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How to Caption Your Work

Lesson 12 from: Create a Knockout Graphic Design Portfolio

Ram Castillo

How to Caption Your Work

Lesson 12 from: Create a Knockout Graphic Design Portfolio

Ram Castillo

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Lesson Info

12. How to Caption Your Work

Good captions put your work in context while still allowing the work to speak for itself.

Lesson Info

How to Caption Your Work

So we're gonna get into the captioning of your work. And now a lot of people somehow find it challenging. I certainly did. What did I say? What don't I say? How much should I say? Why should I say it? Well, in essence, you should have captioning. Okay, don't be one of those minimalists too much, just a little bit. Have a bit of captioning because you should put your work in context. And in order to do that, you have to give us some background. Now your work will speak for itself as much as possible. It's a master. Put your working context, as I mentioned and it gives credit to credit where credit's due the big one. Because a lot of times and I can vouch for this My last project that I did for a company back home in Sydney. It one. It won some awards. One of them was the Australian Creativity Effectiveness Awards for daughter strategy. And there was about I don't at least 10 to 12 people on that project. So it's important to show what are and literally spell out through with the people ...

that were involved. I was the art director and lead designer for that project. So that's what I put. But then I also attribute ID. Who was the creative director who was the digital design team who was a videographer. Everyone else team effort. And it's a kind of rule of thumb to give credit where it's due. And, ah, it shows your role. This guy has done this for that project. Pretty sure you can do that for this upcoming 12 Like I, it's simple thing and a lot of what the triggers that I listed before for you guys. Relevance. Uh, competence. What else? I have content quality. All of this stuff paints that picture for them. It's important to caption. Okay, so let's go through this client. It's a simple case of naming through the work with four. Now, if it's for ah University or design school brief, then of course, name who that client was for, or just state that it was a brief. That was personal project. Yes, a quick question on this and then the previous in terms of captioning, toe link or not, toe link. To link or not to link, that is the question you exactly eso people that you work with? Do you? Do you link back to them or their website or the client or their website, or do you keep them sticking? Your will say that's a good question. I personally don't. Okay, because it will interrupt the flow Exactly that I want to know about that person. They can hit him up on Google. Okay, um, I don't think that that's necessary. Okay. I didn't know if it was legal for this. Um, however, you're more than welcome to do that. If you feel that there's a strong business partnership between you and the other person that you work with, go right ahead. It might help or hinder, but for me, I I don't do that. Okay, The next is agency. So name the company or studio where you did the work out. Really simple case again. If it's for university or made up brief. Just put personal project or university assignment. It's like a to have personal projects. You should have personal projects. And if they're like, Well, you did some work for Pepsi. Well, no, they're not gonna think that cause you've captured that as personal project. You can even, you know, describe in there and we're gonna get to it. This was a personal project because I wanted to attempt. Doing X was a challenge. What was the primary objective? That's where you'd put that. So essentially give me at least 2 to 3 sentences on what you had to do. What was the task? Was it to heighten awareness for this target demographic? Was it measurable in that we had to sell 500,000 bottles? The task was to, uh, point, uh, the awareness for this new initiative. But they only hod $1000 to do that. Put it in context, guys. Whatever gives the employer the idea off, you're presenting a solution. Told me the problem first because it could be a great design. But if it's way off, then it's not going to show you much of your design thinking. Okay, next is the role again. Specify that. Just be really transparent. Ah, I have a lot of projects where I've taken it from concept to finish art. So I just say that I have some projects where it's only just one thing, and it could be typography, and I did ah, 650 page manual for the Green Building Council of Australia. And they were selling that book that manual at 600 bucks a pop. It took me three months to complete typesetting that 600 page manual. That was a nightmare. But I got really good a typesetting, So there's always a plus. But my point is, my role was simply talk sitting. So I put that was an epic task. Then they know. I can tell you, this guy can typeset 650 pages results if it didn't do so. Well, then leave it out. If it did well, great. It might win an award later on. So whack it on their It could be that it exceeded the expectations. So let's say, uh, you had on the, uh, challenge caption what the target was and you met that. Put it on there. We met the target off Doctor Data in one month. Okay, So before we wrap up, are there any other questions in regards? Sick reading. I have solution it, but really every 11th for for this one. But you mentioned about the personal logger personal logo? Yeah. Does anybody need lager or our logo? Yeah, Yeah Yeahs in as as a design question. OK, so the question, uh, was really issued. We have a personal logo for ourselves designed. There are two things to this one. It's answer that shortly. Yes. Good. Okay to don't go too far with it. Don't go too far that your logo limits you. You say, if your logo is very stylized, very feminine, for example Very cursive and script like as an example that is going to give me a whole bunch of perception before I even get your design work off what you do that can help you or hinder you. So unless you are doing that style day in, day out, keep it Very simple. Typography. Ah, formatting of your letter of your name. Ah, you should have one. But I'm not telling you to go all out and brand this very unique. I mean, let's be honest, guys. You look at Chris MacLean and his, you know, he and many others do this. They just use Helvetica, right? We see so many posters of Helvetica must saying to design your name in Helvetica but at the very least, make it legible and ah, make sure that it at least feels like you. Okay, If it's bold and you're a very bold, masculine person, then do that. If you are very petite and very, you know, since it even shy, maybe you might have a little bit sinner. That's your logo, by the way, your logo doesn't have to be a full on designed icon. Top said. It top said it and have that typography consistent with your website. Let's say you're you're choosing Ah, time ahead. Google Web fund. Oswalt If Oswald was what I'm choosing for my subheadings and as the typography for my navigation, if nothing else, my girl's world, your name at the top left? Yeah, I hope that Answer that because it yeah, it can be a daunting thing. It's like, 00 you know they're gonna judge me on my logo and we'll keep it simple. Cannot go wrong with that. Get them to your work as quick as possible. We've got a question here in the chat in. This one comes from Saragih and Sarah says I recently got let go from a company in the sports industry, but due to confidentiality agreements, I'm not able to put anything I've worked on in my portfolio until it's released in about two years. Now that I'm looking for a new job, I don't have anything to show that I've worked on. Would you suggest that I do show to find this work without stepping on anyone's toes from that company? Yeah. Okay, that's Ah, who That's a really tricky one. Not easy. That's Ah, look, fact the matter is, if there are legal parameters in place, what can you do that? I mean, there's one thing that comes to mind. I've personally not being in that situation. Uh, However, I always talk to the principal owner of the business for the company owner, uh, or the creative director, All of these people, And have and I sit down with them, let them know, Hey, look. And I'm so glad that I worked on that project with you, and ah, is that I carry a fire If I include that in my portfolio and I'll include the captioning off all those that are involved. This person situation is quite unique in that they kind of, you know, tired Teoh not having any flexibility. So if you've gone and spoken to your employer or your previous employer, rather. And they won't budge. Ah. Then look, I'm afraid that there's a couple things to this, though, because you had had a little lawyer. But in my opinion, you touched that project. You've played a role in that project. So you have, in my opinion, some rights to show that. But I don't want you to go by my legal advice. Uh, so I would just have to say, uh, don't let that limit you. You're just gonna have to create your own briefs and designed some some other work, Unfortunately, But it could be good for you too, because are those your best pieces? Yeah, so that's a good answer. It is good to say yes, he's not giving any legal advice here. Every situation is going to be. But I know that while you said that our students here had some looks on their faces, so I want to get some opinions here. What do you guys think about that question? And if you were in that position Oh, I was wondering your thoughts and kind of pick the backlog that, but may be replaced in the text. And maybe if it's important information in private information with dummy text. Is that something that's looked down upon? Right, Right. So Sierra was talking about switching the information like, let's say, if it was copy and replacing that with Lauren itsumo dummy text type of thing. Um, I still think you won't be able to get away with that personally because it's going to be branded with the same design styles, and you can pass it off as a work in progress, but yeah, I think the elements are still quite similar. Um, to a large degree, But again, like it's almost like designing something that you are unhappy with. Takes a lot of effort your best to just come up with some other kick ass designs from scratch. Something that you really love. Yeah. Uh, well, I've worked in agencies where this is kind of an issue and how people have gotten around It is say, you know, you have a kick ass portfolio to get you in the door, and then you have that stuff Get the permission to show it on paper. Take it with you. Right? You know, that's Yeah, that's that's what I think. You know, you're not flashing this to the world. You can bring it into the interview and you might even say, Actually, that's that's a really great point, cause I You articulated it. Exactly how I was thinking it earlier, which was ah, basically having those printed pieces, um, or the the work that you did, but only showing it and making sure you don't give it to them to keep only during interview situation. Then maybe over the phone, I guess you could say, actually, I'm bound by contract to not show publicly some work that I've done. Ah, but I love to just start show you some print out of it when we meet face to face. Yes, that's really good. Guess, Arianna. Our land. Arianna Roland. Just early. Arianna Orlin. I think she touched a little bit on that. She had a like a You could be on your site, and you can put a password, your own private documents. Yeah, I still think, um, I still see a confidentiality agreement. Um, it's very down the lines, like black or white. Um, you probably can't. I know that contract. She's talking about the legals with that. You just can't show it at all, regardless of that. Although that is an online version of showing them a print out on an interview, isn't it so? Especially like in Lincoln or your resume or the information on your website with the companies that you've worked for. You could put a project in there, worked with this company for two years on a project that's confidential. And it's not gonna be released for two years with builds, excitement and interest. And then you can go in and speak about it without showing anything and not breaking any. Absolutely. Yeah, You're gonna have to leverage those those key points there. You know, you've gotto, uh, let them know that it will be available. And it just not yet meant for sure. Yeah, yes, for two years. Well, that's how good it iss Yeah. Yeah, so yeah, right, right. Exactly. Anything company alone would probably help you. At least get your foot in the door, right. Civilization to describe what you did. Absolutely. Name who it was that you worked for and with and give a bit of background to that. You can do that on your LinkedIn or your resume over the phone or over interviews. Um, put a logo of the company. You know, if you know you're sure you're allowed to do that. And you could caption that as this project is currently on the development and it will be released in two years. So you keep confidentiality, especially for those companies who are looking for that. And again, it goes back to transparency. Doesn't tell it how it is. Show it how it is. And it's that I am bound by contract not to reveal the work. But this was my role. This was the challenge. This was this. And before you can show is maybe a logo off that and maybe a photograph off. Ah, very not work photograph of what they do. Ah, then at least that's a discussion point that you can bring up during your interviews. Yeah, this is great, because I think that people in the chat room had a lot of opinions about this to really sparked a conversation. But people are are offering their comments. Their opinions on this T w f from the chat says, Well, you might be able to have an agreement that allows showing your work in an interview environment but not posting online and having ownership of it online. Sometimes just having worked for that big company who has the confidentiality agreement may get you in the door. They don't know the details. I just know you worked for that company on a confidential project. Okay, great, that's great. It's great that we've covered that online and similar discussions to what we're having here. Another question. He's answer that point. I think coming. I work in a similar industry, and like the retail environment, we can, I can show. I've got so other companies because it's always working ahead of the game. But in a good way. If you're in that situation, I think you could. You could make into its a platform to make your own hero project is like, What would I do to this project if I didn't have the company restraints off? How can I make this bear and make a real kick ass project? You know, ties and you can't show that. But what would you have done if those if you could have just gone all out and then it's it comes to one of those personal projects, but then you've got so much like involvement in it that you can have about rights to have a hero piece. Yeah. There's so many ways you can go with it, isn't it? And I like what you said there. You know, if you did have to do it all again or make it better, how would you do it? Because you have had the background. Maybe that is the brief. You know, the brief don't need to make up one. Um, so dive into it again. She wanted to. Absolutely. Yeah, you can do that. So there's always an opportunity. He guys, you know, it's it's a tough one. But again, don't let that stop you. You just can't let it stop you. You know, ask yourself what would You're mental? Do you know those that already incredibly established Would they stop at that point on? I'm not saying that you are at all by any means, but look broadly and remember that you have an opportunity to create anything you want. And you know, if you're gonna fight that battle, just ask yourself. Is that is that one that I want? I want to fight. Or should I just let that fish go and revisit it in two years? Yeah,

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

23 digital resources to keep in your back pocket
The 6 most crucial design principles to implement on any design
Top 10 mistakes to avoid when creating your online design portfolio
5 free online creative communities you need to be on and why
Daily ideas to improve and retain creativity
How to Photograph Your Work with a Home Setup

Ratings and Reviews

Stacy
 

I have been asking for a portfolio class for graphic designers since last year on Creative Live. So, I was excited to see Ram Castillo teach this class. Thank you CL! This is one of my favorite classes on CL. This class is not only for specifically graphic designers, but can also be applicable to other artists and designers as well. I had to create a online, print, pdf and dvd school/job graphic design portfolio to graduate with my degree and was taught vaguely about what exactly to include in the portfolios several revisions later. I wish I had discovered Creative Live, then! Ram Castillo walks you through the steps of getting to know yourself which helps you to create the portfolio and knowing your potential employer/customer which let's you analyze what your portfolio should include. But, it isn't always just about you. A degree in graphic design doesn't always guarantee you a design job. But, Ram Castillo, his sense of humor and his cute accent will show you how to get that design job. Ram shares his secrets some designers probably wouldn't want you to know. Ram Castillo shows the portfolio sites you need to be on and how to market yourself to be seen, how to self edit your work, and getting feedback from others. Ram has guests that explain how they prepared their portfolio to get a design job. Ram addresses what to do and what not to do, what to include in your online portfolio, how to think daily and how to take care of your mind and body which can impact the way you create your portfolio which can also be an emotional journey. This class was a huge source of inspiration and breaking down the steps that you need to do to have a knockout portfolio and be a successful designer to shattering those hurdles and excuses. After watching this class, you too may be inspired to create that knockout portfolio whether you are starting out or not, your confidence may soar after watching this class, you may be the one holding yourself back and this class may help you to get out of your own way. Ram suggests if you don't have that hero project in your portfolio, create those knockout personal projects to put in your portfolio. Ram Castillo prepares you for your portfolio and beyond to get that interview and job. I highly recommend this class for purchase for the bonus materials, the videos for inspiration, how to photograph your work, there is enough room for you, inspiration, process and accountability. This class will also prepare you for the next step, getting a design job which is the next class you need to watch and purchase. Thank you Ram Castillo! Thank you for teaching this class and so grateful that you taught this class. This class has been added to my design library of resources. If you will excuse me, now I have a lot of work to do to create that knockout design portfolio.

JenVazquezPhotography
 

I was excited to meet Ram from his first email prior to the live class that I was going to take. He is personable, authentic and eager to help others. I thought I would enjoy his class but wasn't sure how appropriate it would be to me as my photography business. Surprisingly this class would be perfect for any Creative business. It was so appropriate for my business and had so much actionable content, that I took 10 pages of notes! Many can train about portfolios. Many can be powerful speakers. Ram was not only those things but so much more. He started out by telling us about WHY and HOW he became who he is and had us explore ourselves. It was powerful. It was a light bulb moment to realize my focus in business has a direct result to how i was raised and what I believe is important. That was just one part of the training. In the end, I had direct and actionable goals toward revamping my portfolio. It's great to take a class that is not only motivating but changes the way I do business. As a direct result of this class, I changed my portfolio and got a photography job where the client told me they hired me due to my portfolio. How powerful!! It would be a FANTASTIC investment you won't regret.

ATworks
 

this class is amazing! I have just graduated my graphic design education and started completing my portfolio so I could show interested companies or employers wat I am capable of... I will never ever look at my portfolio the same way after this class they don't learn you these things at school... What your portfolio projects should represent, how many, how to show trough your portfolio, what you are looking for in a job, how complete or incomplete your current portfolio could be and how to give it that extra something so they actually check out your portfolio when you contact them to apply for a job... This course was great, the guest speakers made it even more valuable. They are all very experienced in the aspects they were asked for... Ram Castillo has some great life experience to share! Get this course if you want to give yourself that extra push to achieve great things with your design!

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