The ever-shrinking portfolio

As Seen In Desktop Magazine

The ever-shrinking portfolio

PortfolioAs seen in desktop magazine here

When I went to the School of Art, it was not uncommon to have an A1 sized folio bag for the various art we generated. Building a portfolio through the graphic design course at Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) was pretty much all about big impressive pages at A2 format. Carrying those around and using them to show off your work was a pain.

Whilst completing my degree though, there was a shift to A3. Now these were so much easier to transport and store, and generally a poster print at A3 was more than enough. Over the last couple of years I have seen more of a shift to the A4 folio – these aren’t cheap nasty affairs, these are beautifully presented bound and stitched folios. I had been pushing the size of my portfolio down to an A4 whilst at University simply because my focus had been on web – there isn’t much need to print anything up at A3 when on screen it is only ever going to be around an A4 size.

There was always a need for the digital portfolio to email to people or to have on your website to show off your best work. Now the iPad and other digital tools are allowing us to combine the two (and being able to zoom into see close detail on the images on the iPad covers any complaints about not being able to see the work). Now I would seriously consider the iPad, apart from the one drawback and that is it doesn’t allow you to showcase the texture and feel of print work. Of course the real bonus of the iPad is you can combine examples of your print, motion and digital all into one and have something with all the bells and whistles.

If you get some beautifully photographed examples of the print work and keep a couple of samples handy, you can have the tactile element of the job working for you as well.

For designers working just in digital, I can see the ease of the iPad bringing a convenience to the portfolio which they wouldn’t have had before, simply because if you have one, you normally have it slipped in your bag. Having an up-to-date portfolio that can be pulled out and shown could mean the difference between you getting a job by being in the right place right time or the job going to a recruiter and you having to compete with dozens of other designers for the same role.

Embrace the smaller format, as you always have it with you, and for those times when you need something different, well, you can always dig out that old A3 folio and update it!

So what do you use? And the big question is, has it been successful for you?

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