Graphic Design Portfolio

Self-Promotional Piece



You will design your own self-promotional marketing piece with 5–7 of your best portfolio samples.

Your self-promo piece could be one 8.5" x 11" white sheet of paper designed to mathc your brand. --OR--

Your self-promo could also be a uniquely crafted foldable, multiple-page brochure, two-sided flyer, etc. Get creative!

Hand In

  • Your own, uniquely designed, branded, self-promotional piece

What is a Self-Promotional Marketing Piece?

When you apply for a job you will mail this along with your cover letter and resume. It is an excellent way to stand out in the crowd and to show a potential employer your skills and talents. It will also help by keeping your work in front of a potential employer when they are deciding who to hire.

This self-promo is often called a leave-behind when illustrators, photographers and designers use it. The purpose is to keep your name and your work in front of each potential employer as much as possible. The color samples sheet is a great representation of your skills, abilities, and talents.

Design your own self-promo piece so that it matches your design style and personality. As with the resume, use the leave-behind to differentiate yourself from the other applicants.


  1. Use only your best samples
  2. Show variety
  3. Chose samples that represent all of your abilities as a graphic designer. Design and layout, software skills, illustration abilities, web, print, color and typography knowledge, etc.
  4. Show 5–7 samples.. Too many and they get too small, too few and your range of knowledge and skills is not fully represented.
  5. Include your name, phone, e-mail, and portfolio web site address. I suggest you put your name at the top.
  6. Do not add too many extra design elements that distract from your samples or your name. Give the samples “breathing room.”
  7. Be sure to title each sample and give a brief description.
  8. All of your samples files should be vector images, or 300ppi raster images.
  9. Be sure your raster sample images are the same physical size they will be on the self-promo piece.
  10. Create your self-promo piece in InDesign.

Always mail your self-promotional piece with your cover letter and resume—whether they ask for it or not. It will put you ahead of the competition by showing your work the first time they read your resume and cover letter.







Another option is a uniquely crafted foldable for a self-promotional piece. Challenge yourself to create something unique to represent yourself and your talents to a potential employer.

Here is an example of what your piece could look like:






Sample template: self-promo_example.idml