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Top Tips for your Graduate Design Portfolio

Mark Buttress

Creative Director

Welcoming graduates into a business is the perfect opportunity to nurture new talent. With fresh ideas and wide eyes, the next generation are often responsible for a shift in culture in a workplace, not influenced by salary, but by the opportunities that lie ahead within their chosen career path.

We recently encouraged graphic design graduates to take us up on our offer of a portfolio review, and were able to offer some advice and guidance to assist them in showcasing their work to potential employers.

Portfolios are critical for any graphic designer looking for a new role, giving businesses an insight into their skills and a visual representation of their talent.

We were delighted to see such high-quality work in all portfolios reviewed, with a high uptake of this opportunity from Nottingham Trent University, and have since gone on to highlight some of the standout pieces through our social channels.

We have connected with this new talent and shall look forward to following up with them in the future to see how they are progressing.

Our top tips for your design portfolio:

  1. Tell us a bit about you – it is great to start to get to know the person behind the work, especially if seeing your portfolio in isolation. Think of it like a book where you have a foreword or introduction from the author, immediately after the cover page.
  2. Less is more! Pick out your strongest pieces and execute them well. Don’t throw everything in and overwhelm those looking through your work. You may even like to pick and change the work you are including depending on the job role you’re applying for.
  3. Ensure your portfolio has section dividers between each project where you can write a description of the work that follows. This allows the viewer to read it without influence of what they are about to see. The visuals will speak for themselves.
  4. Check the detail. It sounds obvious, but small things often get missed so check, check and check again. Even better, get someone else to check it for you too. This isn’t just about looking out for typos, but also grammatical errors and inconsistencies.
  5. Finally, make it fun. Be creative and think differently. What is it that is going to make you stand out from the crowd?

Are you a design student or recently graduated? We’d love to hear from you!