5 Tips for a Successful Portfolio Review

Ink & Pixels 2017: Student Design Conference is just around the corner, which means you’ll have the opportunity to have your portfolio reviewed by industry professionals. Here are five tips for you to get prepared so you can make the most of it.

Tip #1: Don’t take it personally

Ink & Pixels 2017As creative people, we tend to get deeply attached to our work, but keep in mind that any criticism you receive is not directed at you but at the work you present. Reviewers don’t know how long it took you to make it, or if your piece has a profound personal meaning to you, they will be there to give you a neutral honest opinion about your designs. They are providing you with their time and knowledge to help you have a stronger portfolio.

Tip #2: Presentation is key

Ink & Pixels 2017

Whether you have a website, a PDF or a print portfolio doesn’t matter as long as you’re paying attention to detail. This includes not having typos and how your work is presented. If you are a product or packaging designer and don’t know how to take crisp, clean pictures ask a friend who knows about it for help. The internet has plenty of free Photoshop mockups to display your card, flyers, and posters. It would be a shame to have your designs lost blurry or dark pictures.

Tip #3: Keep it consistent

Ink & Pixels 2017By consistency, I don’t mean including only print design, or only website design but rather the quality of the work. Every designer has good and bad pieces, so don’t feel pressured to include everything you’ve made. A few “meh” pieces can bring down the entirety quality of your portfolio.

Tip #4: Include what makes you special

Ink & Pixels 2017Nowadays with templates on the internet, pretty much anyone can come up with a business card design, but that doesn’t mean all of them are innovative. Include what makes you special. Examples of this could be your use of color, your minimalist or maximalist aesthetic or the way you mix fonts.

And finally…

Tip #5: Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Take a look at your work and write down any questions you have. Are you wondering if you should include a particular project in your portfolio?  This is the time to ask your reviewer any questions you have. Take advantage of this, as once you are showing your work to a possible employer there is no turning back.


Now is time to get to work and prepare your portfolio. To register for Ink & Pixels 2017 click here.

We’ll see you there!


By Katty Huertas
Published April 4, 2017