It seems as though every other yea or so I do a design portfolio overhaul, updating it with new projects and, well, just completely changing the look of it. My latest overhaul started over the summer and I’m happy to report that I completed it this week! Obviously, I wasn’t working on it non-stop for the past six months. I tend to pick it up, do a big chunk, get bored and put it down for a while. To be honest, designing a portfolio is a pain in the butt. It’s almost as bad as writing a cover letter. I hate rehashing projects that I’m not that pleased with, so this time around, I decided to rework some of my projects from grad school. Most of that consisted of touching up and reworking the graphics. I am much happier with the quality of them now and it makes me more proud of my finished portfolio.
I’ve learned the lessons over the years that while an odd shape, say 10″x10″, is really cool, it’s not efficient when it comes to printing, since 10″x 1o” is not a standard paper size. I’ve also learned that having the color bleed to the edges is not a good idea either. Most printers don’t bleed to the edges, which means having to go up in paper size and trim it down. I’ve done portfolios that were too busy, which takes away from what I’m really trying to show. I’ve done portfolios that were just flat-out a mess. Of course I didn’t think that at the time, but looking back at these old portfolios, I think to my self, “what the heck was I thinking!?” Here are a sampling of portfolio covers over the years.
This was my very first portfolio (cover) from 2005. The materials in it are all over the place. (Sorry, I’m not posting whole portfolios over the years. It’s way to embarrassing!) I had no clear direction of what I wanted to show, so I showed just about everything, from urban planning projects, to GIS maps, to art work from my studio art classes in undergrad.
In 2006 I made a smaller work sample document featuring some of my projects from grad school. This was much more focused, but the layout wasn’t particularly great.
In 2007 I expanded on the work sample of 2006. I decided to make this portfolio 10″ x 10″, a horrible decision because of the increased cost of printing. While to cover looks fairly simple, the content is all over the place graphically speaking. This was a “what was I thinking” portfolio. Nothing clean and simple about it!
In 2009 I decided to go back to the 8.5″ x 11″ format, except the pages bled to the edges, which still required printing on 11″ x 17″ and trimming down. The content was much more streamlined but there wasn’t a lot of white space to give the eyes a break.
Alas, we come to 2012. In my mind this is the most thought-out portfolio I’ve made so far. I’ve grouped projects based on “The City”, “The Neighborhood”, and “The Site”. There is plenty of white space, clean lines, and efficient page structure for printing. Perhaps in five years I will look back at this portfolio and have another “What was I thinking” moment, but for now, I think it looks pretty decent and for your viewing pleasure, you can check out my “master piece” of 2012 by clicking here!
What do you think? Look okay? Would you hire me after seeing this portfolio? 😉
**Update** The covers don’t read very clearly in this post, but if you click on each of them, they will pop up much larger and clearer.