Photo Courtesy of Ben Rodriguez

Pedro Huertas explains concepts behind his designs to students and others, including alumnus Devin O’Neill, who attended the recent portfolio review.

 

May 9, 2016

AIGA hosts portfolio review and critique for student designers

Graphic design majors from colleges in the Ohio and Pennsylvania area gathered their best work for the 32nd Annual Student Portfolio Review and Conference presented by AIGA at the Wolstein Center April 22.

At the review, design professionals volunteer their time to prepare emerging designers for careers by providing them constructive feedback on their portfolios.

“To me, the review helps students understand the realities of the business in that not all of us are going to deal with the same kind of person,” Cleveland State senior Pedro Huertas said. “What one person may think about a portfolio piece may be different than somebody else’s opinion.”

The mix of representatives, like boutique design studios and corporate agencies, help students make contacts.

“It’s a great opportunity to network with the area’s top professionals in the design community, something that can definitely be of use heading towards graduation and beyond,” Huertas said.

Another senior at Cleveland State, Evan Nichols, agreed that he was satisfied with the event despite the short amount of time with the reviewers.

“The system has its kinks, but those people are volunteering their time, so their help is appreciated when they give it,” Nichols said. “I was happy to have one reviewer really resonate with me and my work.”
Matt Schmiedl, a graduate of Cleveland State and current assistant director of marketing and technology at CSU Campus Recreation Services, who served as one of the reviewers, said he’s excited to see all of the new, talented designers coming into the job market.

“As a first-time reviewer, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect,” Schmiedl said. “I was hoping to see some really creative, innovative and stand-out design work from a lot of talented emerging professionals and I was not disappointed.”

As the supervisor of a staff of student designers, Schmiedl has already served as a mentor to many Cleveland State students.

“It’s really inspiring to see them develop as professionals, designers and individuals with creative identities of their own,” Schmiedl said. “I feel honored that I can be a part of that.”

Graduating students like Huertas and Nichols agree that Cleveland State’s art department and the portfolio capstone have prepared them well.

“The design professors here at CSU are absolutely phenomenal and are more than willing to go out of their way to help you succeed,” Huertas said. “From entry-level design courses to the final capstone course, Jenn [Visocky O’Grady], Sarah [Rutherford] and Qian [Li] have guided me along the way to become the designer that I am today.”

Nichols said although he wished for longer classes and more periodic reviews, he also appreciates the faculty and the experience he got from the program – especially with this refined book of his work finally completed.

“I’ve been given the principles of design, which is the most important part,” Nichols said. “That’s the framework, and I can research any kind of dressings I need on my own time.”



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