Creating a Great Graphic Design Portfolio

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Your design portfolio is the first thing your employer or client will see, so it’s crucial that it stands out from the crowd. Your resume and cover letter may be important, but keep in mind that a portfolio is the part of a job application that matters most—and it’s all that matters to potential freelance clients.

Sometimes, however, it’s difficult to know what sort of work will attract your ideal clients, or will impress your potential employers.


Fortunately, professor, designer and illustrator Denise Bosler is teaching the Preparing Your Portfolio Bootcamp! In this comprehensive 2-week course, Denise will help you navigate the process of creating a knockout portfolio that both reflects your talent and puts your work in front of the people you want to work with.

Denise will show you how to determine which of your works are worthy of your design portfolio, how to arrange them, and how to develop a game plan that will get you the jobs, projects and clients you want. By the end of the course, you’ll walk away with a finished print or digital portfolio that’s ready to impress your potential employers and clients.

Designers who want to change jobs, students and recent graduates looking to acquire their first real-world design jobs and creative freelancers will all find this course to be a fantastic professional resource that will remain useful for years to come.

I put together a few brief tips on building your best possible portfolio, based on the information Denise Bosler teaches in the Preparing Your Portfolio Bootcamp. These tips are just a snippet of the what she includes in the course, so for a complete guide to building a portfolio, register for the bootcamp beginning March 12, 2014!

How to Create a Strong Design Portfolio

Showcase your best work.

This one might seem obvious, but it’s imperative that you include only your best work in your design portfolio. One mediocre piece in your portfolio will reduce its overall quality, but a series of strong works—even if you include fewer—will ensure that your entire design portfolio is strong as a whole.

Ensure that your portfolio reflects your creative voice.

Be sure to choose work that embodies your personal style and creative voice. By selecting works that are innately you, your portfolio will not only be more cohesive, it will also help employers and clients identify your style and the work you are best at producing. Instead of a hodgepodge of cleverly designed creative projects, potential clients and employers will find a sleek, refined portfolio that exemplifies your creative style.

Tailor your portfolio to your talents.

Do you rock at print design? Are you an interactive design virtuoso? Show it! Showcasing your best skills will strengthen your portfolio, ensuring that only your best work is representing you. Your portfolio’s presentation can vary greatly depending on the medium you work best in. Digital designers may choose an online portfolio filled with their best interactive and web design projects, while print designers may choose a more traditional portfolio medium.

Consider your portfolio’s purpose.

If you’re trying to get a job, your portfolio may look different than if you’re trying to acquire freelance clients. If you’re looking for a job, your portfolio will lean toward a more overall look at your work. But if you want to gain new freelance clients, a more focused portfolio approach is warranted. In both cases you may want to consider letting your portfolio double as a self-promotional piece.

To learn how to create your ultimate portfolio, register for Denise Bosler’s Preparing Your Portfolio Bootcamp. She’ll personally guide you through the process of creating the best portfolio for YOU, and she’ll show you how to display your portfolio so your ideal clients or employers will see it.

Register for Denise Bosler’s Preparing Your Portfolio Bootcamp today!


Denise Bosler is a graphic designer, illustrator, and professor of communication design at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. She earned a B.F.A. from Kutztown University and an M.F.A. from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Denise has focused her design work on print collateral, product packaging, and identity development in both print and digital projects.