Beginning Your Design Portfolio

One of the most important thing a designer can do is to create a design portfolio.  It shows everyone what you can do, how fabulous you are as a designer, and your range of skills for them to be able to want to hire you.  However, what happens when you haven’t done anything yet?  You know that you are a kick ass designer that can do phenomenal things, but it’s hard for you to get awarded high end jobs with very little to show.  So let’s see how you can create a great portfolio so one day you can be designing for those Fortune 500 companies!

Start by Designing for Free

Yes, you read that correctly, a good way to get started is to design for free.  You’ve got to start somewhere so one of the best ways to get initial designs created is to create for others without asking for anything in return (if they want to pay, don’t turn it down though).

Design Mockups

In order for someone to be able to see a range of products you can design, you may want to create your own mockups so they can see you range.  Mockups could range from packaging layouts, to brochures, or even a webpage design.  All of these can give someone a glimpse of what you can do.  You only need to ensure that anyone viewing these mockups knows that they are mockups and not something in use.  You always want to be honest with someone you could be designing for.

Use Designs from a Class you Took

Most graphic designers have created a ton of great material in art classes. Use anything that is relevant to your focus in your portfolio. Often these designs will be even more unique to the field you may be working in so they could also serve as a muse for you to work off of in the future.

Variety is the Spice of Life

In any portfolio, you want to have a variety of examples to show someone.  In order to gain a larger audience, you don’t want to be labeled as a “One Trick Pony”. The more variety, the more opportunities you’ll have to get your big start.  Once you do get your big start, you can scale back to what you enjoy the most because you’ll have that ability.  Until then, variety is the key to initial success!

Don’t Be A Copycat!!

One of the biggest temptations that beginning designers have is to copy other someone else’s work and put it in their own portfolio.  That’s a huge “No No!”  You always want to represent yourself in the best light possible. You want to ensure that everything you do is something that you can hang your own hat on.

Beginning a portfolio can be the hardest thing for a designer as it takes time and in the world today, people want to make money NOW! However, with anything, we need to always understand that it wasn’t the Hare that won the race, it was the Turtle!

Share this Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *