Five Tips For Creating An Impressive Portfolio

Jan 13, 2021

When it comes to designing a portfolio, purpose is everything. By definition, portfolios are a collection of materials and works that display your skills, beliefs, education, and experiences. Often used across a variety of design and creative industries to secure jobs, new commissions, and collaborations, portfolios provide a first-impression of your style and personality. But the question is: how do you make it stand out?

We've gathered five of our essential tips in creating an impressive portfolio, covering the ultimate basics so you can hit the ground running. 

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It may seem like an obvious tip, but it's important for a reason: your portfolio should showcase your best and favourite works. When it comes to selecting each piece, a critical eye is crucial—so don't feel like you need to include everything you've ever created. Instead, go with quality over quantity and build a portfolio that captures your artistry. And remember, a portfolio is about showing, not telling.

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When selecting your best work, highlighting your versatility is a great way to show-off your capabilities. For instance, when you interview for certain courses at Collarts, we ask for 4-6 examples of original work that embody who you are and what inspires you, and encourage the use of different mediums to tell this story. This can be anything from sketch drawings, mood boards, photography or digital work, with each piece amplifying your strengths and emerging skills.

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Transparency is key when it comes to building a respectable and memorable portfolio. If you have worked on projects that involve a team, including those works is totally acceptable—just make sure you're honest and clear about what specific portions you were responsible for. By spelling out what you did and how, it will ensure you gain the recognition you deserve, all the while avoiding taking credit for other people's work. So don't be afraid to reveal the process!

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When it comes to the design of your portfolio, let your work speak for itself. It may be tempting to present your portfolio in a flashy or complicated way, but keeping it simple will ensure it's both easy to understand and accessible. To ensure practical visibility, opt for a minimal layout that champions your work, format content into download-friendly resolutions that don't sacrifice quality, and keep readability in mind when choosing any fonts or text sizes. 

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A portfolio is highly personal, so don't forget to embrace what makes it unique: you. When presenting your portfolio in any situation, allow yourself to build or talk about it with confidence, pride, and enthusiasm as you self-reflect. What inspired your work? How did you make it? What did you learn? What are you wanting to achieve next? Treat these questions as a springboard when sharing your journey and have fun with it. 

Images via GIPHY creator, @juliaveldmanc

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