“Just as people judge a book by its cover, the capability of a designer is judged by his/her portfolio”
Being an artist or a creative professional as you may like to call it, your design portfolio quality is your ultimate reputation builder. It’s like your business visiting card because that’s what clients will have a look at before they decide to hire you. It needs to showcase your entire career’s experience and expertise in a very short, crisp but impressive way.
Your Career Story
Your portfolio is your best selling tool, so make sure it nicely sums up your entire career journey. Instead of showing all your projects, make sure you include only best work you have done so far. People have short attention span and making them dig through a long list of projects to find your best ones is not a good idea. Moreover, you can also include a brief description of your every selected project and also tell the skills needed to complete this project.
A great portfolio reflects your strengths, skills you possess, your passion, goals, and challenges you faced, learnings, and experiences you had.
Keep the content relevant
Your portfolio should make optimal use of available space. You can make a thorough research on the companies or firms you are applying for and make it a point that your content is relevant to their current projects. You can always customize your portfolio based on the suitability of the type of company you are applying for. For instance, if you are applying for a web design company then highlighting your most creative web design projects is an excellent idea.
A flexible portfolio gives you more options when it comes to showing a variety of projects and different presentation styles and is also worth the effort.
Include an introduction page
This may sound like a no-brainer but you will be surprised to know so many people skip this obvious point. Having a nicely designed introduction page in your portfolio is essential as it sets the tone of your portfolio and reflects your personality. An introduction page needs to be brief including information about your background, education, summarizing your career journey as a designer, and best of your creative projects.
A great portfolio has a killer Design
Your portfolio needs to be well-designed, being a designer it should reflect your competency. An averagely or even worse a poorly designed portfolio can affect your chances of success, even though content you included might be relevant. Whereas some designers make the mistake of overdoing their portfolio in an attempt to show their capabilities.
Best thing is to keep your portfolio design simple, creative and filled with killer content but no fillers. Keep a consistent layout, displays images in an attractive manner, organizing content in a favorable way. You can pick a theme as well, such as a landscape or portrait format or any other theme that makes your portfolio look excellent.
Digital Portfolio or Printed
If you are confused whether to go for a digital or printed portfolio then I would suggest you go for an online portfolio. Even if you are a print designer, the internet is the standard means of communication, so having a digital portfolio makes the ideal option.
For making a digital portfolio, you don’t need to know any coding language, there are many sites like Squarespace, Cargo Collective, and you can always explore easy to use WordPress themes, and beautifully designed Tumblr themes. Moreover, you also have the option to make use of portfolio making platforms such as Behance, Adobe Portfolio, and behemoth. These platforms are easy to use and can give you terrific results.
Whereas a print portfolio comes with its own set of benefits and is certainly more forgiving and handy. In case you know, you need to meet with multiple decision makers, then a tangible medium is your best bet. If you are looking for some inspiration to design your portfolio then explore Designhill and get your creative juices flowing.
Keep your Portfolio updated
Having a dated portfolio can do more harm than good for you. So, never overlook the importance of having an updated portfolio, keep adding your new projects to keep it relevant. At times, you may not feel the need to update your portfolio, but in this case, you run the risk of losing a lucrative job opportunity, so be organized and prepared. In the present competitive market, you need to update your portfolio at least once in every six months or yearly. Keep adding your recent work and do away with the projects that are no more relevant for your portfolio.
Clarity in Projects
When you are showcasing group projects in your portfolio, you need to be very clear about your role and responsibility in the given project. As a designer, if you have worked in a team project and produced a great result, it is a good thing and shows your skills and capability.
It is good to clearly mention your level of involvement in the group projects as design industry is relatively small and any kind of attempt to misrepresent yourself in the portfolio can land you in trouble. So, when you showcase group project, highlight your work as well.
Let the work do the talking
It is easy to get tempted to over-embellish your portfolio but keeps it simple yet eye-catchy. Let your work do all the talking and make sure your projects are presented in an easy to view format that is easily accessible. You can always create a template by utilizing the grid technique. Make sure to keep your layout design simple else your background can overshadow your design work and I am sure don’t want to take chances with that.
Every project you include in your portfolio needs to have a purpose and it should highlight your ability as a designer. However, try to avoid repeating skills or same kind of projects in your selection criteria.
So, flex your creative muscles and make your design portfolio keeping above mentioned tips in mind and I am sure you will make nothing less than wow.