Design to Make a Statement
In a print portfolio, branding and identity begin at the beginning, with the cover, size, even the paper weight and feeling of your portfolio. The visual elements of your portfolio should generate a synergy that leads the reviewer to make the intellectual and visual connections you want him or her to make.
Your Portfolio is only one of the tools in your professional tool box. Make sure all of your other elements (your linked in profile, CV, Resume, and Thesis) all have a cohesive story line that describes you.
Landscape or Portrait?
Choosing the page size, enclosing system, and format are all important decisions. You should begin by deciding whether you will use a portrait (vertical), landscape (horizontal), or a square format. Let the nature of your material guide your choice. Review your images. Which orientation will give you the greatest freedom of choice in designing each spread?
You can see some examples here.
Page size is dictated by your design decisions as well as your technical and financial resources. Does your artwork require you hand-trim pages to a nonstandard size, or can you depend on standard, commercially available materials? Do you want a hand-crafted look?
Review your portfolio audit and note the largest sizes of the visual material that you have planned to include. This should point you to the correct page size.
The color, weight, and texture of the paper are important as well. Together, these constitute the background against which your images will be reproduced. Neutral colors work the best so that your paper doesn't compete with your images.
Binding and Enclosures
Most portfolios use a traditional book binding system. However you bind, you will have to decide on some enclosing system for the portfolio. This system must be coordinated with the graphic design of the pages as well as with the portfolio orientation and binding.
You have the option of going to a professional binder or doing it by hand yourself.
In choosing an enclosing system, look for a simple, stable, and study construction. In terms of style, the enclosing system should be visually appealing but generally understated, simple, and tasteful. It should reveal a blend of imagination and professionalism. The materials, color, finish, and detailing should be striking but not garish: the package must never be more exciting than what it contains.
Kogan, G. (2016). 12 Tipf for Making an Outstanding Architecture Portfolio. ArchDaily. retrieved from http://www.archdaily.com/780996/12-tips-on-making-an-architecture-portfolio.
Linton, H. (2012). Portfolio Design 4th ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
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