Online Portfolio

Online Portfolio

Goals

  • Provide examples of your work to prospective employers/clients
  • Describe who you are and they type of work you do
  • Provide a way for said prospective employers/clients to contact you
  • Be able to answer “Can you send me a URL where I can view your work?”

Options

  • Portfolio service like Behance
  • Web site service like Wix, Squarespace, and the like
  • Social media sites like Linkedin*, Instagram, Dribble, Tumblr, etc.
  • Roll-your-own website

*If you don’t have a Linkedin account, you should set one up. You can even post samples of work on your Linkedin account.

Considerations

  • Spend the money, but stick to a budget:
    • Pay at least enough so you have your own domain name.
    • Pay at least enough to services like Behance, Wix, etc. so you can have your domain point to your site.
    • Pay at least enough to not have ads on your site.
  • Make sure your email address, URL, and social media handles look and sound professional
    • These are all part of your brand
    • The professional you and the personal you may have different handles
    • If you use the same handles for professional and personal you (and even if you don’t), be cognizant of what you post and what you’ve posted in the past.
    • Google yourself. Does what comes up represent you in a good light? Does it represent your brand? If the answer to either of those is other than yes, work to fix that. Employers and clients will Google you.
  • Tell your story
    • How you present your work tells a story about who you are as a designer and professional
    • Highlight your best pieces
    • Highlight pieces that are examples of the type of work you would like to do and/or focus on
    • Incorporate your branding into your online portfolio
    • Share the design problems you tackled and how you solved them

Displaying your work

  • Include multiple views of each piece:
    • Include a view of the entire piece
    • Include views of important details
    • If piece was intended to be a tangible item (e.g. packaging, magazine/booklet, postcard, etc.), include views of piece in context as a 3D item. Mockup renderings are generally okay.
    • Keep your images clean and focused on the work, especially if photos of finished 3D pieces
  • Describe the project
    • Describe the problem that needed solving
    • Describe the any findings that came from background research
    • Describe the audience you are trying to reach with your design solution. What needs or considerations are you trying to fill
    • Describe how you got to the solution you did.
    • It’s totally cool (and a good idea) to also include missteps, mistakes, and challenges made along the way. Describe how you worked your way through them to the finished product.
    • Stay positive. Point out your works’ strengths. If the piece is a redesign of other piece, highlight how you approached the redesign, not the flaws of the original piece. In other words, no trashing work.
    • Descriptions don’t need verbose language–just enough to get your point across
    • Use language that sounds authentic to you
  • Craftsmanship matters
    • Check spelling, language, and grammar on everything: in the work itself and the stuff you write about it and you. Get someone to help you proofread your work.
    • Make sure images are scaled proportionally
    • Pay attention to the little details
    • Check spelling, language, and grammar on everything. Yeah, it’s that important.

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