Crafting the perfect portfolio to represent your work as a designer is no easy task. And playing the game of what to include can be especially frustrating. At some point, you’re forced to make the hard decisions, pitting the boring branding project that demonstrates your packaging skills against the client-less passion piece built of blood and tears. One nagging question hangs in the air: What do I include?
If you ask the judges of Print’s Portfolio Review competition, the answer is simple (and unanimous): Passion trumps variety every time. But passion is just one element the five high-profile judges looked for when selecting one winner each in this competition that rewards designers not for one project, but for their body of best work. They also picked concise portfolios with strong, unique designs.
All of the Portfolio Review winnersscored some major perks. Not only will their work be displayed at Printmag.com/PortfolioReview, but each them also receives a trip to the HOW Design Conference (www.HOWDesignLive.com) in San Francisco this June to meet with the judge that selected their portfolio in person. The meetings will allow the designers and judges to talk shop, swap ideas and discuss ways to improve the winning portfolios even more.
Mirko Ilić is the founder of Mirko Ilić Corp., a multidisciplinary studio in New York City that specializes in graphic design, 3D animation, motion picture titles and illustration.
Debbie Millman is president at Sterling Brands, a brand consultancy headquartered in New York City. She is also president emeritus of the AIGA.
Scott Stowell is proprietor of Open, an independent design studio in New York City that specializes in identity systems, print design, motion graphics and web design.
Jessica Walsh is a partner at Sagmeister & Walsh, a New York City-based design firm that creates identities, commercials, websites, apps, films, books and objects.
Natasha Jen is one of the 19 partners at Pentagram, an independent design consultancy in London, New York City, San Francisco, Berlin and Austin. The company designs architecture, interiors, products, identities, publications, posters, books, exhibitions, websites and digital installations.