Lauren Hayes1 Comment

Portfolio Woes & Pixeden

Lauren Hayes1 Comment
Portfolio Woes & Pixeden

Several months ago, Communication Arts published an interview they conducted with the founders of Anagrama, a Mexican branding agency that manages to completely blow up my Behance feed every time they post new work. I’ve been curious about them for a while, but this was my first opportunity to read something about them that wasn’t super vague or entirely in Spanish. (Thanks Communication Arts!)

Outside of their expected blood, sweat and tears founding story, I was really into how Anagrama presents their work. It turns out they have two full-time designers whose entire job involves making Anagrama’s portfolio look as polished and amazing as possible. They find photographers, scout locations, help with prop styling, post-production, the whole works. That’s their entire job. All day. Everyday.

I’ve interned/freelanced/worked part-time/worked full-time at just enough studios to know that setting aside that much time and money to doll yourself up is HARD, but Anagrama obviously knows what they’re doing. The studio has grown from three guys in their mid twenties to a big agency with big clients in a super short span of time. More than anything else they credit a lot of that growth to how killer their portfolio looks.

So the first half of this post is cheering on Anagrama for creating such beautiful work and then knowing to not cop out on the presentation. Obviously that logo you designed looks better when you show where it’s being applied in real life. Obviously that brand concept you and your team developed is more compelling when you show all the process work that lead up to the final idea. Obviously. It’s just a lot of work. So the second half of this post is me trying to get my butt into gear to do the same.

I'm in need of a portfolio face lift of Anagrama proportions without the time, money or obvious man power to help me out. Finding someone to throw saws in the air with business cards I’ve designed is out of the question so my next best bet is pixeden, which is kind of the gem behind this whole post.  My art director showed me this website a few months back and they provide psd mockup templates for presenting work. You download the template, open up the PSD, drop your work into the smart object layer and ta-dah! You're already light years ahead of where you were 5 minutes ago. I think it’s best when you take a template and make it your own so your portfolio does look, you know… like a template, but so far it’s proved to be a really great starting point.

They’ve got a ton of freebies, but if you want something a little more involved you’ll have to cough up a little money, but I haven’t needed to do that yet.

So in this mock up (that you could download here) you'd open up the file and put your own business card design in the smart object layers

So in this mock up (that you could download here) you'd open up the file and put your own business card design in the smart object layers

there are some branding mocks here

there are some branding mocks here

And website presentation mocks here

And website presentation mocks here

Not bad right? Those are some of the freebies. Why did no one tell me about this when I was student??

Anagrama was the reason I thought of writing this post and redoing some of my portfolio but they're definitely not the only one paying attention to their presentation game. Here are a few more of my favorites if you’re looking for some more inspiration

I’m willing to admit that this whole post is a bit embarrassing; I’m talking about keeping your portfolio updated when mine needs a lot of TLC but if anyone wants to know what I’ll be up to in the next few weeks (months) now you know!

Does anyone else have any resources they use when it comes to portfolio presentation? Share the wealth!