Graphic Design Portfolio

Presenting Your Portfolio



  • As you choose samples and create your portfolio: Challenge yourself to answer the three questions below for each of your fifteen portfolio samples. Print them out and keep them to use as notes when you present your portfolio in your groups--and when you practice presenting on your own.
  • There is nothing to hand in for project 9.
  • In Class, get into groups of 3-4
  • Present your portfolio to your group--be professional and serious. About 20 min. each.
  • One group member presents and the others critique, evaluate and provide helpful feedback.
  • Write down 2-3 things each presenter did wel,l and 2-3 areas they can improve. Give this to the presenter.

First You Must Define Your Portfolio Samples

After you complete this project you should be able to speak more eloquently about your portfolio samples. You will also be able to more effectively communicate the objectives, ideas, skills, and talents that helped you create each portfolio sample—this is valuable information for any potential employer deciding if you are their best candidate.

Practice saying these answers out loud often—It will pay off during your interview.

Answer these three questions about each of your portfolio samples

  1. What is the sample for? (Describe the objective of the project)
  2. Why did you create the sample the way you did? (Explain your ideas, creative directions, and choice of design elements)
  3. How did you create the sample? (Software, typeface, color harmony, are the photos or illustrations yours?, did you use any special filters or effects?)

Second, You Will Present Your Portfolio in Class

Make sure your portfolio is neat, clean, and well organized. I suggest that you practice presenting your portfolio to a friend, spouse, neighbor, parent or to a mirror. You will improve each time you present it. Your words will become more polished and your sentences more informative, succinct, and eloquent.

Cover these areas when presenting and talking about each sample:

  1. What is the sample for? (Describe the objective of the project) Example: Instead of saying, “This is a brochure we had to do for InDesign class”... Say, “The goal of this project was to create a 4-page brochure that targeted a small-town community, and educated them about the local affects of pollution.”
  2. Why did you create the sample the way you did? (Explain your ideas) Example: Instead of saying, “I created the brochure with photos and colorful art to grab the viewer’s attention”... Say, “My idea for the direction of this brochure was to educate the small-town community about pollution by showing them how they are directly affected by it. I used photographs of local lakes and streams that are full of garbage and are lacking healthy fish. I choose to fill the brochure with large photos to do most of the speaking for me, and to not have a lot of boring copy to read.” --See the difference? The 2nd answer talks about your IDEAS.--
  3. How did you create the sample? (Software, typeface, your own photos or illustrations, special filters or effects?) Example: Instead of saying, “I used InDesign to make the brochure”... Say, “The final brochure layout was done in InDesign CS3. I used paragraph and character style sheets for the headlines and body copy. The logo on the front cover was designed by me in Illustrator. I took all of the digital photographs myself, using an Canon 10 mega-pixel SLR camera, and cropped and color corrected the photos in Photoshop.”

Notice how I did not mention anything about this being a “class” project. Don’t remind them of the fact that you are just out of school and may not have a lot of experience. Treat each sample like a professional design project—because they are! You have been working on real design projects for several months now, use it to your advantage.

While presenting, speak clearly and slowly, and move from sample to sample with confidence. Allow a pause after each sample to let them ask questions. When you are done showing your final sample, ask them if they have any questions.