a poster design contest, I got the opportunity to design the official poster and program for the play Guys and Dolls. Through use of typography, color, and image I designed a poster that has an old-fashioned Broadway look and feel. I continued this idea on the inside of the playbill by using  bold, condensed headlines and a traditional type layout.



Using WordPress As a Portfolio

Following up on the free WordPress theme up for grabs on Smashing Magazine, I found this great blog called The Ultimate Guide to Using WordPress For A Portfolio. In it contains links to all you need to know for creating a portfolio online. It even goes step by step, with the first article showing WordPress developer tools and resources, then when you’ve got a handle on that you can view the next article which  gives you some pointers and explaining some common mistakes people make when designing their portfolio. Then you can generate some inspiration with a list of 50 Beautiful and Creative Portfolio Designs. It also offers a few other good free portfolio themes. All you need to know packaged into one little post!

Portfolio Website Tips
April 29, 2009, 11:31 am
Filed under: Design, Web Design | Tags: , , , , , ,

Not to be redundant when referring to blogs with good information, but MyInkBlog dished out another interesting post today. Other members of my GD252 class and myself are working on putting a portfolio site together and I am more into the design phase now that I’ve gotten all of my links working and project images in place, so I was glad I found this post entitled Traps to Avoid When Designing An Online Portfolio. Here is a brief overview of the information in this post.

  • Arrangement: Arrange your projects so your best foot is forward. Organize them from strongest to weakest.
  • Excessive material: Quality above quantity. Less is more. Avoid grouping similar styles together, or showcasing pieces with overly similar styles at all so as not to bore your viewers.
  • Don’t try too hard: Make something simple and user-friendly. You can make use of your design skills and new web design technologies such as interactive elements or flash animation to add a bit of interest.
  • Obscure navigation: Make sure your navigation is clear and easy to understand. You should also arrange photos so they can be viewed one click at a time.
  • Decorative mess: Don’t overly design your portfolio site. Let your work be on display and don’t visually confuse viewers with a bunch of extraneous elements.

A Killer Portfolio Event @ Office PDX
April 10, 2009, 7:08 pm
Filed under: Art, Design, Inspiration | Tags: , , , , ,

Last Wednesday I attended an event called How to Create a Killer Portfolio in NE Portland. They had represenatives from Rumblefish and Adidas talk to aspiring designers about how they got where they are and what they view as successful strategies for building a portfolio that gets you hired.

  • First of all, one thing they really stressed is that you need to tailor your portfolio to the position you are applying for. Don’t include things that don’t have any relevance to the client or the position. For example, if you are applying for a job in web design, you shouldn’t send a portfolio that’s primarily print design examples.
  • The less clicks the better. If you can find a way to condense your portfolio pieces, perhaps by grouping like projects or projects with related elements together, that’s preferable.
  • Nonetheless, they want to see more! The phrase “the more the merrier” was repeated about six times. Include your other talents that are relevant-your photography, paintings, drawings, etc. They mentioned that more often employers are looking for a “jack of all trades” so the more diversity you have in your portfolio, the better.
  • They want to see concepts. If there’s any way a designer could integrate their concept process (research, mood boards, color palettes, sketches, etc.) with the finished outcome of a project, that lets them know how well you can conceptualize and how your beautiful mind works, or just that it works.
  • Another plus is to showcase some of your personal work. They emphasized that they would much rather see a designer who is passionate about what they do and has some quality design work they’ve done on their own then someone who has only school projects in their portfolio.
  • They’re not only looking at your content but also at your character. Know where you’re applying, research the company and get a feel for who’s working there or what the environment might be like. They want to hire someone with whom they are comfortable, and vice versa. Some environments call for very laid-back casual personalites, and others call for more conventional, formal ones. Know which one you are and work it.
  • An important personal asset in designers these days is dependability and diligence. Have good follow-through, communicate clearly and often with your co-workers and clients, and commit to your responsibilites and see them through. Don’t be someone who, just because they don’t have to come into the office everyday, leaves for two weeks and fails to inform everyone else, leaving a project hanging in the balance. Likewise, don’t be that person who just disappears and stops answering their phone or e-mails.

The conference was a fairly short one, a few minutes shy of an hour, and they had some pretty good information for us. I was especially intrigued by how much they are interested in sketches and concepts-things that you might think to toss out when the project is finished (I know I’m often guilty of it). Office PDX runs this event quarterly, so there’s usually one per season. The next event will be in August. During these events, they sell their portfolio materials for 20% off. All in all its an event worth attending, the only strike against it being that when they weren’t conferring, they had Weezer on repeat.