Planning to have a portfolio? Be prepared to hear all kinds of advices and opinions. If you want to have a portfolio, always keep in mind the reason behind having one. You want to have a print design portfolio because you want to showcase your work and want everyone to see how creative you are. Since it is your portfolio, along with your designs, it should be a reflection of your personality as well. You must have read lots and lots of articles online on having an online portfolio however; offline portfolios are clearly ignored these days whereas they are equally important as other design portfolios. Although online portfolios are getting quite popular, still nothing can replace the effect of a nice offline portfolio which an employer can go through while interviewing you.
Today, we will be discussing some good ways to make an impactful offline portfolio. Following are a few ways through which you can work on building your offline portfolio and make sure that it is among the best ones if not the best one.
Importance of Professional Work In Your Offline Portfolio
Even if you have graduated recently, you should focus on getting some freelance work so that you can add some professional work in your portfolio. Remember that on a beginner’s stage, even a sticker printing job matters a lot. As soon as you feel that you are ready to start designing professionally, look for clients. Freelance work can definitely help you in landing to your first permanent job or a nice internship to learn from. Showcasing professional work in your offline portfolio will obviously give an impression of you having an expertise. This will also inform you potential clients that you are capable of working for real clients with deadlines and you can work under pressure as well.
Be Creative with Your Offline Portfolio
I have seen that mostly designers stick with the traditional ways of offline portfolio and they do not experiment a lot. However, I would strongly recommend all designers to get creative with their portfolios and customize them. Select a format that you like and update your offline portfolio accordingly. However, do not overdo the designing. Keep it simple yet it should be attractive enough to grab attention. Your client should not be confused after watching your portfolio so, be sure not to make a complicated portfolio.
Only Showcase Your Best Projects
If you have worked on 15 projects, this does not mean that you should showcase all of them in your portfolio. It is always advised to keep no more than 6-10 projects in your offline portfolio. However, if you really feel that you can add 2-3 more projects as they are outstanding, do add them in your portfolio. Your best work should not be left out but do not put way too many projects in your portfolio.
Also, one page is more than enough to show your creativity regarding a single project so keep it precise. This way client won’t mind flipping through various pages. You should be able to define your projects in your portfolio in 15-20 minutes and no more than that. Obviously, with the passage of time, with more projects, deciding which one to keep and which one to let go will get difficult but by that time you will learn what kind of projects should be added in your portfolio. Feel free to take unpaid projects as well to gain experience and add some professional work in your portfolio.
Keep It Simple Silly
As mentioned above, getting creative with your portfolio is something good but you should not overdo it. Keep it simple so that clients can focus more on your projects in portfolio and less on portfolio itself. The portfolio should not take attention from your projects so make sure you keep a balance in everything.
Creating an Order
Creating an order is entirely up to you. It is normally advised that in offline portfolio, designers should keep their best projects in the beginning and in the end of the portfolio. The projects in the middle should be interesting enough to keep the potential client involved till the end of portfolio. Do keep in mind that there are no rules set for creating an offline portfolio so you can create an order that suits the best for you. As a designer, you would obviously know what works best for you so sometimes it is better to go with your instincts.
Ask for Feedback
Before you take your offline portfolio out in the real world, it is important to get first opinions from the people around you and who are trustworthy of genuine opinions. Show them your portfolio and ask for the feedback and make sure you take it positively. Obviously, you cannot accept every feedback and make changes in your portfolio. Here, your gut feelings should play a role. Remember that it is your work and you know it better than anyone. So, hear the feedback, take it positively and make changes in your portfolio only if you think it is important.
You will never be done with your portfolio, always remember this. As a designer, you will be constantly working on new projects, one better than another. So, you will have to constantly make changes in your portfolio. Always remind yourself that your portfolio is in progress and there is always a room for improvement. You should be able to make changes and know which project is no longer required in your portfolio and which new project should be added.
We all know that in graphic designing, something new is introduced every now and then. By adding your new projects, you are showcasing your new skill set. So, always keep in mind that there can never be a final portfolio and you will have to update it constantly and on regular basis.
Each and every person who will see your portfolio will have his or her own opinion about it. Do not let just every kind of opinion effect your portfolio. Filtering the opinions is totally in your hands so do whatever you feel is right. At the end of the day when you are at an interview, your confidence should speak for you and. As a designer, you have to be your own critic and when you are your own critic, you can make the best changes in your portfolio.
As a designer, you must be aware of the fact that your work is never finished. Even when you are out there, handing over the final project to client, you still are making changes in your head. When you can think about designing this way, why can’t you have a same approach for portfolio as well? But do not get obsessed with making a portfolio. You need to realize when you have to stop making changes in it.
Once you have finalized your portfolio, let it float into the professional world. Time will make you learn a lot of things. As you grow as a designer, your portfolio will grow with you. Your every project is your one step ahead towards creating a portfolio even better than the previous one.