In the hugely competitive creative industry, the all-important question is what makes one creative portfolio stand out from another. Want to know what makes your portfolio shine? The dos and don'ts and advice to make you stand out from the crowd?
Then you'd be wise to attend The Dots Portfolio Masterclasses, where aspiring creatives get the opportunity to have their portfolio reviewed by leading industry professionals.
The next event is a Graphic Design Portfolio Masterclass at the legendary design studio Pentagram on 26th May, from 6:20pm - 9pm. Read on for more information as well as the 5 top portfolio tips, provided exclusively for Cass Art by professionals at The Dots, who work daily with top creative industry experts.
5 Top Portfolio Tips
1. LESS IS MORE
Or as we like to say in the office ‘all killer, no filler’! This has been passionately advocated by all the creative directors we’ve ever worked with. Don’t worry if your portfolio isn’t bursting at the seams. While it might be tempting to add filler content, less is actually more. Remember the average quality of your portfolio is brought down by your worst projects, so culling your portfolio back to just your best projects is definitely the way to go. What you leave out is just as important as what you put in. It’s not a problem that you’ve done a bad piece of work, but putting it in your portfolio says you don’t know it’s bad!
2. BE TRUE TO YOURSELF
Your portfolio should reflect your own aesthetic and clearly show the type of work you want to be doing. You’ll attract the type of jobs that reflect the work in your portfolio. So, if you didn’t enjoy the work, don’t add it or you’ll end up working on stuff you don’t enjoy.
3. SELF-INITIATED PROJECTS
All the Creative Directors we’ve worked with have been massive fans of portfolios that include personal work, as well as client/student work. Self-initiated projects are a great way of showing off your creative thought processes and what you are capable of – it’s also a great way to show you’re passionate about the industry. Projects could be anything from a personal identity, a competition entry, an exhibition, a zine, a pop-up store, a product range, a short film or an installation. Contacting a senior creative or a company that inspires you, and asking them for a brief, is also an amazing way to challenge yourself creatively. If they like your response they may even offer you a job.
4. CREATE YOUR OWN BRAND
Let’s face it, your own brand is the most valuable brand you’ll ever work on and one of the only ones you’ll have complete creative license over. Creative agencies and employers can sometimes see hundreds, if not thousands, of portfolios a year, so creatives that develop their own identity can help catch their eye every time. If you’re looking for freelance work it can also help to show that you’re serious about your work as a professional creative business, and not simply just a creative individual.
5. KEEP IT SIMPLE
When it comes to printing your portfolio, all of our creative industry mentors have a single firm opinion on design: Keep it simple… the work should own centre stage. Employers want to see the work, not how cleverly you can present it. Fancy angles, selective focus, tiny thumbnails and complicated set-ups detract from the work.