On June 5th, I’m reviewing portfolios for AIGA SF Portfolio Day. While I love talking to students, I’m already dreading one thing: the “fancy” portfolio. By fancy, I mean a hardbound book with embossed lettering, ultra expensive paper, and precious unreadable typography. Or maybe it’ll be encased in a large metal box with tricky clasps and handles. Or better, it’s a wooden box with a special key to unlock it. Nauseating.
Your portfolio doesn’t need extra doodads, tassels, sequins. If your design work and writing is awful, it’s still awful no matter how much you dress it up. And since student work almost always is terrible, I’m much more interested in your enthusiasm, how well you think, and the quality of your writing.
Good portfolios are simple, unassuming, and relatively cheap to make. Even a humble wire-o bound portfolio works. Big images, lots of process work, readable type, and good writing is all you need.
So if you’re a student, don’t shell out $400 dollars to make a precious museum-piece portfolio. Instead pay down your student loans, or spend the money on an HTML/CSS class.
It’s old, but here’s my portfolio from ages ago.