10 Mistakes Design Students Make While Creating Their Portfolio


Creating an effective graphic design portfolio is a task which is familiar to every aspiring design student. However, unsurprisingly, many find it challenging to create a portfolio that would fully reflect their identity and work. In this blog article, we are taking down ten common mistakes that design students make when creating their graphic design portfolios and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1
Lack of context
As a student, you are still learning about graphic design from different sources. The first good portfolio tip is to study the available examples. You can also visit websites and blogs that offer help with creating your first graphic design portfolio. After all, even students who need guidance on how to write a philosophy paper can always ask EssayShark for help so you will definitely find a great source of help as well. Make sure to conduct thorough research on the themes and the concepts you are going to present through your works in your portfolio. You want to make sure that your portfolio offers new and relevant material instead of generic or outdated concepts. You are also looking to study the brilliant portfolios of other people on the web.

Mistake #2
Inadequate or illogical organization of showcased material
Many graphic design students fail to consider the general theme and the logic that they will use to organize their works in the portfolio. Although the purpose of the portfolio is simple – to showcase the talent and the skills of the student through his works, putting the works in the portfolio without a purpose, idea, or a statement is unlikely to leave a good impression on your potential employer. A good rule to follow is to adhere to the principles of simplicity and to develop a simple graphic design portfolio instead of piling the works in a clumsy and unorganized manner without any logical or conceptual connection. After all, it should be organized in a simple and logical manner so that the employer gets a clear understanding of the concepts that the portfolio aims to introduce.

Mistake #3
Putting out average works
It is true that the main purpose of the design portfolio is to provide information about the student’s creative design skills and achievements. However, despite how proud you may be of all of your works, only the select few pieces should make the final cut. Your goal is to select each piece for the portfolio meticulously. Remember that your aim is to show brilliant pieces – the very best that you can offer. Good but average works are unlikely to impress an employer looking for exceptional talent and skill.

Mistake #4
Showcasing more than necessary
When it comes to graphic design portfolios, many put quantity over quality. However, do not aim to add as many pieces to your portfolio as you can fit. Your target audience is likely to get overwhelmed by the amount of information they receive. Bad portfolio examples typically consist of more than 15 projects showcased at a time and confusing potential clients as to what kind of projects you actually do, and that is definitely something you might like to avoid.

Mistake #5
Using templates and repeating ideas
Creativity, originality, as well as authenticity, are without a doubt the qualities that are indispensable to a graphic designer. That is why creating a portfolio according to an already existing concept is a boring repetition as well as, in many cases, plain plagiarism. Do not aspire to be like other graphic designers. A bad portfolio example is a portfolio that uses a generic design style that has been used time and again. Instead, create your own brand new and authentic idea, theme, or concept, and work with it to develop a strong and original portfolio that will give the potential client an idea about who you are and what kind of work you can offer.

Mistake #6
Outdated projects
While creative content is important, it is also necessary to have a portfolio that is current and progressive. Graphic design is a sphere which changes and develops fast, and with it change and develop its tendencies and trends. Therefore, you might want to keep track of what is relevant today so that your portfolio does not end up outdated. Furthermore, many fail to realize the difference between originality and relevance. As such, while pursuing a full demonstration of your authentic and creative ideas, make sure that the works you showcase as well as the way you organize them in your portfolio is relevant to your general purpose in creating the portfolio as well as the target audience.

Mistake #7
Vague introduction and personal statement
A graphic design portfolio should include a brief but informative introduction that includes details about your work and experience with graphic design, the main themes, and concepts that you are working with, as well as a clear and strong personal statement about your future aspirations in graphic design. For this part, you need to be concise and analytical – avoid including irrelevant personal information or opinions, as your goal is to persuade the potential employer that you have a clear vision of your talents and skills and you set ambitious yet realistic goals.

Mistake #8
Focusing only on the visual component
There is little doubt that creating a graphic design portfolio is all about displaying visual information of your graphic design works and projects. However, do not assume that it is enough – although the portfolio might offer visual evidence of your skills and potential as a graphic designer, your future employer needs to receive at least a brief description of each of your projects and some important or interesting details about their creation. With both the visual component and the verbal description, the potential client or employer will have a fuller picture of the projects in your portfolio.

Mistake #9
Failing to invest in your portfolio
Only a few years ago, the standard for portfolios was a physical collection of works which you could take with you to the interview in hopes of getting a job. However, these days, it is just as important to have an online portfolio that can be accessed from various devices. Creating a website for your portfolio may require money and effort, but rest assured that your investment in creating a perfect portfolio will definitely pay off. Make sure that your website contains an effective and memorable logo, an informative About page, as well as an original and stylish design style.

Mistake #10
Your graphic design portfolio reflects your image as a professional graphic designer. However, it should always show a true and professional picture. Without filling up space with boasting or irrelevant information, always include details about the intended purpose of the project or a piece, the client for whom you prepared the project, as well as your role in the development of this project or piece and the ultimate results. Aim to impress the client with your professionalism, rather than your self-confidence.