Online Portfolios

Having your portfolio online doesn’t necessarily mean not having it in print. You can have two versions of the same book; and there are several benefits to both. A print portfolio might be more memorable in an industry where print is all but dying, but it doesn’t capture a designer’s ability to work in the most common medium. However, having your work showcased online means you can share it easily, and you don’t have to figure out mailing address or spend a lot of money printing it every time you need to update your work. An online portfolio can easily flow from the recruiter’s inbox to the creative director’s desk. Here are a few things to consider when making the switch from print to web:

Keep it straightforward

Hiring managers and recruiters have a lot of candidates to sift through. They will look at several portfolios and resumes over the course of the hiring process and it is imperative to capture their attention as soon as possible. They will value you taking their time into consideration.

For the most part, your information should be compartmentalized with the recruiter’s needs: build out a page for your work, one with your history, and possibly one with your resume. You can always attach a more descriptive cover letter, and full CV in the email introducing your portfolio.

Best Practices

If you build your portfolio following best practices, it can itself be an example of the work you are able to do. Your portfolio should be polished and follow best practices so that employers can see these skills in your work.  When working with clients you won’t always have the opportunity to follow best practices. Clients and other circumstances can pull your work into more restricted directions. It is important to showcase your ability to work within those frameworks but take your own portfolio and brand as an opportunity to build out the ideal scenario. Nothing is in the way but yourself, so have fun with it.

Be Selective

One of the key benefits of having an online portfolio is being able to fit as much content as you can. Just because you’re able to, however, doesn’t mean you should. Find the pieces that best represent your skillset and creative thinking and feature those. Spec pieces, or pieces that weren’t made for an actual client, that better capture your creative thinking and skillset should take priority over work that may be more common. Clearly label the work you did for clients and as spec, and clearly mark what role you played. This will help answer a lot of questions your recruiter might have and give you more time to talk about yourself as a creative.

Make it memorable

With all the templates available for designers, it is important to find the best combination of attributes to make your website memorable.  Squarespace, Wix, even Weebly all offer templates for the designer that is more front-end, while Adobe offers several options for coding your own site. Regardless of the builder you use, make sure your designs are the best option for communicating your work. Consider the scope of work you have to showcase, the number of pieces you could ultimately add, and how you want others to navigate it. A little UI/UX never hurt anyone, even when using a predesigned template.

 

Of course, try using a new domain to make it stick. Why compete for an expensive, and generic .com when you can host your work with your name at .design? Maybe you consider yourself an artist and want to showcase at .art or an illustrator at .ink. It’s 2018 and .com isn’t the only option anymore. Explore the newest extensions and create something truly descriptive and unique. Your website will not only stand out in the sea of .coms, but it will be short and to the point. Recruiters will remember it, and you.

.app: secure by design

The last days of unencrypted HTTP

It’s accepted wisdom that every website should be served over a secure HTTPS (SSL) connection. HTTPS encrypts browser traffic, protecting your customer’s passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal information from eavesdroppers and hackers. In recent years, the price of SSL certificates has plummeted, and the advent of free “Let’s Encrypt” certificates means you no longer need to spend a fortune — or anything at all — to assure your site’s visitors that their data is safe.

All of this will come as no surprise to most Porkbun customers, who by virtue of registering their domains at the Bun find themselves in the vanguard of the push towards a totally-secure web. Porkbun was the first registrar to provide free SSL certificates to every customer on every domain without any renewal fee or upcharge.

Unencrypted HTTP isn’t just unfashionable, it’s about to go the way of the Dodo. As of April 2018, over 70% of all website traffic is now served over HTTPS, up almost 10% from a year ago. Google recently announced that starting in July of 2018, any site not served over HTTPS will be marked with a large grey “not secure” icon in Chrome’s URL bar — not exactly instilling of consumer confidence.

 

How insecure sites will appear in Chrome after July 2018. Source: Chromium Blog

 

.app and HTTPS

With the release of Google Registry’s new .app domain extension, Google has taken their commitment to a secure web a step further by enforcing mandatory HTTPS across all .app domains. That means if you register a .app domain, you can still host a site over unencrypted HTTP — but no modern browser will load it.

How did Google achieve this feat? Well, it just so happens that Google maintains a special list known as the HSTS Preload List. Anyone can submit their site to the list, which tells every modern browser: “insecure HTTP is disabled for this domain.” What makes .app unique is the entire .app zone has already been added to the HSTS Preload List, no exceptions allowed.

Thus, if you try to load a .app site over unencrypted HTTP, your browser will refuse, instead displaying an error message that can’t be bypassed. This protects all .app domains from a wide swath of so-called “man-in-the-middle” attacks wherein an eavesdropper intercepts traffic for nefarious purposes. It also improves site loading time as the browser won’t even try to connect to the unencrypted channel first, skipping directly to HTTPS.

.app and Porkbun

.App’s HTTPS requirement can seem scary, but compliance is easy at Porkbun. If you’re hosting your .app site via our site builder or shared hosting package, HTTPS is automatic; you don’t have to do a thing! Want to host your site elsewhere? You can still use your free Let’s Encrypt certificate with a 3rd-party hosting company. For more info, check out our article How to use your free SSL certificate. Already purchased a traditional certificate? That works, too.

Still have questions about .app, Let’s Encrypt, or HSTS Preload? Email us at support@porkbun.com

Porkbun Launches .design Student Portfolio Competition

Announcement: the 2018-2019 .design Student Portfolio Competition Is Approaching!

IDEC .design student portfolio competition

Attention interior design students and teachers!

Porkbun has teamed up with IDEC.org to host a design challenge that will help get students set up with their very own online portfolio on .design.

For Educators…

this competition is a unique opportunity to help your interior design students prepare for today’s digital job market and incentivize them to take their online portfolio seriously.

For Students…

by entering the competition you get your first year of .design for free. This includes a website builder, email hosting, and a bunch of other features. The winner of the competition will win an Apple iPad Pro, valued at $1,400. 2nd and 3rd place will receive 10 years of free .design domain credits and email hosting, valued at $600 and $300, respectively.

Participants can submit their websites between June 1, 2018 and October 31, 2018.

For competition details, please visit idec.design

3 Useful Things You Can Do With Your Domain Name To Brand Yourself

You’ve just purchased a new domain name. You’ve launched your website and you’re ready to get your name out there. The question is, what are some effective ways to make your new website name known? There is the option of paying for advertising, but if you don’t have a large marketing budget or backing from investors, that might not be feasible. Instead, by applying guerilla marketing tactics, you can spread the word about your new website for little to no cost at all. Check out these 3 useful things you can do with your domain name to brand yourself.

Write Your Domain Name On Your Resume

By placing your domain name prominently on your resume, you instantly stand out. It shows that you’ve taken the time to build a website and provide extra content for people to learn about you. It communicates that you are an authority in your field. Your resume details your skills and experience, and adding your domain name will help build the brand of “you.” Even if you don’t have a formal business to promote, you solidify the idea of [you + your expertise] in your readers’ minds.

Print New Business Cards

Similar to placing your domain name on your resume, you should also place your domain name on your business card. The more clever your domain name, the more memorable it will be for the people who you give it to. And it’s relatively cheap to print new business cards with your new domain name on them. Lifehacker wrote a helpful article about the five best business card printing sites, and how to choose the one that fits your needs. Whichever route you take, business cards are still a relevant way to make a first impression. Your domain name on your business card can provide tangible information for clients and helps prevent your brand from being forgotten.

Post On Social Media

Another low cost way to brand yourself is to make a quick post on social media with your new domain name in it. People will see it, re-tweet it, and share it even more, all without costing you anything. Since it’s already an online-channel, people will be able to click through to your website easily. It’s a great excuse to post something, and it’s newsworthy because you’re giving people a destination to go to, with great content and information that is valuable to them.

 

What are some non-conventional ways you are using your domain name to brand yourself? Mention @Porkbun to keep the discussion going. #sweetdomains

DailyMonster.ink: Your Daily Dose of Monster Creativity

Fresh off his Main Stage presentation at RGD’s Design Thinkers conference, notable designer Stefan Bucher stopped by our booth in the exhibit hall and left as the enthusiastic new owner of both 344.design and DailyMonster.ink.

344.design is now home to the company website for Stefan’s studio, 344 Design, through which he has created designs and illustrations for clients David Hockney, Judd Apatow, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, not to mention album covers for the likes of Sting and Whitney Houston.

So why on Earth would this accomplished designer want a .ink website? And what is Daily Monster?

“It’s always hard to break through when you’re presenting your content online, particularly when so many common sense domain names are already taken. The new domains are a great way to liven things up and grab people’s attention.”

When an idea pops into Stefan Bucher’s head he can’t stop until he somehow makes it real. And so began the Daily Monster project. Each day, he films himself putting a few drops of black ink on a piece of paper, blows it out with compressed air, and creates a new monster character out of the resulting shape. “It’s an exercise in beating procrastination and fear. I’m scared of the white page, and the ink blot makes it so that I’m not starting a drawing, I’m finishing one, which is much more fun!”

Much like the monsters themselves, over its life of 10+ years, Daily Monster has expanded and evolved. The website and it’s videos have spawned a book containing stories about each monster sourced from his fans all over the world, and even an app, the DAILY MONSTER Monster Maker!

In its latest evolution, Stefan re-launched DailyMonster.com as DailyMonster.ink.
“After running DailyMonster as a .com for the first 10 years, having a .ink domain for an ongoing exercise in creating characters from blown ink was just too good of a fit to pass up!” He adds, “It’s always hard to break through when you’re presenting your content online, particularly when so many common sense domain names are already taken. The new domains are a great way to liven things up and grab people’s attention. I love that I now get to use 344.design and dailymonster.ink to show my work!”

More about Stefan’s work here, including the six books he’s authored (so it should come as no surprise, he’s won a D&AD award for book design, too).

Why Porkbun is actually the best deal around

Why choose Porkbun?

In a word: value. Not only do we have some of the lowest prices around, SSL and WHOIS Privacy (essential features for keeping eavesdroppers and spammers away from your domain) are included free with every Porkbun domain.

Plus, at Porkbun, you get free email forwarding, free web hosting through our Weebly-powered site builder, and free top-notch tech support. We think we’re the best deal around, and we hope you’ll agree!

Major .design usage from Facebook, Airbnb, T-Mobile

The benefits of new top-level domains (nTLDs) for companies and individuals that were never able to get a great .com are obvious. Now, they can have unique, short and brandable domain names and, with options like .design, they can add context in a way that .com never could.

Recently, there have been some really exciting developments for .design in particular. While it has already differentiated itself as one of the most successful new TLDs, it now seems to be one of the only extensions that is receiving significant traction with the world’s largest and hottest companies, which are creating sites like facebook.design, airbnb.design, medium.design, and telekom.design (from T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom).

What these sites all have in common is that they create a prominent place for design departments to highlight their work, establish themselves as design leaders and further bolster recruiting efforts. These companies allow their .com sites to focus on their core business and instead facilitate an ancillary discussion: they discuss how design supports and guides their business, who is behind their design, and give back to the wider design community.

Facebook.design has been live for months, but it received its most notable update on Oct. 17 when they released their iOS 10 GUI (Graphic User Interface) available for Photoshop, Sketch and Figma. Facebook was advertising facebook.design in user feeds:

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Simultaneous with the newest release, Facebook Designer Jeff Smith wrote about their goals in “Giving Back to the Design Community.” It’s clear that facebook.design is set to be an entirely new engagement point for the company, offering an opportunity to talk directly to a community as a leader that it never could via its primary .com site. As he says:

“Facebook.design is just getting started. Like most things at Facebook, it will be iterated on frequently. But we hope this becomes a place where designers can find great resources to grow as a designer and develop in their career. Ultimately, we hope we can help push our discipline forward.”

More recently, Facebook contributed further to the design community at large with the launch of origami.design, a prototyping tool used by Facebook’s own design team, now available to all.

We see the same thing looking at other sites; airbnb.design promotes Airbnb’s design events at their SF and NYC offices and as well functions as a general blog featuring a wide range of posts from UI designers to the interior designers of their offices. It also includes content that inspires the team artistically and creatively. It is clearly not their primary goal to get more designers booking rentals via airbnb.com. Instead, it allows them to become a vocal and recognized design destination and a top recruiter for designers.

screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-9-34-06-am

The value of thought leadership and community recognition for recruiting is even more clear at telekom.design. There, T-Mobile, a brand that is associated with the comparatively conventional business of telephones, is giving its design department an exciting edge. The beautiful site clearly conveys that they are a design driven company and introduces you to their impressive team. Naturally, the most prominent option on the site is the “Jobs” tab.

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What we see in well-known companies supplementing their .com sites with .design is a powerful statement on how important the collaborative culture of online design is to their success and how it guides their continued growth. The new .design domain allows major companies to cultivate design leadership and inspiring conversations in a way that would have never been possible on their main .com sites.

Smartshape.design: award-winning design

Since its inception in 1989, SmartShape Design has evolved from a one-man industrial design firm into an international organization. During that evolution, they opened up two offices in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as an office in Shenzhen, China, have grown to 20+ employees and produced a scope of work that has increased in both volume and vertical focus over time.

“Over the past decade we’ve expanded into a full-service consultancy that now offers in-house research facilities and full mechanical engineering capabilities along with our core expertise in industrial design. Additionally, SmartShape’s office in China operates as a contract manufacturer for projects of all shapes and sizes,” said Rachel Miller, SmartShape Design Marketing Coordinator.

With their firm now employing business strategists, program managers, engineers with advanced degrees, and experts in tooling and manufacturing, the company is now, more than ever, a one-stop shop for many prospective product producers. “We are a turn-key operation that allows companies to work with us to flesh out their product ideas from start to finish. We can serve clients who need it all, or for others who only need a portion, we’re able to provide services specific to the needs of any product development lifecycle stage.”  

As an industry, industrial design has been heavily affected by technological advancement. Considering that SmartShape has been in the business for close to 27 years, they’ve seen the brunt of it. “Shifts in technology have been one of the biggest changes [in this industry] – seeing technology evolve and making moves internally to adapt and meet the shift has been a fun challenge that we’ve been more than excited to meet head on, always moving to meet new needs.” Rachel told us, “Traditionally, our staff put pen to paper, but it’s all digital now. It will be interesting to see how the industry evolves even more to meet new and emerging design needs, modeling for advanced UX, wearable technology, and the age of the Internet of Things (IoT).”

Given the company’s willingness to adopt early, it should come as no surprise that SmartShape Design was so quick to find value in .design. “One of my colleagues came across a blog or a news story about .design becoming available and we hopped on it right away. We saw that .design was available and within two weeks we were smartshape.design.”

This wasn’t just a domain change, the SmartShape team also opted for smartshape.design email addresses, a company-wide pivot. Why were they prepared to make such a big change? “It is a shorter web address that says what we do and who we are, and conveniently and simply displays as our brand name. It made a lot of sense for us to take that leap,” said Rachel.

SmartShape moved from smartshapedesign.com to smartshape.design to make its domain shorter, more memorable and more “brandable.” These days, all of those qualities are in short supply in the .com namespace. On top of that, company names are almost always taken, illustrated by the fact that smartshape.com is a site for weight loss tools and training.
SmartShape was at the forefront of the .design movement. They got their domain only weeks after it launched on May 12th, 2015. Since then .design has added about 50,000 more registrations and is being used by companies such as Facebook, Medium and Airbnb. Rachel understood the potential from the beginning for a company in SmartShape’s industry, noting,  “In the future, when you’re looking for design, the .design extension instead of a .com extension could become the natural place to look on the web.”