Your portfolio, similar to your cover letter and resume, is an integral part of your personal brand. Take much care in how you present yourself to the world as your brand should convey value to others.
- Process, process, process. Too many times students are inclined to only show the finish product. However, the process of how one gets to the final solution is more important. Process demonstrates a designer’s thought sequence and how he/she got to a specific conclusion.
- Giving and taking credit where credit is due. Most students have participated in a group project and have work experience as an intern or employee. Including this type of work is great but don’t forget to clearly state what parts of the project you worked on and how you contributed to the process. Claiming credit for your work is essential, but equally critical is not taking credit for things you did not do.
- Consistency. Your portfolio will have a series of projects in it. Make sure that there is consistency in the way you lay it out graphically, and consistency in how you approach a design problem to obtain a solution. You want to convey a sense of continuity in your work.
- Variety. You want the admissions officer or potential employer to know who you are and that you are multifaceted. This should be evident in the variety of work you exhibit in your portfolio. Vary the type of design programs, the scale of the projects, and the location of the projects (different parts of the country or the world). Also, remember to include examples of your interests and hobbies. I don’t mean show us how you play Mind Craft with an online community, but do you sketch or take photographs? Are you involved in other artistic endeavors outside of the classroom? Are you involved in your community, if so, how?
- Spelling. Make sure that you spell check everything, six times. And then check it again. Nothing takes away from your amazing and creative work more than text that is misspelled. On that note, don’t be long winded in text that you include in your portfolio. The work should speak for itself, graphically. If you need to say something in a body of text, make sure it is short and sweet.
About the Author
Khoi Vo, Allied ASID is the Chair of the Department of Interior Design at Savannah College of Art in Design (SCAD) in Savannah, Georgia and nominated member of the ASID Student Advisory Council (SAC.) The SAC works to engage with and develop programs for interior design students to encourage career advancement and promote contributions within the interior design profession.