So I have been learning HTML & CSS for just over 7 months and I just finished my online portfolio but have yet post it online as i have no real work to show of, many people suggest building personal projects for fictitious company's to gain some experience but are these projects best to be put online or off line ? and in terms of copyright where do personal projects lie ?
Any help is much appreciated
Web-based projects are best viewed online, since that is what they are designed for.
Copyright always falls to the author of the work. If the project is a work-for-hire project, then the author/owner and copyrights holder is the person/company that commissioned the work, unless otherwise spelled out in the contract (ie, you can add in a bit about being able to add the work in your portfolio and reuse it).
I d say join dribble or behance. Making a personal website to showcase work is a waste of time unless you are insanely good. No one will remember your web-site if you works are not astonishing, so it will get no visitors and will go to waste.
Of course there are successful examples of people faking companies and getting some jobs through their "web-sites" but i think becoming a part of a leading design community like dribble will get you going WAY faster.
I think Dribbble is good advice, but becoming part of that does require practice. My personal favorite thing to do is to find some challenges or stuff online to find some kind of inspiration for personal projects. One of my favorite books is 'Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills". It has all sorts of case studies and design exercises to kind of put you through a college course of sorts and start to develop yourself as a more well rounded designer. It has to do with making up design projects for 'fake companies' but it kinds of gives you briefs to work through and solutions to solve which, I think, adds an extra challenging element to attempting to do some sort of work for your portfolio.
Also, just thinking of the type of work you like to design most and making something in that style -- for instance, I love to design posters and flyers and mailers and things of that sort, so when I have a friend who's throwing a party or something, I ask to design an image for their Facebook event [or in one case, I made a flyer for a friend's party that we posted up around town which was fun and made the stakes higher that others were going to see it and we had a goal for the project].
An online portfolio is a must-have for a designer/developer. When someone wants to see your work, you can have it all at one convenient location.
While hosting your work on a 3rd-party site can also be beneficial, it can also come with drawbacks.
-Content limitations. The site owners can enforce what can or can't appear on the site.
-Technical limitations. Depending on the site, there can be all sorts of limitations that might not fit with how you want to display your work.
-A hosted service can change without warning.
-A hosted service can disappear without warning.
-Bottom line, you have limited control to what happens with your content when hosted by a 3rd-party.
Going with a 3rd-party site like the two you mention might be a good supplement to attract some eyeballs, but I would never rely on them as the primary location for a portfolio.
It all depends on how you want to approach it really.
Both dribble and behance give you a rather easy tool to organise and advertise your works. Only real drawback as i see it in your list is "technical limitations" — thats what i mentioned as well, if you want to create a F-I class portfolio you will need your own web-site, but i would rather go all out on real projects, since obviously a single person isn't enough to sustain this sort of a web-site in the long run. But again, its a personal choice.
As for the "lack of control" — thats like saying that putting your money into bank makes you vulnerable. Sure its a risk, but i d like to see a person who isn't using debit card these days. Behance is up and running for like 10 years now, very few personal web-sites survived for that long. Mine surely didn't.
I ll mention pros and cons as well
- its hard to mess things up: there is no comic sans and basic layouts are very newbie proof. So i would definitely recommend this for a new designer.
- you works are reviewed by industry leading designers and are automatically submitted to participate in contests
- integrated job board
- you work have high exposure
- its super fast to add works so you can focus on real projects
- it won't go down if you forget to pay for hosting
- you don't need to do any SEO or programming
- its self-improving with new features added all the time
- you are becoming a part of nice and helpful community
- it can go down without noticing you. This can be solved by advertising a domain rather than a dribble link. So if dribble close all you need to do is to set different redirect.
- you need to be good to get dribble invite
- whenever you give someone link to your 3rd party portfolio that person will probably browse other people as well which may have negative impact (you can avoid it if you become a paying member though. Pro-site on behance for example). Still if you have a team behind your back (e.g you are a company or a full-time free-lance designer) you probably need your own website.
- it has some technical limitations, so you can't go all out 1920 pixels parallax with background video. Although some cases on behance are outright amazing even with those limitations.
Now obvious thing would be to have personal website AND behance/dribble but its really hard to sustain 3+ portfolios in different places.
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