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How to Make a Design Portfolio Mini-book: Mistakes to Avoid

Updated on January 8, 2017
luciano63 profile image

Luciano Bove is a car design manager working at Renault Design. Born in Italy, he graduated from Art Center College of Design in California.

Entry for World Car Design Competition
Entry for World Car Design Competition | Source

Dear friends,

recently I received by email a new small mini portfolio in Pdf format from a young design student asking me for some tips and advice. As usually, I do I went through it with attention, it was made of 17 pages with sketches and color rendered illustrations of final chosen designs.

At a first glance, it looked like something put together with a certain reasoning and order, a sketching research step for each design proposal and also some color illustrations for the final chosen design with nice prospectives and dramatic color choices.

Entry for World Car Design Competition
Entry for World Car Design Competition | Source

Mistakes I have noticed

The reason why I decided to publish Lucian Nicolae Acatrineis's projects presentations is because to me they are a very good and professional example to follow in order to make a very good mini car design portfolio.

The mini book I received by email was not like those great drawings presentations, it was rather focused on interesting rendering techniques and illustration compositions. Great color choices to reproduce dramatic illustration effects and forced prospectives to show designer's drawing skills.

The problem was related to its content!

The design expressed was not interesting, it was lacking real new ideas, its creativity was suffering too much and the overall result was poor even if a lot of energy has been put into creating this mini book.

In a few words, there was like a battle between skills talent and creativity having the illustration as one of the most important element of the presentation and creativity as the least important. This is a real negative problem in any type of mini book or mini portfolios.

WINNER of Local Motors Texas competition in May 2010.
WINNER of Local Motors Texas competition in May 2010. | Source

Lucian's example

Lucian Nicolae's drawings and illustrations of his projects here published are a good example for anybody want to prepare a mini book or mini portfolio to send via email to a professional for advice or job request.

Every table (drawing) explains well the project theme from sketches to final illustrations, the composition on each page is well done: we have focal point drawings and self-explanatory drawings and sketches.

There are also some images used to tell us about marketing and targets, they tell us the story and the overall presentation is very clear without an excess of rendering techniques. In other words, Lucian Nicolae is not telling us how great he is in rendering, Lucian is telling us about his project presentation.

So do not forget that content comes first and once you have it you have to think how to put it together to present it to anyone. Use your good sense of judgment, use balance, be wise, tell us the story project by project, do not overwork your drawing, be simple and go straight to the point.

Thanks for your attention!

© 2011 Luciano Bove


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    • luciano63 profile imageAUTHOR

      Luciano Bove 

      7 years ago from Paris

      Thanks Hugo!

    • Hugo Furst profile image

      Hugo Furst 

      7 years ago from Australia

      I agree. While visuals are important, content is crucial to telling your story. Great hub; voted up ;-)

    • profile image

      Final year microcontroller projects 

      9 years ago

      Nice pics, very interesting, like this hub...

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      However, there is a lot of idea,

      one after one seating, instead of one next to one,

      new wheel type,

      integrated reserve wheel,

      A and for more, it could be done as floating!

    • luciano63 profile imageAUTHOR

      Luciano Bove 

      9 years ago from Paris


    • dobo700 profile image


      9 years ago from Australia

      Fantastic pics, love this hub

    • dablufox profile image


      9 years ago from Australia

      Wicked hubpage, two thumbs up! Love the concept and drawings.


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