how to make a 15 MB Portfolio turn 4 MB


Hi !

Im a french arch student looking for an intership in New York, most of the firms impose a 4MB portfolio ... In Indesign I reduced to the minimum quality but its still too heavy ( 15MB for a A5 portfolio containing around 35 pages), does anyone have any other suggestion ? 

thaannnk youuuu

Mar 2, 17 11:02 am

Less pages. Seriously. That's probably too many pages to get down to 4mb. And as the requirement might then suggest, more pages than they want you to send to them.

A couple of thoughts on top of that though. One trick though for keeping size down and text readable is to export everything except text as jpegs and then place them back in a file with the text over them, that will give you low res images with crisp vector text and still small size files. Another thing is to make sure you are printing to pdf rather than exporting, it helps.


Mar 2, 17 11:22 am  · 

Reduce your portfolio from 35 to 9⅓ pages or from A5 to 8,316mm² and Bob's your uncle.

Mar 2, 17 11:29 am  · 

Print a PDF instead of exporting

Mar 2, 17 11:50 am  · 

35 Pages is too many. Make a 10 page teaser, 5 spreads of whatever you're most proud of. Distill like hell.

Bring the full portfolio to interviews where it might get more than 90 seconds of attention.

Mar 2, 17 11:53 am  · 

35 sounds like too much... You could pack a lot and give them an idea of your capabilities in 10 pages, unless all you got to show is fancy renderings and each of them take up the whole page

Mar 2, 17 7:00 pm  · 

Good luck.

Mar 2, 17 9:41 pm  · 

Export each spread from InDesign as a high resolution TIFF or PNG. 300 DPI is best but if you are just using this for a digital portfolio than you can go as low as 72 DPi. Then, using Acrobat or InDesign again, make those images (flatten them by the way, do not include layers in the TIFF options) into a PDF. If that is still too large, you can try exporting the spread as JPGs instead though bear in mind JPGs are compressed.

Mar 3, 17 11:11 am  · 
1  · 

Stick w/ 35pages and watch all of your friends around you get hired with 6-8 pages, then you will understand that 35 pages is insane and no hiring manager will waste time looking through it

Mar 3, 17 12:18 pm  · 
 ·  1

Go top 7, link to the rest in one link if they are interested. (Give them the option to see more)

Maximize the 7

Mar 26, 17 11:29 pm  · 
won and done williams

As someone who hires people, as long as your work is strong, I don't really care if your portfolio is 10 pages or 35 pages. I also don't care if your portfolio is 15mb or 4mb as long as I can receive it.

Mar 27, 17 8:35 am  · 
2  · 

downsave images from 300ppi to 100.  it's not getting printed, just needs to look good on a screen.

Mar 27, 17 9:09 am  · 

they just want less number of pages in a portfolio. the most I've gotten out of the 4mb is 3 spreads or 6 8.5x11" pages.

Mar 27, 17 10:09 am  · 

I just scanned a color 8.5 x11 image on my office's copier at 72 dpi and the jpeg is 369KB with perfectly clear detail.  So even that low-tech solution should let you get 10 pages out of 4MB.

Part of the reason we put size limits on files is because we don't want 35 pages! Try for 8 pages (4 to 6 projects at 1 to 2 pages each).  I don't magically have more time to look at portfolios with more pages - so I just click through them faster and remember less about them.

Mar 27, 17 2:40 pm  · 
Rowan Tree


Our professors told us to limit to 3-4 projects and to show the quality of work.

My most detailed project alone is 7 pages in screen view (16x9): intro page with main building render, site design, section and plan, 4 renderings of main areas.

How do you demonstrate quality with 1 or 2 pages? What does firms want to see in that 1-2 pages?

Would it be better to have 1-2 projects 5-7 pages each?

Thank you for your help :)

Mar 2, 21 12:07 am  · 

If you can’t figure that out, maybe you’re in the wrong field ;-)

Mar 2, 21 1:48 am  · 
 ·  6
Rowan Tree

I am so sorry for trying to learn. Isn't the whole purpose of being a student is to learn? I am asking because what our professors are suggesting us to do, and what some firms want is different. In your logic, no one should be in this field.

Mar 16, 21 1:28 am  · 

Not really, your portfolio is just a design problem so just solve it...see it as a brief with separate and possibly conflicting demands, it’s what we do on a daily basis.

Mar 16, 21 1:50 am  · 
1  ·  3
Non Sequitur

What rando says is bang on. Learn to citrate your work and cut the fat out. Then cut out some more. I think my entire thesis fit across 3 spreads (moleskin size pages, because I’m getting old and there was a time when people printed physical folios). Show what’s important and what best demonstrates your creative process. This is just another design problem. (Protip: don’t skip out on the hand drawn concept sketches, on sketch can easily beat 5 shiny renderings).

Mar 16, 21 6:16 am  · 
1  ·  1

This is what is wrong with this profession. A student asks a question, and he gets mocked. We teach our students not to be afraid of asking questions, and some arrogant professionals belittle them for asking. Give them constructive criticism, and if you can't, at least don't be rude. Faculties suggest students something, and sometimes firms want something different. So I understand the struggle. 

 I agree with what Non Sequitur wrote. You need to learn to criticize your work and cut it down. Your portfolio needs to show what is important and your thought process. However, it does not need to be 1-3 pages like some said above. Do what is best to convey your idea. Don't get fixated on the number of pages. Lastly, as Non Sequitur mentioned, sketches are very important. Sketch conveys energy and emotion. It is the best tool to communicate your idea.

Mar 16, 21 11:01 pm  · 
5  · 

It really isn't rocket science nor brain surgery. I wasn't mocking anybody, telling someone the honest truth isn't mocking, better to find out earlier than my not so humble opinion.

Mar 17, 21 5:04 am  · 
 ·  4

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