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Portfolio, traditional? or not? by Alina Hagen

Should I have an online portfolio or a traditional portfolio or both?

A traditional portfolio is an absolute must, particularly if you are going to be doing print work. Even if you only do web work, a traditional portfolio with screen shots of your work would be wise to have. There is a lot of debate as to whether the traditional portfolio should be a book or individually mounted boards. It's easier to keep your work looking neat and clean if it's in a book, but individually mounted boards afford greater flexibility in catering your presentation to the type of work desired.

It's well worth your effort to learn web design and create an online portfolio. Some employers demand to see an online portfolio before deciding whether they want to interview you. It's a quick way for them to get feel for your style and capabilities before going to the time and expense of an in-person interview. When you are asked to an interview, they will want to see your traditional portfolio.

One should have one traditional portfolio, as well as copies of your portfolio that you wouldn't mind dropping off at a firm. Some firms request you drop your portfolio off in advance. You may or may not get it back in good or bad shape, so only use back-ups! You might also want to consider designing a leave-behind brochure or sheet of your best work so they can keep something on file.

Some designers put their portfolio on CDs. It's been my experience that this inevitably leads to problems. The CD won't work with their computer, or they don't want to spend the time viewing it. If it's something you would like to do as an addition to your portfolio, that's fine. But don't have it serve as your primary portfolio.

  About the author/editor  

Alina Hagen is Editor of GRAPHIC make-overs as well as being Creative Latitude's cherished Manager of OIB.

Alina brings to Creative Latitude a keen eye and over ten years experience in graphic design. Her work spans the public, private and corporate sectors.

After graduating Magna Cum Laude with a BA degree in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego, Alina went back to school for three
years to earn a certificate in graphic design from UCLA.



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