Portfolio Tips for Student and Young Designers.
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We see a lot of potential recruits, budding designers be it fresh from college or in fledgling careers – and its not easy. Building a career in graphic design is tough at the best of times, but make no mistake, its even tougher right now.
Which makes those first impressions all the more important – to get some attention, some time from your agency contact and maybe just maybe get a portfolio that gets you ahead of the game and all those other young designers looking for the perfect placement.
So … in light of … we thought we’d share some tips to help you make your portfolio show your work in the best light possible – nothing groundbreaking and certainly no promise of success, just a little advice from some grizzle old designers to help the next generation along the way:
1. Keep it relevant
Show that you understand the relevant disciplines of design and structure your work for each target agency accordingly. If you are applying to Sable then we have a focus around brand and positioning and message driven design so make sure you order your work in the relevant discipline up front. If nothing else it shows you’ve done some homework and are not just sending the same work to multiple agencies.
2. Consider the breadth of real world applications
A logo and a letter head do not make a brand, but perhaps branding is a little ambitious anyway. If you are showing an identity then tell the whole story and show the a strong range of real world applications of that identity e.g. signage, vehicle graphics, TV idents, website and social networking pages.
3.Less scatter – more structure
Don’t be afraid to give us the back story, designing without an idea is a cosmetic exercise at best – so take your time and show us your process, give us the option to take that train of thought and don’t be wary of using time and space to get what you want to show and tell, across.
4. Credit where its due
If you’ve worked on group projects, let us know which aspects you worked on.
5. Who am I again?
Make sure your name and contact details are in the folios of every page of your document. If your file gets printed out and shown around, you want people to easily identify you and know how to get in contact with you.
6. Size is important
Use PDF where you can (see 7 below) an make them no larger than 7/8Mb. Many corporate email clients can’t accept attachments larger than 10Mb, so you want to keep well under. Make sure you optimise your pdf export settings, use RGB rather than CMYK and set your JPG compression accordingly.
7. Always start with the PDF even if you have your own site.
Sometimes being able to print a self-contained document is just easier. Send us a selection of your best work in a pdf and link it to your website for anyone who wants to take a more in-depth look later on.
8. Always lead with the work but always include your CV.
Your work is far more important than your CV so let your work to show us your skills. Keep the CV to a single page and keep it at the end of your pdf.