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5 Steps to Becoming a Graphic Designer

5 Steps to Becoming a Graphic Designer

Steve Berman | Art Bistro

Step Five: Put Together Your Portfolio(s)

Here’s where your creative talents are allowed to shine. While all artists need to create and maintain a resume, the only way prospective employers will know what you truly have to offer is to show them visual evidence.

Like everything in art, there is no perfect way to assemble a portfolio. However, there are a few rules you’d be well advised to follow. First, make sure your portfolio contains a variety of different styles and projects. A one-note portfolio, regardless of the quality, will project a graphic designer with a rigid skill-set who may not be able to work with many clients.

Second, go for quality over quantity. Just because you submitted something in the past or made money from it doesn’t mean it truly represents your artistic skills today. Make sure to get feedback from a trusted source before allowing employers to see it.

Third — and this is the hard part — you can’t just create one portfolio anymore. Don’t look for work without copies of your portfolio that are printed, online and on a DVD or CD.

Also, don’t forget to include a unique (self-created) logo, a bio, a tagline and links to any websites or social media pages you want the hiring manager to be aware of. It’s time to put your best foot forward. Check out these sample portfolios to get an idea of what others have done.

First Portfolio Example

Second Portfolio Example

Third Portfolio Example

While these five steps create a great template for pursuing a career in graphic design, there’s no substitute for actual design experience. Take on as many projects as possible, and practice as often and as long as you can. Like many things in life, the most successful graphic designers are the ones who can demonstrate talent that rises above the rest. With the right schooling, a critical eye and great work ethic, you can become the kind of graphic designer agencies and businesses are vying for.

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