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I'm in the rare situation where I'm a graphic designer and I don't have much of a portfolio.

I've a small business making customised badges and stickers for the last 6/7 years. Lately, I've worked on small badge designs for a multi-national company, and this week they'd like me to swing by their offices to chat about extra work, brochures, etc.

I've been pulling together sample designs and styles like crazy over the last week but I'm super nervous. I've barely got a portfolio or any street cred to rub together. Badges and stickers are a world away from flyer and brochures.

Any advice appreciated!

  • Hello WorriedGraphics. Could you please formulate your actual question? We are a Q&A site, not a forum, and we like concise, specific questions. Thanks! – Vincent Aug 23 '17 at 7:58
  • Just to let everyone know. I've bagged myself a solid week of freelance graphic design work with this international company. Fingers crossed everything goes well. Thanks all! – WorriedGraphics Aug 24 '17 at 20:25
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Congratulations on the invite! If you have impressed them as far as to be invited into the office, then you probably have already won them over. I would not worry about trying to be something you are not. IMO, be honest and admit that you love graphic design; you love their company; and you would love for a chance to expand on your current skills and do some brochures. They are already assuming that it's easy to transition from buttons to brochures. Show them that confidence!

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If you've been making the badges and stickers full time for several years then there's your perfect explanation as to why your general portfolio is thin.

There's nothing wrong with being committed to a project, and you've shown years of commitment and (since you've been at it so long) I assume success.Certainly enough success to get invited into the office, so it's the stickers and badges that they like already.

Simply brass it out with confidence and tell them they'll like their first catalogue order as much as they like your stickers!

Certainly do not undermine yourself by rushing to show them half-finished or sub-standard portfolio filling material, that could backfire.

And don't under-price yourself either! They invited YOU in - they head-hunted you. It's a sellers market!

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Brochures are indeed different from badges. But design is a very broad field so you'd better prepare yourself for a wider type of items. There's a ton of tutorials and templates out there to start with, so you really don't need to reinvent the wheel here. Be confident when you discuss this with the client and then be prepared to provide!

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