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How To Create a Graphic Design Portfolio

How To Create a Graphic Design Portfolio

Nealeigh Mitchell | Art Bistro

What Not to Include:

Remember, you are only as strong as your weakest link. One distasteful piece can overshadow the rest of the book and leave the interviewer with a bad taste in her mouth. Don’t sabotage your chances by haphazardly submitting works that could put the interviewer on edge. Here are things to consider leaving on the drawing board:

Offensive art

Err on the side of caution and leave out anything racist, sexist, political, or religious. The only time you should present this type of art is if it’s specifically what the director wants. So if you’re not applying for a Mad TV gig, cut it out. Researching the position will help you keep things kosher.

Duplicate pieces

A stellar book isn’t a static presentation but an evolving collection of samples. Unless repetitive pieces serve a purpose — and can be explained — keep it fresh and new.

Description tags

The last thing you want is your portfolio to literally read like a book. It should be self-explanatory. If you feel a piece is too obscure to be properly understood and you can’t bear cutting it out, type a simple description and place it where it won’t distract the viewer.

Unmanageable pieces

Your interviewer’s time is precious. Don’t waste it by making him have to set up, pull out, or unfold your art. Also, try to keep pieces from facing in different directions unless it’s unavoidable. Accessibility is part of a graphic designer’s forte.

How Many Pieces?

Eight to ten? Ten to twenty? Again, there’s no magic number. This may sound vague, but it’s all about quality over quantity. If your work is poor, than two pieces are too much. A small, well thought-out portfolio is much better than one stuffed with mediocre work. Remember, art directors were once students too and they’re familiar with the type of work you have fresh out of school. As you gain experience and get more pieces under your belt, you’ll have the luxury of a more targeted portfolio requiring fewer examples. But whether it’s five or fifteen, every single piece should be exceptional and diversified and fit into the story you’re trying to tell.

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