Portfolio 101


Your book. Your portfolio. Your website. Whatever you want to call it – it needs to display your work. As a creative it's pretty important to build a portfolio and fill it awesome ads.

Why do I need a portfolio?

A portfolio is a tool that perspective employers and partners are going to judge if they want to work with you. If you have some cool work, you’ll work with some cool people.

 What does a portfolio look like?

Here’s the short answer: whatever you want.

Portfolios come in many shapes, sizes and designs, but just make sure it's easy to use.  Creative Directors and Talent Recruiters want to see that you’re able to develop ideas as well as your personality. Those will be the main focus of your portfolio.

Presentation matters, but great work is everything.

 How do I put together my portfolio?

The easiest and probably most cost efficient is the digital route. You’ll get to pass your work around to many people you like  with only one main cost (if you choose to purchase your domain, which I highly recommend). Popular websites to host portfolios on are Prosite, Cargo Collective and Squarespace.

Many recruiters and CDs also like PDFs of your book, so make sure you have an updated copy of that hanging around. PDFs also make it easier to load your portfolio on iPads and tablets.

If you want to go the fancy route, you can go with traditional or hand-bound portfolios. It’s always a nice surprise when you can view something tangible and interact with an actual book. Behance is a good site to pull inspiration for fancy-shmancy portfolio ideas.

What do I put in my portfolio?

If you’re just beginning, your book will mostly have spec work.When you’re beginning it doesn’t matter it doesn’t matter if the work has been produced – trust me a lot of awful work has been produced. What people want to see is that you can take great ideas and turn them into beautiful ads.

While industry pros will give different answers on how many campaigns to put in a book, you want to make sure all the work you present is your best work. It's better to have three amazing campaigns, than a book full of mediocre ones. Quality over quantity, people.

Who sees my portfolio?

Talent recruiters, human resources, creative directors, your peers, and your competition. When beginning, I got as many people to see my book because feedback is a great way to improve and see how others perceive your message.


Now, young grasshopper, you know the basics. We'll be going more in-depth about building a portfolio. If you have any burning portfolio questions, leave them below.