Building A Design Portfolio With Briefbox

Today I want to talk a little bit about Briefbox. This is a website I discovered about a year ago offering project briefs for designers to work on. You don’t get anything for doing them, but they are good to do in spare time or if you want to build your design skills. I’ve actually recommended this site to a few of my classmates as a way to continue building their portfolio.

Desk with laptop displaying the Briefbox website

ABOUT BRIEFBOX

Briefbox is a website started by a group of designers. It offers design and illustration briefs which can help designers work on their skills and build a portfolio. The real advantage of using Briefbox is that their projects emulate real client-based work. So you’re given a project deadline along with a set of deliverables which need to be met as part of the brief.

personal typographic signature displayed on computer screen

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Briefbox has been building their site over the last year. Constantly improving and adding new projects. The real advantage is the variety of briefs they have available. You can go really broad with print-based design briefs. Or you can specialise a little more, with pattern design or user interface design.

The best thing about Briefbox is that it’s run by designers. They run on a monthly subscription model. By paying $10 Per month you can submit designs to as many projects as you want and have an experienced designer give you feedback on your work. It’s not as good as going to art school but being able to get feedback from an industry professional is invaluable.

PROJECT BRIEFS

I thought I would share just a few of the briefs I had found on the Briefbox website. I’ve really enjoyed doing these briefs. There are two I haven’t mentioned. A textile design brief where you had to create a design based on London. I love seeing the textile design work at Duncan of Jordanstone so wanted to give it a try.

sketchbook page showing illustration of tools used to create artwork (pen, mechanical pencil, highlighter, waterbrush, artists knife)

The typographic signature was a really short brief where you created a hand drawn signature. You would then take the signature onto the computer and redraw it digitally. This little brief ended up being extremely useful as I was able to use it as part of a module for class.

I also did another illustration brief where I had to create a vector illustration of my most used design tools. I mostly work with analogue techniques which meant I got to create my own version of that Weapons of Mass Creation image. This brief was really good experience because it was my first time drawing in Illustrator. Again I was able to use this piece by including it as an example of a vector file in an essay.

FINALLY

I really like using Briefbox. I honestly wish I had more free time so I could try out more of their briefs. The paid version is pretty good value for money. You get access to learning resources which can give you an introduction to certain aspects of design. Like branding or user interface design. The resources are composed of written tutorials from industry professionals. Along with actual design briefs for you to try. But the best thing about the website is being able to get honest feedback from actual designers.

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