20 Tips and Examples for Creating the Perfect Design Portfolio
Creating and managing a portfolio is the best way to market yourself. It is a reflection of the work you do and it’s essential for you to attract clients. As a designer, you must have a portfolio. If so, you need to ask yourself a few questions before you can actually begin to develop it further. How much time do you allow yourself in dedication to improving your portfolio? Do you think you have your best stuff on it? One thing is for sure – it does not matter whether your portfolio exists physically or digitally, the point is to keep improving it.
Through the course of your career, you will come to realize that there is nothing more important than presenting the best of your works in a clear, attractive fashion. This article is going to help you achieve just that. We have outlined 20 Tips and Examples for Creating the Perfect Design Portfolio. These tips are divided between physical and online portfolios. If you want to win at this, you keep these tips in your mind. Let us know what you think. As always, your comments are welcome.
20. Breadth of Work
If you are maintaining a design portfolio, one of the primary questions to answer is how many examples should it contain? For a comprehensive portfolio, you need to make sure you have at least 20 examples of your best work to make the best impression.
19. Appropriate Examples
If you are applying for a full-time position, you better include some healthy examples. One thing you need to assure is that the examples are relevant to whatever position you are applying for. If for example, you are applying for the position of a digital artist, you need to have digital paintings included in your portfolio. Pencil sketches will not help you here.
A designer or an artist would create graphics based on the creative brief. You need to be able to interpret the brief thoroughly. If you portfolio contains images alone, that would not suffice. You need to give it context. Where did those images come from? How did the idea generate? What was your train of thought? Anything that supports the concept of the image is a must inclusion in the portfolio.
17. Work for Fun
If you are in the process of creating a portfolio with regards to a specific contract or a position, you need not only include work which was for clients. Being a designer is more of a hobby too. You can include work that you initiated yourself. If you are an illustrator or looking for freelance work, these self-initiated projects would definitely help.
16. Keep it fresh
As your experience grows, your work would too and you will have countless examples for your portfolio. But that does not mean you keep stacking your new work on top of the old. Depending on how much work you do, you may want to clean your portfolio up a little and update it with your newest, but relevant, work.
15. Case Studies
A portfolio is not just a collection of your design work. You need some recommendations in bold pasted right on to it. Moreover, real-life case studies will also help. All of this shows your capabilities. If and when you leave a job, make sure you do on excellent terms and ask for a recommendation. Recommendations always help.
14. Step Back
You may want to consider looking at your portfolio from a third-person’s perspective. Have experienced personnel look at your portfolio while you step back and wait for them to criticize it. It is essential for you to know your strengths and weaknesses. Based on that, you can prioritize your improvement and practice schedules.
13. All-Round Demonstration
Think of a portfolio as a creative curriculum vitae. It should not just have the designs you make. You need to make an impression that you are a professional otherwise as well. Make a solid note how your professional skills rate including communications and especially meeting deadlines.
12. Market Yourself
What other creative talents do you possess? Are you a good photographer? How about a singer? You need to let your potential employer know about your creative abilities other than the primary ones.
11. Indexed Design Portfolio
When you are reading a book, or skimming through it or otherwise surfing a website, you usually mark the page numbers or bookmark it if anything intrigues you. That is exactly what your potential employer would do. Make it easy for all of them and index your portfolio – make sure you have page numbers on them.
There are several options for you to set up your portfolio online. If you want a clean, personalized space, you can simply buy a domain and have someone create a website for you. Otherwise, just set up a WordPress site yourself. If you are not willing to invest as much, IM Creator is the place for you.
You need to make sure you understand the need to create an online portfolio. What is the goal of your portfolio? Is it for feedback? Or is it for employment? Answering these questions will help you better establish your portfolio and increase the chances of success.
8. Be Selective
You do not have to post the entire bulk of your work online. Be selective – choose the best ones and choose different examples. Make sure they cover a huge ground. Nobody needs to see everything. You always leave people wanting more and that is exactly what you are doing with your online portfolio.
7. Curate your Work Carefully
Malika Favre is an illustrator based out of London and she says, “Curate the work you put up carefully. Online folios need the same rhythm as printed ones: you need to tell a story, and order your projects so that they feel fluid and complement each other. If it means that an old project has to be removed to fit the new story, so be it.”
6. Show – Don’t Say
A website is like a visiting card and it says a lot about you. More appropriately, it shows a lot about you. You need to make sure that your visitors see what you are all about before they get to the part where they get to read it.
5. Keep Updating
The most important tasks of maintaining a portfolio is to regularly update it with your fresh work. If you leave your website without updating it for months, people are not going to buy what is already posted on there.
4. Streamline Updates
You need an effective design in order to update you portfolio regularly. It should simple, involving two or three clicks at the most. If not, you are going to get tired of posting pictures because of your already heavy schedules of work.
3. Photography Printed Work
Have you ever wondered how you would display printed work on your online portfolio? Get a good camera, put your pictures in good light, and snap. Make sure the photos turn out to be really good otherwise viewers will not able to appreciate the finesse.
One of the better ideas is to clearly label the work your post online. This will allow your clients and visitors to reference your work when they are talking of you.
1. How you worked ?
It is important to show you end product. But what’s more important, at times, is to show how you managed to reach to the end product. Give your clients an insight on how you did a particular illustration. It will keep your clients happy.