What is a Portfolio?

Chapter One: What is a Portfolio?Portfolio Guide book


A Portfolio is something that showcases your work and takes on different forms depending on the stage a designer or illustrator has reached in their development or career.

The Student Portfolio

An entry level student portfolio shows the interviewing panel at the applicant’s chosen art college the diversity of their work, and should reflect an ability to create concepts and solve problems through image making. A portfolio submitted for a master’s degree is more sophisticated, and is similar to one that might be used in a presentation to a potential client or employer.

The Professional Portfolio

A professional portfolio must strike a balance between personal expression and the needs of the creative industry. A website should be seen as an extension of your portfolio.

The Graphic Design Portfolio

A graphic design portfolio needs to be tailored to a potential employer’s requirements, and should clearly demonstrate the designer’s abilities and aptitude.

The Illustration Portfolio

An illustration portfolio has to appeal to a broad client base as most illustrators are freelance. Although showing a wide variety of styles makes sense where this is relatively little competition, illustrators in more competitive environments should develop a strong recognisable style and apply to a diverse range of subject matter.

The Cross-Disciplinary Portfolio

A cross disciplinary portfolio appeals to more visionary and broad minded clients, and those who want to connect with the youth democratic.  Semiskilled practitioners need to be flexible when it comes to deciding what samples to show, and it may be necessary to create more than one portfolio.