How to Design a Print Portfolio

– Hi guys, I’ve gotten a
lot of questions asking me to talk about it so
this video is all about print portfolios. A print portfolio is a printed out version of your portfolio,
obviously that you can bring to your portfolio reviews and interviews. These days a lot of
people just bring iPads or other tablets to interviews
to show off their work. But you should probably
also have your portfolio printed out just in case today is the day that your iPad decides to
catch fire or something. You might also want to
put together a pdf file of your print portfolio and
link to that on your website, so if someone wants a quick
overview of the kinds of things that you make, they could
just go there to get kind of a highlight real (unclear)
than clicking through your entire website. So I have a little show and tell item here which is my own print portfolio from 2010, back from when I was
applying to internships my junior year of college. I thought I would take you guys through it and give you tips on what I did wrong and what you guys can do so much better. So before we even open it up, you’ll see that I didn’t
include a cover page even though there is a spot for one. I can go kind of back and forth on this. It is nice to have a sleek black outside just have everything contained within. But if you do have a nicely designed cover by all means include it. Just make sure that you
pull out any price tags or brandage cover pages
from the portfolio company because that just looks unprofessional. So if we open it up,
you’ll see that right here in the front pocket are
several copies of my resume. Don’t make your interviewer feel bad for taking your only copy
so print out five or 10 and just keep them in there. After that is the cover page, which I kind of wish I had
put some contact info on more than just my website. If someone is taking the
time to look at your work you want it to be easy for them to contact you if they like it. The cover page is also
where you can show off a little bit of your personal branding. But don’t make it too complicated because that’ll just distract
from all the other work inside. So on the second page is kind
of a watered down version of my resume, which is
fine, not totally necessary, but fine. It’s a nice reminder if someone is looking at your portfolio without
you there to explain it. It just kind of reiterate all of that. If I was to do it again though, I would probably write
a short paragraph or two rather than just a list. That way you can insert
a little more personality and give a little more
context to each item. So now on to the real bulk
of your portfolio, the work. I included 12 pieces in mine
and a good number is 10 to 15, somewhere around there. When you’re lying out the pages make sure you give the actual
work the majority of the space. I included several photos of
each project in a grid layout and then put a little bit of information about the project at the bottom. For example, I included a
page about the design work I did for Hank Green’s album, “This machine pwns noobs” and at the bottom I wrote
“Back cover and inside “matter design for this machine pwns noobs “by Hank Green, an
online musician with over “190 thousand subscribers on YouTube. “The CD has sold thousands
of copies from” This does a good job of putting
the project into context but I wish I had included
a little more information about how I designed it and what program and what the design actually meant. Like how the text on the
back mirrors the angle of the guitar. Mostly though just try
to make sure the text still makes sense even
when you’re not there to explain the project. One thing you’ll have to
decide whether it works for you is numbering the pages. It’s nice because it lets
the person reading it keep track of how far along
they are in your portfolio. However, if you think
you’re gonna be rearranging or adding or removing things you’ll probably want to leave them off so that you don’t have to
reprint every single time you change the order. In terms of the branding on
this section of the page, keep it to a minimum. I mean don’t set it in
totally generic 12 point Times New Roman, but also don’t have logos and crazy colors and crazy
fonts all over the place. I set my titles in Sicilia
and the text in Avenir, which is pretty straight
forward and doesn’t draw too much attention to itself. Also I know tiny text is super cute but give your portfolio
to an elderly professor and if they need a magnifying
glass to read it properly than maybe you should
make it a little bigger. So if you include
explanation text like this make sure it’s in the exact same place on every single page. And also make sure all of your
pages face the same direction. Choose a horizontal or a vertical layout and then stick with it. That way whoever’s looking
at it can easily just page through without having to
awkwardly turn the book every time they turn the page. When you’re thinking
about what work to put in, make a list of everything that you think is your best work. Try to come up with 20
pieces or so and then put them in order and see what feels weak or what doesn’t really go with the group. You can also put multiple
pieces on a single page if they all relate to each other. For example, I included
a t-shirt, tote bag and frisbee design that I
did for The Moaning Myrtles and since it was all
part of one commission I put them all on the same page. If you do a lot of figure
drawing maybe include a couple of sketches of the same
model all on one page. Don’t make it too crowded but
not too spread out either. When you’re deciding on the order always start with your
strongest work first. Organize it by medium
or at least by digital versus traditional art so
you’re not jumping around all over the place. And only include your
absolute strongest work. If you have eight great pieces
and end with two meh pieces I would rather you just ended
with your eighth great piece. Ok so one more thing that’s
really important is printing. When you’re printing out your work invest a little bit of money into it to really get the best quality possible. My preference is an Epson printer with Epson premium presentation paper. Although this is glossy,
you should probably get semi-gloss or matte. But really any high quality
paper from the same brand as your printer should work. Here you can see the difference
of printing on Epson paper versus normal Cardstock from Staples. And again see how much
brighter and more vibrant the colors are. Go ahead and test it for yourself and then decide which version you really want to present
all of your hard work as. If you don’t have a nice color printer see if your school has one or
ask around to your friends. Maybe you could use theirs
and buy them a pizza or something in return. So coming up to the last
page of my portfolio I included my website address. But I really should’ve
included my email, Twitter and YouTube links also. Also, something cute like
“Thanks for reading”, wouldn’t be totally out of place but it kinda depends on your personality whether that’ll work or not and then that’s it. Let me know in the comments
if this was helpful for you guys or if you have any questions or if I got anything totally wrong, or if you have no opinion on portfolios let me know what advice
you would give yourself from four years ago. I probably would’ve told myself get better glasses and
don’t waster your money on a DSLR camera that
doesn’t even take video. Ok so if you missed my last
design instructional video, I made one the other
week about how to design your portfolio website. You can watch that right here. Or if you’re still getting
ready for Valentine’s Day you can learn how to make
this super cute card, right here. Thank you guys so much for watching. Don’t forget to hit like and subscribe and I will see you all next time. (upbeat)

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