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The importance of a Design Portfolio

12 April 2018

The importance and essence of a Design Portfolio

I’m going to be honest. I wish someone had given me this talk when I was still a design student!

Student life can be so hectic and stressful that students tend to focus more on the academic part of learning more than the creative side. Of course, this does not hold true for every student. But I can safely say that back when I was in University I would focus more on gaining higher grades in all of my subjects more than placing more emphasis on the artistic creativity behind my design projects. Are you the same? Then this article is for you.

In this article, I’d like to point out why every student.. and I mean EVERY student.. need to start working on their design portfolio.

  1. It is always best to start early. Can you imagine having to cram up a pile of creative pieces of evidence of your talent at the last minute? If you can’t, I’ll give you a hint. No creative evidence will be manifested at all. Creativity is a process. It’s a process of learning about the problem that needs solving. It’s a process of hypothesis and artistic solutions. It’s savoring the time to formulate ideas and realize what works and what doesn’t. Creativity takes time. Enjoy it while you can.
  2. After graduation, your portfolio is as important if not more important than your resume. Yes, your resume may show that you got that excellent G.P.A. and how involved you are in extra-curricular activities. But at the end of the day, your portfolio shows what you can do and what you can offer to a potential employer. Be it your creative flair, your expensive taste or your attention to details; these all represent who you are as a designer. It is the design industry after all.
  3. Giving attention to your portfolio helps you find your style. I didn’t realize this at first. But a collection of your own work can help you evaluate your design style and find ways to hone it to improve yourself. It takes time to find your style. It took me five years to find mine. But only keeping an eye on your own work will help you find it. This may sound cheesy, but this is true: Finding one’s style is like searching your soul.
  4. Developing a portfolio is another fun and creative task. Please take this seriously when I say that the portfolio is not just about the content, and the material being the samples of your own original work. But a portfolio also involves creative presentation techniques. The best portfolio shows a story and keeps the reader engaged. It takes a bit of skill in graphic design, but this should not be taken lightly. Even the best design projects will not win a client’s heart with a poorly prepared presentation.

This is our word as Interior Design educators to you. Start on that portfolio now. Take the opportunity to further shape yourself as a creative being. Think outside the box. Find something clever to incorporate into the presentation. At the end of the day, all this is just practice to a healthier professional future.

So. Have you started on that portfolio yet? Tell us about it. Post your portfolio, if you feel like it. Share your valuable thoughts and let’s discuss.