A graphic designers portfolio is like a builders tool box. It is the most important thing you can possess as a way of getting people to look at your work. A portfolio is simply a library of work someone has created as a means of displaying it to someone, this can be created as a past time and personal thing, but more commonly used to sell yourself and show to clients/employers. There are a few ways that a portfolio can be created, each have their own pros & cons, so I’m going to look into them here.
An online portfolio is the way to go in the modern era. With easy, instant access from anywhere with a computer and wifi connection it is a must have for graphic designers. A website offers a personal touch with many ways of customisation, with advancing technologies, anything is possible to create on the web. With the ability to host as many examples of work as you like, a website can act as a personal library. However, with the freedom and accessibility comes drawbacks: it takes a lot of time to create and require professional attention, which doesn’t come cheap, if you’re not able to do this yourself it may cost a pretty penny for someone to do it right.
A printed portfolio is the classic way to do it. This preference also mainly rests on the type of work you’re showing, with the other methods its more for digital artwork, however, printed will be for people showing off drawings and paintings. But this doesn’t mean digital art can’t be printed, in fact it offers a more intimate and organic feel when displaying work in a physical form. The biggest drawbacks with this method is of course the fact that you only have one copy, therefore, you cannot leave it with people or if you do you have to recreate it, it also has to be shown in person and carried around with you, you can’t really send it around freely. Lastly is the cost, although it may be cheaper than a website printing all of the work off will still cost a bit.
A deliverable is kind of a mix between the two previous methods, its not a full fledged library of work, but more of a single demonstration of all your work combined. This is one document that you put together displaying what you wish and can be used to send to people either via email or disc. The big plus side with this is that it doesn’t cost anything and can be a quick effective method of showing your work in a brief moment, however, it can take a lot of time to compile.
Check out some other great posts about graphic design portfolios here: