As a kid, art and writing were my absolute two favorite things.
Whenever anyone asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said “an artist or a writer” in a heartbeat. Going to an “art school” for my Master’s, writing was necessary, but got a bad rap. When I had my first portfolio review with the program director, he told me, “There are too many words. No one is going to read this.” I took the advice to heart, and looked for ways to be as succinct as possible, because that’s what good designers do. Or so I thought.
As the program progressed, I began to understand the design typologies, and quickly gravitated toward strategy. Through interviews, I spoke with design strategists, and Googled their portfolios to see what it took. I was completely taken off-guard. While I was striving for brevity, here I saw text on text - the very thing I had deliberately avoided. I realized I wanted, I needed, more text.
But how would I get anyone to actually read it?
Rather than doing the usual and copying bits and pieces from other portfolios, I looked at the places where I actually go to read content – media sources. There’s a lot happening, a lot of words. The most successful ones give users a sense for what they want to read through imagery, titles, and teasers. So I did the thing that made me keep reading – previews that cut-off mid-sentence. The ultimate mid-sentence cliff-hanger.