How to make and place a designer portfolio?

How to make and place a designer portfolio?

Each designer looking for work, knows the price of a good portfolio. It not only shows the achievements of the author, but also benefits him against the background of other performers. Few of the beginner masters know how to make their portfolio correctly, than to fill it, so that the employer is interested in exactly.

You can start your way in the world of design in different ways. For example, go to work intern in some design studio, and you can assemble such a studio yourself. However, perhaps, the most simple and fast way to earn money can be rightfully called Freelance. It allows you to search for and perform a variety of projects and teaches to behave correctly in serious competition.

However, among dozens of competitors, the customer chose you as a performer, you must demonstrate to him its abilities. Here and arises the question of the portfolio.

Basic rules of compilation

Portfolio of any respectful designer must match a number of simple rules.

  • By adding work to your portfolio, attach to it as well as the text of the task that gave you the customer, or briefly retell its problem that you decide in this work. Beauty is good, but the practicality of the work is much more important.

  • Do not place each project in the portfolio, You worked on. The employer will evaluate you for the worst of your work. However, make sure that the portfolio began and ended with your best works. It will leave good impressions about you in the customer’s memory.

  • Imagine yourself at the site of the customer and carefully review your work. Would you like to work with such a person? Is it sufficiently sufficiently, it looks, does not cling to the eye for some unnecessary detail?

  • Be sure to check the pages. Even if you do not plan to print your portfolio. First, it makes it visually aesthetically, and secondly to the customer after viewing all the work it will be easier to return to those that he remembered him.

  • If you work in several styles and want to show them to the employer, take care that there is a smooth transition between them. Group work on style. If they are made in a clear stylistic framework, you can use the “work in style 1” type subtitles, where “1” – the name of the style.

  • As a designer, you must show creative in everything, including in the preparation of your portfolio. You are waiting for something new, your own raisin, and not drawn up on a template. Hundreds of thousands of typical HR managers portfolio and customers around the world are browsing every day. Make sure that yours highlights among the gray mass.

  • Do not keep your studies in the portfolio if you have already completed training. These works were created by you only in order to tell the customer “This is what I have already learned.”. End of learning implies that you are already a fairly competent specialist to create your own unique projects.


Competently structured portfolio looks noticeably better and is estimated higher than that in which the designer neglected appearance. It should consist of four important parts:

  • title page+

  • Page “About the Author”+

  • main part+

  • conclusion.

Title leaf – this is your business card. He should not be too bright, screaming or knock out of the overall stylist. On the title page you can accommodate one of your work or arrange it in a minimalist style.

The main thing is that it should be – this is your name, surname and specialty. You can also specify the year (year) when the portfolio was compiled.

Next comes the page of the author. Here you can insert your photo, duplicate the full name, date of birth and a few words about yourself. If you are less than 25 years old, then the date of birth is better not to indicate. Many employers do not hurt to hide young professionals. You can also specify contact information: email, phone number, social links links.

Main part. Its creation and design takes most of the time. It includes all the works that you entered into your portfolio. It can be divided into styles, projects or even color execution. The main thing here is not to mix all work in a bunch and give them enough space. You can put one page several small sketches or devote a whole turn to one major project.

In the final part It is customary to insert reviews of satisfied customers, thanks, and also to duplicate your contacts. Do not forget about the design of the back cover. It must be a supplement or continuation of the front side. Such a structure will suit anyone, even a novice illustrator, advertising and printing designer, MOUCH-designer and even a footstool.

Printing skills will be very useful to you in the design of the portfolio, even if it is not at all connected with the printing.

Format options

There are several options for portfolio formats. Do not stop only on one of them. In different cases, you may need various options.


This format is universal for almost any needs. Initially, pages are better to chase in Photoshop, but only then convert to PDF format. Subsequently, such a portfolio can be easily printed in any printing house, send by mail or even bring with you on the flash drive. Over the sample you can take any art beech or portfolio of another designer. Try to fit all into a file of 10-15 pages. An employer may not be easy to perceive a large amount of information.


Now the portfolio in the presentation format is infrequent, but it also has its advantages. For example, the ability to add sound support to your works.

However, this feature should be very neat, because it is perceived by employers not always.

Personal site

Perhaps the best option to work with Internet customers. Create a site can be even without applying to an experienced vestoveller using ready-made layouts or use the PDF portfolio in their quality. Here is the same as the same rule as in presentations – do not overload the employer with information. Examples of good sites can often be found from professional performers on Freelance Exchange.

How beautiful to issue?

Experienced designers with pleasure give newcomers many decoration tips. But everyone also reminds that there is no magic button “Make beautifully”, and the design still falls on your artistic taste. Before being taken for drawing up your portfolio, look at how professionals do. Mark or even write out for yourself on the items that exactly attracts you.

Do not forget about the rule “Better one good job than a few bad”.

In the first place should be quality, and only then the number. Optional to publish all your work, so you only overload the portfolio and erode the value of really standing projects. It is best to look at the work done with the soul. Be sure to include them in your presentation.

It is better to remove several boring and dull projects from it, to work on which you were not interested, but add one that you would love to continue with pleasure.

Tell me in your portfolio story. Let it be in the format of small signatures to work with a story about what you helped and how they changed the design for your customer. And at the end of the presentation, you can collect reviews of customers and logos of companies with which you have already had to cooperate. This will connect all the work in a single system.

Do not complicate portfolio design. If you create it from scratch, it is worth thinking in advance how everything will look like the background, cover, font. Although the portfolio should look unusual, it is worth avoiding the agile details and too bright backgrounds.


Before starting work on the portfolio, determine what purpose it will pursue. Will this attract customers, a demonstration of skills or self-preview to find work in a large studio. Customize it so that it fully corresponded to these goals. Exclude from it and add items. Universal portfolio does not exist.

Feel free to show even unfinished tasks, with whom you had to work. You can briefly describe that you would be modified in them. But do not leave for self-criticism. The author who does not appreciate his works, it is unlikely to appreciate the employer. Show yourself as a professional.

If you have not had customers yet, update the design of already existing things or just think of yourself the client. No one at the interview will look for this company or customer and check if you really performed work for him. With reviews do not do. Also, the novice designer will be useful to take part in a variety of contests.

You may not take prizes, but get excellent experience and, perhaps, create a job that can be placed in the portfolio.

Do charity within reasonable limits. For example, create a logo for a local literary club, and they will leave you a positive feedback in return. Or ask your customers to order your job not directly, but through the Freelance Exchange. In the portfolio it will be possible to indicate that the order you took on a specific stock exchange. Of course, you have to pay a small commission, but this will help raise your rating faster and other customers will treat you with great respect.

Do not use free site designers as hosting. They have a lot of advertising, which is unlikely to affect the perception of your portfolio by the customer. It is better to pay a little for the use of a nominal domain and place everything anything, even banners with advertising, if it is fit into style.

Instead of a simple demonstration of work, add a few sketches to it that you did during the project. It will revive his presentation and give the customer a more complete understanding of how you struggle your workflow. But do not turn it all logs with notes. No need to write too much. Excess text will take attention from truly important details and take too much space on the pages. Do not add more than one small paragraph, approximately 4-6 lines.

Pay enough attention to the little. For example, if you want to work with the design of logos, more often show them on the pages of your portfolio, make a logo for yourself and also place it. Or you can arrange your presentation in the style of the company with which you want to cooperate. The main thing is not to copy it ideas and style, but bring something to it. Only you can control the attention of the customer, make it so that he watches where you need and when you need. Use this opportunity with the mind, and all the roads will be open in front of you.

On how to make a portfolio of a designer, look next.

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