How To Create An Amazing Graphic Design Portfolio

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A portfolio for a designer is like an ID with biometrics. According to it, a potential employer can assess how you are suitable for the position.

As a rule, recruiters evaluate a portfolio according to three criteria. The first criterion is whether the designer thinks about the benefit of the employer. If not, then the specialist is unlikely to think about the benefit of the client. The second criterion is aesthetics in the design of the portfolio. And the final third one is understanding of skills indicated in your graphic design resume.

Let’s talk about how to make sure that your graphic design portfolio will not leave HR indifferent.

Focus on your specialization

As a rule, design is not limited to one area, and even graphic designers try to show in their portfolio that they can do a little bit of everything: illustration, photo processing, website design, and even print.

Our advice: don’t send everything. Highlight a core competency, but add a few useful skills to it. For example, the main field is graphic design or ad graphics, the adjacent field is calligraphy and lettering.

Select 3-5 of your best projects

One or two examples in the portfolio are not enough to understand the experience and skills of the candidate. But showing 10-20 projects is not the best idea, as the employer often pays attention to the top three due to lack of time.

Therefore, the best graphic design portfolios include, as a rule, 3-5 pieces of the top-notch works that you are proud of. If you’re a beginner designer and don’t have any examples, try creating a fake project to show how you can solve problems and use your skills.

  • Design for yourself. The most obvious way to get a portfolio case is to design for yourself or your firm. It can be a website, corporate identity, or something like that. The difficulty here is that you will have to come up with restrictions yourself, as design without restrictions is not design but pure creativity. But if you work hard, this project will become not only a portfolio case but also your business tool.
  • Design for a fictitious client. This is how many designers started. You can independently come up with a client for yourself with its tasks and limitations and then solve these design tasks. It is important to come up with a client as close to reality as possible.
  • Improvement of existing solutions. You can take, say, an existing logo and show how to improve it considering the latest graphic design trends. Or take a well-known brand or Internet service and independently develop a new design for them. It’s quite a great way in terms of your further progress because if you solve the problem well and present it correctly, you will be noticed.

Pay Attention to Details

When creating concepts, it is important to pay attention to small things and details when building your portfolio. An incredibly beautiful but sloppy mockup with cropped corners will only spoil an impression about you. It is better to give preference to simplicity and accuracy than to make a super trendy project with small but obvious snags.

Post Portfolio Online

You definitely shouldn’t send a recruiter just a set of pictures in jpeg. It’s unprofessional, unstructured, and doesn’t fully show your work. Archives are not welcome for the same reason, moreover, they still need to be downloaded and unpacked.

So, where to post your portfolio?

  • Your own website. Of course, this is not easy for a novice designer, so you can make it in the constructor with ready-made blocks. For example, on Tilda.
  • Behance or Dribble. These are popular services-communities of creative people, where you can upload works and group them by projects.

Social media. You can start your blog on social media platforms for designers and post your portfolio there. They are not like Behance, however, Instagram, for example, is good at attracting customers, so it won’t be superfluous in addition to the first two options.

Write short and to the point

Please, don’t send your resume unless requested by the employer. Describe everything in an email, as concisely as possible – on 3-5 lines, or use ready-made templates. Projects can be presented with a link to an online portfolio, or if there is no other way, then to one of the popular file-sharing services like Dropbox or Google Drive.

You can also try to surprise the employer with a video portfolio format. It will be even shorter: record a video where you show the creation of a project in accelerated mode, using a screen recorder with audio. And edit the material with free video editing software to make it even more catchy.

Be honest about your skill level

Don’t call yourself a veteran if you started your design career last year. Be honest about your skill level. You can use catchphrases like “talented newbie” or “up-and-coming designer” to entice clients to give you a go.

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Final Thoughts

Now it’s great to be a multidisciplinary designer who creates web design, banners, and logos. But we don’t recommend mixing all these works in one portfolio. It is better to create different ones so that the employer clearly understands your specialization in each case.

All in all, putting together a portfolio is not such a difficult task. Although people often judge a book by its cover, your portfolio doesn’t have to include market juggernauts. The main thing is your professionalism and delicately honed visuals.

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