First Steps to Building a Killer Graphic Design Portfolio

Creating a truly stunning graphic design portfolio can be quite the challenge. It’s simultaneously your first impression, a comprehensive definition of your personal style, and a showcase of your best work. But, then again, so is everyone else’s.

So how do you make your portfolio stand out from the crowd?

500x500_PreparingYourPortfilioLearn what employers and designers are looking for in Denise Bosler’s Preparing Your Portfolio Bootcamp. This two-week HOW Design University course will help you determine which of your works are worthy of your design portfolio. You’ll learn how to arrange your portfolio and how to develop a strategy that will get your work in front of the clients and employers who are best for you.

In this course, Denise will guide you through the process of creating a stunning portfolio that showcases your strengths and impresses the right people. At the end, you’ll walk away with a finished print or digital portfolio that’s prepped to impress your potential employers and clients.

Denise Bosler’s Preparing Your Portfolio Bootcamp begins May 26, so register today! Enter code DBOSLER at checkout to get 20% off registration.

To show what you can expect in Denise’s course, I’ve put together a sneak peek at the first steps in Denise’s process of putting together a knockout portfolio.

Creating a Stunning Graphic Design Portfolio – First Steps

Step 1: Assess Your Work

Whether you’re just starting your career as a recent graduate, or you’re a freelancer looking to acquire new clients, it’s important to take a moment to step back and evaluate your body of work to determine what works best in a portfolio.

Keep in mind that your portfolio needs to be unique, impressive and cohesive for it to stand out among those of other designers. When making your initial selections, figure out which of your  works best showcase your personal style.

To learn what you should look for specifically and get personal advice from a true pro, register for Denise’s Preparing Your Portfolio Bootcamp. She’ll take a look at your work and offer constructive criticism and tips for creating your absolute best portfolio.

Step 2: Develop a Game Plan

When you’re putting together your plan of attack you’ll need to explore the optimal methods for presenting your portfolio. For example, if you’re an interactive designer, you’ll probably want digital or online portfolio. If you’re a traditional print designer—or you’re meeting an employer or client in person—you may want to create a print portfolio.

You’ll also want to consider who you want to see your portfolio and tailor it to that specific employer or client. Consider what  different clients and companies value in their design work and make sure your portfolio fits.

Step 3: Refine, refine, and refine again.

Once you’ve decided what pieces you want to include, you’ll need to figure out what doesn’t fit. You can make sure your portfolio is cohesive by defining its conceptual direction. It doesn’t matter how impressive your work is if it’s presented in a hodgepodge of mismatched projects. Make sure your portfolio flows nicely and fits the jobs and clients you’re looking for.


These tips were just a brief glance of what Denise covers in the first part of her Preparing Your Portfolio Bootcamp. Let her help you create your best portfolio and get it in front of the clients and employers you want. Register for the course today!

Plus, as an exclusive bonus, enter code DBOSLER at checkout to get 20% off registration. The course begins Monday, May 26, so don’t wait!


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Denise Bosler is a graphic designer, illustrator, and professor of communication design at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. She earned a B.F.A. from Kutztown University and an M.F.A. from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Denise has focused her design work on print collateral, product packaging, and identity development in both print and digital projects.

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