Is there a way to make a ‘perfect’ portfolio ?

“A portfolio exhibits Your Work, Great Portfolio exhibits You..


There is no questioning the importance of Portfolio. You are a high school student, a Design student or even a Professional, you gotta have it.

As the quote states, a portfolio speaks about your work but a great portfolio speaks about You, the creator. What we all should know is that, Our portfolio is not just about our work, projects we have worked on, It is more than that. It is a way for us to show ourselves off.

Now, since a Portfolio means more than just a file (or even a website) displaying our work, it goes on to assisting an individual in understanding Us. So, it needs to be Good, like very good !

How to build a Portfolio which presents your work & most importantly, You in the best light possible, which gets you admitted in your favourite school or land a job in the biggest brands & design firms in the world ?

Is there a way to make a ‘perfect’ portfolio ?

For the answers to these questions we reach out to the professionals. They work in some very renowned firms (even schools) & do know a bit about the ‘Art of portfolios ‘, a part of which is totally based on experience.

So, weAsk the Designers..and the question being :

What are the most Essential Characteristics of a Good Design Portfolio & How can we work on these Characteristics in Our Portfolios ?


Personally I think the most essential for a great portfolio is a variety of content with simplicity. Talking about automotive design, when I have to create a new portfolio I keep in mind that I need to show my skills. It is extremely important to represent the knowledge showing Exterior and Interior Designs, Parts, Accessories, Details, Pencil Sketches, Digital Renderings et cetera.

Another extremely important thing : KEEP IT SIMPLE!

Do not use complex backgrounds! Why?… Doing so will shift focus away from what is more important i.e. the work & the subject itself !. In my last portfolio I have tried to show my versatility and expertise creating designs for different platforms & segments.

 Keep the focus in the Brand, the Identity & Design Language and you will Succeed !

Leandro Trovati.

Leandro Trovati on Behance.(click to visit)


The most essential Characteristic of a Good Design Portfolio is, that design offices can get a good impression of your Design Power. Which means to show (part of) the design process instead of just the Final Results. In different countries I see an opposite advice. I strongly disagree with only seeing the final result in a portfolio, because it will be just showing an example without the reason (“Why“) or intent behind it.


Prof. Koos Eissen.

Prof. Eissen’s website.(click to visit)


Design portfolios communicate how a design approach design problems, how he or she handles the design process and its dynamics. The most essential characteristics is therefore the process, not the resulting product, in my opinion. The portfolio should reflect how you respond to the challenges in different projects from wide range of areas as possible. It also indicates your skills and capabilities related to design, such as sketching, model making, research and development, 3d modeling, prototyping, user testing and implementation.

It is similar to a documentary that tells your story, so feel free to use media such as videos and animations wherever necessary. Lastly, not only the content, but its package is of importance. Be meticulous about the small details including fonts, layout, colors, paper selection etc. In total, the design of the portfolio shows your attitude and excitement towards your work.

Prof. Hakan Gursu.

Prof. Hakan’s website.(click to visit)


“A Solid design portfolio must clearly express how a designer thinks through a problem. Every consultancy looks for Killer Sketching, rendering, CAD, modelling, prototyping etc., but if the work doesn’t show how these skills were used to identify and build up to the final concept then the portfolio is considered unsuccessful. Especially when it comes to young designers consultancies are looking for candidates who can identify opportunity areas and quickly generate a wide range of quality concepts to explore.

“Showing your unique process in generating these concepts, down selecting and refining tells us if you are up to the challenge of working with vastly different clients on a regular basis.

On a tactical level always make sure your best and most through work is front and centre. Consultancies get huge amounts of applications so a reviewer may only spend a few seconds looking at each portfolio. If your skills and processes are clearly shown in project one you have a much higher chance of moving to the next round and having a reviewer look deeply into each page. Also your portfolio is our window not only into your skill set and thought process but also into your personality. Have your portfolio make the reviewer want to get to know you and hopefully want to work 40+ hours a week alongside you.

Reid Schlegel.

Reid Schlegel on Instagram.(click to visit)


I think it is very important to portray one’s skill through the portfolio. An approach and good understanding of Design is very important. Design itself is a big process and it comprises of all stages of work starting from brainstorming to marketing. One has to clearly show process and if possible design an efficient and a unique experience to enrich the entire journey. A lot of students these days make a big mistake of adding a lot of content to the portfolio and a cluttering it with good and bad work. It is important to show only the best work. Hand pick the best projects and add more personal projects to show what route you choose and what approach you take to solve problems.

An employer in reality doesn’t spend more than 30 Seconds to scan through a portfolio at initial reception of the respective so one has to remember that they show only the best work in very clear way.

Lately a couple of students sent me their portfolio to review and to the most I replied back by saying that, adding a group project is fine but in a group of 5 people working on a project it becomes difficult to show what your personal contribution was in the team. The outcome of a group project is definitely more than a personal project hence they demand more space in your portfolio resulting in a lengthy and “lost” portfolio.

make use of the Keywords & remember 30 seconds.

“Sketching is the most important factor of the portfolio. A lot of students ignore this and jump onto CAD and produce good quality glamorous renders but this does not show your processThere are many factors which contribute in making the best portfolio but always remember, employers see hundreds of portfolios everyday & if your are not original, then You are Out.”

Keep it minimal but Beautiful.

-Adityaraj Dev.

Adityaraj Dev on Behance.(click to visit)


Ask the Designers..‘ series.


Image courtesy of designer Leandro Trovati.

Hello & welcome to the ‘Ask the Designers..‘ series on designdaily..

This is the third post of the whole series of  articles coming up ahead. Every post is based on a Single question which is focused on a specific subject, like the ‘Portfolio Development‘ in this post.

The format of every article is very ‘straight to the point’ & so are the questions & If You have any unanswered questions that you would like Us or the Designers to know about ? Let us know at : letsdesigndaily@gmail.comWe Will get the answers for You.


More questions, answers and posts coming up ahead ! Stay Close & @Letsdesigndaily..  (click)

We Thank You.

– designdaily..


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