Graphic Design Portfolio Tips


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Get a grip on your graphic design portfolio with some tips and how-to's from North Orion. Learn: what to do, what not to do, how to measure for a portfolio case and check out our suggestions for even more in-depth reading about how to create your graphic design portfolio.

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Graphic Design Portfolio Tips

  1. 1. Graphic Design Portfolio Tips<br />You’ve earned your online degree, now what?<br />
  2. 2. Graphic Design Portfolios: Tips and Types<br />Whether you aspire to a graphic design degree or have already completed one, you will need a slick, modern way to display your work to potential employers and educators.<br />
  3. 3. A traditional graphic design portfolio should be considered a design problem and an ongoing art project; everything must be perfect and ready to be dispatched at a moment’s noticed in a variety of ways. <br />
  4. 4. Graphic Design Portfolio Types<br /><ul><li>Online Portfolio: Displaying your work on the internet is one tool you can’t live without as a graphic designer.
  5. 5. Drop-off Portfolio: Some employers insist on doing business this way so be prepared to drop-off high quality copies of your babies without knowing if you will ever see them again.
  6. 6. Mailing Portfolio: A very small percentage of potential employers or colleges will want you to actually mail them copies of your work as a representative portfolio before scheduling an interview.</li></li></ul><li>#1 – Choose a book and/or case format in which to display your work.<br />It doesn’t have to be one or the other; it doesn’t have to be both. It doesn’t have to be traditional, either, for designers who create their own packaging. Everyone else can buy or adapt something from the art supply store!<br />
  7. 7. #2 – Pick 15-20 examples of your very finest work.<br />Variety is key in the industry so show your versatility with paper choices, clients, and a range of styles and design types (posters, logos, packaging, invitations, etc.).<br />
  8. 8. #2 – Prepare printed samples – don’t skimp on the printing quality or paper choice for these samples.<br />It doesn’t have to be vintage couture stationery, but you will need to at least chose a nicer stock than the basic printer paper. Also, choosing paper that suits your design shows you have an eye for detail.<br />
  9. 9. #4 – Choose a consistent paper to serve as the backdrop for each design.<br />This is another opportunity to design something else that serves as a platter for the works in your portfolio. Conventional wisdom says portfolio backgrounds should be white or light grey and consistent throughout.<br />
  10. 10. #5 – Clean up your work.<br />Spend time smoothing rough edges, clean up image imperfections – these are physical representations of all the skills you’ve gained. Presentation is just as important as how good your work looks.<br />
  11. 11. #6 – Caption Your Work<br />Use uniform font, font size and placement. This will serve as another example of your detailed and consistent eye.<br />
  12. 12. #7 – Place each design onto your chosen background paper using your favorite adhesive.<br />Placement should be consistent and adhesive can be practical, obvious or invisible depending on your design concept for the portfolio.<br />
  13. 13. #8 – Start strong.<br />Begin with one of your strongest works, but keep in mind that your portfolio should be progressively stronger.<br />
  14. 14. #9 – Finish stronger.<br />See #8. You want to lead the viewer on a journey through your capabilities. Start strong, but end with something truly memorable your potential employer won’t soon forget.<br />
  15. 15. #10 – Be prepared to talk about each piece.<br />Careful not to get to deep into the process for each – most likely your potential employer doesn’t want to hear about how many Photoshop layers went into every piece. They want to know if you can handle the job.<br />
  16. 16. #11 – Rehearse speaking confidently about your work and yourself.<br />Practice in front of friends, family, mentor – how ever many times it takes for you to feel comfortable talking about yourself and your work to potential employers.<br />
  17. 17. The second half of this presentation focuses on miscellaneous words of wisdom about compiling and maintaining your graphic design portfolio.<br />Assorted Tips and Tidbits<br />
  18. 18. Tip#1 - Run your portfolio selections by a trusted mentor and fellow graphic artists. <br />Sometimes, we are our own harshest critics and unable to objectively discern what is our best work.<br />
  19. 19. Tip #2 – Tailor your portfolio to the job for which you’re applying.<br />This is vital. Every application will be different and each potential employer will be searching for something different. Do your homework on the company to get a feel for their brand, which leads to the next slide…<br />
  20. 20. Tip #3 – Design a custom sample.<br />To stand out and show your dedication, create something specific to the potential employer’s company.<br />
  21. 21. Tip #4 – Keep loose papers together in the back of your portfolio.<br />If your resume, business cards, etc. aren’t incorporated into the design of your portfolio, assemble and secure them together at the back of the rest of the presentation.<br />
  22. 22. Tip #5 – Create and maintain your online portfolio.<br />This should really be the #1 tip because it is the most important. The internet is essential to displaying and networking your designs. And not every employer will want to see a physical portfolio.<br />
  23. 23. Tip #6 – Be prepared to assemble a drop-off portfolio or a mailing portfolio.<br />As above, not every potential employer will want to see the same assortment of work. Using your online portfolio for everything you want to show off, you will need to be ready to print, mix and match as each situation dictates.<br />
  24. 24. Tip #7 – Whenever possible, show originals.<br />This means showing the actual finished product appears more professional than showing a photograph of the finished product.<br />
  25. 25. Tip #8 – Keep and protect tearsheets.<br />Torn from newspapers, magazines or other published work, tearsheets are considered the finished product for print campaigns and display in your portfolio as originals.<br />
  26. 26. Tip #9 – Layout your selections before you choose a case.<br />Measure the largest piece you have to get a baseline idea of the size and shape of portfolio case you will need to accommodate the designs. Add 4 inches to the height and width measurement. This will create a 2-inch border for the largest sample; now you know the minimum size of case needed.<br />
  27. 27. Tip #10 – Use the internet to see what’s out there and create something new!<br />
  28. 28. Resources<br />Links for attribution and further reading:<br /><ul><li>
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  32. 32.</li></ul>Featuring the illustration and graphic design art of:<br /><ul><li>HirozakuKurebashi
  33. 33. Sophie Nicolay
  34. 34. Min Wang
  35. 35. Xionel Lopez
  36. 36. Beckett Gladney
  37. 37. Craig Kunce
  38. 38. Shauna Mae Luedtke
  39. 39. Joan Pons Moll</li>