Redesigning my Graphic Design Portfolio Site and Why

I recently finished up redesigning my personal Graphic Design-oriented website. It was well past time and I figured the previous one had over-stayed its welcome. A new look was needed.

So, what was I thinking about with the new site? There was a number of things, really. Initially, I was thinking of making it hip and cool, perhaps even info-graphic-like – something barely legible and perhaps even a bit alien-like. Then I realized that in order to really do it right, I’d have to build it all 3-D with a lot of functionality on top of it all. That really wasn’t me.

My other thought was that after perusing other’s portfolio sites, it seemed that (most times) the more intricate and interactive they got, the more usability had suffered, as well as splashing them with Flash seemed to just make it worse.

Then, there was how to really put in some of my personality into the mix. As Graphic Designers go, type tends to be a pretty big thing. It says a lot about you – to other people in the industry and if those other people don’t pick up on that, you probably don’t want to hang with them.

What to do? I figured the best thing to do is go simple. The important thing is to get the information across as quickly as possible. My audience is the not the dawdling sort. Straight HTML with easy small image maps were the way to go, so things load fast.

To add in a bit of a personal touch, I used my own handwriting instead of typesetting.  While it might be a bit more difficult to read (and show that I might be an axe murderer by my handwriting skill), I think it gives a more honest feel. I think it also goes to a chalk-talk, white board allusion, after all, I am billing myself as a more conceptual thinker 😉 and removes the paralysis by analysis of choosing a typeface.

All the important stuff is in there, like my downloadable portfolios, a few work samples and some general thoughts about how I work… that’s about the bulk of a portfolio site.

What do you think?

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