Getting Lucky in Las Vegas.
A SILVER SKILLET creative portfolio review
M.E. - Designer/Art Director
I believe you can do great work anywhere if you have the right amount of gusto and guidance.
Some of the best work I ever did in my career was at a small agency in North Carolina.
Nobody had ever even heard of it until the owner’s nephew left NYC to become the CD.
One year later we were in every single award show, featured in CA, and AdAge’s Southeast Agency of the Year.
You make your own luck, and that’s what I think Matt is doing in Las Vegas.
The casinos create all sorts of opportunities and it’s clear he’s got the chops to deliver great work for them.
And perhaps a few local small clients.
I love the few pieces where I can see his personal style coming through in the work.
But he’s surrounded the great work in his folio with less great work.
And that can make people wonder if you know what great is.
Just because it got produced doesn’t mean you have to show it.
Or show it the way it ran if there’s a better version.
If you’re in a job and you’re going to shoots and getting assets, but the final ads/designs didn’t turn out great, use them to make something for your book that is.
As part of this SILVER SKILLET review, I’ve given Matt a ton of ideas on how to improve his folio, things to potentially remove, and written some headlines to make some of the ideas even stronger.
Some general takeaways that will be applicable to anyone are…
- If you use Vimeo your file names appear in the embed. If you haven’t chosen good ones, they look bad. I suggest either renaming them or paying for Vimeo Pro and taking advantage of the customisation options to make things look nice.
- Also, make sure your videos are as high-res as you can get.
- For both video and print, remove superfluous logos, fine print, and legalese. Keep things clean – you don’t need them in the folio versions of your work.
- Make your images clickable to reveal a larger version so people can read the copy.
- If you have multiple disciplines, consider separating them. In this case, some of the work is obviously graphic design only, and the rest of it is ads. They don’t really belong together in the same folio.
Thanks for sharing your portfolio!
Watch the Follow Up Review - 85% Changed!
See all the feedback M.E. took on board and be amazed by the dramatic changes and improvements in his portfolio.
He told me he took around 80-85% of my suggestions on board and that number seems about right.
“Following your advice I have a book I think is a bit bolder, more reflective of the work I want to do and tighter.”
But he also snuck in a bunch of new work and some of that could use tweaks.
Overall this folio has had a major makeover and there are learnings here that will apply to everyone.
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Who am I?
My name is Eran Thomson and I’m an award-winning CD and writer/director.
I’ve worked at places like BBH and TBWA, co-founded an agency that got acquired, and freelanced across three continents.
I may also be available for a gig if you want to spark some joy together.