Hey everyone, how are you?
Some people have been asking me about this stuff so I decided to gather all information in one single article on how to make your own portfolio, in a profesional and clean looking way. I hope it's useful, because these steps I myself take.
First of all I'd like to add that personally I don't have only one or two portfolios. I have a few, and each one of them was developped and done having in mind a certain kind of company and job I applied for. It's always important to know what kind of services they offer, the quality and "visual language", as well as the specific job you are going for, so that you can have the "right" portfolio for that.
Also, when you are looking for a job you want to keep your work updated, so even though it takes a lot of time and energy, you should always gather strenths and your best efforts to keep managing your portfolio, to keep it updated and high quality at all times.
♥ What layout styling should I go for?
>> Use neutral tones whenever possible so that the viewer won't be distracted by the layout. This will help him focus on what is really important - the evolution and quality of your work.
>> In case you are developping a digital portfolio, and if you choose to have white background, if possible turn down the brightness by adding 10% black to the white. This emans, don't make it plain white and go with a subtle shade of grey, because this way the viewer's eyes won't get tired as easily.
>> Keep the layout design nice, clean and even minimal for the same reason as you don't want people to be distracted by bright and vivid colors aside.
>> Reserve an area for the description of each work. This should contain informations such as the date, the client, a small briefing, and general guidelines.
>> Your portfolio should also be organized, following a specific order so that it's not randomly thrown together. You can choose organizing it by date ( which will allow the see your evolution ); by client ( which will allow to evaluate your creativity and ability to change style ) or even by concept.
♥ Quantity or quality?
>> Filling your portfolio with dozens of works might not be a good idea, because companies need to absorb as much information they can in little time ( as they are also evaluating other people )
>> Make sure you select up to 20 different works - when printed - the best in your personal opinion and that these give a good idea of how much you've evolved, as well as the different styles and media you're able to work on.
♥ Does size really matter?
>> The size of your portfolio depends on the kind of work you do. If you are a photographer, you won't of course showcase your photos on an A5. In my opinion an A3 is the best one for photographers, illustrator, painters, architects, ..
>> In case you're a graphic designer or such, you can go with an A4. Your work is detailed but this size is more appropriate to show logotypes and corporative images that can easily have a different reading when printed on a giant size.
♥ Finnishing details
>> Finnishing details are as important as the whole portfolio, in these little things companies will realize wether you are sloppy or did it in a hurry.
>> When printed, make sure you have a nice minimal clean looking briefcase. If you have a black one it's even better.
>> You can either have all the sheets bond ( only for small sizes up to A4 portfolios ) like a profesional book, or have them loose ( for portfolios bigger than A4 )
>> For the digital version of your portfolio, make a nice cd cover, with your name and specialty ( graphic designer, photographer, ... ) A sober looking one, with an elegant font always looks great. And when I say "elegant" font I do not refer to some kind of gothic revival font, go with Trebuchet, Arial, Verdana, Century Gothic, Gill Sans, ...