When subject to Michael William Lester’s minuscule masterpiece, we believe he has successfully managed to diminish the bigger the better myth in terms of design, demonstrating the most intelligent of ideas can also be the most simple. Measuring at just 24 millimetres wide by 19 millimetres tall, Lester details each tiny page with his renowned aesthetic, embedding a childish quality which is cleverly juxtaposed with the extremely sharp wit each design entertains. The World’s Smallest Portfolio was created in response to a brief set by Jelly London for the D&AD New Blood Festival, where the aim was to get people talking about their work. With over 100,000 views on Behance there is no doubt that Lester has successfully achieved that aim.
With the inspiration to explore how small he could achieve his portfolio while still demonstrating his aesthetic fuelling him, Lester unsurprisingly had to be very selective of what to include, realising the importance of the sudden impact of each work would be related to their ease of understanding. Therefore, Lester cleverly infused dual meaning designs, doubling up his illustrations to showcase as much as possible in such a limited space e.g. the keyhole which twins as a female, defined as unlocking female equality.
The stamp sized booklet was created using Lester’s home printer, where Lester reports he ran close to 100 test prints to achieve perfection. His home printer was used in order to stray from the sharp quality and instead achieved a nice ink-bleeding texture when magnified. After trimming the pages, stitching them and binding by hand, Lester sent his petite portfolio to his favourite agencies, attaching a miniature microscope to enhance the adorability even further.
Jelly London awarded Michael William Lester the winner of the brief back in October of 2015. Lester is currently fulfilling his dream of building his own design practice as a freelance designer and illustrator, situated on the East coast of England.