Monthly Typography Tidbits help to feed your typographic hunger and nourish your design output.

This month’s morsel is about choosing and buying typefaces.

I am often asked what fonts one needs to have in their toolbox. I approach this topic from a viewpoint that we all understand; the process of buying a car. Choosing and purchasing typefaces is very similar.

Before you purchase a typeface, it’s best to test-drive it. When test-driving, you’ll want to check out capability, performance, and handling. Overall, it’s best to keep a library of fewer high-quality typefaces versus a lot of low-quality typefaces.

1. Capability

Roman Faces
For reading copy, it’s best to have a few high-quality fonts that can handle many looks, layouts and information. Even if you only have one workhorse typeface, it should be able to handle any rough hierarchy terrain that comes down the page.

Your workhorse family is like an SUV, one in which you would pay a premium for. Roman faces with many fonts are made for hierarchy building and to lead the reader across the page, like for magazine design. Families with fewer fonts are built for long-form reading, i.e., for books.

You don’t need many Roman typefaces, but the ones you do have, make sure they are of high quality. Depending on the usage and the package offered, you can purchase Roman families between $200 to $1,200.

Typography Tidbits Roman and Display Typefaces

Display Faces
Decorative fonts are used for a very specific purpose, and it’s alright to have many than can create visual importance. These typefaces have fewer fonts in the family and therefore are less expensive. Display faces are best used large, as they typically have details in the letterforms that are not conducive to reading.

You may need more display fonts to help you address varied voices and achieve different styles in your design work. Decorative typefaces have fewer fonts in the family and range in cost from free to $100.

2. Performance

True performance is found in the Roman typefaces. Once you start typing or flowing in body copy, you’ll notice a difference in features that will save time and speed up your own design work.

Default Old-Style Figures
Some typefaces have built in old-style numerals as their default setting, which is perfect for reading body copy. These figures are also known as lowercase or text figures, and have varying heights and alignments, sharing the same x-height and ascenders as lowercase letterforms. When you find a high-performing typeface that has default old-style numerals, it will save you tons of time of playing the ‘find and replace’ game with your lining numerals and your glyph palette.

Language Support
If you’re thinking of translating your text into other languages, you may want to consider using a typeface that has broad language support. Pro (versus Standard) typefaces will offer large language support for Latin languages and more with additional glyphs. Check the type foundry websites that supply character set specimen sheets listing available glyphs.

3. Handling

Tisa is a high-performing typeface and what we call a “super-family.” It has a serif and sans serif typeface that are designed together with the same design proportions. In all, it has 28 fonts. With it, you can pretty much use it for any touchpoint within a brand. It’s easy to pair and create combinations.

Budmo is a free font. It has a very specific design purpose. Perhaps could be used for a circus flyer or a theater marquee.

Typography Tidbits Tisa and Budmo Type

My Chevy Tahoe of fonts might be Proxima Nova. Not all clients might be able to afford such a mechanical beast. If you have six kids, the Tahoe might be worth the $60k. The typeface Proxima Nova, a popular sans serif, has 140+ font options that can handle just about any project. This would be an example of a valuable high-quality purchase. Proxima Nova’s full family costs $734.

My Ford Fiesta of fonts might be Tahoma. The Fiesta’s $15k price tag is an affordable price for a basic vehicle that can get you from point A to point B. The font Tahoma is as limited in features as the Fiesta since it has only two fonts in its family. And it’s free. Tahoma is a typeface that’s used for a small amounts of information, such as titles, headers and sub-headers.

Typography Tidbits Proxima Nova and Tahoma Type

I assess capability, performance and handling to determine and create my library of typefaces. A great collection will have fewer high-quality Roman typefaces and more lower quality display typefaces.

What’s in your font garage? Let me know by tweeting us at @TypeEd. I’d love to see what’s in your typeface library.

Michael Stinson is a co-founder and instructor at TypeEd, where he helps designers implement better typography, efficiently. Get more typography in your inbox when you sign up for more updates about TypeEd.

At Creative Circle, we have a great relationship with our clients and make sure that we keep in touch. We not only continue conversations about the creative industries over phone and email, but also in person. That’s of course, how it comes up that a team needs a hand from one of our talented candidates.

Then what happens? Well, eventually, just like we meet you and the client, we hope that they’ll also be able to meet you in an in-person interview. How do you ensure that you are remembered and your meeting is not forgotten?

A thank you note!

We mastered the art of verbal storytelling long ago but for centuries, our ancestors also passed along thank you notes; all the way back to Ancient Egyptian days to the Renaissance in Europe, the written word was utilized. Finally, a German gent named Louis Prang brought the greeting card to the U.S. in the 1850s. We still use it today! And no, not just when we realize Mother’s Day is coming up (but really, you guys, it’s this Sunday, go buy your mom a card). When we want to make an impression, we’ll send along a thank you note.

When working through a staffing agency, sending a “thank you” is a detail that may pass your mind. After all, you’ve got so much to think about when preparing to present yourself for a role. And while we do love representing you to our clients, it’s important to remember that we work as a team, and thank you notes are an especially great way for you to follow up an interview.

By taking the time to write a thank you note, you:

1. Reiterate Your Interest

Sure, by showing up and talking to the client about your past experience and how you hope it will all culminate to make you a perfect fit for the role, it never hurts to give a little postal nudge post meeting to show your interest, whether it’s via email or snail mail (yes, all, the USPS is alive and well).

2. Demonstrate Your Tenacity

Writing a thank you note on LinkedIn or via email is always a great idea and it shows that not only are you willing to reiterate your interest, but it also gives you a chance to mention a particular part of the interview you enjoyed. Go the extra mile, if you’d like, and ask us to forward along a hand-written note.

3. Get to Demonstrate Your Creativity

Writing your own thank you note gives you the opportunity to use your craft. If you’re a designer, use your own choice of color, typeface, or iconography (via email, make it into a file and attach it). If you’re a copywriter, use your own particular language and make it uniquely you. Get creative with it and make your note stand out from other generic versions that may be printed by defining your brand.


Candidates can, and have, sent us here at Creative Circle a thank you note and while it’s not something we expect every time we meet someone, it’s certainly appreciated and helps demonstrate the three points above for us as it would any client we’re representing you to.

In the end, sending a thank you note to someone for their time shows consideration for others, which is something that even in this day in age when we mostly collaborate via text and email, goes a long way. Not only does sending a thank you note ensure that you’re not forgotten, but that you’re remembered amongst others who are also in the running for an opportunity. And no matter what work you’ve done on your brand at this point, that’s always a factor that’ll make you stand out.

Good luck, and you’re welcome (wink).

Allison is a former Creative Circle Account Executive, with a background in creative writing, content writing/strategy, publishing, and business development. Her world revolves around words and the relationships and interactions they inspire. Allison is now the Content Specialist at Raizlabs, a design and development firm in Boston and San Francisco.

The day that I crushed engagement for a post I did on the fly for my company’s Facebook page was one of the giddiest days of my professional life. I was working for the The Salvation Army Midland Division and I posted something about Cardinals’ opening day (which is a de facto holiday in St. Louis) with a picture of Stan Musial (a Cardinals’ legend) ringing the bell around Christmas time. It BLEW UP and set the stage for more followers and better connection with potential donors and volunteers. I had a little extra strut in my step that day.

Similarly, when I went to SXSW in 2015 with my fellow Creative Circlers, I jumped up and down with Creative Circle’s social media maven when we were the top followed group talking about SXSW—we reached so many people and fostered future relationships that could be built upon.

So when I started the best job of my life at Creative Circle recruiting my fellow passionate social media marketers, I noticed something kind of icky…

Most of us don’t have any kind of social media portfolio to show off our work.

“But I’m not a designer,” you might say. Or even worse, “Here is the link to my Twitter feed.” Have you ever tried to digest that fire-hose? Twitter (and Facebook, and even Instagram) is an epic stream of consciousness, and a hiring manager does not, and will not, want to filter through a long history of posting to find the gems of what makes you good at what you do.

Follow these five tips to improve your social media portfolio and make sure you’re not glossed over for your next application. Also be sure to check out our Portfolio Guide below for more tips like these, or hear what my New York counterpart has to say about portfolios.

1. Screen grabs are your friend

Learn to love the Print Screen/Snipping/Screen Capture Tool. Any time you write a quippy masterpiece, take a screenshot of it to save for later. A hiring manager is basing your skills on your ability to write solid copy in a limited amount of space as well as the engagement metrics that are shown (likes, retweets, etc). And once you get a handful of your favorites, you have enough content to justify landing that next great position.

2. Organize by campaign

Social media is part of a larger, integrated strategy, so talk about the campaign objectives and how social made an impact. Choose one or two screengrabs that showcase solid engagement and denote the metrics that followed: 15% increase in follows, 20% conversion rate to the denoted landing page, anything that shows that what you did caused something positive to happen that met your team’s goals.

3. Analytics, Analytics, Analytics

When I was putting together my portfolio, I took screen grabs of analysis metrics that I felt showed what I contributed and why when I was running the social media ship good things happened. Remember, while it’s good to know what your team did, when you’re being considered for a job, they want to know what YOU did as part of that team. Whether it’s Facebook Analytics, Sprout, Google Analytics or other programs, dive into the numbers and look at engagement and conversion spikes so that you can show that you can not only get things done, but you can read the data to forecast what can work next. A natural at social media has great gut reactions, but if you can’t back it up with data, then it’s much harder to justify. Reserve a page or two in your portfolio for analytics and showcase your “sexy stats”. Whether you worked for a small business or a multinational corporation, if you increased engagement and conversions by X%, then that gets attention.

4. Did you do anything else digital?

This is up to your discretion, but I know plenty of passionate social media connoisseurs that have other responsibilities of managing website content, deploying email marketing, or even doing some hands-on design for posts. Include that! You don’t want it to dominate your portfolio if you are seeking a primarily social position, but put it towards the back to show that you have other skills that can bump up your candidacy. In the same vain for my portfolio, I took screen grabs of emails that I had deployed, spreadsheets I made for project management tracking, and some scrappy designs that I made just to show that I can definitely dabble in those other areas.

5. How do I lay it all out?

Some people prefer a simple PDF, like I did (totally effective!), or to use a portfolio site such as Squarespace, Wix, Coroflot, Cargo Collective, Carbonmade, Issuu or others if you want to be publicly searched. The benefits of hosting it publicly is that you can tweet a company or hiring manager while showcasing your skillz in communication, ya know? The frameworks are the same—upload the image of your work and write a description beside it with those sexy stats and campaign descriptions. Just like anything else, the people who put in more work on this initial presentation will garner more attention from hiring managers. If you put a solid amount of thought and effort into your portfolio, the perception is that you will go above and beyond for your next position, so really put in some time to craft this. If you do make a PDF, keep it under 5MB so that it can be easily emailed and shared to prospective companies.

Also remember if you create a portfolio site, always include the website on your resume—and make sure it is hyperlinked! I have had to do much copying and pasting in my tenure as a recruiter and it can be a surprising time-suck for those reviewing resumes.

Have you seen something that attracted the attention of hiring managers or anything that we missed? Send it to us! And of course, if you lay out a slick social media portfolio, we gotta see it. Apply on our Talent page, and if a company with a need has your name written all over it, we’ll get connected!

Until then, check out our Resource Guides for more ways to make yourself the best candidate you can be.

Dana is a Recruiter in Creative Circle’s Denver office, after starting with the company in St. Louis. She is a social and digital geek, passionate networker, and always getting at the root of what makes people tick to land them in the right positions for their skills. She can be found breaking out into song unannounced, recreating Tennessee Williams or Shakespeare monologues, exploring Colorado with her dog Frannie, or impersonating Bubbles from the PowerPuff Girls.

Food Desert, Idea Jackpot: The Design Week Open Houses of NW Portland

I may have spoken too soon when I declared that there was no need to plan for dinner during Design Week Portland’s series of open houses. In contrast to Tuesday night’s tour of N and NE Portland offices, where giant tamales, Mediterranean BBQ, and pizza abounded, the scene in NW was a relative food desert.

Nevertheless, it was a welcome excuse to check out Citizen, a truly remarkable company that concerns itself primarily with the intersections of design and technology, performing research and analysis of market and culture trends to find new ways for tech advances to integrate into our lives—and they create some seriously elegant flowcharts in the process. They also have one of the coolest office spaces in the city, tucked away on the fringe of where NW starts to become primarily industrial. Upon arrival they had Purple Rain projecting on the wall (respect), a few paces away from a ceiling pendant that had been fashioned out of Apple earbuds.

Design Week Portland Alternate Usage for Earbuds at Citizen Inc

At this point, we’re so deep in Design Week that you can’t help but start to recognize people who are working the same circuit you are. Such was the case with Luke, an architectural consultant I had also seen at Wednesday night’s party at NORTH. Mutual recognition demanded we introduce ourselves, swapping notes about the other events we had already attended, and those we planned to. It was pleasant enough that I stayed longer than I meant to, but eventually I pulled away, on to the next adventure.

Big Frog Custom T-shirts has been hidden in plain sight on W Burnside for four years, though I’d never heard of them. They’ll digitally print a design of your, or their, making with no minimum, on tees that come in an array of colors and sizes and… that’s pretty much it! But they did have snacks.

Design Week Portland Big Frog T-Shirts

The simplicity of Big Frog afforded me more time at Hand-Eye Supply, a shop that specializes in the best versions of tools for all kinds of projects. There’s a global selection of writing instruments, notebooks, tools, axes, and workwear—a curated retail haven for the fetishization of creative supplies. They are the retail arm of Core 77, an influential design site whose job board, Coroflot, is having its new office built within the adjacent Hand-Eye warehouse. It’s actually on wheels, and began as a planned tiny house by Laurence Sarrazin of Los Osos design studio, built with wood milled on the property it was originally slated for. I’ve met Sarrazin once before—she’s brilliant, and I enjoyed sharing a beer and conversation with her, though my stomach was starting to rumble by the time I finished ogling the Italian-made staplers on my way out.

Design Week Portland Hand-Eye Supply

My last open house of the evening was Anthropologie. I’d been curious about how they’d activate the store for the occasion, and thought they might use the opportunity to highlight their collaborations with independent designers. Nope! They were simply open, business humming as usual. It worked out since I needed to price out a duvet cover, but I didn’t dwell long before walking the few blocks to the westside tomboy headquarters of Wildfang.

Presented by Sockeye creative studio, the event at Wildfang was accompanied by—finally, hooray!—freshly cooked up dim sum treats by Boke Bowl, which just about saved my life. It featured Piers Fawkes, founder and editor of PSFK, a site that specializes in future-thinking news, inspiration, and forecasts. The night’s topic was “The Future of Retail”—basically a breakdown of the latest technology tools being used by companies to communicate with customers, maximize the availability of product information, and streamline their overall systems in ways that are both admirably efficient and depressingly capable of eliminating human employment. It was on the dry side for a jovial, dim sum and canned wine kind of crowd, but it got my juices flowing, and I drove home thinking through the inspiration it gave me for my billion-dollar startup idea.

And no, obviously, I’m not telling you what that is.

Marjorie is a former Creative Circle candidate based in Portland who recently accepted a full-time offer for her dream job. She is a writer/editor and stylist/producer with an emphasis in the design world. If you are interested in working with someone like Marjorie, please contact your nearest Creative Circle office.

Still on the fence about attending events or open houses?

Read our blog on why it’s important.

Points NORTH: The Power of a Good Party

The description was vague but intriguing for “Further North,” a Design Week Portland event being hosted by NORTH, an advertising agency known for its work with Columbia Sportswear, Pacific Foods, and Cover Oregon (not their fault!). Would it be a panel, a lecture… ? Turns out, it was mostly just a party—a really good party—albeit with opportunities to make your own poster in the spirit of NORTH’s handmade methods for creating fonts and label designs. There was also a booth (where you could ask a NORTH employee anything), free burritos, beer on tap, and a display of how the creatives at NORTH go from literally doodling with ink and paper to creating some of the most recognizable package design on the shelves of the grocery store.

Creative Circle_Marjorie S_North Relatable Art

Full disclosure: I knew there would be some familiar faces in the crowd. One of NORTH’s Creative Directors is an old acquaintance who dates one of my good friends, and an art director I’ve worked with for years produces his outdoor adventure magazine, Stay Wild (to which I also contribute writing and copyediting), under NORTH’s custodianship. Since I was rolling solo, this took the edge off potential awkwardness, but instead of limiting me to interactions with people I already knew, these associations served as a bridge to get to know other, looser contacts.

Standing in the same conversation circle as the aforementioned CD put me in position to strike up a long conversation with the NORTH’s Executive Producer—who I’d technically met previously, but only slightly knew. The arrival of a freelance photographer I knew led to an introduction to a Portland-based wardrobe stylist whose work I’ve been following. I didn’t know that Kelley Roy, founder of the ADX manufacturing hub and Portland Made advocacy center, would be there, but I ended up talking to her for most of the last leg of the evening, and I even met, IRL, the owner of a modeling and talent agency before we realized we’d already corresponded over email months ago.

Creative Circle_Marjorie S_North Plans for Cans

I was surprised to check my phone and realize that I’d stayed for almost the entirety of the three-hour event, floating from conversation to conversation, and getting an impromptu tour of NORTH employees’ desk collections (including a ticket stub from Dollywood, a sea monkey terrarium, and a preserved baby shark), their hilarious “email treadmill,” and the dark, upholstered booths hidden throughout their offices for private phone calls (though they look like they’re for making out).

In an industry where relationships and personal chemistry are a bedrock, NORTH set the tone by being welcoming and curious about its guests. There may not have been much formality or structure involved, but I left the event feeling fulfilled, connected, and as though the time—though about twice as long as anticipated—had been well spent.

Marjorie is a former Creative Circle candidate based in Portland who recently accepted a full-time offer for her dream job. She is a writer/editor and stylist/producer with an emphasis in the design world. If you are interested in working with someone like Marjorie, please contact your nearest Creative Circle office.

Still on the fence about attending events or open houses?

Read our blog on why it’s important.

Open Houses and Oversharing: The Design Week Portland Meal Plan

Good news: No need to make dinner arrangements during these few days that Design Week Portland’s open houses are in effect. This year, the studios, agencies, and retailers who are opening their doors have really kicked it up a notch with the hosting duties. Show up early enough and you may well find a full dinner awaits. In fact, if I’d wanted to, I could have eaten three dinners last night, between attending four open houses and one well-sponsored event.

I began at Beam & Anchor, an out-of-the-way gem of a design shop on N Interstate that traffics in beautifully curated housewares and one of the best selections of accessories in the city. Above the retail space are a few studios occupied by makers of various sorts, who welcomed the public upstairs for a rare glimpse behind the scenes.

As a serial DIY-remodeler, I’m a magpie for all things home-oriented, so I was immediately drawn to the corner of the space occupied by Current Collection, a not-quite-launched line of pendant light fixtures designed by Nash Martinez. There’s no website or official list of stockists yet, and Current’s Instagram is claimed but unused, but you can glimpse a few of the pieces exclusively downstairs in Beam & Anchor should you be in the market for an illuminating conversation starter. (Note: there was hummus and grapes and that sort of thing, but the gustatory highlight of this open house was definitely the bottle of limited edition Spanish red wine Martinez opened for the occasion.)

Design Week Portland Beam Anchor Current Collection Open House

Moving on, around the corner I had to check the address twice to be sure I had arrived at The Brigade. The black door leading up to the spacious, whitewashed offices of this young digital agency is marked only with their logo, a pair of crossed swords. It’s an agency with a musical bent—they’ve worked extensively with Spotify, and helped create the Nike Women Move Mix app, which curates athletes’ playlists based on taste, type of workout, and pace—and a young, friendly staff, who gathered around an enormous spread of tamales from Tamale Boy, which is set to open a new location in The Brigade’s neighborhood. After downing an enormous vegetarian version, I set about making new friends, including super-nice Brigade partner Zeke Howard, with whom I connected over a few mutual contacts and swapped email addresses.

Design Week Portland The Brigade Open House

Dining and networking needs addressed, it was time to move on to 534, the shared studio space of Spacecraft, Merkled Studio, New Refined Basics, and VINCAdesign, where there was a casual, family friendly Mediterranean-style cookout underway. Used mainly by people working with wood and metal for furniture and jewelry, the space has a garage-y vibe, littered here and there with intriguing evidence of ongoing experimentations, like a giant egg-shaped tree burl that’s been polished smooth for no apparent purpose. There I bumped into a few familiar faces from Portland’s independent retail and fashion design scene, sampled an unlikely sounding cocktail involving spicy black pepper, pomegranate, and cucumber infusions (unique, delicious), and took a peek at furniture prototypes inspired by tree shapes and midcentury aesthetics.

Design Week Portland Tree Burl

The last open house of the evening was actually more of a group sale featuring the work of students from the MFA in Applied Craft + Design program created as a collaboration between the Oregon College of Applied Craft (OCAC) and the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA). Students, alum, and faculty offered an array of work priced at $50 or less, spanning hang-able art, wearable art, ceramics, handmade books, and more. A few clever items, like the grapefruit drinking vessels by Cat Chidester Brown, made me wish I had as much space in my cabinets as I do love for discovering new ceramics designs (read: limitless).

Design Week Portland Cat Chidester Brown Ceramics

I ended the night next door, in the spacious XOXO Outpost warehouse, where I passed on dinner opportunity #3 in the form of free pizza from Roman Candle. Worry not—it was decimated without my help by fellow attendees of Overshare, a panel discussion and podcast taping hosted by the creative freelance network Working Not Working. The Portland-centric panel featured illustrator and educator Kate Bingaman-Burt, The Pressure’s Adam R. Garcia, and newly minted Nike designer Rich Tu. Beginning with a round of white wine shots (ewwwww) to break the ice, WNW co-founder Justin Gignac set about grilling his panel on everything from their feelings about Portland past, present, and future to admissions of their worst professional anxieties.

Design Week Portland Overshare

Billed as a casual, unguarded exercise in real talk, plenty of F-bombs were dropped as the panelists proved themselves generously forthcoming about their methods of self-preservation, early days of struggle, and the ongoing work of staying inspired (turns out maintaining a state of perpetual dissatisfaction may be a sign you’re doing it right). There wasn’t a lot of prescriptive advice, but it helped serve as evidence that those who pursue a creative career path share the same struggles. Not only is that struggle real, but in the long run, it’s also the point.

Marjorie is a former Creative Circle candidate based in Portland who recently accepted a full-time offer for her dream job. She is a writer/editor and stylist/producer with an emphasis in the design world. If you are interested in working with someone like Marjorie, please contact your nearest Creative Circle office.

Still on the fence about attending events or open houses?

Read our blog on why it’s important.

A Design Week Cleansing Breath with Maya Lin’s Bird Blind

Creative Circle_Marjorie S_Bird Blind 2

While much of the city was still, presumably, recovering from the long line to the puppy room at Design Week Portland’s opening party, a group of festival attendees gathered early-ish on Sunday morning. Hosted by Confluence, the 10 a.m. hike doubled as a tour of restoration efforts underway in the Sandy River Delta, crowned by a Maya Lin-designed bird blind structure that marries aesthetic principles to the efforts of conservation.

Confluence is a non-profit that concerns itself with connecting people to place, concentrating on points along the Columbia River. Our walk on Sunday, for instance, went through 1,000 Acre Dog Park, an off-leash pooch paradise I’ve visited several times without understanding much about the land (actually closer to 1,500 acres) history of the area. Originally used by native peoples as grounds for hunting and gathering, the property was, among other things, since used as a cattle pasture and the site of an aluminum factory before being reclaimed by the U.S. Forest Service. Under its management, it is being restored to its native state, including the removal of invasive Himalayan blackberry, which choked much of it until a few years ago.

Creative Circle_Marjorie S_Bird Blind 1

I once stumbled upon the bird blind without realizing what it was. Intentionally placed around a sudden corner of trail for unexpected impact, the round structure is made from a series of wooden slats, with a long ramp reaching out of the forest. Subtle engraving on the ramp’s handrail offers an explanation of the blind’s existence, and upon closer examination you’ll find that each slat is devoted to a native species, as noted in the journals of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Each animal’s scientific name is listed along with the name the explorers’ used in reference to it (like a striped skunk that was listed as a “polecat”) and their conservation status. A just-completed, updated poster (see below) by ecological designer Dylan Woock mimics the round design of the structure, and bears good news—most of the species’ statuses are an improvement over their listing at the time of Lin’s installation, thanks in large part due to efforts by groups like Confluence.

Most of this week at #DWPDX will be devoted to urban affairs and digital innovation, but it felt good to get out in the sun for a blast of fresh air, sunshine, and a little education on how thoughtful design can be deployed to educate and preserve our natural assets as well as drive our industries. Thus cleansed, I’m ready to plunge back into the realm of branding agencies, international retail, and experimental city architecture. Let’s do this!

Marjorie is a former Creative Circle candidate based in Portland who recently accepted a full-time offer for her dream job. She is a writer/editor and stylist/producer with an emphasis in the design world. If you are interested in working with someone like Marjorie, please contact your nearest Creative Circle office.

Still on the fence about attending events or open houses?

Read our blog on why it’s important.

We love to think of our creative work as the thing that represents us—that defines and demonstrates our abilities. And while portfolios are a great place for clients to get a taste of the great things you can do—the resume is what makes the first impression. And despite whether or not it’s accurate, it can be lasting. Here at Creative Circle, we do our best to ensure we give the most honest feedback possible with regards to resumes: what were our impressions, what stood out, what turned us off from moving forward with a conversation?

Here are some things we’ve noticed on our end and heard from clients to keep in mind when editing your resume.

1. Looks Matter

Whether or not you’re a designer, what your resume looks like matters. Studies show that on average, only a matter of seconds are spent looking at resumes—not minutes. Seconds! Much like books can be (unfortunately) judged by their covers, so too can you on the layout and design of your resume. Keep in mind how it appears to a pair of fresh eyes. Is your experience too closely together on the page? Are things aligned correctly and consistently? Is the font too tiny to read without a magnifying glass? Is it more than one page? Is it too plain to stand out among others?

Keep this perspective in mind when working on your resume. Our team can give great further insight into resume design elements, too.

2. Bullets vs. Summaries

When describing your work experience under a Company heading, there are a couple schools of thought when it comes to bullets vs. summaries. While a summary up top of the resume may be a good idea if you’ve had varying experience in multiple fields, there seems to be a consensus that bullet points are the way to go when listing past responsibilities.

Why is that? It’s simply because—they’re simpler! Keep your responsibilities listed in bullets and do your best to make the number of bullets consistent throughout. Remember, you’re giving a snapshot, not writing your college thesis (and thank goodness for that)!

Tip: Be aware of which words you’re using. Don’t just explain what you did, but do your best to use buzz words pertaining to industry or your skill set that will resonate with your target readers (future employers).

3. Consistencies

One of the most important things you can make sure your resume is, beyond pleasing to the eye, is consistent. If you use periods in your bullet points, use periods for every single one; if you use italics to list your job title at one company, do it for every job title at a company; if you use the month and year to mark your start and end at one position, use this date format for all positions; if you use a serial comma to list things under one job, use the serial comma when listing things throughout.

These may seem like small, trivial details, but we’ve found that overall, they speak to your attention to detail and consistency shows you’re motivated!

4. Add a Personal Touch

Often times, the resumes that stick out are often those which have personal touches that set them apart. Whether it’s a sense of design or diction, make an effort to make your resume unique to you. For example, one copywriting candidate made an effort to express unique details about his experience working at a company in the beauty industry by indicating he finally learned the difference between lip gloss and lipstick. Other design candidates we’ve met make an effort to use their experience with color or typography on their resume to make them truly beautiful.

Even if you don’t have a design background, there are many options available for you—you just have to get creative.

In the end, something that’s most important about a resume is that it is a snapshot of you, your past experiences, and the possibilities you’re able to offer to whoever is reading it. We know you have a lot to offer so have fun when you’re creating your resume—make it visually pleasing, consistent in style and punctuation, and unique, and you’re sure to catch someone’s interest.

Allison is a former Creative Circle Account Executive, with a background in creative writing, content writing/strategy, publishing, and business development. Her world revolves around words and the relationships and interactions they inspire. Allison is now the Content Specialist at Raizlabs, a design and development firm in Boston and San Francisco.

Design Week Portland starts this week. We asked designer Matthew T. to share how Portland lives creative through some of the city’s inspirational spaces.

The Good Mod


Nestled in one of West Burnside’s longstanding warehouse loft spaces, The Good Mod boasts a diverse stockpile of refurbished Midcentury furniture and design. Ascend the old-school industrial elevator via the unassuming glass-paned entrance on street-level, and you will be greeted by a pleasant host who will help you navigate the towers of Eames chair frames and nordic coffee tables. A unique quality of The Good Mod is its ability to seem peaceful and minimal while functioning as an active repair shop. The open concept and natural light allows for a moment of peace in the buzz of Portland’s thriving West End neighborhood.


Ace Hotel


Further embedded in Portland’s West End is the flagship location of Ace Hotel, an independent hospitality effort focused on design-driven hosting, with extra care attended to the presence of local designers and an engaged staff. Aside from its bright lobby, which also houses a Stumptown Coffee location, the upstairs common areas host an intimate study area where anyone can go to relax, meet others, or read one of the many publications complimentarily provided.


Clyde Common


A staple of the west side, Clyde Common features a clean, rustic interior which buzzes with activity during happy hours on weekdays. Common plates include poutine, rustic eggs, or a charcuterie plate to share. Pair those with a local draft ale or their “pacific standard” cocktail, and you have an outfit ready to suit your spring evening.


Good Coffee


As the name might imply, this cafe was established with the intent to put a quality cup first. Started by a few industry veterans, the new cafe now boasts two locations on Portland’s east side. When you go, look for a variety of bean offerings as well as the unique drinking vessels you are served.


Olympic National Forest


A drive outside of the city may find you in one of the nearby national forests. One popular destination has been the entryway to the greater Olympic National Forest, which resides near Lake Cushman, Shelton, and other rural communities. Nearby you’ll find trellises, old bridges, and an abundance of nature trails.

Matthew is a Creative Circle candidate and your guide to DWP’s events and open houses.

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