The field of graphic designing is incomplete without a portfolio. As a graphic designer a portfolio is the most essential element of his professional life. A graphic design portfolio is basically a well-organized presentation of combination of artwork which encompasses all your best work in terms of graphics and designing. The portfolio of a graphic designer helps him/her present his talents in the best and most comprehensive way. So either you are a salaried designer seeking a job or a freelance graphic business owner looking for clients for your business, your portfolio can be your best and foremost call-to-action.
Your portfolio gives a deeper idea about the type of work and the quality you can produce. It is the best way to display your brochures, flyers, postcards, business cards and other communication material designs. So, composing a portfolio needs much thinking and insight. Elements like colors, layout, content and design etc. play significant role in determining the attractiveness of the portfolio. Putting together and showing this kind of portfolio of your graphic design work is quite a skill, and the best way to do it gets debated constantly by designers around the world. This post is a part of the world-over debate that will help you compose a good portfolio. Business cards, photo postcards, and glossy brochures should all be included in your portfolio. It allows clients to see your design skills are diverse.
According to the modern trend, there are two types of portfolios being used in the market by designer i.e. online portfolio and physical portfolio. Whichever medium you choose, depends on the scope of portfolio. However, no matter you go for an online option or a physical one, following are some tips that will certainly help you compose a good portfolio.
Physical Portfolio Tips
In a physical portfolio, appearance and presentation matters a lot. Apart from having a complete and impressive portfolio, choosing a proper casing for your work should be an important step in creating your graphic design portfolio. The style, shape and size of the portfolio case play an important role in creating an opinion about what will be inside. In order to impress your client or prospective employer, you donâ€™t need to have an expensive portfolio, but it should be decent and should give out a new and professional look.
The paper on which you print your work matters much. The color and material of the paper should be appropriate and according the work you do and the people you need to show your portfolio to. The background paper color in the case of a graphic design portfolio should be a neutral one. The most likely colors in this range can be white, off white or light grey which should be used throughout your entire portfolio. Also the paper material should be hard too, because thin papers are not good a display. Also, switching background colors can be a big mistake because it can be shocking to the view and throw of the flow of your portfolio.
A Striking Start
The start of any document influences the viewer much. When the viewer opens your portfolio you want to impress them as a first step. However, the important thing is to maintain this impression and keep them wowed throughout the entire portfolio presentation. For the opening page pick one of your masterpieces, as this should instantly give the other person an idea about the type of your work. You can also start off with an interesting introduction of yours or your companyâ€™s.
Consistency or uniformity gives your portfolio document an impressive and decent look. Keeping uniformity in the paper, color and layout of the portfolio gives a comfortable look to the reader. Also, like your paper usage, the work and placement of your work should be consistent as well. If you place the work in the center of the initial pages, make sure they are placed in the center of every page. Try to keep uniformity in the spacing around the sides as well. One way you can keep consistency and uniformity in your portfolio is to formulate a theme for the whole portfolio. Once you take on that theme on every page, it will automatically create harmony in your document.
Selection of Work
This is the most difficult part of portfolio preparation. For a creative person, each and every piece of work he/ she does creates and affiliation. Especially when it comes to choosing some pieces from your entire work, it becomes difficult. Let me make this easy for you. The work you are going to display in your portfolio should be current and you should tailor the type of work in your portfolio to the job you are applying for or the type of business you are seeking.
It is advised for your portfolio to be as open and self-explanatory as possible. The thing which helps you make it more self-explanatory is to label your work. Labeling means to put names and one-liner explanations at each page regarding the work. Interviewers and potential clients often ask you to leave the portfolio at their office for future viewing so labeling your work with a title and very brief description can help refresh their memory once they begin looking through your portfolio again. Labels can also serve as notes for you while you talk about your work.
A Stunning Finish
â€œEverything is well that ends wellâ€. It is good to work according to this Shakespearean saying when it comes to making the ending pages of your portfolio. A strong ending is just as important as starting strong. A stunning ending helps you leave a good and lasting impression in the visual memory of the viewer!
Online Portfolio Tips
Although the type of portfolio varies, however, creating a one page portfolio of your graphic design work is a proven method of showcasing your work online. Such a portfolio follows a similar format seen on many sales letters and leaflets.
The main objective of a one-page portfolio is to keep the viewerâ€™s eyes and actions focused. Because with only one page to showcase your work, the person only has to go from the top of your site to the bottom and by the time they get to the bottom, your content or designs helps them decide either they do or do not want to hire you or work with you. In the one-page portfolio, your call-to-action will probably be your contact information.
Regular updating is a â€˜mustâ€™ for your graphic design portfolio. One, you should keep telling your prospects that you are currently in the workflow and second, most designers improve over time and thatâ€™s why you need to keep your portfolio fresh with new projects.Â Many bloggers and other design sites feature content from portfolios, and they will actually check to see if you have new work on your site.
Take Photos of Your Work
In order to show your work the best way, taking professional photos of your print work can really give you an edge. Your work appears more realistic when it is printed and taking photos of the printed designs gives your work that extra touch. You should also play around with different viewpoints. Just make sure the photos have proper lighting and a good background.
In an online portfolio, contact information is the actual immediate call-to-action. There are many portfolio sites on the internet with impossible to find contact information. The Internet user nowadays, has a short attention span they should be able to find your contact within seconds. Your contact info or link to a contact page should be easily seen without any scrolling.
Also, providing multiple modes of contact is a wise thing to do. Everyone has different comfort levels when it comes to contacting another person. You should offer as many contact options as possible, phone, email and fax being the most important ones. The more methods of contact you have the more comfortable you will make a potential client or employer feel about getting in touch with you.
Whenever offering your services, testimonials from the people who have already experienced working with you, play a vital role. Showing testimonials or a list of previous clients is a great way to quickly build trust with a viewer of your portfolio. A big part of building trust with a viewer is showing them you have experience of working with people who are satisfied from your work. So always consider creating a page just for testimonials or previous clients you have worked with.