Portfolio Basics for Web Design Students: Your Logo and Tagline
When marketing yourself as a designer, there is nothing more important than an effective portfolio that showcases your creativity and skills. As a student, the main focus of your portfolio should be to impress prospective employers or clients and allow them to successfully view your work and contact you if they are interested in hiring you.
Your logo and tagline are a representation of yourself as a business. It should be the part of your portfolio that is the most memorable for clients and employers. In this series (of many more to come), we will go over how to create a logo that’s noticeable and current trends in branding that will help get started on your online presence.
Your logo is the first indication of your “personal style” to people visiting your site. Reflecting the type of work you do in your logo will help create a more consistent brand throughout your website. Making this part of your portfolio as unique and memorable as possible is the ultimate goal. You want to stand out from other student designers that may be competing for the same position as yourself.
Who are you?
Defining a few elements of your business and yourself as a person is a good way to get started with your portfolio logo. Do you freelance or work for an agency? Who is your target market? What kind of people or companies do you normally work with or attract? How would you describe yourself? Having the answer to some of these questions can get you started in the right direction when it comes to brainstorming ideas.
Don’t always rely on trends. Trendy logos usually don’t have a long lifespan and will probably need to be re-designed in a few years. If in doubt, fallback to something solid, such as structural shapes or incorporating your name/initials.
* Always link your logo to your homepage. This is generally expected from all websites now, so it’s good practice to include this on your portfolio for easy navigation.
* Your logo doesn’t always have to include your name, but it’s a good idea to have your name somewhere near your logo or within your tagline.
* Positioning your logo near the top left or top middle is always a good idea because it’s where the eye is naturally drawn to when a new webpage is opened.
Your tagline is a description of who you are, what you do and the most important benefit your client will receive from your services within a short phrase or slogan. Writing a memorable tagline can be difficult, especially if you’re still trying to figure out your overall brand as a student designer. List your benefits and what sets you apart from the competition. Why should clients choose you over someone else? Why should this employer hire you?
Get To The Point
Your tagline should communicate clearly and get to the point. Remember that you are selling the benefits of what you have to offer, not the features! Employers that are looking at portfolios don’t have time to decipher jargon or big words. A slogan is most effective when your audience can understand it immediately. Keeping your slogans under one sentence will help avoid this problem.
Before revealing your logo to clients, employers and the general public, get feedback from other designers and peers. Getting feedback is something that is sometimes overlooked by young students. Although getting feedback can sometimes be a painful process for your ego, it will only make your logo better.
No slogan is etched in stone. Your logo and tagline are the first impression that clients, employers and others designers are going to judge you on. Putting a sufficient amount of time and effort into perfecting these will help you in creating a more consistent feel to your portfolio. Creating confidence within your skills and abilities though a solid mission statement in your tagline and a consistent brand through your logo will help you gain more attention with your portfolio as a student web designer.