How to get your work seen and craft your portfolio

How to get your work seen and craft your portfolio

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So you’re nearing the end of uni or recently graduated, you’ve got a whole heap or amazing work, but what’s next? The thought of the unknown and the future can be exhilarating but also nerve wracking, so I’ve put together a few practical tips to craft your portfolio and get your work out there.

I graduated from Falmouth university earlier this year with a couple of internships under my belt and a clear idea of where I wanted to be and what I wanted to be doing. Manchester was a huge draw to me, not only was I determined to be back up North, I was also keen to be a part of Manchester’s thriving creative scene. And the plans were put in motion shortly after meeting the guys at Creative Spark.

I’m going to share a few tips that helped me get my portfolio together and my work into the world!

Do your research:

There’s plenty of options out there so making sure you have a clear direction is key. Start this as early as possible to get an idea of what types of agency might be a good fit for you. 

Are you looking for a small & intimate team, or the hustle and bustle of a bigger studio? Is there a specialist field within design that you’re keen to pursue (such as motion or illustration)? Where would you like to be based? Whilst this isn’t the be all and end all it can help narrow down your search. 

I’d definitely advise looking outside of London – there are some excellent studios all over the country and further afield so make sure you consider what’s right for you.

Craft your portfolio:

In my final few months of university I gained some invaluable portfolio advice from industry experts. I’d definitely recommend taking on any portfolio review opportunities that come your way, Creative Lives in Progress are particularly good for this! It’s always worth asking your favourite agencies if someone there would be able to review your portfolio too. 

Go big with your projects, make it impactful and full page, you can always talk through your rationale. Make sure you include projects you’re passionate about and let this passion shine through when you talk about them!

Get your work out there:

It’s no secret that you should be putting your work on social media, but platforms such as Instagram and LinkedIn can really bridge the gap between uni and industry. 

Make sure you showcase your work in the best way possible – look at how studios put out their projects this will help you get an idea of what touchpoints might be realistic for various projects (a brand launch, trends, etc). It will also show you the little details that make all the difference, such as animated logos! 

This goes for your captions too, don’t do the all too common ‘this is a drink brand and packaging for a recent uni project’, sell it by giving a bit of background and rationale on your design choices.

Capture attention:

Animations are a great way to stop the scroll and get people to look at your work. Consider putting a showreel together that captures your best projects, this way people can instantly see your style and work. In the fast paced world we’re living in, this saves vital time by avoiding having to send people to your website or ask for a PDF portfolio. 

These are my top tips for showcasing your work and getting into the industry. I hope you’ve found them helpful and best of luck with crafting your portfolio!