WHAT IS A PORTFOLIO?
As a Designer, a well put together portfolio is an essential compilation of your work for the purpose of evaluating coursework quality, learning progress, and academic achievement.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
When applying to internships, summer programs, or the actual job market, having a beautifully designed, well developed portfolio is an ideal way to set you apart from the remainder of your competition, especially if you have it set up on a nice website.
Haven't started a portfolio? No worries! However, it is important/worth your time to start the process early. It is easier to build your website in due time, and slowly add to your portfolio as necessary.
The first way to start is to TAKE GOOD QUALITY PICTURES! Documenting your work and saving your photos is SUPER important and will help you create the strongest Portfolio possible.
HOW TO START
The first step to creating a website is getting familiar with a platform where you can create it.
Lucky for us, we don't need to be Computer Science wizards to develop a strong portfolio website. Sites like Wix.com or Squarespace are excellent website builders that allow you to customize and create your own individual portfolio, without needing to code a single thing. Links to these sites are immediately below!
There are benefits and drawback to both of these websites, so look at what they offer and decided what is best for you. The biggest difference between these two platforms is that Wix is free and Squarespace is not. It's not necessary for you to pay for a website yet, but if you want to that's up to you!
The next thing to do is decide what to put on your portfolio. The best way to do this is to think about the kinds of jobs you want to get and what kind of work you have the most depth in. You will want to put about 4-6 good projects on your portfolio to show people what you can do. It's also better if they relate to each other or if they have some common skills that you're trying to show. This is pretty basic, but you wouldn't want to apply to a web design job and only have projects on your portfolio with 3D sculptures right? Right.
That being said, you are still a student and you don't have much experience. So you want to put projects that you're proud of and that, most importantly, SHOW YOUR THOUGHT PROCESS AND STYLE. This is really what your portfolio is for.
It can be super intimidating to start, but the best thing to do to get ideas and see what a successful portfolio looks like is to look at other people's! Here are some great websites and resources to do so.
This website is great to look at fellow student portfolios .
This website has professional's portfolios, but they can still be great to look at for inspiration on style/what to put in a portfolio.
You can also look at fellow Brown student's portfolio's under the "Student Profiles" on this website!
NEED MORE GUIDANCE?
Be sure to let us know if you need more guidance creating your portfolio! All the Design@Brown members have a lot of experience in creating them and would be more than happy to help you! You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or come to office hours!