How To Create a Graphic Design Portfolio
Nealeigh Mitchell | Art Bistro
In What Order?
The portfolio is like your brochure — presentation is as important as the content. You spent hours creating and choosing which pieces to include — spend an equal amount of time shaping the layout and the order in which they will be shown. An ideal sequence can save interview time and also reveal your eye for detail. Plus, by organizing your work, you’ll identify your strengths and weaknesses and pinpoint areas of improvement.
One solid rule is to always start and end strong. The impact of these bookend pieces can’t be overstated. The interviewer often has your book flipped open to the last page for the remainder of the interview so make sure the final piece is outstanding. She may also start from the back so the first piece should be just as strong.
To cover your bases, consider finding your three strongest pieces and placing them at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end. That way you’ll make a strong first impression, reinforce the impression, and end with a bang.
But remember, the sequence should also be personal and influenced by your design and aesthetic judgment. Make it interesting! For example, you could juxtapose pieces because they complement or contrast with one another. Just be able to defend these decisions.
Evaluating Your Portfolio:
There’s nothing worse than going into an interview with a lackluster portfolio you aren’t proud of. If you aren’t enthusiastic and confident about your achievements, how can you expect your interviewer to be?
A rigorous evaluation from a critical eye will ensure your portfolio is the best it can be. Ask fellow designers, instructors, or past employers for feedback. Weigh all the comments seriously but remember that your portfolio should reflect your tastes, not that of your professor.
Keeping Your Portfolio Up To Date:
Always keep your portfolio fresh and up to date. You never know when you’ll run into someone who knows the uncle of the art director you’ve dreamed of working with. Plus, keeping it current helps you evaluate your progress.
If you’re a student, start your portfolio while you’re in your first year. This is especially important if you plan to intern or work part-time. Select your best pieces and don’t worry if they’re too basic. You’ll be able to replace the less effective pieces with better ones as the year progresses.
Source: Designing Creative Portfolios – Gregg Berryman