I am a Computer Science Graduate looking to apply for a job in graphic design. I have completed a few graphic design projects for clients I know who needed work done.

From what I understand, I need a portfolio. What do I need to include in a portfolio (designs only, descriptions, etc.) and where would I display these (on a separate website, LinkedIn or elsewhere)?

How do you showcase real life examples of graphic design work that has already been completed?

  • 4
    You're asking vastly different questions and kinda looks like you're just promoting your LinkedIn. What are you trying to do get into a Graduate MFA program? Get a job? Build a portfolio? These are all different things, none of which are communicated on your LinkedIn Profile
    – Ryan
    Aug 16 '16 at 17:24
  • 1
    Sorry I wasn't clear enough, please edit again to only ask one question. You can post a second question as a new one.
    – Ryan
    Aug 16 '16 at 17:59
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    Hum. A portafolio is a graphic design project per se. And it would be an easy one because it is your own project. If you are are going to apply to a graphic design job...
    – Rafael
    Aug 16 '16 at 18:45
  • If you had studied graphic design, you would already know how to create a portfolio. You would hopefully also know how to spell it.
    – DocPixel
    Aug 17 '16 at 2:07

There are so many resources on how to do this on the Internet, just search on YouTube for 'portfolio graphic design' and you will get exactly what you're looking for. In short:

  • Choose a couple of projects you are really proud of.
  • Present the task, some samples of your process (early sketches, prototypes, ...) and finally your product.
  • Use all these pieces to tell a coherent story that not only includes your final products but also shows the inspector your style of thinking, your capability of self-criticism and your willingness of overthrowing everything that doesn't meet your standards.
  • Try not to claim things, just give proof of your skills by presenting a nice and round layout that meets the requirements implicitly.
  • Finally maybe the most important point in case there are many great applicants: Do something creative and interesting that the viewer doesn't expect. This is your job as a designer!

For some odd reason, many believe they can obtain degrees in other fields and then call themselves graphic designers. I have seen engineers, architects and other graduates from different fields do this. What do you know about typography? What's the difference between a geometric sans-serif and humanist san-serif? What typeface was used throughout Captain America Civil War? What makes the FedEx logo special?

What are the principles of design? Do you know the current design trends?

These questions aren't even 0.001% of what you should be able to answer before calling yourself a graphic designer. It is possible to become a graphic designer, and if you educate yourself it's doable. But you must know not just where to look but what to look for. We're not only expected to design well and explain all of our choices but also have a lot of technical skills. Keyboard shortcuts for the Adobe Creative Suite (and they aren't always consistent). Many companies want designers that code (that could be to your benefit) or design and wireframe projects for coders. You should be familiar with HTML/CSS and consider learning Javascript, jQuery and PHP if you haven't already.

Even if you know these languages can you apply design principles to make elegant solutions? Can you recognize art/design history influences on different designs?

You should begin by taking courses on Lynda.com. You should create a Behance and/or a portfolio website with your work. Find your style and your specialty. Be honest with yourself and compare your work to others to see if it yours looks considerably worse. I once had a Professor unpin our work and re-pin it in order of best to worst and told us to figure out what he just did. Until you've gone through and understand the many things that forge a designer, you will likely have a hard time being recognized as one.

Check out courses in typography at lynda.com

Also begin checking out websites like:




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    I am not entirely convinced this answers the question. Yes i agree graphic design is much harder than it initially seems. Though i am a mechanical engineer not a graphic designer i can answer your questions with one exception as i havent seen the capitain america movie. Though finding out wouldnt take long. I would say that knowing the keyboard shortcuts of adobe suite or the questions you ask are not really instrumental to becoming a graphic designer. But this said many people want to label me with different labels, i do not subscribe any of them, nor will i claim to be a graphic designer.
    – joojaa
    Aug 16 '16 at 20:40
  • As a working design professional in New York City graduated and employed in the field, these are only a few things expected if you want to be employed for a career in graphic design. On that note, keyboard shortcuts are expected. Aug 16 '16 at 23:31
  • Sounds like a HR requrement for a Adobe operator. Well im not supprised about that.
    – joojaa
    Aug 17 '16 at 5:04
  • The question is, "What do I need to include in a portfolio (designs only, descriptions, etc.) and where would I display these (on a separate website, LinkedIn or elsewhere)? How do you showcase real life examples of graphic design work that has already been completed?" --- you seem to just go off on him about graphic design being hard. For all you know he's been doing graphic design his whole life but chose to major in something else. Downvoting cause this doesn't answer the question that was asked.
    – Ryan
    Aug 17 '16 at 6:04
  • To be a designer in Scholastic, they give you a skills test. They watch you in a room and they monitor your knowledge of the shortcuts because time is money. I enjoy upsetting the anti-social lot of stack exchange users such as yourselfs. This is sound and true advice and I mention Behance and a portfolio website. I wonder I you read my response or maybe you did and it struck a cord in your own careers...yikes. Aug 18 '16 at 14:43

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