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And don’t let us forget the commonly used, versatile and classic screw-post portfolio. B) You are a freelancer on the go or going to a conference where you won’t get much space or time to wip out a large or hand crafted portfolio. C) You are in a crunch, your interview is tomorrow and you just don’t have the time to print off all your new portfolio pieces or designs and get a personally branded book printed. A.) Most of your work is digital and this is the direction you want to go as a designer but you still like to design some print or the job you are applying for is a mix of digital and print work. B) The job you are applying for is a mix of digital and print work, even if its mostly print, the iPad style: clean and sophisticated is what you like.
This is what a lot of designers do and it’s common among young designers in the field as well as more experienced designers.
You want to stand out, you want to send a sneak peak of your portfolio to land an interview at a big company or make an awesome leave-behind. When you apply for a job and have to attach portfolio pieces, the best thing to do is create a password protected or a URL only accessed page in your website (and yes you should have your own website!
At the back of your portfolio after the blank page (if you have a box or screwpost book) you can place your branded resume and business cards. You’ve already posted all of your graphic design work online, so who really needs a print portfolio, anyway?
Consider the following printed portfolio examples from graphic designers across the globea€”would you find them easy to throw away?
The focus of your portfolio should always be your work and the results you create, not necessarily you as a persona€”but you still need to have some sort of presence throughout your portfolio’s layout. In this creative example, we see the artist has turned her name into a logo, which allows it to be repeated throughout the portfolio to help build brand awareness. Branding yourself also demonstrates to a client that you are capable of building and maintaining a brand identity, which means you can do the same for them. Printed graphic design portfolios are all about making an impression, but you’re not going to do that by holding back.
In this example, the artist transformed his portfolio into a magazine, something that people often browse, read and even keep on their coffee table. Everybody always talks about the importance of first impressions, but nobody ever mentions how important second impressions can be.
This print portfolio may look unassuming from the outside, but when the audience opens it up, a 3-D robot pops out at them. Best of all, the surprise comes from an interactive element, which means the audience will develop a stronger connection to it since they had a hand in bringing it to life. Arguably, a portfolio can be anything so long as it is able to show off your work in a positive light. In this example, the artist shows off his architectural designs on one large sheet of paper, which uses stylish folding to create a neat package.
Remember that the people looking at your portfolio will be much less familiar with your work than you. This printed portfolio uses a layout with stitched inserts that first presents the story behind each work, then invites the audience to look inside and see the work for themselves. One of the perceived benefits of an online portfolio is that each piece of work you share online can stand on its own; it can easily be shared through social media or displayed on other sites. Take the example portfolio, which contains several different loose prints of the graphic designer’s work divided into different envelopes.
The physicality of a printed portfolio makes it hard for a client to part with it, even if their initial impression of you is chilly. In the first of our examples, the artist has not only used a corkboard carrying case to make a good first impression, he’s printed each work in his portfolio as a page on a calendar. When we discover something for the first time, we use all five of our senses in unison to create a sense memory. In this example portfolio, the artist uses a series of different techniques to provide interactiona€”from creative die cutting and embossed effects, to the uniquely built carrying case that opens both drawers at the same time. Although you will need to break the mold if you want to craft a truly creative printed portfolio, remember not to sacrifice functionality.
It’s not always the best choice for everyone (especially designers that focus more on web work), but at least one of our designers has been enthusiastically offered a job because the client was impressed with their printed portfolio.
For interviewing purposes, do you think it’s best to have a portfolio the company can keep (like most examples above) or a book the designer shows but takes with? I’m not positive about the specific type of binding but it was definitely done by hand, which some printers would be able to do. I’m not a graphic designer, but work in creative and would love to know where these were printed? You want to buy or make a sweet case or bag to keep your iPad in and also tangible pieces of work that are presented alongside the digital version when you arrive at them during your interview. This shows you love graphic design- I mean you put together a whole cohesively branded portfolio book in your spare time. Not just a Behance or Dribble and Facebook doesn’t count) that has projects specifically for what the company would be looking for.


If you have one spread where it just works to turn your portfolio horizontally, thats okay once…maybe twice.
Start each piece by talking about the message, the feel you were going for, and talk about what your role was, what company you did it for (if applicable, don’t mention if it was for a class though or personal work for fun- let them ask), you can talk about the strengths of the piece, identify the collateral if needed and the context they were used in. The pace: some interviewers will just let you talk and ask questions after and some talk with you and have a conversation with you during each piece. If they haven’t asked for your resume already, you can give this to them right after your presentation or at the end depending on the flow of your interview. This widget doesn't use your e-mail for anything else so you don't have to worry about any spam!
As a matter of fact, investing the time to create an outstanding printed portfolio can pay off in a big waya€”even if your work is strictly digital. The artists who created them went above and beyond to show the world not only their ability to design, but also their ability to think outside the box.
A symbol can represent much more to a potential client than just your name and contact information.
By presenting his work in this format, the graphic designer is communicating a positive message to the audience about his work. Nothing beats that moment when you completely dazzle and delight your audience by surprising them with a brand new element. Since the form of the portfolio itself is malleable, it should change to fit your work, not the other way around. This kind of presentation makes sense for an architectural designer, because their clients are used to looking at blueprints, floor plans and other large format print media.
Just because something looks good doesn’t mean your clients will know what they are looking at or how it came to be.
This sort of picture book quality allows the audience to become invested as they follow the story of how the work came to be, in a format that is easy-to-follow and not excessively wordy.
You won’t be committing some taboo if you print screenshots of your digital work in your portfolio.
This portfolio contains a small sample of printed work with a CD containing more examples of digital artwork.
But the works from your printed portfolio can also be shared, so long as you design your portfolio in such a way that allows for it. The only way for clients to get rid of a physical portfolio is to throw it away; to many people, that can seem like a waste. This gives the recipient a reason to hold onto the portfolio for at least the rest of the year, and each month when the calendar changes, the client is given a reason to think of the graphic designer once again. Each of the artist’s three portfolio booklets were bound and die cut by hand, a fact that the graphic designer chose to display proudly with a custom-made label. Providing the audience a chance to experience the portfolio with their hands as well as their eyes makes the work much more appealing and memorable. It’s not enough to just be creative if that creativity makes it difficult to understand or utilize your portfolio. With his team of designers and experts, he helps customers put forth the best possible impression with high-quality collateral. If you only need a few portfolios, you could ask your printer to print your design on a flat sheet and then cut and fold it into a unique shape yourself to save money.
In theory this seems like an amazing idea (I’m experienced with printed media and would love to see my more elaborate designs printed) but is it worth the inevitable investment into costly custom print jobs? In situations where it makes sense (particularly for designers with a wide range of print work), we highly recommend it. I can imagine I will have to tailor each book to each company depending on what they are looking for. Of the 8 pieces that were clearly labeled I was able to speak about my work and focus on leaving a strong impression.
A company wants to know that you can do the work, be on time, be precise AND have great ideas. I would like to use your 10 points in a portfolio prep class at Dunwoody College, in Minneapolis. You may not want to go this way if you are applying at an edgy design studio (I would at least brand your case) but this may be perfect for an in-house job.
Heck, your portfolio could even (and really should) be tailored towards a specific company, not just the job or company genre. Photograph your work and have it shine with presentation polish so bright that it sits with the big leagues. The piece in the middle of your book is your second best and your last piece is your home run. If you want to be nothing short of awesome, you can also create a sweet leave-behind that is custom made for the job or for your branding.
They will ask you if you have questions for them, have them ready (here is that link for those questions).
The more care and effort you put into making your graphic design print portfolio look good, the harder it will be for clients to part with.


A magazine usually features professional quality design and photography, so by presenting his portfolio as a magazine, he’s telling the audience that his work is of a comparable quality. Pretend your portfolio is telling the audience a story about the work you doa€”hook them in with an unexpected twist.
Your printed portfolio should take on a form that will help enhance your ideas and identity as an artist. A portfolio like this would resonate to that type of client because it feels familiar and therefore, more appealing. Include these details in your portfolio so that your client has some insight into your process get a better idea of what to expect from you. But at the same time, digital media should ideally be viewed on a digital device; at the very least, you should have a URL or QR code linking to your online portfolio. Since the CD and portfolio are designed to bundle together, it means that one is never far from the other.
When the samples in a print portfolio are as sharable as possible, they’re that much more likely to be exposed to others.
You can exploit this Achilles’ heel in your clients by giving your portfolio a secondary function so that they will want to hold onto it for longer.
This kind of thoughtfulness and attention to detail shows clients that you’re willing to learn new things and unafraid to get your hands dirty.
Since printed portfolios are physical objects, they offer an advantage over digital portfolios by stimulating the sense of touch.
Learn more about Vladimira€™s history and experience, and connect with him on Google+ and Twitter.
At the end, I gave to each person in attendance a handmade magnet with my own cow photograph with the caption, Be Outstanding In Your Field. Folding my resume into a robot is cute but I want to impress them with my work ethic as well. My only suggestion would be to add at least one example of the hand drawn thumbnails to roughs to comps process. If you are just starting out, interviewers expect this kind of portfolio but you definitely stand out among your peers if you have a self branded hand crafted book or box. Only have this number of pages, don’t have extra pages with nothing in them in the back of your portfolio. Digital mock-ups of your work create a beautiful polish if you can swing it in the 3D world.
Present as if this is another walk in the park for you, have a lot of confidence but don’t act like you are way too awesome for the job.
They mentally prepare for it and it sets the tone for wrapping up the presentation with a nice punch. And what client could argue with that claim when they have the proof right in front of them?
Why would they think you can do that if your portfolio fails to deliver your message to them?
The interviewer wants someone who they can trust to take the job and someone they can depend on, who knows their stuff. Your presentation can be like a one sided conversation but your job is to capture them, be confident and impressive.
Incorporate these skills into your portfolioa€”you probably won’t find a client who wants to utilize all of them, but you will be demonstrating that you can go above and beyond. Try not to place two pieces together that are too the same or have the same genre such as two magazine spreads.
Bring it out and let the interviewer handle it when you arrive at photographs of this piece in your book. You are telling a story of everything you are as a designer and what you can do, order your pieces as such. Talk about sports if you both like sports, bring up the weather if its crazy (yes that’s okay). Firm awesome handshake again and a smooth “Thanks, interviewers names, have a great day.
It may take a lot of time out of your spare time and personal projects but this will set you above the rest.
If you are doing digital, you can put together a nice custom digital book (in inDesign) or if you’re in a pinch, you can simply use your folders for pictures.
I have looked into apps for placing in your portfolio pieces nicely but I didn’t find any that I really liked. What I have also done in a pinch at a conference (my portfolio was lost in luggage!) was used my website and brought up all the pieces on a borrowed iPad.



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