It’s important to have an effective portfolio that showcases your best design work. Creating a design portfolio with the right backing boards and materials will help you to stand out from the crowd and land your dream job. However, what should you include in your portfolio and how should you go about creating it?
Backing boards, mounting and protection
Backing boards and mounting choices can make all the difference to the look of a portfolio. Grey, white and black boards are the usual choices for mounting artwork and photographs. This is because the neutral colours complement the work rather than overpower it. Vellum translucent paper can offer additional protection to mounted work if portfolio sleeves are not used, preventing any scratches or marks.
Showcase your breadth of experience
Your work should be presented in an attractive way, using backing boards, which is accessible and professional. This will allow employers to easily see the breadth of your experience. When using a physical portfolio, you should aim to display work from about 10 projects across 20 pages, displaying a good range of expertise and skill set.
TOP TIP: The projects you include in your portfolio should be relevant to the job for which you are applying, so include examples which relate to the job you want to secure. Including a short overview with each project will explain how you interpreted the brief.
Create your own projects
If you do not have a lot of work to include in your portfolio, you can set yourself some briefs or work on projects set by D&AD or YCN student Awards. This is an especially important point for less experienced designers to remember, so be sure to include your best unprofessional or unpaid work, such as business cards or company identities you have designed.
Place best work first and last
Your most impressive pieces should be included first and last in your portfolio. This way, employers get a good first and last impression. Weaker pieces can be included in the middle if they are especially relevant, while your weakest work should be excluded altogether.
Group projects by technique
Grouping your work by skill or technique help employers to find the area of expertise they are most interested in. Technical pieces can be included in one section while creative pieces in another. For example, some designers like to keep all business cards or logos together regardless of technique.
The overall impression
An important factor to consider with your portfolio is the overall impression it gives. To showcase your versatility and breadth of knowledge, so make sure you include all types of work, from fun pieces to serious items.
The portfolio needs to express all your skills, from design and editorial layout abilities to your understanding of budgets and deadlines. Try to include these areas or at least list them in your accompanying CV or notes.
When you have a strong physical and online design portfolio you can reach both types of audience. You will stand the best chance of securing that dream job. Don’t forget that the backing boards, paper and card you use will really give your portfolio that extra edge!
How are your backing boards looking? Why not share your projects with us.