In my current position as an admissions counselor, I regularly review portfolios. Some reviews are conducted in-person; other reviews are sent via email. Here is one of my emailed portfolio reviews.

 

November 16, 2016

Hi again, Scott. Here is my critique of your portfolio for Digital Media.

The biggest areas you need to improve are text and logical/illogical imagery. In a few of your designs, it appears that you utilize your own handwriting with a pen or stylus. I'm all for adding a hand-drawn element to digital work, but too often your text is difficult to read. If you're striving for an urban, street-style on soda can labels, I suggest you find a digitally-created typeface that FEELS urban, gritty, etc. but it still legible. Do you ever use dafont.com? Here are some possibilities I found in a quick search:

http://www.dafont.com/theme.php?cat=606
http://www.dafont.com/theme.php?cat=110
http://www.dafont.com/theme.php?cat=109

As for the imagery in your designs, some of it doesn't make sense to me. With the SAE posters, I prefer the 2016 design. The title tells me the event or organization is in Detroit, so the Detroit skyline works. In the 2015 design, I don't understand the desert background. The logical relation to the city of Detroit is missing. Back to the 2016 design, you've got the Challenger parked in the middle of a highway that ends in the Detroit River...? Perhaps a gravel road with boulders separating it (the road) from the shore would make more sense? Also, there's a lightning bolt on the ground, but not in the sky. You've got interesting ideas and images, but their use/placement doesn't always make sense to the viewer. The 2016 poster is mostly black and white, with a dark red Challenger and blue SAE logo. Then you added the "powering possibilities" tagline, which added three more colors. The bright red and teal of the tagline don't relate to anything else in the composition. (The light blue of the power button is close enough to the SAE logo, so I don't mind it.) The poster would be more unified if you used the SAE blues throughout "powering possibilities." Just some suggestions to consider in future projects.

Your work meets the requirements for Digital Media. You've passed the review.