Consistency > style

Portfolios with the most consistency always stand out to me, so it makes sense that my favorite artists to work with are consistent. My least favorite… don’t know what they are.

What do you mean, “consistency?”

To me, consistency is between 3–5 unrelated projects in a portfolio with similar form, technique or process. I usually won’t reach out to a new artist unless I see that he or she is capable of producing multiple iterations of their work in a single unique style. Consistent designers deliver predictable interpretations of unrelated subjects or conceits; their creations are both conceptually original and stylistically familiar.

Some examples of consistent artists I admire: 1. Abbey Lossing 2. Will Bryant 3. Josue Evilla 4. Rebecca Mock

How is consistency different from “style”?

Style can be interpreted a bunch of different ways — how you draw, a recurring character or presence, the way you hold your brush, the angle you write your letters … To me, style is simply what I recognize about your art. That studio scans old clipart and textures. This guy uses monoweight strokes in his icons. This girl draws tiny heads on giant bodies. Whereas consistency (again, to me) is the ability to replicate any specific style over and over and over again. There’s really no limit to the amount of styles you can showcase, but when I’m introduced to your portfolio, I’m gonna notice the stuff that’s consistent. If I see anything repeat itself, I’ll assume it’s your bread and butter—I’ll think that’s probably what he or she draws every day.

A few examples of artists consistent across multiple styles: 1. Invisible Creature 2. Elias Stein 3. Nick Slater

Why I value consistency

Consistency helps build trust. It allows me to empower the designer without micromanaging or asking for updates. I can assign an illustration, approve concepts and set a final due date without ever seeing finished work. If I’m able to anticipate how the finals will look, the designer’s sketches can stay loose, even when my direction is riddled with feedback — this makes communication clearer and deadlines less imposing.

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Titus Smith

Design Dad. Running things at The Hideout Design Company LLC. If I were a typeface it would be something heavyset.