27.08.2014
This is a bold statement, but building a portfolio is quite tricky because everyone seems to have a differing opinion on how it should be done. Though PDF and web-based portfolios are becoming more acceptable, I still believe that nothing takes the place of a well-executed print portfolio that a potential client or employer can physically hold and flip through during a meeting.
For the last year, I’ve been using a white glossy acrylic 11 x 17 portfolio cover from Office and I absolutely love it. I’ve had reviews on the same day where one professional offered me work on the spot while another had a laundry list of changes that I should make. You have to accept your portfolio for what it is while having a vision of what it will (eventually) be.
I stumble upon your page seeking how to better my portfolio and you gave some very useful tips. I know that it all goes down to the content, but as there is a lot of competition, employers tend to consider the physical quality of a portfolio as well. I’m not sure printed portfolio still works, I find it better if we bring our iPad and just show our online portfolio, looks more trendy that way!


Now having read what you’ve written here in conjunction with the feedback he gave, I feel I now have much more of an angle on how to improve the basis of my portfolio, so thanks for sharing, I really appreciate it.
Building a portfolio is about showcasing your work and therefore, it should be an expression of your personality and design style.
I’ve found that information addressing print portfolios is sorely lacking even though many design programs still require them to graduate. Showcasing client work in your portfolio projects a level of expertise and professionalism. There is varying feedback on the maximum number of pieces that should be included in a print portfolio and many designers are encouraged show no more than 6 to 10 of their best projects. Before taking your portfolio out into the world for interviews and client meetings, have a handful of people that you trust flip through it and ask for honest (yet constructive) feedback. Everyone will have an opinion about your portfolio but it’s up to you to filter this information and then do what suits your work best. The book will explore best practices in putting the physical portfolio together — not the work itself — and achieving the best presentation possible.


Lots of really useful, practical advice in this post, and you’ve created a beautiful portfolio. I did a massive magazine project a year before I went to school for design and landed a freelance job from Virgin Records in my second semester. Each project, each internship, each job should be viewed as a stepping stone to an even better portfolio.
As a designer that is trying to upskill with web etc one realises the broad range of disciplines one has picked up and how to display the best of them.



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