The last main piece I have to make for Digital me is the PDF portfolio, so that has been my next step to take.
I wanted to make the PDF consistent with both the CV and the online portfolio, so I created it in a similar way. I ensured that all the smaller details matched, for example the underlining of titles and the chosen fonts.
Wanting the PDF to be interactive, I created a home page with thumbnails of the six projects that I had chosen to include in my portfolio. From this home page, the user can click a project thumbnail to be taken directly to that project. Also, on hovering over a thumbnail, the image changes (as I have added a rollover image the same but with a white layer over the top with an opacity of only 50%) and the name of the project appears. The image below is a screenshot taken of the PDF portfolio home page – the ‘A Blank Space’ thumbnail shows what the hover over looks like.
I have inserted in all the needed pages for each of the projects and given them titles accordingly. I have then created the links so that each of the thumbnails on the homepage takes the user to the correct project. I have created a rough layout for each of the pages and my next step is to start inserting my design work. I want to have a column of text down the left side, which will include the title of the project and then the brief and my solution, and then the images of the outcomes will be positioned on the right.
Over the last few days, I have been working on developing my brand style ready for my first tutorial today.
I began with attempting to self-brand myself using my name rather than an actual logo. Finding a photograph of myself that was able to actually interactive with the ‘title’, I’m Amber, made me realise that this was the style I liked best. Unfortunately the photograph is not high quality enough for me to be happy with and I want to capture a better one, but this has at least helped me decide on a favourite style. I should be able to use I’m Amber in both ways, with and without the image of myself sat on it.
After testing out a few different fonts and style, and picking a favourite, I began experimenting with colour and of course I had to use my favourite colour orange (Pantone 144 CP) that I use in so many of my projects. After all, it is my colour, “amber”.
I have put together an initial rough CV layout that I think works well alongside my personality and overall brand. My next step is to begin creating the online portfolio layout in consistency to the CV. As my CV is not fully completed yet, I will be able to make changes accordingly if needed – I think it is necessary to keep myself flexible in the beginning ideas generation and design stages of this Digital Me project.
Although I had more or less decided that I would not use my pre-existing logo (used on some social media), I wanted to put it into my CV just so that I could confirm or disconfirm in my tutorial if I was choosing the right way to go. Sure enough, my logo was pointed out as being probably unnecessary, so I am going to go ahead and remove it. Although the logo is not needed, they agreed that it was a great touch to have an image of myself interacting with the title, I’m Amber, as a personal touch. In my tutorial, it was picked up on by my peers that the use of the key colour orange worked really effectively as it doubled up well as being the colour “amber”, just like I am, Amber. The typefaces that I have chosen are Bebas Neue for the headlines and Champagne & Limousines for the body text.
One of the hardest parts of beginning the process of this Digital Me project is branding myself. It is certainly much harder to brand yourself than it is to brand a client.
There are lots of things to consider when branding yourself – trying to ask yourself, “Who am I?” is a lot harder than I first anticipated. The first obstacle I have come across is whether to have a logo or not? I had previously created myself a logo to use on my social media (e.g. Instagram), but was unsure as to whether I should carry this through to use in this project or leave it behind.
After speaking to the lecturers in university, they recommended not to use a logo and to sell yourself as a name instead. Why not a logo?
What does a logo mean? A logo represents years of commitment, hard work, reliability, trustworthiness – it is a promise of professional skills. As a student designer, I do not have these years of experience under my belt yet so I would not want to risk a negative response of my logo from, let’s say, a director of a well-established design company, who has built their own business over many years and has worked hard to develop relationships with people who are now their clients – they have established a clear identity, a well-trusted, competent brand, and this is all shown through their logo. It is important for me to consider how you might respond to a newly-graduated student’s logo in order to make me realise that perhaps not having a logo was the best way to go for self-branding.
What is a logo representing? How might I want to reveal myself through using graphic language to include my human-scale skills, personality, ancestry, culture, interests, motives, awareness of graphic design? And how might I contextualise this graphic representation sensitively, perhaps discreetly into your house-style? This could potentially be quite difficult to show through a logo at this stage, and I certainly do not want to create something that simply isn’t very good. “If [it] is… terrible, I’ll instantly be put-off. Better to keep it simple… If [it’s] a great idea, it needs to be really great.” Mark Smith, branding specialist. This leads me agree that a logo is not needed and that my own name would be the best way to brand myself for now.
Things to consider when branding myself:
- Simplicity and clarity – have a single focus and don’t make it confusing.
- House-style and consistency – apply a well-developed visual consistency throughout all pieces (PDF, online and CV).
- Photography – use high quality images only.