ATTENTION UNDERGRADUATE DESIGN STUDENTS ABOUT TO GRADUATE.
Arkansas State University Dept. of Art + Design is proud to host the AIGA-Memphis Portfolio Review 2019
Professional designers will offer one-on-one insight and constructive feedback. These reviewers hail from the region’s leading in-house and agency settings, specializing in everything from print to UX. This is an opportunity not to be missed.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND:
AIGA-Memphis serves all of eastern Arkansas (including Little Rock), all of western Tennessee, northern Mississippi, and southeastern Missouri. Participants must currently be enrolled in an undergraduate graphic design program at an institution within this area or be a resident within this area and enrolled in any accredited university design program. The closer to graduation one is, the more advice and networking opportunities will be available.
9:00am: Student check-in. Confirmation number required.
9:30am: Reviewer check-in
10:00am: PORTFOLIO REVIEW begins, 4 sessions
12:00pm: Box lunch is served
12:40pm - 3:40pm: Workshops (topics TBD)
3:40pm - 4:00pm: Closing statements
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Each student will have their portfolio reviewed by professional designers a total of four times.
A shared table will be provided for each designer to present his/her portfolio in any of the following configurations: as original work [limited space is available for full display of larger or multi-component items], a single composed PDF file, and/or personal website. Each students must provide his/her own fully-charged laptop. Wi-fi will be accessible, but it is best to have files loaded on devices just in case.
Consider the following in how each portfolio will be reviewed in an abbreviated time span: the number of items of the highest quality to be shown; the manner to which this work has been curated for a fluid sequence; and how these items will benefit from feedback during each of the 25-minute interviews.
What should I use to show my work?
As explained above, a shared table will be provided for each designer to present his/her portfolio in any of the following configurations: as original work [limited space is available for full display of larger or multi-component items], a single composed PDF file, and/or personal website. Each students must provide his/her own fully-charged laptop or tablet. For any tangible pieces, be sure your craft is flawless. PRACTICE before you show up to the review.
Will wi-fi be available?
Wi-fi will be accessible, but it is best to have files loaded on devices just in case.
What should be in my portfolio?
Make sure your portfolio is up-to-date and shows your best work. As this call is for designers, the work should be almost entirely for this discipline (see next question about specifics within the discipline). Explaining that the photographs, illustrations, or headlines within your designs are composed by you can only help and is encouraged! However, do not show up to this event with a portfolio of only your photography or illustration.
What if most of my work is print and I’m talking to a UX designer? (Or vice-versa.)
At the core of these skills is design, aesthetics, and awareness of human interaction with a piece. AIGA-Memphis organizers will do their best to match up students’ and professionals’ specialties; however, there is knowledge to be gained from every interaction.
What kind of questions will reviewers ask?
Anything about your process.
Why did you make this choice?
Can you explain your choices in this piece?
Can you talk about your process for this piece?
Anything about where you find inspiration:
(The more knowledge you display of the field in which you will work, the better. Citing influencers on your favorite flavor of social media is great. Explaining a mid-century modernist to whom you were introduced in a History of Graphic Design class is also admirable. Avoid not having an answer.)
Anything about your knowledge of the medium for which the piece was intended.
How was this intended to be used?
Would this be printed as the mockup shows with an emboss (etc.)?
How does this flow of information (etc.) improve the user experience?
Anything about your problem-solving skills.
What was the objective this piece answered?
Who was the target market for this campaign?
How did you solve this problem under the timeline/budget you had (if work happened at an internship, job, etc.)
Anything about your interest in design and your goals.
When did you start pursuing art/design?
Why did you choose design as a line of study?
What do you plan on doing as a career after graduation?
How should I act around the reviewers?
Professional. Make eye contact with people. Smile. Shake hands. Show respect for the professional reviewing your work. Be proud of your work (and yourself!) and excited to share your portfolio to be reviewed.
Be ready to explain your process and your work. Be sure you are aware of the flow of your book so that you can guide the reviewer through your work if asked.
Go with the flow. Every person will review a little differently. Some will look through the whole portfolio and then discuss certain pieces, while others will take one piece at a time. A reviewer may also look at only some of the work and then pinpoint specific areas of improvement that are obvious – like color or typography – and discuss that for the entire time period.
Ask "why" or "thank you, could you explain that further?” Most reviewers will critique openly, but sometimes do not know more explanation is needed. Politely ask for clarification on anything and TAKE NOTES.
Take notes. You won't remember everything and it is also a respectful way to show the reviewers' time is appreciated.
If you have a resumé to show before the review begins, it may be helpful to the reviewer. Have a couple. Some reviewers will glance at it and be done, but some may take a copy to contact you later. Having business cards is also not necessary, but could be advantageous for later communication.
Politely ask for a business card from each of your reviewers. If this is not available, still jot down each reviewer's name and find a way to either email or mail a thank you.
How should I act around other students?
Don't compare yourself to others around you. However, feel free to network with your fellow students when time allows during the event! This could be the start of a great friendship or online design community!
I can only show up to the morning reviewers. May I still attend?
No. If you claim a space for this event, it is expected you will attend both the morning and afternoon events. As only 50 spaces are available for such a large geographic area, spots are reserved for those who can – and really want to! – attend the entire event.