Month: April 2015

Presenting your portfolio: the basics

You make think your portfolio is a sort of representation of your inner soul, but you must also take into consideration that your portfolio is showing your prospective employer what you have to offer them.Your portfolio should show a enough range that it indicates that you are able to fulfill the needs of the design firm or employer. Gear your portfolio for each job you apply for. A large corporation will have different needs then a small printing company. Prepare your portfolio accordingly depending on the specialization of the place you are applying to, so that you can best showcase relevant skills.

Before you can create the successful portfolio you need to know what your prospective employer is looking for. You will only know if you do a good amount of research. Once you have a clear idea who they are and who their customer base is you can better adjust your portfolio.

While it is impossible to have one general portfolio that works for a number of prospective employers, having subcategories can save the amount of time you are creating specialized portfolios. For example, your main content might showcase your top designs, while a secondary page highlights skills that the employer is also looking for. You can structure your portfolio in a way that indicates versatility and well-rounded design skills while also featuring a few of your specialties as well, be it video editing, animation, print design, etc.

How do you decide what should go into your portfolio?

-make an honest assessment of what you have to offer your potential employer
-know your strengths and understand your weaknesses
-understand that creating a strong portfolio may be daunting, but it is essential
-ask yourself “who is my audience?” (a good portfolio indicates that you understand the needs of the employer)
-gain confidence by building a strategy for what should be in your chosen works
-be critical and weed out mediocre work
-try to use only newer and relevant work
-remember that an emotional connection to a work does not guarantee it will translate well for a portfolio

Creating Interactive Documents with InDesign

An interactive InDesign document makes use of the same elements used in a traditional InDesign document, with additional interactive features:

  • Animation of text, headlines and images
  • Image resolution should be 72 PPI (rather than the 300 PPI used above)
  • Hyperlinks that take you to another page or new website
  • Sound files on buttons
  • Page transitions
  • The ability to play videos
  • Interactive forms

When creating an interactive document, it is important to consider the following:

Page Transitions Should be used carefully. Too many transitions could distract your viewer, cause confusion, or detract from your design aesthetics. It is important to review all of the page transitions and stick with one or two different transitions for your document.

Interactive documents Need to be configured for document RGB. You can set this under Edit → Transparency Blend Space → Document RGB. Interactive documents should be less than 1024 pixels wide.

Interactive Effects: Roll overs on buttons should change color – the color should complement the colors in your design, however, stand out enough so the user notices the roll over color effect. Buttons can have as many appearances as you want, however, it is recommended to not include more than four per button. We do not want to overwhelm the user with effects.

Sounds on buttons need to be used cautiously. Before you add sound to a button, decide whether or not it truly enhances the interactive document? Will it annoy the viewer if they return to the document the second time? How long is the document and how many sounds will be used? What happens if the viewer doesn’t have speakers or has their sound muted?

When you add hyperlinks to buttons, make sure you apply an appearance to them that helps the user navigate to different pages within the document. When the user clicks on the button, should the document take the user back a page, to the next page, to a URL, or to the start or end of the document?

Export SWF Files: When you export an interactive document as a SWF file, check under the Advanced tab to make sure the image quality is set to maximum. When you export an interactive document as a SWF file, check under the Advanced tab to make sure the image resolution is set to 72 PPI. After you export a SWF always test the interactive features. Make sure they all work correctly. If you find an error, correct the problem in InDesign. Then export as SWF again and test the new document.