Many graphic design professionals choose to supplement their full time workload with side projects that pique their interest. Both kinds of projects are worth sharing on a personal portfolio. It helps show off your skills, gives a full picture of your ability, and can inspire others. A portfolio website is also a great way to meet potential collaborators, partners, and clients. In this week’s #WebsiteWednesday, you’ll meet a graphic designer and illustrator who joins her professional and personal creative work through her website: Gurleen.xyz.
Gurleen.xyz is the homepage of Gurleen Gill, a San Francisco based graphic designer and illustrator. Gurleen pursued a career in Graphic Design because she feels it is a powerful form of self expression. Since earning a BFA in Graphic Design from California College of the Arts, Gurleen has gone on to develop designs for both print and web-based media. Gurleen tries to blend print and web design methods in her work to explore how each field’s unique differences can add to projects in the other. She gives her website visitors a deeper look into her creative process and background in the About section of her website. She shares that her empathetic nature inspires both her professional and personal projects. Her main interests lie in working on projects around social issues like mental health and sustainability. This “About” section is a wise inclusion on Gurleen’s website, as it gives a deeper perspective on the projects she features.
In her career, Gurleen has worked on team design projects for notable names like Salesforce and NetApp. Gurleen took on the graphic design role of a nine person team when working on Salesforce’s Dreamforce event. For her part, she helped create visuals to generate the feel of the event’s “campground” theme. This included everything from gateways and game screens at booths to designing a social wall helping attendees connect with each other. Gurleen took up a similar graphic designer role when working on a team for NetApp’s Insight conference. On this project, she helped render 3D graphics that determined an optimal layout of the event space. Gurleen shares how she was able to incorporate the event’s color palette into advertisements and even the booths themselves.
Gurleen focuses her professional work on making a positive impact. She’s worked on a handful of suicide prevention campaigns to spread awareness and education. For the Global Suicide Landmarks project, Gurleen made an animated map of 10 locations associated with suicide. The aim of the map is to prevent future incidents by sharing real stories and information. She has also created illustrations for Unlocked, an organization that educates parents in the Bay Area about youth suicide prevention. Gurleen helped spread awareness of the project by designing an interactive website featuring original illustrations. The illustrations go along with information on the site about adolescent suicide and the role depression plays in it. Gurleen designed the site so visitors can understand the problem, find statistics, learn about prevention, and get resources for treatment.
Gurleen’s personal projects show off her well-rounded skill and interest in exploring both web and print design methods. On her website, Gurleen labels these projects the “Playground” section. One of her featured passion projects is a custom CSS interactive font she created. The font uses reverse italics and inverts its letters when a mouse scrolls over them. She also shares “Typophoto” explorations, which blend type and photography. Gurleen’s typophoto pictures use the words “and” “points” and “of” to make unique artwork. Gurleen also features her many painting-like illustrations, displaying the well rounded creative skillset she possesses.
Your personal website gives you the power to show your complete set of skills and attract employers, collaborators, or new contacts. It also gives you the freedom to create a portfolio online that looks, feels, and says exactly what you want it to. Gurleen Gill did just that with her website. Gurleen.xyz stands as a great example for anyone looking for inspiration on how to build a strong personal portfolio. Head to Gurleen.xyz to check out her work or get in touch with her for a potential collaboration.