Design portfolios what is the norm? or is there not one?

I’ve been thinking about design and recruitment recently and the type of things that must go through there minds as they see a portfolio.

Things are getting more and more digital so does this eradicate the need for a print portfolio although I must say (PRINT IS NOT DEAD)… ahem… but it must be difficult when you have to compare one to another. in different types of medians we now have to view work.

In my experience I’ve been asked for various different things from supplying them with 5 to 6 pdf examples under 5 mb (which I’m sure most designers find quite hard when they want there work to be shown in the best possible light shrinking it down to a small size and not compromising the work quality is tough)

print portfolio

To just being asked to provide a link which is simple enough and makes sense for video and animation positions. But I ask myself are there print designers out there sending promotional pieces of work to companies in order to seek work and what is considered the norm or does the organized savvy designer out there just prepare for every eventuality and hope for the best.

animation portfolio

Its made me realize the other day recruitment is tough in the design industry… large amounts of people after one job being sifted through recruiters before you get to go on to the next round  and most of the jobs have a shelf life meaning there career is often uncertain and lets face it … its hard to find a stable job in the design industry because it feels like companies are always on the look out for hot new talent… (at least that’s my opinion anyway) being freelance puts your career in your own hands and puts you in control even when jobs are out of control and you can’t find any leads. I guess thats why people consider it as a career …. you know what to expect when you get out of bed in the morning!….. unless of course you are rudely awoken by the sound of a client ringing your mobile!…

portfolio image 2

The musical impact of viral marketing

Recently I’ve been pondering about viral marketing. I love it the way you can capture peoples imagination and then spread it like wildfire (which seems to be something that at the moment in this country is quite recent considering the heat wave we have had.) and it occurred to me that sometimes its not always about the advert/video itself but the music becomes a big part.

For example take the first major viral advert that came out when people only knew viral as having a bad cold
Cadburys took to the scene with the gorilla playing the drums, obviously the guy playing the drums was in a gorilla suit, but the attention to detail was amazing and it quickly became the instantly coolest thing to watch on YouTube share and giggle about. But my interest in this is how although yes its a gorilla he is playing the drums HAHA! we forget that the main aspect that brings it altogether is the music of Phil Collins “Air tonight” which brings me to the question: Would this advert have been as successful if a slightly vintage popular song hadn’t been chosen to accompany it? Would the monkey have been just as successful if he was only playing the drums acoustically? and to a song nobody would have heard of? maybe the brand name would have still made it a success.

later on Cadburys decided to do another viral style advert using a queen song and cars which I distinctly remember although they choose a queen track that was very popular. The marketing sank without a trace despite Cadburys reputation I am finding it very difficult to find online. later they did another viral advertisement with children moving eyebrows to the sound of a ringtone and song in a photography booth that can only be described as hilarious, was just as popular as the gorilla although I think this will forever be the most memorable Cadbury’s advert.

After Cadburys took on world domination of the viral infestation. “3” a U.K mobile network released a viral advert which is still current and being use. I find this one interesting as like Cadburys gorilla advert they centre around an animal. In this case a horse and like the Cadbury’s advert the music was a vintage popular song “Fleetwood mac Everywhere” which also proved to be an instant hit.

What I find interesting in these companies is the way the viral marketing correlates with each other. It almost gives big brand a sense of mixing a cocktail of cute animals (we all love animals) doing unexplained things and add it to a feel good track and you have and instant internet sensation and just to thicken this plot it appears other brands are taking notice. 02 have brought out an advert called “be more dog” which features a cat behaving like a dog. the only thing that they lack is the music and I’m wondering the impact that it will have on phone networks such as 3 and 02 it makes me wonder what really is going on behind some of the world biggest company’s door and marketing agencies.

it happend….The dry spot in a vast freelance oceon

Ok so it happend the dreaded dry spot…. for the past two weeks I have had client heaven with lots of reply and now my phone is silent and my inbox is empty…. whats happened? I haven’t changed my advert nothing is different so whats going on?

I’ve decided to start on local advertising I’ve been following steps on one of the books I had a my previous post a chapter called “self promotion” so basically I’ve been going to all local shops the post office ect and posting and posting advertisements to see if I can attract some local business which would be ideal. I also have plans to put an advert In a local newspaper.

I know I must look desperate from the state of my featured image and the stench it probably gives off but I do actually have one client at the moment and a few I am still waiting for them to get back to me with payments for to go ahead, and besides If I didn’t document this then people might think wow shes getting loads of work how impressive but thats not what I want to do. I want to paint a picture for prospective freelancer’s so they know what they are getting themself in for think of it as an experiment if you will use my story to help yourself.

on the plus side I have done abit of cold calling and pushing from a few clients, I have in the loop and hopefully I might have set myself up with a company freelance job. Which would really help me get a bit more consistant income and although I’m already working I yern for the steady income that an inhouse designer would be earning and I know that I should just hold off and try to achieve my dream but when I’m stuck in one bedroom with the partner and a cat sharing a house with 7 other people its only a matter of time before I crack which I do not want to do. I love my current job and I want to commit to this even if full time jobs are knocking at my door and I have to be honest I am hanging my nose over them. although house hunting is allways abit fun 🙂

Welcome to the world of the freelancer (pure and utter chaos!)

Ok so I apologies for my lack of posts over the past few days but I have been working incredibly hard for one of my clients who requires a banner for there website and although I have offered my services to work just about anytime around my current job I didn’t really factor into it the idea that on sundays people will not reply to your email. which can draw all of you work to a halt especially if Sunday is one of your keen days to get work done which for me is.

So now I’ve been working hard to drum up some more interest and researching into other ways I can get my services and business and what I offer heard to the general public which can be difficult with a low budge. so instead I have spend £5 on the gumtree website adding my advert to the top of the list anytime somebody types in graphic design a key tip if your using gum-tree I don’t put my advertisement under services as gum tree charge for this so I put myself under the artist and community section which is kind of a similar thing which works for me and as well as having the one main advert I also post 3 other free adverts and this works incredibly well for me at the moment although I did get an instant reaction after adding my advert in the pay section I suppose it looks more like you are recommended by the gumtree being in this section and although its only £5 if I only get one job it will make the money back for me hopefully.

you will also notice that I have made a few changes to my blog page yesterday because I’m working on making my brand consistent I’m in the middle of creating a beautiful and compelling website which I will let you all know when it is up and running although I am still going to use this as my main blogging area as wordpress offers me the kind of things that will promote traffic to my site although to be honest everyone I have spoke to on here has been really supportive and given me lots of information about freelancing.

I’m also now focusing on different area’s of advertising a friend of mine works closely with people at our local newspaper who can do advertising insert or though at the moment the amount I am paying on gumtree is well worth sticking with for the moment when I can offer a job for £30 an insert in the paper would mean I could only break even.

I have a few business cards left over from my university days which I am going to use for the moment and then re design my cards after I’ve generated work for myself.

I’ve nearly finished my first job now and I’ve really enjoyed it I’m begin to realize what little time a freelancer has and with me still working part time Im constantly working to make a name for myself although I’m told by very knowledgeable people on wordpress that this is what I should be doing.

on another positive note I’m waiting for my contract to be finalized with another client so fingers crossed all will go through and I’m also reading my partners A level business books to help me out although I would really like to get hold of a freelance designers guide book if anyone knows of any of these please do let me know as I want to learn as much as I can to stay on top of the market!.

phew! a long one today maybe I should have spread my posts out abit! another long busy day for me!

Advertising as a freelance designer

Having thought long and hard about how to advertise myself and get maximum inpact with minimun cost I decided to post at advertisiment on Gumtree to try and drum up some work for myself and altough I had already recieved 44 views on one of the post I put out.

I decided to put out a few adverts of the same on gumtree featuring 3 different images which all related each other this worked a great deal to land me my first freelance position. The phychological repition of my work when the word “graphic designer” are posted in to gumtree were amazing. I was recieving emails from people each day asking for quotes some got back to me and some didn’t but I guess the whole “freelance” aspect effects the amount of work I will be recieving from one week to the next.

Hopefully the work I can generate view gumtree and other free ad’s webiste can help me to invest in my own business.