What It Means To Be A Portfolio Student

Many people ask me what it means to be a Portfolio graphic design student.

My Portfolio Invites


For the 16 weeks of a college semester, we meet as a class once a week, where we have lectures, demos, presentations, speakers and panel discussions. The topics range from resume writing to interviewing skills to freelance advice and more. We also have regular meetings with teachers to go over our projects and get feedback. There are about 20 students in my class, most of which I’ve had several classes with over the past couple years. Previous semesters have had as many as 40 students.


We also have to meet with two teachers outside our class to review our portfolio, and one professional in the design industry, to get more feedback on our projects and our overall portfolio book.


We have to put together a print portfolio book with 9 to 12 pieces of our best work. Each page and spread has to be designed in the best way to show off our work and give snippets of our personal branding. I also have a bunch of mock-up brochures, flyers, booklets and more for people to pick up, touch and feel, since we are a tactile people.


We have to have our own personal website to showcase our work. I just finished completely redesigning mine, which I like so much better.


We have to have a resume and business card using our personal identity.


We have to participate in curating the gallery where we will be showing our portfolios. The theme for my class is “In the Market… meet the producers,” intended to resemble the Pike’s Place Market in Seattle, or the Milwaukee Public Market. I’ve been collecting containers to display my design work and giveaways.


Our first show is November 13, called Friends & Family, which will be a dress rehearsal. We have to have about 7 pieces ready in a mock-up book to show on that date.

Our formal Portfolio show is December 4 in the gallery, where we have to have our formal book finished and ready to show, along with mock-ups, give-aways or other goodies we want to display. It’s a more formal, professional event than the first show.

Almost There!

We are about 10 weeks into the semester, which means there are only 6 weeks left. I feel good about all the work I’ve done so far, but there’s still so much more work to do. This has consumed my life outside of my job! The first show is about 2-1/2 weeks away, and yes, I am freaking out. But I’m also very excited and anxious to show my work.

Stay tuned! I will share more pictures and samples soon. Thanks for stopping by.



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