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CUNY Queens ︎(ARTS241) Design 1

Knitting Circle:
Design Portfolio, choosing a site


First, here’s the page that you need in order to submit your design portfolio link︎ please make sure to review the requirements here, particularly the writing component. Besides the writing, generally if you are paying attention in this class and past classes you should be satisfy the list of requirements.

Please note it is due June 1st. To be clear this is not an assignment for the class, but your portfolio must be reviewed in order for you to continue taking Design classes.

General Guiding Design Principles

Whichever site you choose please consider the following things
  • Document your projects well (good photographs, good scans)
  • Include detail shots where applicable
  • For booklets, magazines, or books include spreads and link to the full version (.pdf via Dropbox or Google Drive if there)
  • Make your pictures as big as possible, or make sure you can click through to a lightbox

Anecdotal reviews of each site

  • Adobe Portfolio︎This is “free” if you have access to Adobe Creative Cloud. You also have access to all the same fonts you have access to through Adobe Fonts. In my experience and testing, the templating system is a bit restrictive and some of interface decisions are a bit ponderous (lack of back buttons or menus), however that simplicity may be helpful for you, or may work better for your content.

  • Squarespace︎This is the most widely used website and should have some fairly impressive templates to start from. I have the least experience with this website, but my impression has been they are slightly less restrictive than Adobe Portfolio, and you can alter the websites via code if you want to. If this site is accurate, the type choices are fairly conventional to the extent that is important to you. Additionally, if you watch anything on YouTube, you can probably get a discount code. If you plan on selling anything this is probably the most readily expandable to include a store or something of the like.

  • Cargo︎ I personally like this site the best. It is designed specifically with art and design portfolios in mind and the templates look the most “contemporary”/ “cool” to the extent that matters to you. They also have a nice selection of fonts from velvetyne. You can also customize a fair bit with code if that’s a plus for you.

  • Wix (no longer officially recommended)︎I’ve used Wix for my animation portfolio and fine art portfolio sites and it works great, though my experience is that students find it counterintuitive and quite complex. Type choices are similar to Squarespace, though you can upload your own fonts if you wish. I believe you can extend your site with code as well, but the templating system is robust enough that I’ve never had to do that. The main con with the site other than complexity is that if you don’t pay for your site that you get, basically an ad bar at the top of your site which kind of cheapens your website no matter how good it looks. 

Access to tutorials and information

I’m happy to go through more specific issues or provide feedback on any state of your site, but as noted before it is quite tricky to go through screen-based tutorials in the current virtual reality state of class. Additionally, if you want to code your own website, I can’t teach you how to do that but I can provide troubleshooting or advice there. All that being said, here’s the tutorial possibilities for each website.

  • Adobe Portfolio︎Adobe is relatively good at getting designers and Adobe Certified Experts to do screencasts for things Adobe Creative Cloud. Here’s one for Adobe Portfolio: 
    It looks like there are a couple of other people out there doing tutorials but not necessarily a community

  • Squarespace ︎Squarespace is pretty popular so it seems like the community is pretty active. If you’re intimidated by any of the internet stuff, I’d probably recommend this as an option. Here’s an updated tutorial for starting out.
    It looks like Squarespace has a pretty decent set of their own tutorials as well︎

  • Cargo︎One note here is that at some point a few years ago, Cargo updated so if you are troubleshooting something you may find resources for the old version of Cargo. Cargo has what seems like a smaller community, the tutorials are good but maybe not as comprehensive as other sites. My experience has been to start with a template and not modify it too heavily because they are mostly already good.

  • Wix(again no longer officially recommended) ︎Wix also used to have an office space you could work at for free. More recently you had to apply to get access to a (better) space. My experience is that the community is largely older folk who have a start up they need to make a website for so they need to have decent tutorials. There’s enough market penetration that a decent amount of YouTube videos pop up if you search for Wix on there.

    Here’s a link to some of Wix’s own tutorials︎

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