• Interview Excerpt: Felicia Ferrone, Founder, fferrone design, Chicago

    Check out some great work from Felicia Ferrone.

    AH: What ingredients are necessary these days to make a strong industrial design portfolio, one that stands out?

    FF: Portfolios need to reflect a broad spectrum of types of work and show a range of scales. Often portfolios look very similar and it’s the ones that have a strong graphic sense that really stand out. The work also is presented in very much the same way. It’s the ones who approach presentation of the ideas in a completely different way that really stand out.

    AH: So if an industrial design student came up to you and asked, “What should my portfolio be like? What do I need to show you in order to work with you?”, what would you tell them?

    FF: I would say the portfolio must be considered as a whole: a strong graphic design sense and layout, font selection down to the paper selection, if it is presented physically. The designer should immediately indicate their level of attention to detail and sensitivity. The projects, of course, must also be strong and easily understandable.

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    AH: What was the motivation for you to open your own design studio?

    FF: I’ve always known I wanted to work for myself, and I always knew I wanted to be in some kind of design director role. It really wasn’t until the Revolution Collection of glassware that it finally happened. It allowed me the opportunity to figure out all the “moving parts” from finding manufacturing to designing the packaging to figuring out distribution. These were things that I felt required my full attention and couldn’t be done well while working for someone else. I knew I also wanted to be free to pursue design with established brands along with more self-directed work and having my own studio allows me that freedom of choice.

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    AH: What advice would you give to somebody who is just starting out in the industry and has a desire to open their own studio?

    FF: When you come up against resistance, do not give up. Just find another way to accomplish your vision. Much of life comes down to tenacity and perseverance.

     AH: Industrial design seems to be a predominantly male-dominated field. Still, I’m curious what advice you may have for women.

    FF: This goes for anyone: I think you need to be absolutely 110% prepared and be able to achieve your vision against any resistance you may encounter. As a woman, you probably have to be more prepared, so as not to be dismissed when running into problems while trying to innovate and push your ideas through.

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    Felicia Ferrone of fferrone design

    Felicia Ferrone of fferrone design

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