A good graphic design portfolio can be the deciding factor in whether or not you get a job in the field of graphic design. However, it can be hard to come up with an idea for your portfolio that makes it stand out from everyone else’s, and actually creating the portfolio can seem intimidating as well. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about creating an outstanding graphic design portfolio, including advice on choosing projects, organizing your portfolio, and how to present your work in the best possible way!
Why do you need a graphic design portfolio?
A graphic design portfolio is a visual collection of your work that highlights your abilities. For example, if you’re applying for a job as a graphic designer, potential employers will want to see samples of your past work so they can judge how well you fit in with their existing team. They also want to see samples of your best work, because hiring new employees is expensive and risky for companies. That’s why employers put such high value on portfolios–they serve as proof that you’re both capable and dependable. A good portfolio shows that you’ve got what it takes to be successful at an organization.
Who Should Use A Graphic Design Portfolio?
The great thing about portfolios is that they can be whatever you want them to be. And, because graphic design work is such a creative field, many designers have wildly different portfolios. That’s why it’s important not only to develop your portfolio over time, but also to let it reflect your personality and style as a designer (of course, most designers won’t wear pajamas during client meetings).
However, there are some things every portfolio should include:
A resume of sorts: This should summarize what you’ve done—the projects you’ve worked on, awards/honors/certifications received—and where your experience lies within graphic design. This may sound obvious, but including specific details will help clarify your skillset in people’s minds.
In other words: If someone asks whether or not you’re good at web design and coding HTML/CSS, it might be helpful for them to know that yes…you totally ARE able to do those things!
What does a professional graphic designer’s portfolio look like?
A portfolio is a great way for graphic designers to show off their best work, but it’s also essential for finding new clients and jobs. Most employers expect candidates to send their portfolios as well as resumes during a job search. A good portfolio shows employers that you have what it takes to deliver high-quality results on time, under budget, and within specifications. No matter what type of design you do, you’ll need several different samples of your work in order to create a truly top-notch portfolio. This may seem like a lot of pieces, but having multiple examples shows that you’re able to be versatile with your designs and keep up with new trends across all platforms and industries.
What makes for an impressive graphic design portfolio?
If you’re hoping to get a job in graphic design, a good portfolio is absolutely essential. A portfolio can serve as proof of your abilities, and it will provide an opportunity to show your skills. But what makes for an impressive portfolio? Are there any best practices that make graphic design portfolios effective? Here are some tips for creating a strong graphic design portfolio that shows off your abilities.
Start by asking yourself these three questions:
- What kind of designer do I want to be?
- Who am I designing for?
- What value can I offer my client or employer if they hire me?
These questions should give you a broad idea of where your strengths lie and how they fit into graphic design as a field overall. The answers will also help set up a direction for your career—so think carefully about each question before moving on. Once you have more information about who you are, what kind of work environment would suit you best (independent or team-based?), and how your goals align with other graphic designers working today, think about curating a selection from past projects that highlight those strengths.
Common mistakes when building graphic design portfolios
With so many graphic design portfolio examples available online, it’s easy to overlook a few mistakes you may be making when building your own. Graphic design portfolios that miss one or more of these mistakes can cost designers jobs and take their careers in a direction they didn’t want. The last thing you want is for your career to plateau before it even begins. Avoiding mistakes can be easy—especially if you know what they are ahead of time!
Here are common things novice graphic designers do wrong when building their portfolios.
Not having enough pieces. You should have at least 15 graphic design samples in your portfolio at all times, more if you’re applying for a creative director role, and still, more if you don’t have much work experience under your belt. This ensures that employers will always have relevant examples to look at when considering your application…and they don’t feel like they need to sort through irrelevant content just because there isn’t enough good stuff available. Having too little of each kind of sample can also hurt your chances because recruiters won’t understand how well-rounded your skillset really is or how experienced you are across different industries or types of designs.
How to create your first successful resume template?
Having a portfolio is a must for any graphic designer, and it has become more important with time as many graphic designers have experience from working with other companies. Since there are so many different things, you can do in design, having your own personal website or portfolio will help you show off your abilities. Try coming up with a catchy logo for yourself that people will remember when they think of you; people like originality. Remember that building a portfolio takes time and practice, but it is essential if you want to build up your design career.
When starting out, try freelancing or doing work on Fiverr just to get some experience under your belt, but then start looking into web design jobs where you can build up skills which are even more valuable than freelance work. There’s nothing better than showing a client what you’re capable of. Before sending out an application, make sure your resume template is clean, professional and showcases all of your relevant education along with information about projects done in school or through freelance work (even if it was freelance). If someone wants to hire you because of an impressive resume template, it shows them how focused you are about getting hired and wanting to be part of their company.
When it comes to getting a job in graphic design, a portfolio is almost always part of that process. Many designers choose to spend years accumulating a strong portfolio before ever applying for their first job, but if you want your first graphic design position sooner rather than later, there are some things you can do while still in school.
Learning how to work with clients from professors or previous internships will help give you experience working within different organizations and communicating your thoughts and skills. Participating in a student-run magazine or other group is another great way for students to gain hands-on experience with a variety of projects and become more familiar with working on deadlines. Finally, employers look at all aspects of an applicant’s history when considering hiring them.