What makes a good design portfolio?

Having a great design portfolio can be the difference between winning and losing at your next pitch. A sharp well thought out, and tailored portfolio will make you stand out from the crowd and can help you put your best foot forward when it comes to clinching that deal. A stale looking portfolio that doesn’t reflect the best of what you do, on the other hand, can be a real turn off for potential clients and investors. So, how do you stand out from the crowd?

Keep up to date

In the world of design and branding, if you aren’t constantly updating your design portfolio and what you have to offer, then you will quickly fall behind. What worked last year, last month, or last week, may not work today, so make sure you are always up to date with the latest design trends. Take inspiration from the great design examples around you and put your spin on your presentation, and you’ll be halfway to producing a fantastic design portfolio. 

Tailor what you have to offer

No one meeting or client pitch is the same. Your portfolio shouldn’t be a catch-all tool. While you’ll want your design portfolio to show the breadth of what you are capable of, you’ll also want to speak the language of your audience. Make sure you include projects that will be of specific interest, and for the projects that may not seem immediately relevant, think of the cross-overs between the projects you have completed and what you can offer that potential investor. 

Push the boundaries

Playing it safe is a sure-fire way to be forgotten in a hurry. Your portfolio is a reflection of the best of you and your craft, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and show what you can do. As a designer, you are already aware of what makes for great design, so make sure you don’t miss the opportunity of doing something exciting with your design portfolio. Consider how you might use different images, fonts, layouts or materials to bring that design work to life. 

Do exciting work

Having a nicely designed and professional looking design portfolio is great, but if the work you are presenting doesn’t live up to the smart and creative design of the portfolio itself, then you are unlikely to win your audience over. While finding exciting work to produce a great portfolio may seem like a chicken and egg situation (i.e. you need the portfolio before you can bag the work), there are some creative ways you can build up your portfolio, without actually having one to work with. Consider offering your services at a reduced cost, or free of charge to local charities, or sponsoring the design of your local youth football teams kit. Whatever it is, keep in mind that you also want something great to show off what you can do in return. Document your project, keep all of your design work drafts, and keep a log of everything you do. 

Kaizen Brand Evolution

At Kaizen Brand Evolution, we have worked with numerous organisations and business with their design and brand positioning. We also have an extensive design portfolio of our own, that we use to win over potential clients and use as a point of reference in support of those we work with to help them create their own distinctive design portfolios. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you create a winning design portfolio, then get in touch via our contact page, or by calling 02895072007