I didn’t go to art school, and wasn’t in a design program in college. I’m a designer in a very loose sense of the word. I think I’ve got a pretty good eye, and I’m fortunate to have worked with some amazing designers over the years (hi, Penny and John), so I’ve tried to learn as much as I can from them.
That being said, one thing I didn’t get to experience in college was the portfolio review. If you haven’t been to one, basically a bunch of students bring their work (hence the portfolio part) and have it reviewed and receive feedback from professionals.
I attended one such portfolio review a few weeks ago being put on by the Cleveland chapter of AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts.)
It was a pretty cool experience. I got to review some great (and some not-so-great) work from students who are finishing up their design programs and head out into the real world.
My University doesn’t have a graphic design program, so I was interested to see the students and their experience coming out of other local programs.
I got to share my feedback, slightly less on the design side but from the eye of a creative director and/or project manager. In a few cases, I tried to put myself in the client’s shoes and explain why certain aspects of a design worked or didn’t work.
I hope it was beneficial for the students to get some honest, yet encouraging feedback, from me. I learned from the experience and can’t wait to do it again next fall. In fact, we liked one of the students so much she’s coming to interview with us for a job.
If you have the chance to attend any type of student portfolio review and give back a bit of your expertise and experience, I highly recommend it.