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Graphic Design Portfolio Tips

If you've been asked for your portfolio, then allow yourself a moment of celebration. You've made it past the first round of eliminations-but don't relax yet. A graphic design portfolio is one of the most important factors upon which a prospective employer will judge you. After all, you're being hired to produce designs, and in this case, the work you've done will speak volumes about your ability. Here are some things to keep in mind when assembling your portfolio.

Quality vs. Quantity

A single, shining Nobel-prize-worthy copy of your best work? Or a hundred examples of every project that you've ever done since middle school? It's always a struggle to balance quality and quantity, so try to keep a happy medium. Remember that your employer doesn't have the time to sift through an overly large portfolio, and that with every added design that they must look at, the impact of each one diminishes. Erring on the side of more quality and less quantity is a safer bet, yet at the same time, providing too few examples will make an employer question the paucity of your work. Are you an excruciatingly slow worker? Or just a sloppy one who doesn't have enough good pieces to pad out your portfolio? Stay away from situations in which your portfolio might give rise to unfavorable assumptions. If at all possible, before you walk in with your portfolio in hand, ask your interviewer to give you a ballpark figure of how many examples they'd like to see.

Breadth

Graphic designers work with all kinds of requests, and so you want your portfolio to prove that you can handle any one of them. If you're applying for a position in a company that only produces designs for pet Chihuahuas, then disregard this advice and feel free to stuff your portfolio with all the dog designs you've ever done. But the majority of firms don't limit themselves to such narrow scopes, and as a prospective employee, you won't want to either. Even if your particular strength lies in a certain area, still keep examples of other kinds of work in your portfolio as well. You don't want to come off as a one-trick pony. Give your portfolio a chance to represent the breadth and diversity of your abilities.

A Second Opinion

Artists aren't always the best judges of their own work. After you've assembled a likely portfolio, call in someone whose opinion you respect to give you their take on it. Even better, call in multiple people for a true range of opinions. Perhaps a fellow graphic design student, or a teacher, or even an online community will be able to give you some helpful critique. You don't have to take every single person's advice to heart-it is, after all, still your work-but at least be on the lookout for general trends of opinion. If ten out of ten friends tell you that your grocery market logo is horrendous, then, well, put your pride away for a moment. but maybe it is. Your first impulse might be to reply that they don't appreciate real art, but after all, working in a graphic design company means that your designs must cater to popular taste. And your employer will be looking for signs of that as well.

In the end, no matter how good the advice, the success of your portfolio ultimately lies in your talent as a graphic designer. All you can do in this final step is to put your best face forward and cross your fingers. Best of luck!





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Northwest Mississippi Community College Advertising | Architecture | Graphic Design | Performing Arts Two-year school Senatobia, MS 8211 Town/Rural Public
Liberty University Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Graphic Design | Performing Arts Four-year school Lynchburg, VA 46312 City Private
Glendale Community College Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Two-year school Glendale, CA 16781 City Public
Mesa State College Graphic Design | Performing Arts Four-year school Grand Junction, CO 7042 City Public
Mt. San Antonio College Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Audio Production | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Two-year school Walnut, CA 29935 Suburb Public
Lenoir Community College Graphic Design Two-year school Kinston, NC 3561 Town/Rural Public
College of DuPage Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Two-year school Glen Ellyn, IL 27083 Suburb Public
International Academy of Design and Technology - Seattle Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Graphic Design | Interior Design Four-year school Seattle, WA 482 Town/Rural Private
College of the Canyons Animation | Architecture | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects Two-year school Santa Clarita, CA 21575 Suburb Public
Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture Graphic Design Four-year school Santa Fe, NM 350 Town/Rural Public
Moraine Park Technical College Advertising | CAD, Drafting | Graphic Design | Web Design & New Media Two-year school Fond du Lac, WI 8466 City Public
Radford University Graphic Design | Performing Arts Four-year school Radford, VA 8878 Town/Rural Public
Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design Animation | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Visual Effects Four-year school Denver, CO 586 Suburb Private
Norwalk Community College Advertising | Architecture | Graphic Design | Interior Design Two-year school Norwalk, CT 6685 City Public
Grace College and Theological Seminary Arts Management | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Illustration | Performing Arts Four-year school Winona Lake, IN 1641 Town/Rural Private
University of Denver Advertising | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Denver, CO 11644 City Private
Brookhaven College Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Graphic Design Two-year school Farmers Branch, TX 11814 Suburb Public
FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising - San Francisco Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Graphic Design | Interior Design Four-year school San Francisco, CA 921 City Private
Waynesville Career Center Graphic Design Less than two years Waynesville, MO 49 Town/Rural Public
Oakland Community College Architecture | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Web Design & New Media Two-year school Bloomfield Hills, MI 28042 Suburb Public
Northern Virginia Community College Architecture | CAD, Drafting | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Web Design & New Media Two-year school Annandale, VA 46619 Suburb Public
Carnegie Mellon University Animation | Architecture | Arts Management | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Landscape Architecture | Performing Arts | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Pittsburgh, PA 11197 City Private
Amarillo College Advertising | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography Two-year school Amarillo, TX 11289 City Public
Cypress College Advertising | Animation | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects Two-year school Cypress, CA 15439 Suburb Public
Dakota Wesleyan University Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Mitchell, SD 763 Town/Rural Private
Lincoln Land Community College Architecture | CAD, Drafting | Graphic Design | Web Design & New Media Two-year school Springfield, IL 7677 City Public
John C Calhoun State Community College Film, Video, TV | Graphic Design | Photography Two-year school Tanner, AL 11212 Town/Rural Public
The Art Institute of Virginia Beach Advertising | Animation | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Game Design | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Virginia Beach, VA N/A City Private
University of Arkansas - Fort Smith CAD, Drafting | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Fort Smith, AR 7335 City Public
Burlington County College Animation | CAD, Drafting | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Game Design | Graphic Design | Photography | Visual Effects Two-year school Pemberton, NJ 9693 Town/Rural Public
College of Southern Nevada Animation | Architecture | Arts Management | CAD, Drafting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Las Vegas, NV 42108 City Public
Concordia University - Wisconsin Advertising | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Mequon, WI 7178 Town/Rural Private
Golden West College Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Visual Effects Two-year school Huntington Beach, CA 13978 Suburb Public
Moraine Valley Community College Animation | CAD, Drafting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Two-year school Palos Hills, IL 17774 Suburb Public
ITT Technical Institute - Tarentum CAD, Drafting | Graphic Design | Web Design & New Media Two-year school Tarentum, PA 315 Town/Rural Private
Virginia College - Huntsville Animation | Game Design | Graphic Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Huntsville, AL 934 City Private
Iowa Central Community College Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Graphic Design | Web Design & New Media Two-year school Fort Dodge, IA 5905 Town/Rural Public
Westwood College - Dupage Advertising | Animation | Architecture | CAD, Drafting | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Game Design | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Woodridge, IL 582 Suburb Private
Chattahoochee Valley Community College Graphic Design Two-year school Phenix City, AL 1902 Suburb Public
Texas A & M University - Commerce Advertising | Animation | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects Four-year school Commerce, TX 9021 Town/Rural Public
MiraCosta College Animation | Architecture | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Landscape Architecture | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects Two-year school Oceanside, CA 13537 Suburb Public
ITT Technical Institute - Sylmar Animation | CAD, Drafting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Sylmar, CA 1032 City Private
Murray State University Advertising | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Graphic Design | Performing Arts Four-year school Murray, KY 10071 Town/Rural Public
Texas Christian University Advertising | Audio Production | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography Four-year school Fort Worth, TX 8853 City Private
Texas Tech University Advertising | Architecture | Arts Management | Audio Production | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Landscape Architecture | Performing Arts Four-year school Lubbock, TX 30049 City Public
ITT Technical Institute - Greenville Animation | CAD, Drafting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Greenville, SC 675 City Private
Assumption College Advertising | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Graphic Design | Performing Arts Four-year school Worcester, MA 2794 City Private
Ohio University - Main Campus Advertising | Arts Management | Audio Production | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Athens, OH 22647 Town/Rural Public
Lehigh University Architecture | Graphic Design | Performing Arts Four-year school Bethlehem, PA 6996 City Private
Texas State University - San Marcos Advertising | Audio Production | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography Four-year school San Marcos, TX 30803 Town/Rural Public



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