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Posts Tagged ‘Portfolio’

It’s Finals Week at FIDM! The Countdown is on for Portfolio Week on FIDMDigitalArts.com

Above: Graphic Design/Branding portfolio by FIDM Grad, Chad Lowe. Read more about portfolio week here.
FIDMDigitalArts.com Blog

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Putting Together an Effective Portfolio

mafia business man_square.jpg

Save perhaps his personality, the freelance graphic designer’s portfolio is, undoubtedly, the most valuable asset in his professional life. I have written elsewhere that the portfolio is the freelancer’s shop window, an intimate glimpse into his or her being for all who view it. We have to love our portfolios, agonise over what goes into them, and tend and nurture them as we would a sapling we’d once planted. Nothing should be left to chance, not even tiny details, as it’s these, at times, that we may be judged on. So let us not delay any longer, but instead plunge into the sober, matte black folds of the portfolio…



Author: Bradley Hotson for The Graphic Design School
We offer vocational training graphic design courses. Delivery is online, affordable and open to students all over the world to study in the comfort of their own home.


Contained Therein: What to Include

mafia business man.jpg

What graphical wonders might reside within…

What should a freelance designer’s portfolio contain? For starters, it should include no more than 6–10 projects. Any more and you risk your interviews dragging on and prospective employers and clients hurrying you along whilst glancing at their watch. Try not to include two too similar projects, even if you’re equally proud of both. Each piece in the portfolio should come with its own unique narrative. There is an exception to this rule; it can be ignored if you have a series of projects designed for a certain client, say a triptych of biannual trade brochures, which together demonstrate the development of a concept or narrative and can be presented, from your point of view, as a single project.

3861263989_81f6a53dd0_o.jpg

Your portfolio truly is your shop window to the world, offering others a glimpse of your priorities, competencies, predilections and professional level. Sweat blood over it. Image courtesy of © Juan Pablo Cambariere.

For traditional ‘paper’ portfolios, high-quality printouts of uniform size are recommended. These printouts could include developmental and conceptual work alongside the final solutions. Attempt to inject a dose of uniformity into things; it looks neat and consistent and your efforts won’t go unnoticed by those on the opposite side of the table. Just be sure that each project tells its own unique story, and go to brow-furrowing lengths deciding just what to include, and the order in which you present them. Print-based designers will naturally enough want to include finished printed pieces, but these may still be combined with printouts explaining the ‘journey’ of each project. Exactly the same rules described above apply to web-based designers. They can, if they choose to make use of printouts, show frames from websites they’ve designed, which can in turn accompany actual visits around the websites themselves, if a laptop is present.

Portfolio Rejane.jpg

A dazzlingly original portfolio concept. A series of perfect-bound books contained within a slipcase and all bound with an elastic band. Image courtesy of © Zoo Press.

The Receptacle Itself

275326461_8815075398_b.jpg

A great alternative to the traditional “paper” portfolio, the laptop is an increasingly appealing method for showcasing one’s work. Image courtesy of © François Proulx.

“Don’t fret, it’s what’s inside that counts” we are told by our mothers when spurned by a playground sweetheart. But with regard to the portfolio, the exterior, the actual, physical receptacle you carry your work around in, matters a great deal too. The slim black case, once beloved by all, has, over the decades, become ubiquitous and predictable. It has an evergreen appeal, in the same way that gallery spaces’ white walls and beech blonde floors do. Because of its very ubiquity though, here in the 21st century, the slim black case is no longer going to raise any eyebrows or get hearts a-thumping. Employers will have seen thousands of them. Therefore, I’d advise you to think about something a little different. The key here remains discretion; a receptacle whose appearance visually or tactilely overpowers the work contained within has failed in a basic aim, much as a gallery in charge of a Mondrian retrospective would if it hung the great Modernist’s canvases on garish flock wallpaper, if you can imagine so undesirable a thing.

archivebox.gif

Photographers’ archive boxes make handsome receptacles for a freelancer’s portfolio. They are sturdy, protecting, beautifully made from acid-free materials and discrete in their design, much in the same way the slim black case is. Their self-folding covers carry just enough weight for them to open and lie flat with a pleasing ‘clunk’. Also of immense value, they allow the freelancer to carry his work around loose-leaf fashion. To carry your work loose-leaf is an infinitely more desirable system than having a ringbound portfolio, which requires the designer to frequently turn the case around and (if the case is on the larger side) awkwardly turn the plastic sleeves as he goes. Loose-leaf printouts allow the freelancer to pass them around to those they’re presenting to, and this is A Good Thing.

217881351_25ecc4a09f_b.jpg

“Thou shalt not use Powerpoint to present thy portfolio”. Image used with kind permission of © Ian Ruotsala.

If you have a laptop, you may wish to make this your main portfolio receptacle. Laptops are good for this, and a modern, not-too-scuffed Apple laptop can help make a slick impression on others. Be sure to have all the technical bases covered before presenting; arriving to a meeting with an uncharged laptop, sans mains charger isn’t going to impress anybody. Choosing to carry your portfolio on a laptop allows for expedient and rapid updating of work. You can shuffle things around, add and omit projects as you see fit and effectively tailor your body of work to suit each new meeting and interview you bag. You can of course do the same with a traditional paper-based portfolio, though high-quality printouts can represent a not negligible expense. A final word on using laptops, if you do choose to pursue this route avoid using Powerpoint in your presentations; everybody by now should know that this software is the last word in corporate uncool.

This Is The Modern World

barral_portfolio.png

Portfolio site of successful designer Fabien Barral.

Of course, most freelancers with a decent body of work nowadays will also have an online presence, used, in the main, to display their work. Take as much care with your online portfolio as you would your physical one. Strive for a uniformity and dynamism in your photography of projects, and make sure that images and pdfs saved from the computer are of sufficiently high and consistent resolution. Write concise, foolproof explanations to accompany the work and organise it all in an intuitive level-based fashion, much as you would a website. Sites like Flickr and View Creatives go some way to aiding the freelancer in this professional-feeling endeavour, but you’ll still need to pour energy and vim into the whole enterprise to create the right appearance.

A Dynamic Process

4054350530_4f9fe8db1c_b.jpg

Don’t, through neglect or complacency, allow your portfolio to become stale… “Retro” bedroom image used with permission of © Steve Collins.

If not tended regularly, and updated at least periodically, portfolios can make their owners seem stale and static-seeming, much as a restaurant that hasn’t updated its menu or decor since the 1970s would appear. Your relationship with your portfolio (for that’s what it really is), should be a dynamic process which engages your thoughts and labour continuously. A portfolio assembled two years in the past may have once seemed the sexiest thing alive, but if not updated and cared for as and when necessary, projects may become vaguely dated, printouts and interleaves may ‘stick’ together and, if you spend a lot of time carrying them around, projects inside the portfolio may become dog-eared and crumpled. Keep things shipshape and Bristol fashion as best you can. If printouts look a little worse for wear, replace them. Rotate, add and omit projects when desirable.

Useful Top Tips

  • Keep things small. A portfolio any larger than A3 is really too big
  • Keep things clean & uncrumpled
  • Loose-leaf sheets are better than ring-bound sleeves
  • Assembling a portfolio should not be a one-off exercise, but a dynamic and continual process
  • Request and absorb other people’s comments and allow this information to flow back into the way you maintain your portfolio
  • Interleave your loose-leaf sheets with a bold and dazzling substrate, though choose something that doesn’t overpower the work contained within
  • If you choose to carry your portfolio on a laptop, for pity’s sake avoid using Powerpoint in your presentations!
2750392193_9ba4aa1524_b.jpg

The “restless and questing” disposition of the freelancer when putting together his or her portfolio is an asset, not a fault. Image courtesy of © Humminggirl.

3627677685_a703bdebc6_b.jpg

Keep things on the smaller side; a portfolio any larger than A3 for the graphic designer is, nine times out of ten, unnecessary. Image used with permission of © Stefho74.

In Sum

A restless disposition when it comes to the freelancer’s personal portfolio is, according to Adrian Shaugnessey, a strength, not a weakness: “Designers are never happy [with their portfolios]. I’ve known many competent and talented designers who’ve begun portfolio sessions with an apology: ‘I’m just about to redo it,’ the say; or, ‘Sorry, it’s a bit out of date.’ It seems to be a designer foible that the portfolio is ‘never finished’ and ‘never representative of current work’. Yet far from being a sign of weakness, this is a good sign: It indicates a restless and necessary desire to improve and develop.”

To reiterate what I stated at the top, your portfolio is your second most important asset after your personality, and thus requires the thought, care and attention this level of importance deserves. Like a Savile Row tailor, your success as a freelancer may depend on tiny details, and the portfolio is a complex enough animal to through up lots of details-based challenges. Pour thought and care (not to mention funds) into things, leave nothing to chance and be unswerving in your commitment to the upkeep and presentation of your portfolio. Perhaps most important of all, remember that each project included should not be composed of merely an arresting image or piece, but tell a compelling story about you as a designer and the process you went through. This is the key to an effective and resonant portfolio!

93002689_8119793316_b.jpg

Aim for your portfolio to make a spectacular impression on others. Image used with kind permission of © Guiniveve.


Graphic Design School Blog

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New Portfolio: Get Inspired by Colorful Illustrations & Apparel Graphics of Ryan Beckman

It takes more than a quick glance to recognize the subtle design details of recent Graphic Design/Branding graduate, Ryan Beckman’s portfolio. Beckman completed FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising’s Graphic Design/Branding program this month and incorporated his unique, colorful illustrations into his portfolio, from packaging, to brand identity design, music packaging, posters, and apparel graphics. Read more here.

FIDMDigitalArts.com Blog

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Portfolio Week: FIDM Graphic Design/Entertainment Grad Develops Mock Campaigns for Animated Features

Animated features definitely make up the majority of the movie posters and marketing campaigns in Cecilia Cheng’s Graphic Design/Entertainment portfolio.
Cheng graduated from the FIDM/Fashion Institute… read more »
FIDMDigitalArts.com Blog

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How to Manage your Freelance Portfolio

Marinating a consistent (and paying) client base presents the biggest risk in to freelancers trying to make a living on their own. Part of building a solid clientele depends on …
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New Portfolio: Photography, Typography, Illustrations & Branding by FIDM Grad, Cody Saya

Check out the graphic design portfolio by Cody Saya, a recent Graphic Design/Branding graduate from FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. Saya earned his Associate… read more »
FIDMDigitalArts.com Blog

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Best Ways to Submit Your Design Portfolio

There is a snapshot in every designer’s life that captures all emotions: excitement, fear, anticipation, dread, confidence, and hesitance. All of these gut-wrenching feelings stem from one single act, an act in which designers will perform several times throughout their careers: the anxiety-inducing portfolio submission. Unlike many other occupations, designers must open themselves up for instantaneous judgment and critique before ever having the chance to meet in person those casting a critical eye.

There is, however, relief from this ailment that allows designers to put their best foot forward and earn the chance for that almighty job interview. Portfolio submissions should be viewed as a three-step process, with each step building in complexity and fortitude.

Step #1: The Resume

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Many people find that word processors or online resume builders are quite helpful in organizing and presenting content in a professional manner. It stands to reason, then, that these sources would be good for designers too, right? Wrong!

Unfortunately, utilizing one of these programs screams ambivalence towards design and apathy for all that a designer has learned and polished over the years. Instead, designers must utilize an industry-standard layout software to generate a resume of worth and status. This single digital file holds the key to making a person stand out among the stack of hungry designers. In one brief glance, an employer will decide whether or not the resume’s overall design and layout merits looking at the content itself. Only if your aesthetics speak volumes will the rest of your voice be heard.

An additional piece of information vital to a resume’s success is the web address for the designer’s online portfolio. This is not a negotiable issue; if you want the job, then a website you must have. No website means no interview. Period.

Step #2: The Digital Portfolio

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Congratulations. You have made it past that critical cross-section of time where your resume managed to impress someone in five seconds or less. Piqued by the beautiful, timeless elegance of your resume, the potential employer is now online scouring through your website. Every pixel, hex color, and font family chosen is being subjected to possibly the most rigorous visual shakedown possible. One mediocre project or errant navigation function exiles your website, and you, to the dreaded column of DNH: “Do Not Hire.” Avoid this limbo by sticking to clean lines, sensible arrangements, and simple navigation that allows for your featured projects to take center stage. Remember, a good layout goes unnoticed and lets the content speak for itself.

Step #3: The Physical Portfolio

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Image Credit

The convenience of a resume and web portfolio is quite attractive. After all, a potential employer is able to size you up at his or her leisure without even having to pick up the phone or send an email. Once you have made it past the first two battles, you are presented with the honor of an in-person interview. Tread carefully, as this could very well be the most important game of chess you will ever play.

What do potential employers look for during an interview? Unless you are applying for a job that has nothing to do with design, you should count on presenting a physical portfolio. Designers love “show and tell.” It is something we never grow out of, and we base our entire careers upon this whimsical childhood game. If we have something cool, we want to show everyone else. Design is no different.

Why do you need a physical portfolio if you have a digital portfolio? Regardless of what some experts say, print design is not a dying art form. Rather, it is a tactile vantage point of a person’s design aptitude that allows the interviewer to see, hold, and feel something created from start to finish by the designer. Projects as simple as brochures, postcards, and business cards have a much stronger impact when viewed in person compared to being perused on a monitor. Additionally, the interviewer has already seen the works posted to your web portfolio; providing physical elements gives you the chance to showcase even more work and create engaging conversations that highlight your intellect. Never miss out on an opportunity to toot your own horn. Confidence is a demand never stated on a job posting but always required.

There is no magic formula or iPhone® app that can guarantee a job. As hard as you have worked and as great as you have become, there will always be someone else out there who has worked harder and become greater. The difference between you and them is the knowledge of how to position yourself appropriately amid a sea of other aesthetically driven candidates. Continue to work hard, and strive to become greater. Follow this three-step prescription for portfolio submissions and the vitality of your design career will only improve. After all, people in this field are only guaranteed three things: death, taxes, and design.


DesignBeep

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Capstone and Portfolio Projects in Visual Arts College Programs

The end is near! No really, the end of your art and design education may be approaching. Depending on your program, you may wrap up your program with a capstone project, a portfolio review, or both. In this final post of our series comparing traditional and online visual arts college programs, we’ll take a look at capstones and portfolios.

A capstone project is your opportunity to express your creative view, supported by the techniques and skills you’ve learned in your program. Sessions online degree programs, as well many traditional degree programs, wrap up with a capstone. A portfolio is a showcase of your work, each piece carefully selected to represent yourself as a designer and an artist, and may include your capstone project. In some programs (such as Sessions degree programs and advanced certificates), your portfolio will be reviewed by faculty before you are set off into the professional art and design industry.

Creating a Capstone Project

A capstone project is an intensive final project that will coalesce your skills with your worldview and artistic vision. A capstone might be a complete print design campaign for a new product, a range of interactive materials for a Web business, or other large-scale, multifaceted professional project. The capstone is uniquely yours and will usually include a presentation component for you to defend your choices and approaches.

During the capstone process, which may involve part or all of a semester, you may find yourself with false starts. You may choose a path and find out that the technique you chose does not yield the results you expected. Embrace the unexpected, refer to your research frequently, and use in-class critiques and feedback to shape your project.

In a traditional program, a capstone may coincide with a thesis and culminate in a gallery show on campus. My Master’s thesis featured a visually rhythmic mural across the wall of my gallery space, and across several discarded house windows. It was quite interesting, and I spent an entire week in the gallery hanging each piece just right!

In an online program, your capstone project will be submitted digitally to your instructor and your classmates. As always, you will receive thorough critiques and feedback that you can refer to during your process. Take advantage of this! Use the feedback judiciously and combine it with your own creative insight.

Building Your Portfolio

Your portfolio is a series of pieces (around 10 to 15) from your body of work. Not just the best of the best, but the pieces that say something about your style and where you are trying to go as an artist or designer. See your portfolio as a self-explanatory series that accurately represents your artistic view, message, and skills. Here are some personal tips for building a quality portfolio:

  • Use your best pieces and have a critical eye. Your aim should be to create a cohesive whole, in which the pieces of work relate to one another and nothing stands out. It’s perfectly valid to be emotionally attached to the work that you do, but when creating a portfolio, choose the best pieces objectively.
  • Update pieces that need work, particularly if they were done early in your program. You have come a long way since then, and I bet your work shows it. Touch up pieces to bring them to your current skill level. Related, avoid including “studies” in your work. A color study or mood board is not a finished, professional design piece that is going to get you a job.
  • Represent a range of work. While maintaining a cohesive whole, choose pieces that can show a range of work. Present example of your branding work, magazine layout, and Web site design, for example, if that is the type of work you are looking to get in the field.
  • Watch for typos. Remember that Snickers commercial where a guy paints the Chiefs football end zone, then another person remarks, “Looks great, but who are the Chefs?” When you spend so much time looking closely at composition, color, and visual rhythm, do not forget to read the type! You are the last eyes on your piece and a large-scale error like this will be the first thing someone else sees.
  • Explain your work. Caption your pieces so potential clients or employers know more about it. This is especially important for group projects; make sure your role in the piece is clear.

If your traditional or online program includes a portfolio review, take full advantage of it. Faculty are experts in the field and want to see you succeed, so use their advice to craft the best portfolio you can and keep it updated as you progress as a professional. Your portfolio is your final step as an art and design student as well as the first step to getting a great design job.

Thank you for joining me on this exploration of traditional and online visual arts college programs! Best of luck to you whatever you choose and whatever stage of your journey!

Clara LaFrance
Course Producer | Sessions College

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Daily Inspiration: Graphic Design Portfolio of FIDM Graduate, Danny Osterman

Danny Osterman, a recent Graphic Design/Branding graduate from FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising is a talented illustrator and graphic designer, drawing inspiration from street… read more »
FIDMDigitalArts.com Blog

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Putting Together an Effective Portfolio

mafia business man_square.jpg

Save perhaps his personality, the freelance graphic designer’s portfolio is, undoubtedly, the most valuable asset in his professional life. I have written elsewhere that the portfolio is the freelancer’s shop window, an intimate glimpse into his or her being for all who view it. We have to love our portfolios, agonise over what goes into them, and tend and nurture them as we would a sapling we’d once planted. Nothing should be left to chance, not even tiny details, as it’s these, at times, that we may be judged on. So let us not delay any longer, but instead plunge into the sober, matte black folds of the portfolio…

Author: Bradley Hotson for The Graphic Design School The Graphic Design School offers vocational training graphic design courses. Delivery is online, affordable and open to students all over the world to study in the comfort of their own home.

Putting Together an Effective Portfolio

Contained Therein: What to Include

mafia business man.jpg

What graphical wonders might reside within…

What should a freelance designer’s portfolio contain? For starters, it should include no more than 6–10 projects. Any more and you risk your interviews dragging on and prospective employers and clients hurrying you along whilst glancing at their watch. Try not to include two too similar projects, even if you’re equally proud of both. Each piece in the portfolio should come with its own unique narrative. There is an exception to this rule; it can be ignored if you have a series of projects designed for a certain client, say a triptych of biannual trade brochures, which together demonstrate the development of a concept or narrative and can be presented, from your point of view, as a single project.

3861263989_81f6a53dd0_o.jpg

Your portfolio truly is your shop window to the world, offering others a glimpse of your priorities, competencies, predilections and professional level. Sweat blood over it. Image courtesy of © Juan Pablo Cambariere.

For traditional ‘paper’ portfolios, high-quality printouts of uniform size are recommended. These printouts could include developmental and conceptual work alongside the final solutions. Attempt to inject a dose of uniformity into things; it looks neat and consistent and your efforts won’t go unnoticed by those on the opposite side of the table. Just be sure that each project tells its own unique story, and go to brow-furrowing lengths deciding just what to include, and the order in which you present them. Print-based designers will naturally enough want to include finished printed pieces, but these may still be combined with printouts explaining the ‘journey’ of each project. Exactly the same rules described above apply to web-based designers. They can, if they choose to make use of printouts, show frames from websites they’ve designed, which can in turn accompany actual visits around the websites themselves, if a laptop is present.

Portfolio Rejane.jpg

A dazzlingly original portfolio concept. A series of perfect-bound books contained within a slipcase and all bound with an elastic band. Image courtesy of © Zoo Press.

The Receptacle Itself

275326461_8815075398_b.jpg

A great alternative to the traditional “paper” portfolio, the laptop is an increasingly appealing method for showcasing one’s work. Image courtesy of © François Proulx.

“Don’t fret, it’s what’s inside that counts” we are told by our mothers when spurned by a playground sweetheart. But with regard to the portfolio, the exterior, the actual, physical receptacle you carry your work around in, matters a great deal too. The slim black case, once beloved by all, has, over the decades, become ubiquitous and predictable. It has an evergreen appeal, in the same way that gallery spaces’ white walls and beech blonde floors do. Because of its very ubiquity though, here in the 21st century, the slim black case is no longer going to raise any eyebrows or get hearts a-thumping. Employers will have seen thousands of them. Therefore, I’d advise you to think about something a little different. The key here remains discretion; a receptacle whose appearance visually or tactilely overpowers the work contained within has failed in a basic aim, much as a gallery in charge of a Mondrian retrospective would if it hung the great Modernist’s canvases on garish flock wallpaper, if you can imagine so undesirable a thing.

archivebox.gif

Photographers’ archive boxes make handsome receptacles for a freelancer’s portfolio. They are sturdy, protecting, beautifully made from acid-free materials and discrete in their design, much in the same way the slim black case is. Their self-folding covers carry just enough weight for them to open and lie flat with a pleasing ‘clunk’. Also of immense value, they allow the freelancer to carry his work around loose-leaf fashion. To carry your work loose-leaf is an infinitely more desirable system than having a ringbound portfolio, which requires the designer to frequently turn the case around and (if the case is on the larger side) awkwardly turn the plastic sleeves as he goes. Loose-leaf printouts allow the freelancer to pass them around to those they’re presenting to, and this is A Good Thing.

217881351_25ecc4a09f_b.jpg

“Thou shalt not use Powerpoint to present thy portfolio”. Image used with kind permission of © Ian Ruotsala.

If you have a laptop, you may wish to make this your main portfolio receptacle. Laptops are good for this, and a modern, not-too-scuffed Apple laptop can help make a slick impression on others. Be sure to have all the technical bases covered before presenting; arriving to a meeting with an uncharged laptop, sans mains charger isn’t going to impress anybody. Choosing to carry your portfolio on a laptop allows for expedient and rapid updating of work. You can shuffle things around, add and omit projects as you see fit and effectively tailor your body of work to suit each new meeting and interview you bag. You can of course do the same with a traditional paper-based portfolio, though high-quality printouts can represent a not negligible expense. A final word on using laptops, if you do choose to pursue this route avoid using Powerpoint in your presentations; everybody by now should know that this software is the last word in corporate uncool.

This Is The Modern World

barral_portfolio.png

Portfolio site of successful designer Fabien Barral.

Of course, most freelancers with a decent body of work nowadays will also have an online presence, used, in the main, to display their work. Take as much care with your online portfolio as you would your physical one. Strive for a uniformity and dynamism in your photography of projects, and make sure that images and pdfs saved from the computer are of sufficiently high and consistent resolution. Write concise, foolproof explanations to accompany the work and organise it all in an intuitive level-based fashion, much as you would a website. Sites like Flickr and View Creatives go some way to aiding the freelancer in this professional-feeling endeavour, but you’ll still need to pour energy and vim into the whole enterprise to create the right appearance.

A Dynamic Process

4054350530_4f9fe8db1c_b.jpg

Don’t, through neglect or complacency, allow your portfolio to become stale… “Retro” bedroom image used with permission of © Steve Collins.

If not tended regularly, and updated at least periodically, portfolios can make their owners seem stale and static-seeming, much as a restaurant that hasn’t updated its menu or decor since the 1970s would appear. Your relationship with your portfolio (for that’s what it really is), should be a dynamic process which engages your thoughts and labour continuously. A portfolio assembled two years in the past may have once seemed the sexiest thing alive, but if not updated and cared for as and when necessary, projects may become vaguely dated, printouts and interleaves may ‘stick’ together and, if you spend a lot of time carrying them around, projects inside the portfolio may become dog-eared and crumpled. Keep things shipshape and Bristol fashion as best you can. If printouts look a little worse for wear, replace them. Rotate, add and omit projects when desirable.

Useful Top Tips

  • Keep things small. A portfolio any larger than A3 is really too big
  • Keep things clean & uncrumpled
  • Loose-leaf sheets are better than ring-bound sleeves
  • Assembling a portfolio should not be a one-off exercise, but a dynamic and continual process
  • Request and absorb other people’s comments and allow this information to flow back into the way you maintain your portfolio
  • Interleave your loose-leaf sheets with a bold and dazzling substrate, though choose something that doesn’t overpower the work contained within
  • If you choose to carry your portfolio on a laptop, for pity’s sake avoid using Powerpoint in your presentations!
2750392193_9ba4aa1524_b.jpg

The “restless and questing” disposition of the freelancer when putting together his or her portfolio is an asset, not a fault. Image courtesy of © Humminggirl.

3627677685_a703bdebc6_b.jpg

Keep things on the smaller side; a portfolio any larger than A3 for the graphic designer is, nine times out of ten, unnecessary. Image used with permission of © Stefho74.

In Sum

A restless disposition when it comes to the freelancer’s personal portfolio is, according to Adrian Shaugnessey, a strength, not a weakness: “Designers are never happy [with their portfolios]. I’ve known many competent and talented designers who’ve begun portfolio sessions with an apology: ‘I’m just about to redo it,’ the say; or, ‘Sorry, it’s a bit out of date.’ It seems to be a designer foible that the portfolio is ‘never finished’ and ‘never representative of current work’. Yet far from being a sign of weakness, this is a good sign: It indicates a restless and necessary desire to improve and develop.”

To reiterate what I stated at the top, your portfolio is your second most important asset after your personality, and thus requires the thought, care and attention this level of importance deserves. Like a Savile Row tailor, your success as a freelancer may depend on tiny details, and the portfolio is a complex enough animal to through up lots of details-based challenges. Pour thought and care (not to mention funds) into things, leave nothing to chance and be unswerving in your commitment to the upkeep and presentation of your portfolio. Perhaps most important of all, remember that each project included should not be composed of merely an arresting image or piece, but tell a compelling story about you as a designer and the process you went through. This is the key to an effective and resonant portfolio!

93002689_8119793316_b.jpg

Aim for your portfolio to make a spectacular impression on others. Image used with kind permission of © Guiniveve.


Graphic Design School Blog

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