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So, I've been freelancer for many years, as a Graphic Designer and Web Developer. Last few days I've found myself filling a huge portfolio for a creative company - Videos, Websites, Branding and even smart designed contents are the four elements to a flat, nicely designed and motivational portfolio.

While I was filling their portfolio, I asked my client if they wanted ALL of their works included in the portfolio. He said that every company needs to show all of their works, even a small red circle on a giant yellow paper.

Two details:

  1. Even the possibility of user select which type of element they want to see, the portfolio was very huge: +40 products per type
  2. Had some TINY projects with -0 hits (eg: flyer for Fair Sausages)
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Short answer: no. Longer answer: noooooooooooooooo, no, no. –  user568458 Feb 18 at 17:04
    
What do you mean filling their portfolio? Are the pieces yours or the creative agencies?? –  Ryan Feb 18 at 18:19
    
@Ryan I am doing only the platfrorm design, including their work in a webview. But I actually found this as a relevant question for GD's comunity. :) –  fiskolin Feb 18 at 18:50
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4 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Should designers put ALL of their works in their portfolio?

My answer is NO. A portfolio is a collection of your best work. Not EVERYTHING you've done since kindergarten.

However, I DO feel that a portfolio should be tailored for who you are showing it to just like a resume. If you are presenting to a client that wants you to do their website, then you show more website designs.

Show them your best work for what they want you to do for them, and you can sprinkle in some of your other items as garnish.

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Definite No. It is tough to know where to draw the line though, particularly if you have a lot of pieces that you look at as similar quality. You should ask peers what is your best work(s), but more importantly, what is/are the worst. If you get a consistent answer for that, you are hurting yourself, even if it does establish diversity/range.

I think the key is showing something different with each example as long as it doesn't lower your standard of work. In the end, you need to make the client confident of your quality and consistency to replicate that level of quality work. If you put too many sub par pieces up it will shake that confidence. Nobody wants to hire a graphic artist who is hit or miss.

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If this is for an interview I would suggest tailoring the best 10 pieces you have for that company and putting it in a portfolio. We do have a similar question that might also be useful to you: "What type of paper should I use for print outs for a physical portfolio?"

You could always re-iterate that you have more work, if they would like to see it, on your website. The same rule does also apply to a website though. Have your best work possibly on the index page and the remaining in a portfolio section that can be referenced.

Videos, Websites, Branding and even smart designed contents are the four elements to a flat, nicely designed and motivational portfolio.

In regards to the video I would mention that you have them on a site unless you plan to bring in a device to show it, such as an iPad or a disc to hand them for review. Usually some companies like to talk to you while they review your portfolio so if handing them a disc with videos and no device becomes almost a paperweight until they can review it.

In regards to a website it would be hard to print them to a quality that would beat a working prototype/real site. Maybe do a single page mockup, if responsive use a screen, tablet, and phone to display, but write the actual address so they could see what it looks like and functions.

In regards to branding physical items such as a folded brochure, pamphlet, book cover, nothing beats a finished print and if you have any hidden elements that can only be understood when printed and folded its better than trying to explain your idea when its flat, on a paper.


EDITED after a thought:

Also, I realized not every print or graphics designer may have a website. If you dont know how to or have a way to create a website there are some portfolio sites that you can post your work on:

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All your work in a portfolio? Of course not. In what universe is that anything else but an utterly ludicrous idea. Anyone forced to look through it will collapse from visual/sensory overload. Not a good place to start when showing your work.

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