One of the many challenges new designers face is having a robust portfolio to showcase their skills. Finding an agency or client to hire you is nerve-racking, even more so if you’re not 100% confident with the content of your portfolio. But how does one beef up their portfolio without clients? Take cues from your younger self and make-believe — and I don’t mean pretend you have a good portfolio! Create a scenario where you are receiving a request from a client to create a logo. If you don’t know where to start, then how about giving fakeclients.com a try?
Fakeclients.com was created by Dutch logo and icon designer, August van de Ven. The website helps designers (or anyone) to start projects by giving them scenarios with dare I say, fake clients.
So, what’s cool about FakeClients?
First, from a designer’s point of view, the website is beautifully designed. Although very minimal, it serves its purpose by being straight to the point. FakeClients gives you scenarios with a potential client requesting logo work. Your fake client gives you the basic information about themselves and their project. They introduce themselves, give you their company name and what style they like. While the scenarios provide little direction, receiving limited information is a great opportunity for creative freedom. You can play around with colors, imagery, fonts, and the like, with only yourself to answer to. It also prepares you for situations when you actually meet a client that gives you the classic, “You’re the designer, you know what to do!” response.
Similar to a real-life situation, sometimes you are unable to accept a client’s request. FakeClients gives you the opportunity to start over and receive a new client request by just clicking on the “Start” button.
Room for growth?
The lack of information is definitely, in my opinion, the one thing that FakeClients could work on since lack of information is one of the biggest issues a designer could have. Some scenarios are a little easier to work with since the company name gives you a little more information about what the business is. Others are a little harder to figure out since their company name doesn’t really give any hint of what the company is about, which opens up the floodgates for more questions. It also doesn’t give you a due date, which for some, may cause us to forget about the project, and leave it collecting dust on our desk.
While the lack of information is less than ideal, it may actually help you with making sure you know exactly what questions to ask your future client. Before you start any project, make sure you have all the information that you need to start. Remember, it’s easier to know what size box you need to buy if you know exactly what’s going inside it. Similarly, you’ll know the boundaries of the project if you have all the details you need to begin. Being the designer, your client will rely on your knowledge to lead them to get the final product that they want.
FakeClients is a pretty neat website. It gives those who are struggling for any direction a starting point to begin their project. As I mentioned above, while it lacks pertinent information (like color palettes, deadlines, and how the logo will be used), it ultimately prepares you for situations where you end up receiving very little information about a project, and in the end, making you a little better at what you do.