Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Design Challenge from Smashing Magazine

Open publication - Free publishing - More art

One thing about not getting formal training is that I haven't experienced peer criticism on my projects but after reading this article on Smashing Magazine by Paul Boag, that might change.

The Challenge? Choose a design you created and explain the reasoning behind everything you did. This isn't a web design that I'm going to post, but I would love feedback on it regardless, so if you have a minute or two to write what you would do to improve it, I would most definitely appreciate it.

The Project
The design I chose is the one with the hardest client I ever had. It's my own portfolio created as an interactive PDF using Indesign and published on (an awesome website for displaying PDFs). Click on expand to see the design in full. I wanted the portfolio display the variety of work I've done, show the different clients I've worked with and show my personality while not taking away from the designs itself.
Here's the breakdown of the design:

  • Grid - Used a four column grid with a nice amount of padding on both sides to bring attention to the designs themselves.
  • Layout - Gave each page a focal picture with smaller images on the side to support the main image. Broke this up on some of the pages 1. to give variation to the design, and 2. to display more images in an efficient way.
    Each page has the client and project details in the same location to give the portfolio consistency and a strong structure.
  • Color - Kept it simple using black and grey so as not to take away from the designs, and a pop of magenta to show personality and bit of color.
  • Typography - Used Adobe Caslon, it's a beautiful traditional font that shows on professionalism and strength and at the same time allows for distinctive swashes and beautiful italics.
  • Imagery - displayed most of the designs with a thin grey border to contain the images.
  • Styling - used the simple social networking icons on the last page and made them click-able so it's super easy to connect.
So if you have anything you would do differently or perhaps an idea that would add to the design I would love to hear. Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I like your very simple design! I got no complaints. ^_^ Great Job!

  2. Hey!

    Just read the above documentation in response to the Challenge issued by Smashing Magazine. I do like the simple yet effective design.

    We have taken the challenge as well and produced a technical documentation for our corporate site:

    Would be glad if you left feedback, as we appreciate such comments from fellow designers.

    Also, you can follow us on Facebook where we publish our posts related to web design every week: