September 15, 2015

Creating a Strong Graphic Design Portfolio

As a graphic designer, you must maintain a good, updated graphic design portfolio to showcase your talent and abilities to the public. Your portfolio is a collection of sample work and it might very well be the means by which a potential client chooses you, of a pool of professionals, for the job.

Though you are probably artsy, don’t lose your focus while putting your graphic design portfolio together: the main idea is to get you graphic design work. So whether you’re fresh out of school or an experienced graphic designer, whether you are interested in graphic design jobs or are the owner of a design studio looking to increase your clientele, you must have at your disposal a resume, or CV, and a professional graphic design portfolio. The first is a list of your experience etc.; the second is your work in fact. It shows potential clients what you have done so far, inspiring them to check out how you can fulfill their specific needs.

How to select samples:

1)    Select current samples
Your graphic design portfolio should include a total of your best 12 to 16 sample pieces. These must demonstrate your style and creativity and exemplify as large a chunk as possible of your array of skills, techniques, and abilities. They should reflect the fact that you are able to handle versatile projects, from different media.

2)    Use a diversity of samples
Portfolios showcasing real materials are highly appealing. Once you’ve completed a project, ask to keep a few samples of the finished work. If you’re delivering digital projects, take screenshots.

While putting your portfolio together, make sure to demonstrate your per-project passion. If digital products suffer from low web resolution, showcase them as a part of a larger image or a browser. Even a laptop mock-up can work. This allows you to project a small, less detailed (and less aggravating) image, with a link to the finished online project, while presenting you with an opportunity to discuss the project and show your zest for your work.

How to organize your work:

The manner in which you choose to organize your work reflects your organization skills and your personality. The order in which your samples are placed tells a story.

Make sure your best pieces of work are positioned at the beginning and end of your graphic design portfolio, to attract your client’s full attention and leave a strong impression. Label each sample with the name of your client and the project’s date to provide a sense of reality. Explain, in a few lines, what the problem or need of the client was and how you were able to solve or satisfy it, then list the software you used for the job. Organize your items chronologically (starting with most recent), according to types of items (logos, brochures, etc.), by client/ project (usually one page per client/ project), according to skill demonstrated (illustration, photography, etc.), or according to media used (web, print, multimedia, photography, etc.).

This having been said, you can use more than one arrangement or be prepared to rework your grouping to tailor it to a specific interview or proposal. Make sure you’ve got an online portfolio as well as a hard-copy.

Happy graphic designing!

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