Graphic Design: How Often Should I Be Updating My Portfolio?

October 24, 2013

Updating Graphic Design PortfolioSo, you’ve created your Graphic Design portfolio. Now what?

Whether you are just trying to collect and organize your work or you are getting ready to complete your degree program and apply for jobs, you are probably working on your portfolio. But how often should you be working on it? Do you need to update it every three months, six months, a year?

We’ve got the answers to your questions. Read more and master your Graphic Design portfolio today:

Especially if you are still a student, you are producing a lot of work over the course of a year. Whether it’s school projects or final products from internships, you probably have a lot of material you want to include in your portfolio.

So, we recommend updating your portfolio at least once a year.

This is a good habit to develop because even as a professional graphic designer, you can produce a lot of work. Staying up-to-date with your portfolio can make finding jobs a lot easier. Clients want to see your portfolio to know what your style is and what they can expect from you. Especially if you hope to freelance, you are going to need a portfolio that shows your latest work.

But, a portfolio is similar to a resume. After every job you complete, you want to update it.

You want your portfolio to be fresh. Graphic designer Cadence Wu emphasizes the importance of maintaining and updating your portfolio on a regular basis. She says, “Keeping your portfolio current is important because you could unexpectedly get fired, or your dream job might pop up out of nowhere! You need to be ready at a moment’s notice.”

Wu recommends not only updating your portfolio with new work, but also replacing any bent or ripped pieces of work and cleaning any fingerprints or smudges from your clear page slips.

And, if you wait until the end of the year, you might lose hard copies of your work. Updating your portfolio after every completed assignment means that your work is constantly cataloged. We recommend using both a print and online portfolio, which can save you a lot of time and energy if you do it as you complete projects, rather than waiting.

Your top priority after completing might not be updating your portfolio. Students are busy, and often you are working on more than one project at a time.

If this is you, we recommend updating your portfolio at the end of each semester. It should be easy for you to remember to take the time at the end of the semester to update your portfolio because students often get all of their work back at the end of the school semester. It is a great opportunity for you to take some time after finals and sort through your work to decide what you would like to include in your portfolio.

Select the work that best represents you as a designer and what you hope to do in the industry. As a student, you are required to take a lot of courses – some of which might not apply to your personal interests. That does not mean you should throw away the work you’ve done. If you are using a print portfolio, you can create two: one showing all of the work you’ve done that applies directly to your personal goals and another cataloging all of your work. If you have an online portfolio, you can create separate galleries that are categorized based on content. Future employers might want to see other types of work you’ve done, so it’s good to have this work on hand and easily accessible.

More questions about portfolios? Contact Career Services at Brooks Institute today.