Student Portfolio for Jobs


I was working on my portfolio for job interviews and I am in the final stages of completing my portfolio. I am a fourth year undergrad pursuing my masters degree. I am now taking a few extra looks and I am trying to figure out a few additional details. Currently, My portfolio is about 20 pages in an 8x12 horizontal layout. A few of the things I was questioning that i can't seem to find a general consensus on is :

I will have one print version and one digital version to send to firms, should the digital version be saved as spreads? I have a few images that are full spread, it seems that regardless of the way I bind the book it will be awkward to view these drawings. Does that thought ever come to mind when you think about it? I'm considering removing these entirely to fit on one page. 

I also briefly considered doing it 9x12. A firm I worked at previously, one of the architects showed me their own portfolio and it was a 9x12 book. I thought the size was nice and it felt very professional but from what I understand this is generally frowned upon. What do you guys think?

I know people don't really care about reading these but any other comments about portfolios are appreciated. 

Feb 18, 19 2:58 pm

Yes, the digital version would be best saved as spreads. You could slightly change the formatting for the printed vs digital books base on what works best for each medium. Hard to say what you should do for the full spread image without seeing it. It could work fine or it could not based on what it actually is.

9x12 is not substantially different from 8x12. Printing costs may vary but I think if you're above 8.5x11 then it's not going to make much of a difference. Do what works best for your work and the portfolio itself.

Sarcastic responses to follow below:

Feb 18, 19 3:28 pm

I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that a 9x12 book is "generally frowned upon."  That's fine for job application purposes.  If it were a portfolio for architecture school application purposes then it's true that there are some schools that limit applicants rigidly to 8 1/2 x 11 - but for employment purposes anything other than ridiculously huge/unwieldy is fine.  I know there are some professors who caution against ever using a square format, and other rigid rules like that - but those rules are yours to break. 

The thing about 2-page spreads is that if your portfolio is viewed on a small device then either the whole spread is going to be very tiny, or the whole spread won't be viewed all at once.  If you're ok with that possibility then that's your decision to make.  For instance I've seen employers say they do most of their resume/portfolio reviewing on their phone or ipad during their train commute - so just think about whether your spread works in that situation.

For your physical portfolio a 2-page spread can be fine - you just need to think about what type of binding you're going to have, and unless you use something seamless then you need to design the format of your spreads such that the binding looks well-considered and deliberate.

Feb 18, 19 3:29 pm

I always review portfolios as spreads in Preview/Adobe, even when they are saved as individual pages, but I simply never print them when saved as spreads (if I print them that is). Hope that makes sense...

Feb 19, 19 1:00 am

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