Portfolio Building

Updated: Jul 15, 2021

My attempts to reinvent myself as a graphic designer require me building an online portfolio. Although I've been thinking about it, and "graphic designer" only captures part of what I want to do. Designing a logo and other types of graphic that can be printed on a letter head or a traditional t-shirt (i.e., big rectangle on the front) is certainly graphic design. I don't think the name applies as well to images applied to all-over printing, however. Are the legging designs pictured here examples of graphic design? Kind of. I've been pondering this a lot lately, and I like "applied design" as a descriptor. What's funny is that I just Googled the term, and almost all of the results have to do with a BC school curriculum, Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies (ADST). Perhaps a better, certainly more used term, is "applied art."

At any rate, I need an online portfolio, so of course I'm using this website to create it. The challenge is that a portfolio for applied arts necessarily means a lot of images that demonstrate the application of a design to various products, and images take up a lot of screen real estate. I started messing around with some layout on my new Portfolio: Abstracts page, and it very quickly became apparent that doing it that way means having to slog through an endless scroll. Obviously, I'm going to have to create a top-level page that contains links to sub-pages, and I'm not sure how to go about that using Wix. Research required.

Then there is the matter of categorization - how do I divide up my output in a way that is efficient and also makes the most sense? I could break it down by type of product (e.g., leggings, phones, shirts, etc), or by printing platform (e.g., Zazzle, Redbubble, etc), or by theme (abstract, stencil-style, humour, etc). I think I have settled on the latter, categorizing by theme.

I like the layout for a single abstract design as depicted in the above screen grabs. It's a square made out of squares (squares being the least problematic format for posting images on Wix when it comes to making galleries). It features the design applied to Zazzle leggings, which I think offers the best print-all-over canvas available at the moment (although wait until print-all-over hoodies become a readily available thing). It gives six other examples of the design applied to products, a reasonable number. Finally, it contains the design in its entirety (well, a square version of it), which makes a useful background for me to place a written blurb about the design. If such a blurb winds up covering too much of the image, I can always put it at the bottom of the layout.

Below are some recent abstract designs applied to leggings and tank tops and then used as a title card for that design:

I may punch these up a bit by putting some light grey gradients and rectangles behind the model, something I did for for some of the other product "photos":

Incidentally, here's the background image that I threw together for this first experimental portfolio page. I really love it:

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