GRAPHIC DESIGN CAPSTONE PROJECT: "The Graphic Designer's Resume"

Premise: Students have been learning Graphic Design principles, skills and tools for an entire year in this course. Now, at the end of the year, it is time to demonstrate all of your Graphic Design abilities in a final CAPSTONE PROJECT: The Graphic Designer's Resume.

Background Information: Much of the information and ideas for this project come from the online article "10 Eye-catching Graphic Design Resumes" on the website. It is STRONGLY suggested that the student spend a good deal of time analyzing and absorbing the information in this article to prepare for this project.

The article starts with a quote from the noted Graphic Design author of What They Didn’t Teach You in Design School, Phil Cleaver:

“A resume should be treated as one of your major design jobs. The typeface you use, the layout, etc all show exactly what level of design you are at. Every detail counts, and the sum of these details gives an impression of you as a designer.”

The article goes on to say:

Self-promotion is essential to a graphic designer’s success. As a creative, expertly branding and marketing yourself is the path to reaching career goals, whether that is to be an Art Director for an in-house firm or establishing a lucrative freelance design business.

Crafting an eye-catching and memorable resume is major component of your self-promotion strategy. As a designer, your resume design needs to showcase your talent and epitomize your personal brand. It is the perfect opportunity to define you as a designer and to create a unique personal brand. When constructing a resume, you’ll need to establish a personal brand identity that highlights your strengths and emphasizes the breadth of your abilities.

The Graphic Designer Resume issue is also addressed in the following great articles, as well. I HIGHLY recommend that you check them out:

The Project: For this project, the student will create a PERSONAL GRAPHIC DESIGNER'S RESUME which accomplishes the following:

  1. Establishes the student's PERSONAL BRAND by exemplifying the personal style of the designer.
  2. Highlights the student's SKILLS and ACCOMPLISHMENTS in the area of Graphic Design, as well as other appropriate creativity skills, such as Art, Photography, etc. ALL of the work on this project should be CREATED by the student! DO NOT simply grab some images from the internet and put some text on top of them. This will NOT work for this project. You cannot prove that you are a good graphic designer unless YOU graphically design this project.
  3. Captures the imagination and interest of the intended audience through a UNIQUE and CREATIVE design.

Any skills, tips, techniques and principles learned over the course of the year should be incorporated into this project.

THE CREATIVE/UNIQUENESS FACTOR: The student should place MAXIMUM EFFORT into making their product UNIQUE and MEMORABLE.

Required Elements: The following elements MUST BE addressed in the final product-

  1. Biographical Information: Basic information about you and your future goals.
  2. Personal Information: Name, Address and Phone Number (if you are not comfortable with displaying this information, you can use the HHS information instead.)
  3. Education: Information regarding your educational progress, what classes have you taken and what have you learned?
  4. Graphic Design Skills: Review of the skills that you have in Graphic Design: creativity skill, drawing, typography, design, layout, etc. (Please note how in most of the Professional Resumes below, the designers LEVEL of ABILITY is indicated on the resume!)
  5. Computer Program Skills: Could include Photoshop, Illustrator, 3DS Max, AutoCAD, Google Documents, or any other program that you are familiar with. (Please note how in most of the Professional Resumes below, the designers LEVEL of ABILITY is indicated on the resume!)
  6. Work Experience: In class, we have simulated your experience as a beginning Graphic Designer, completing Business Logos and marketing for different companies, Poster and Advertising designs, Book Cover Designs, Concert Poster Designs, etc. Please include this information, as appropriate.
  7. Hobbies and Interests: Part of the appeal of a good designer is their personality. A good way to display this to the viewer is by creatively illustrating your interests, hobbies, skills and other personal information. If any of these apply to Graphic Design, such as PHOTOGRAPHY, etc., include it!

Professional Examples: Below are some professional examples from the article above. The student should use these as INSPIRATION for their own personal design. DO NOT try to simply copy the look of any of these samples!













Submission: As we now have color printers available for student use, each student will PRINT their final product IN COLOR for submission and presentation.

Grading: This assignment will be worth a total of 200 points:

  • 50 points for proper inclusion of all required elements.
  • 50 points for demonstration of your Graphic Design skills and techniques in your production.
  • 50 points for your creativity and uniqueness in your execution of this project.
  • 50 points for the overall look and eye appeal of the final product.