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Putting Together a Graphic Design Portfolio

Securing a job after graduation from a graphic design program can be challenging. Not only are there numerous other graduates applying for the same jobs, but employers are often looking for applicants with experience. Graphic design portfolios are an excellent way to show prospective employers what skills and experience you have.

It is important when putting together a portfolio you choose a variety of different samples to use. Although there may be something you specialize in, showing that you have skills in other areas is important since many businesses need graphic designers to handle multiple design projects.

You should always include samples in your portfolio that are similar to something you would produce for your prospective employer if they hired you. For example, companies that manufacturer products often need catalogs or direct mail pieces to entice customers to buy, which is why you should include these types of pieces in your portfolio when headed to an interview with a manufacturing employer.

When putting together a graphic design portfolio, it is important that you include only your best work. You have one chance to impress the employer in order to get the job, and it must be your best. Including finished pieces with your design is essential in making sure your best work is represented, as these generally provide the best quality.

How you are going to organize your portfolio is something you will need to think about once you know what samples you are going to include. Most people organize their portfolios in one of two ways - either placing similar samples together or pairing up samples based on work history.

Taking samples that are similar to each other and placing them together is often a good idea for recent graduates or those with little experience working in the field. At this point in a designer's career, samples generally are from one or two jobs, internships, volunteer work, or personal creations. With this type of portfolio, employers are less likely to notice that your samples didn't come from professional work experiences, since the different sections will be labeled by types of work. These can include logo designs, direct mail pieces, computer graphics, or whatever types of samples you have.

Displaying samples in your portfolio by your past employment history is a much better option for those who have been in the field for at least a few years. This allows the prospective employer to compare your samples of what you did at each company or organization to your resume in order to get a better idea of how your skills and experience have made you the right candidate for their position.

After you've determined what to include in your portfolio, it is important to select the right type of cover for it. Numerous leather portfolio covers and notebooks are available to choose from at office supply stores. You should find the right one that shows your creative mind and abilities while providing you with a professional appearance.

After you've pieced together your graphic design portfolio, it is important to create a piece to leave with the employer. You will take your portfolio with you after you leave the interview, but this piece is left for them to have a visual reminder of who you are. It should be something that makes you stand out from other candidates and easily reminds the prospective employer of your skills, knowledge, and experience. This piece can be a flyer, a few samples of your work, or something else from your creative mind as long as it conveys that you're the best candidate for the job.


Schools Offering Training Programs in Graphic Design

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            Graphic Design/Desktop Publishing
            ABCO Technology , Los Angeles
            • An accredited computer training academy preparing students to enter the IT industry as Network Engineers, Software Engineers, Web Apps Developer, Website Designers, Programmers, Database Administrators since 2000.
            • Holds A+ certification from CompTIA.
            • Located in Los Angeles, approximately 10 minutes away from LAX.
            • Flexible class schedules offered during day times, evenings and weekends.
            • Helping students start a career in technology within 3 - 9 months.
            • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
            • Military friendly school.
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            • Financial Aid
            Graphic Arts (AAS)
            • Students are issued a new laptop at the beginning of their programs.
            • All online services and study materials are available 24/7, with faculty available five days a week.
            • All programs available online, with the MBA program offered on campus in Salt Lake City.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), with programmatic accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
            • Approved by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2010.

            Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

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            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
            • Push Your Creativity To The Next Level.
            • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
            • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
            • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
            • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
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            • Online Courses
            Graphic Arts (AAS)
            • Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
            • Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
            • Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
            • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

            Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

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            • Accredited
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            Graphic Design
            Platt College , Riverside
            Good for Working Adults
            • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
            • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
            • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
            • 3 campuses in Southern California.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits

            Latest Graphic Design Articles & News

            Designers to submit artwork to wine label contest
            Graphic designers and artists are now able to enter the annual Artist Series Wine Label Design contest for The Capital Grille, and can submit their creations until October 7, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

            Graphic designers fighting against new design opportunity at Huffington Post
            The Huffington Post has recently issued a contest, asking graphic designers to create a new logo. However, the winning individual will not be paid for their design - they will only be recognized by name, rather than compensation, according to AdWeek.

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