6-14 October 2017

8 Tips for Creating a Designer Portfolio

By Lena Kassicieh
On Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Creating a portfolio can be daunting; you want to be sure that you select all of your best work and exhibit it in a way that is representative and illustrative of your skill set but it can be challenging knowing where to begin. If you are a student or recent graduate and don’t have any work experience, you can build a portfolio with academic projects and utilize your creativity to make it visually appealing. Include projects you have done in university workshops, competitions and academic publications in journals, magazines or newspapers. Amman Design Week asked local industry professionals to give a few tips on how to compile and create your portfolio.

1. “Always organize every project you’ve ever worked on in neat folders. This will help with the portfolio process down the road, and make it easier to create a portfolio.” Yara Hindawi - Graphic designer and illustrator

A sample from Yara Hindawi's portfolio

2. “Cut anything you’re not satisfied with, and remember that you’ll be commissioned on what’s inside your portfolio, so make sure it is the type of work you want to do in the future. Don’t showcase work that you don’t want to do in the future. Don’t showcase work that you have no interest in tackling.” Nada Jaffal - Design researcher and educator 

3. “Your job as a graphic designer is to make things clearer and easier for people to understand. So make sure you apply that first and foremost to your own personal portfolio. Keep it simple, clean and well organized. The easier you make it for people to understand your style and what you do, the more likely they’ll want to get in touch.” Noor El-Fadl - Graphic designer and founder of tasmeemME.com

4. “Document work sketches/photos and keep a journal of ideas/thoughts/sketches: Choose several photos of each project you intend to present (they don't all have to be pretty/clean to begin with). Add an introduction/explanation to guide the viewer.” Yasmine Al Nabulsi - Artist 

Yasmine Al Nabulsi's sketchbook

5. “Be consistent, and be intentional. Pick your best — it’s about quality and not quantity. People need to believe in your potential, and not how much of a machine you can be.” Dina Fawakhiri - Graphic designer and artist

Sample of Dina Fawakhiri's work

6. “It is important to show and allow your own distinct and unique style throughout the portfolio to stand out. To have your own stamp. It is often the offbeat page/portfolio that scouts will catch.” Edelina Joyce Issa - Fashion designer

7. “Plagiarism is a complete deal breaker, so stay authentic to your own work. Communicate exactly what your role in each project was, and be honest about your efforts.” Ahmad Zeyad  - Architect and instructor

8. “Keep it short. Show just two or three projects or else you lose the viewers' interest.” Basel Juma’a - Creative director