A portfolio is a designer’s holy grail. If you are looking at procuring work from clients, applying for higher education or landing your dream job; portfolios are key. If they don’t know you personally, the judge of your creative skills for everyone will be your portfolio.
Chances are you have been a bit lazy lately and have not updated your portfolio. It will consist of old projects that you’ve outgrown already which were completed a while ago. Today, tools and trends change every day in the Art & Design industry. Thus, as you upgrade your skills (which you must), you want your prospective clients to see an updated version of your portfolio which reflects how good you currently are. Keep in mind that you are as good as your portfolio. Presenting your projects beautifully and constantly updating them is of prime importance!
For the past 2 years, I have been exposed to over 50,000+ artworks which my team and I distributed to concerned creative professionals for curation. Over this course, I started noticing a pattern that was forming across all the featured portfolios. I believe that the insights I gained could be interesting to you too, so I’ve decided to compile some of the pointers and share them with you:
SHOW YOUR BEST
Designers often make the mistake of showing all their work. Do not do that. In my opinion, the magic number is 12. Stick to the 12 best projects you have ever created. It is hard to delete projects which are close to your heart which you may have spent months making, but turns out that project was completed 2 years back and now has no relevance. Alternatively, you can revamp these old projects using your latest skills. Apply new learnings to make them look new again. Otherwise, just delete these projects from your portfolio to make room for new ones.
While showcasing a project, it is important for the viewer to know what your project is all about. Share the challenges you faced while designing, client problems, name the agency you worked with, did you have any collaborators? If so mention them, mention the tools you used and your exact role in the project, etc. Context helps the viewer make better sense of your creative project.
Unlike the general audience, design peers and employers focus more on your process than your final output. They are interested in finding out the techniques and tools you incorporated in your project as employers would want you to apply your techniques in their company, and peers would simply like to learn and apply them in their future projects.
LIMIT YOUR VARIETY
Creative minds are versatile. It’s in our DNA. But while showcasing your work you must stick to limited projects. A good method to follow would be to showcase particular types of projects which YOU want to work on. For eg. If you do all kinds of photography but currently food photography intrigues you most, go ahead and remove everything in your portfolio except food photography projects. This makes you a specialised creative professional and clients love working with specialists.
UPDATE OR DIE
As mentioned earlier, keep your portfolio updated. You are only As Good As Your Portfolio.
Before ending the article, I thought of sharing some projects/portfolios I personally love!
4) Joe Coleman
GIF made with screenshots from the website.
Happy uploading 🙂
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