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Designing A Graphic Design Portfolio
Graphic design is the art of combining design principles, technology and ingenuity to arrive at solutions for a variety of visual communication needs. It is used in making business cards, logos, movie title graphics, websites, user manuals and signage. An attractive graphic design enhances visibility of the product and generates revenue for the client. Therefore, the graphic designer is an important member of the core team working on the campaign.
Most clients would need proof of one’s designing abilities. It is not as much about the list of former clients or award-winning work done before. It is about what the designer is capable of. Hence, every designer needs to compile his design solutions into a portfolio. The portfolio should be put together with care. It is like the business card for a designer.
The potential client is more interested in knowing whether you have the skill to translate his design needs into an effective campaign rather than your list of qualifications. The portfolio should, therefore, reflect the type of work you are comfortable in doing. A beginner or a person who does not work with many clients may not have much to show. In such a case, it is better to include most of the designs, which the person has done in the past.
The most important aspect of compiling the portfolio is to decide the pieces that would go into it. If you do not have many products to show, then it is better to include work, which you had done for friends. As we said before, clients are not concerned about who hired you before. They are just interested in knowing what kind of design capabilities you possess. For a newcomer or a freelancer, there could be possibilities of work done for close family, community organizations and friends. It is wise to accommodate such pieces in your portfolio. They reveal the ability to come up with acceptable solutions within budgetary constraints.
The portfolio should contain actual samples. For example, include brochures, fliers, book covers etc. On every project, obtain one or two copies for sample or portfolio use. File it away neatly. If your work was part of a larger design, such as illustrations in a book, include only those pages, by tearing them off. In case, you are not able to obtain originals, take printouts from your digital files or photocopies. More and more designers work in the area of web design. Include screen shots and high-resolution print outs from the website.
Once the pieces are chosen, one has to assemble them in a portfolio case. The case should accentuate the work rather than distract from it. Size of the case depends on the size of the materials. Place your best work at the beginning and at the end. You can also arrange according to clients or skill types. Always update your portfolio as you complete new projects.
A well-thought out and neatly presented portfolio is the first step towards establishing your business credentials. It indicates your methodical approach and makes you dependable in the eyes of prospective clients.
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