Portfolio presentation ideas

Written by vanessa cross
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Portfolio presentation ideas
Keep portfolio presentations simple and professional, with a focus on content. (Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

A portfolio is a powerful tool used to present the works of professionals as diverse as cartoonists to architects. A well developed portfolio showcases the quality of ideas and craftsmanship of artists and designers. Show your best work, illustrate a range of ability, and organise the work in a logical continuity for the reviewer. Selected works can communicate a knowledge of various media and disciplines, as well as project problem-solving skills.

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Ring Binder Case

Available in various sizes, the black zippered, multiple-ring binder with archival-quality page protectors is the most popular portfolio case. It is a simple and professional way to display artwork, with a focus on content. Artwork groupings can be by subject matter or artistic style. You can also display smaller-sized items like photographs and print drawings in professional matting that fits the page protectors, which are available at art supply and frame shops.

Book Format

Use a hardcover book format to display samples of your work. Custom binding ideas allow you to chose from an assortment of covers -- from a plain brown cardboard to aluminium covers. Insert quality prints of your works for the inside pages. Cut binding holes completely through the left side, from front to back cover page. Use metal clamps or hand-stitching for book binding. Design and attach a professional cover page inlay that introduces the material. Alternatively, select quality pieces that showcases a complete story through your work and find a professional book binder who can print quality short runs.

The Box

Create a hardcover box portfolio that can hold up to 9-inch-by-12-inch size artwork samples. This is particularly useful for presenting creative samples, such as ad agency samples from projects and campaigns. A creative use of the box format includes developing a mock "suggestion box" that contains a sample of your best designs and focuses on your ability to generate new ideas. You can purchase professional display boxes at local art supply stores.


Although simple is the general rule, you should tailor a portfolio presentation to the reviewer. Know your audience. A portfolio presented for school or an internship should focus on showcasing skills and knowledge. The reviewer generally seeks a demonstration of both talent and knowledge of certain styles of work. For professional outlets such as art galleries, illustrate more creative license that grabs the reviewer's attention and sets your work apart from the scores of other material he may receive.

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