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Designers need opportunities to have their portfolios reviewed, to receive actionable feedback on their work and its presentation, and to network with other creative professionals. While there are local AIGA chapters in Eastern Massachusetts and Central Connecticut, Brigade aims to become a local hub for designers in the Pioneer Valley. The team started moving toward this goal by hosting their inaugural, bi-annual portfolio review in November of 2017. The event was free and portfolios were reviewed on a first come, first serve basis. The design challenge was to quickly and succinctly create an energetic and bold visual identity for this review, to be shared online and on-site the evening of the event.
To create the visual identify, we went to work crafting a design that would provide traditional ideas of the designer, mixed with contemporary graphic design elements. The heart of the design platform became a collection of black, wire-rimmed glasses, raining from the top of the virtual page to the bottom. This movement-based visual literally represents the idea of looking through the lenses at a designer’s work. Online, this element utilized animation to create movement, with pairs of glasses falling down, piling up on each other, and eventually disappearing to reveal a black background with plain white type. When shown in the print materials, including posters and name badges on-site, the black glasses were shown on a magenta background, providing a bold and simple aesthetic.
The dynamic design provided a way for us to announce our first ever portfolio review in a bright, energetic, and exciting way. In response to our invitation, fifteen designers participated in the review, representing students, emerging designers, and professionals already working in the field. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive, with many of the attendees stating that our design caught their eye and informed their decision to come to attend the review.