Graphic Design Business: Making and Promoting a Portfolio

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Making a portfolio is the first and the most major step to draw your clients towards your business and get the work. Your portfolio is the first impression that a client would have of your work and on the basis of it he will be able to give you work. There are different types of design portfolios and you must know which type you are selecting so that the client can easily access your portfolio and can understand it.

Types of Portfolios

When trying to get a job or get acquaintance with the most well reputed organizations, your portfolio is the most solid asset to reach to the employer who will decide whether to take you or not.

Creating Portfolio by Website

In today’s world this is probably the most used way of showing your work. Online showing your portfolio is not easily accessible but also looks very dynamic and professional.

Benefits:

  • Easy to send to anyone, you can just send a link.
  • You can very well play with the graphics, can give it a proper designed form, can use colors and can use unlimited effects which would actually depict your own personality too.
  • You can have interactive presentation of your work.

Drawbacks:

  • Though it has its own positive aspects, this is the most time consuming to make.
  • Since it’s completely produced on the computer you don’t know whether it will open on other systems, how it will behave, how it will appear.
  • Incase you are not aware of developing a website yourself, it will be very expensive to hire someone to make it for you.
  • Payment for the domain and web hosting will also be done by you.

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Creating Portfolio in the Form of PDF

Creating portfolio in the form of PDF is becoming more and more popular since multiple pages, images can be sent together in one piece and the result is a brochure like file which looks professional.

Benefits:

  • It’s easy to e mail.
  • You don’t have to worry about the systems and browsing issues, you can actually represent it the way you have made it.
  • The PDF depicts a well knitted layout and creates an automatic balance.
  • It can be printed with proper and uniform results.
  • It’s quick and free of cost to develop.

Drawbacks:

  • It’s completely dependable on the user wither to open it or save it.
  • You cannot show your web design projects in it.

The Classic Portfolio

This is in the form of small booklet and actual printed form. In today’s digital world this still looks nice and appealing. Several ways can be developed to develop the hard copy, either putting in prints in a pre made booklet or designing your own custom designed booklet.

Benefits:

  • Shoes your work in its actual printed form and format, it’s a hard copy of your work
  • Due to this reason the clients can consult it or look at it several times whenever needed, he doesn’t really have to open his computer every time.
  • Since it’s tangible, it can be given away to show it to others.
  • It can be placed on anyone’s working table and if it has a dynamic beautiful graphics, it increases the value of the table and anyone walking in or passing byy can actually have a look at it.
  • No computer required, can be brought in any time anywhere.

Drawbacks:

  • It can only be delivered by post and not thorough e mail. Else can be delivered in person.
  • If you don’t have several copies of it, you leave it with a client and you have nothing left.
  • If the printing is not upto the standard, it can destroy your very well worked and excellent graphics.
  • Making several copies of it can be very expensive.

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After the portfolio comes the step how to promote it

Ways to Promote Your Business

Word of Mouth

This is the oldest and most effective way of publicity. It always feels good when someone says “have you heard of that person who has designed my logo and stationer, He’s really good.” This might seem very good but actually even this needs reminders to people. This can be done in several ways, quarterly newsletters or press ads would work. Even small flyer printing can be a good option.

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Design a Business Card

This is the most organized way. Giving your personal visiting card to potential clients helps you gain popularity instead of giving your contact information by writing down on some piece of paper which later might be lost. Creative cards and good business card can bring you more work. Few business cards are so well designed that even if the client does not intend to give you work, he would just keep it with him because it’s beautiful, but later some time he would definitely consult it to give you work.

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Credit Line

When you work for somebody he or she will definitely promote you to his or her clients through word of mouth. But isn’t it too cool that you get through that person’s clients yourself. There is no harm in it since you are not violating anyone’s rights. It’s just you are getting the credit for your work yourself instead of involving any third person.

Get a Blog

Creating your website isn’t enough. Try making a social network where people can directly approach your portfolio and can comment on it. In this way your publicity will get social.

Along with this learn to organize your work by keeping them up to date. Use softwares to keep backups, use time tracking softwares to see how fast you can work. Meet deadlines yourself. You must organize your work in the most manageable way in order to use it for future references.

Dealing with the clients might not be as easy as it appears. But it’s important to know what to talk to clients when you meet them. Ask them

  • Who is the target audience
  • What is the message of the campaign
  • What is their brand identity
  • What are the designed items required and their specifications
  • What is the budget of the client
  • Is there any deadline for the project
  • Does he already have any references
  • Does he prefer certain colors or fonts

You must decide on the contract first, either you take a certain amount of initial advance payment or a token amount just to assure that he doesn’t run away after getting you hooked up by making several options. If you are using stock images make sure you have the copyrights or buy the images. Never cheat, never borrow or copy the images. Decide on the concept first, then work accordingly in schedule given by client. Make sure you work on the images and backgrounds so that they can be produced in high resolution later for artwork.

Web Design Portfolios for Your Inspiration

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