From email to interview, how to not screw it all up

Alright, so you made yourself a great portfolio. Nicely done. Now it’s time to get it into the hands of someone who can hire you. As with anything, really, much of the advice here is subjective, partial to my own taste and preferences, and few might disagree with some of this advice.

Take all of this with a grain salt, as your potential employer may skew on either end of this spectrum. Use it as a guide and trust common sense to light your path.


How to get in the door with a great portfolio

There’s a lot of advice out there — forum threads, blog posts, and even other medium articles — all outlining how to build the perfect portfolio. However, after many years receiving and reviewing designer portfolios, it has become apparent that this conversation might be worth a fresh take. Lately, our studio has been getting some portfolios where small quirks or red flags rule a candidate out almost immediately.

Here, I’m hoping to call out some of those pitfalls, and resurface some of the really helpful advice I learned back at school. …


So, you need a logo, and you’re on a tight budget. Chances are, unless you have a designer friend who offered to whip one up for you, someone pointed you in the direction of 99Designs.

“Check them out,” they said. “It’s pretty cheap and you get a lot of options to choose from.” Cool.

99Designs, CrowdSpring, DesignCrowd — these are some of the more prominent startups that have pioneered the idea of crowdsourcing design work as a viable industry over the past ten years.

Crowdsourcing is typically used to encourage a collaborative effort towards a single solution. A great example is Waze, the popular GPS app, which has a community passively reporting navigation and traffic accidents as they drive. All the users collectively contribute to a single solution, and a common goal: to keep everyone moving. Similarly, websites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo let users crowd-fund projects with many small investments. …

Sebastian Speier

Design @airbnb Formerly: @instagram /@Nike / @ThisAlso

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