MLA I Portfolio First Professional Degree


I have looked around for similar thread but cannot seem to find any. (Please direct me if they already exist & I will gladly delete this one!) I am applying for my first professional degree, and my portfolio needs help. I am having trouble with: 

  • unity among the different projects
  • displaying work (photographing books in particular)
  • order
  • displaying my personality?

Any critique/advice would be greatly appreciated. I am in the early stages, and I know it is far from complete. If you have any sample of portfolios pre-professional degree that would be helpful too. I can only seem to find ones made post.

Thanks in advance.

Here is my website which is a bit more flushed out:

Oct 29, 18 11:48 am

get rid of that cover (is that a plant cell?) and don’t put the word portfolio on there. We know what it is.

Start off with your strongest project, it’s not the one you currently have. Personally, I like “moakly park”. Maybe make your sketches larger. Why not go full bleed with the picture of the model. I’m biased against using a border/band around anything. 

Why are you taking pictures of a book instead of recreating the sheets for your portfolio. Even scanning them would be better than just taking a picture, I wanna see your “mappings” don’t tell me about them, show them to me  

Look up examples of typography. Right now it looks like your using generic times new roman. Design the entire booklet, not just the content. Search issuu for examples. 

Oct 29, 18 1:13 pm

Thanks for the advice. What do you mean by "recreating the sheets for your portfolio", like take the content out of its original format? Do you know any examples? I have been struggling with how to display books.


Yes, reformat the content to fit your new layout. No examples, but look at the Vignelli book linked below. It’s a great resource for anyone involved in graphic arts


Definitely check out some additional typography options.

The quality of some of the images is poor.  Maybe its just the file size of the online file.  I'd recommend doing a print draft to see what it looks like and make any changes as necessary to ensure all images show as intended.

Oct 29, 18 8:11 pm

I know the typography is struggling right now, thanks for the advice!


Oct 29, 18 8:46 pm

Go to a decent bookseller, search for Steidl, and buy one of his photo books. Use that layout until you know better. Better yet, Massimo's Canon is online for free. Ignore those fancy gimmick layouts, focus on quality of work. 

Digitalize your images. 300 DPI for print is standard, 72 and 144 for email and web respectively is fine but the key is to start big and compress down (not the other way around). 

Redo work you don't like or don't think is flushed out entirely. Don't just paste presentation boards on. You control what the admissions committee gets to see about yourself.

Oct 29, 18 9:45 pm

Thank you! Would it be a faux pas to use a portrait orientation rather than landscape? I feel like almost all the portfolios I have seen are landscape.


If you want a spread, do it across two letter size pages. Some people tick book view in their PDF viewers and landscape pages will shrink way down to a long strip with those useless black bars on top and bottom. Portrait fills a screen just fine alone or paired. It's the most normal and less annoying approach.

Good to know, thanks again.

Hello, thank you for all of your advice, and I am in need of some more. 

My number one concern right now is a lack of cohesiveness. One common theme in my work is feminism, but that does not seem like enough of a thread for the portfolio. Any suggestions? Working on getting more process sketches in there, but I find it difficult to maintain a clean look with multiple photos/page (any examples or advice on this would be helpful).

Nov 30, 18 10:32 pm

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