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Thread: Portfolios

  1. #1
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    Ahoy,

    This has been bugging me for some time, but it has never been relevant enough for me to actually go out and find the answer, and then do something about it. But dark times are ahead, and ones axe must be sharpened.

    I have procured a couple of clients, and I have another potential client. I'm sixteen and am at college at the moment, so building a portfolio isn't a priority right now, but I'm not going to turn down work, because both the experience and the money (I work in McDonalds :/ ) would be handy. However, I want to make sure that after these projects are complete, I go about creating a portfolio in the correct manner.

    I have a vague idea of how to make online portfolios, but this is easily researched. However, I was wondering whether it is normal for a web designer to keep an offline, print copy of their portfolio, and how to go about such an undertaking.

    I bought I nice folder, but I'm thinking it isn't nice enough, and that anyone who looked at it could well hit me with a shovel. It's a white plastic one, and has plastic-pocket type pages inside, where you slide an A4 sheet inside so that it looks all shiny and neat. Again, I don't know if web designers even have print based portfolios, so basically what I'm asking is if they do or not, and if they do, please tell me everything your willing to share about them!

    Any responses are much appreciated

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Eddy Bones's Avatar
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    It seems completely worthless to me for a web designer/developer to have a print portfolio because it is an online medium. It's all digital, and nobody really gets anything out of a site printed on a piece of paper.

    I would, however, suggest you put all your completed sites, plus the date it was finished and any notes about what your job in the design process was (just the layout, just the coding, whatever) on a CD. For safe keeping, or for validity purposes if anyone disputes your claims to the sites.

  4. #3
    Senior Member mossoi's Avatar
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    That's the way I would also go. Rather than handing over a folder give CDs to potential clients.

  5. #4
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    I think that makes sense, considering we work with a digital medium. Thanks for the replies! I'm just glad I didn't spend too much money on the folder :P

  6. #5
    Senior Member Trico's Avatar
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    I'd have to disagree with Eddy. I don't see why you should limit yourself by making a definite decision to use either one or the other, why not both, or more... I have a web version, samples burned on CD's and a printed version very similar to what you were talking about. It depends on the situation/circumstances.

    My whole problem with web design is that the majority become what I like to call 'Webbers' for the lack of a better word. They'll learn all the technical stuff: html, maybe some CSS if they've caught on, a server side language, enough colour theory to scrape through and just enough knowledge of typography to be able to select an appropriate font.

    Sometimes I think people forget that it's a communications medium, just like print design; except half the attention and skill goes into the web on a visual front and at all when trying to portray anything at a deeper level. If you work as part of a team this is less relevant; but more so to anyone who freelances on the basis that he/she as an individual think they can offer a 'complete package' (without sub-contracting.)

    Anyway, back to the point; I use a printed portfolio to demonstrate skills in the general areas of Art & Design, which can apply to the web or any other area/medium concerning design. If you've ever made a logo, put it in. Significantly retouched a photo that you used in a project? Show a before/after shot and use it to show your graphical ability ...and that you're not just another limited person of creating naff bevelled buttons in Fireworks.

    Here's another reason. Ever come across a non-web savvy/computer literate client? If not yet; I can guarantee you'll run into one some day. I can tell you they really appreciated the uncomplicated approach of just being able to sit down and flip through a folder.

    If you're sending your work out to agencies or potential clients and it's in a printed form you can be almost certain it'll get looked at there and then. You trying sending them a CD, it might get looked at later on if you're lucky... or likely it'll become destined to being another drinks coaster replacement. Price would be the main concern in this one, but then here comes the old cliché of "you've got to spend money, to make money". How serious are you willing to take it?

    I suppose what needs to be asked, is how far you intend to go towards graphic design, or are you more preferring of strictly the coding and developing side?

    Offline Portfolio: Normal? Perhaps not; Useful... yes.

  7. #6
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    I agreee with trico, I have had a customer or 2 that it was easier to show a printed site then the one online, I would say that yout should have a cd copy to show, and a printed to copy to show. It would all depend on the client's needs.

    I personally have both, I have 2 copies of both, printed and cd of each website I have done, and it has worked for me in the past.

  8. #7
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    Well I suppose it wouldn't hurt to keep a print based copy, and it would make things at lot easier if I started now rather than a few years down the line.

    In reference to your question about whether I want to work in print design or strictly web design, I'm not really sure. The idea of web design really appeals to me, and I can see myself becoming very bored, very quickly qorking in print design. However, I also feel that a lot of the theory that is applied to print design is also extremely useful in web design (typography, colour, usability), and I am yet to find a decent book that covers the subject. This makes me really nervous when I take on clients, as I know I can structure a page, make it streamlined and accessible, usable and the rest, but I have problems with making things look good. I've just realised that I'm going off on bit of a tangent, but I have to say it, because it's worrying me. I don't want to spend countless thousands of GPB, and focus my entire education on web design just to find out in a few years that I'm crap at it.

    Creativey I have a lot of ideas, but I can't apply them to a web page

  9. #8
    Senior Member Shani's Avatar
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    I agree with Trico.

    Here's something I do that may work for you too. I like to keep all my finals in .pdf format on a single CD. It's for me, not clients, called PDFs with the date. I think it would be useful to you because you aren't immediately needing your print pieces. Also, many printers vary, and even the same printer on different days has a different output. So, to keep your printed portfolio consistent, you'd want to print everything at the same time, on the same type of paper, and probably on a high end printer, so having everything on one disk is my solution to that.
    Shani

    I have an eye for detail like you'd never believe.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Trico's Avatar
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    [Warning! - going extremely off original topic]

    Well I started out at an early age learning web design as such, it's a damn huge field of combined disciplines, and it would take a seriously long time to get bored of it all; you're constantly picking up new material.

    The whole working with the constraints of a web browser and the net itself gets under my skin at times, then there's always people telling you 'web Design is saturated, get out.' If you love doing it enough, you'll carry on with it regardless, even as a hobby if it doesn't work out as a career.

    I've been studying Multimedia at college the past two years, it's opened up so many more choices. In learning graphic design (a lot of it through print work) you develop skills such as being overly anal-attentive to detail and being critical. (The industry loves this.) (Read my posts on this forum and you'll see that much.)

    I'd consider it to be more of a taster/sample course than anything, covering areas of DVD/CD-Rom authoring, print design, web design, traditional/computer based 2D/3D animation, video editing etc. Even though it's considered mostly for the creative/technical/digital media aspects, in irony I've found myself being more intrigued about print. (So in that sense I'm the opposite of you.)

    I have no intention to specialise at this point in my life, web work alone would become boring and vice versa with print. Varity keeps me going, but this isn't going to be for everyone.

    One thought which I see echoed enough is how blatantly bad web design is taught through official education. I can second that. Slapping a copy of Dreamweaver in front of you now feels like the ritual to being a 'web designer', in turn producing the next generation of people who fall victim to the tales of: '...but my 15 year old son/daughter can do web design'.

    My advice; For real, spend your money on socialising and making friends because you're going to be tucked away in a room spending long hours with a computer and a few good books (atleast if your seriously intent on making you, and the web work. Trying to learn web design in a class room, lectuer theatre etc just doesn't cut it.

    and at that ...I'll call it a night

    (to be contniued...)

  11. #10
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    I totally agree with you about bad web design being taught through official education. My college ICT course is a joke. I do double AVCE ICT, and currently I am being forced to make a web site in MS Word. It's pathetic, I've told them I would rather do it on a text editor, but if I don't do it in Word I don't pass the course. It's ridiculous. Although I do progress to the glory of Frontpage later on

    I feel a little strange at the moment, because I'm getting to the point were I have to make decisions. I know what I want to do, but I'm worried about failing, and I don't want to get a degree in something I'm not confident in doing, through fear of not being good enough and not finding work.


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