Graphic Design Portfolio Advice

DESIGN_BANNER_small_with_boarderWhether you’re applying for an entry-level graphic design job or a more senior role, it’s important to make sure that your portfolio is up to scratch and that it really shows off your skills and expertise – because this is really what an employer is going to spend a lot of time reviewing.

With that in mind; we’ve come up with a list of our top Dos and Don’ts for graphic design portfolios.

*Oh, and don’t forget; once you’ve got your graphic design portfolio perfected, pay a visit to our jobs board to check out our latest graphic design vacancies.*



Make It Easy To Follow:

Whatever kind of graphic design role you’re applying for, it’s important to organise your graphic design portfolio so it’s easy to navigate and follow. You could organise your portfolio in a chronological order to show how you’ve progressed and improved throughout your career or you could organise it into types of work and products eg. leaflets, banners, email templates etc. However you organise it, be sure to label it up correctly so the employer knows what journey you’re taking them on.

Include A Range Of Work:

When it comes to your graphic design portfolio, it’s important to include a range of work that demonstrates your skills and range as a designer. From pop-up stands to websites, if you’ve got experience designing them, be sure to stick them in your online portfolio.

Add Notes:

It might feel a bit unnatural to add notes to your graphic design portfolio – but it’s important to add some context to your work. Now, just to clarify; I’m not saying you should include an essay with each piece of work – but I am saying you should include a couple of notes to explain who the client was, what the brief was, how the end result was achieved (tools, techniques etc) and what the results were. These are all questions an employer will have when looking at your work – so by providing the answers in your portfolio, you’re saving everyone time.

Include Links To Your Online Portfolio:

If you’ve got an online portfolio on your own personal website or a profile on a platform like Behance, be sure to include a link at the start of your portfolio. Why? Because sometimes your portfolio can come across better on sites like these (especially if you’ve sent in a hard copy of your portfolio along with your application) – and it’s always a good idea to give an employer options!



Take Credit For Someone Else’s Work:

It probably goes without saying but, as with any other kind of portfolio, it’s important to ensure that you only include work which is yours. If you’ve been involved in creating certain aspects of a project eg. a particular logo or element of a banner, it’s OK to include but be sure to point out which bits are yours in your notes. This way you can’t be accused of taking credit for someone else’s work later down the line.

Exclude Relevant Work:

When it comes to putting together your graphic design portfolio, it can be tempting to just include your favourite pieces of work – but it’s also important to make sure you include work which is relevant to the role you’re applying for, even if you don’t necessarily feel it’s your best work. For example, say you’re applying for a graphic designer vacancy with a charity and you’ve worked with a charity in the past, albeit right at the beginning of your career, it’s still a good idea to include this work to show you’ve got previous charity experience.

Include Everything You’ve Ever Work On:

Following on from the last point, if you’re fond of all of your work, it can be tempting to stick everything in your portfolio but you need to be careful. An employer only has a limited amount of time to review a candidate’s application and portfolio – so you need to ensure the work they see is your best. Try and be super critical about your work and only include pieces if they demonstrate your key skills, represent a challenge you’ve overcome, achieved great results or are relevant to the role you’re applying for. If in doubt, get a friend to give you a hand – they should be more impartial about your work and should be able to give you a more honest opinion.