What To Put in a Graphic Design Portfolio, Tips For Graphic Design Print Portfolio Layout

One of the most important things for a graphic designer to invest in is a portfolio. Potential clients will want to view the most representative examples of a designer’s work, as results speak far louder than any resume.

It’s standard to have a chic online portfolio displaying the work you’re most proud of, but if you want to stand out amongst the crowd of other graphic designers, you’ll have to do something different.

How To Maximize The Positive Benefits of Your Print Portfolio

Think back to the early days of graphic design, when a print portfolio made it easy for potential clients to understand and admire your work. Instead of resorting to digital mediums to display your work, use a print portfolio as a gateway to push your exposure to the next level. Read on to discover how to maximize the positive benefits of print portfolios in marketing your work.

Make a Lasting Mark

In terms of accessibility, you can’t beat the incredible ease of an online design portfolio. There’s no limit to the amount of work you can display, and you can contribute to your heart’s desire. However, there is an inherent problem with displaying your portfolio online.

Imagine looking for the perfect designer—it’s likely that you might look through plenty of skilled artists’ work and weed out the ones that aren’t your style. You may even look through a handful of designers’ websites at a glance and be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of artistic work.

Offer Something That Jumps Off The Page

A print portfolio may seem like an antiquated concept that was popularized before the internet. However, the print portfolio has its own unique appeal, and it can still have a strong effect today.

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Give potential clients something different and yet familiar. Let them hold your print portfolio in their hands and take a look from multiple angles. Using only the finest Canon ink and paper to guarantee that the colors pop, showcase your work from beyond the computer screen. A print portfolio is the perfect opportunity to make your work come alive and shine in vibrant colors and designs.


Show Off Your Versatility

One of the most distinguishing factors for a graphic designer is to prove that you don’t do what everyone else does. Why not demonstrate that by showing versatility and experimenting within the domain of your portfolio?

If you’re the only one with a print portfolio among a hundred designers, you’ll immediately stand apart. Prove that you’re willing to try something different to garner attention—because that’s exactly what the client will want you to do with their brand. A print portfolio is a great way to wow those who may have forgotten the appeal of a printed page.

Brand Yourself

One value that all advertisers have in common is branding. This is the common denominator of every business, and so much of the work that designers do centers around creative and effective branding. Since recognizable branding is the end goal of many clients, you can get a head start by creating your own personal brand that unifies your portfolio.

As you’re putting your portfolio together, think about how a potential client would approach it: they’re not looking for a collection of work, but an incorporated, branded product that is capable of creatively projecting a message. Aim to display work that has your unique mark on it—clients look for identity and recognizable themes.

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To visually convey your personal brand, consider a color scheme to border your entire print portfolio. Work with familiar shapes and moods to create a sense of continuity and creative limitation. This sense of established voice and sensibility is exactly what clients seek for their own businesses.


Rely on the Power of the Image

While there may be a story intertwined within the pieces in your portfolio, remember that images and designs should speak for themselves. Successful branding entails letting the work tell its story. Don’t clutter your portfolio with lengthy descriptions or designing philosophies; an image can make a more profound impression than anything else.

Embellish with Digital Elements

You can still supplement your print portfolio with a disc or a flash drive of your work. Although a client will appreciate your print portfolio, it may not always be convenient for them to take your portfolio back to the office. Your portfolio can be a two-step experience: make a strong impression with your printed product, then follow up with a digital portfolio.

Putting together a strong graphic design portfolio can be intimidating and time-consuming, but it’s worth the effort to think outside the box and create a unique print portfolio. Improve your chances of landing a great client by printing a beautiful portfolio that pronounces your personal brand in a way that only you can.

Amy Trotter s a professional graphic designer, creative director, and freelance writer from San Francisco, California. With over 10 years of experience in the design industry, Worked for 1Ink in the past. She has become an influential figure for many successful marketing campaigns. He enjoys helping others with their branding and advertising across different platforms.

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