4 January 2015

Tips on how to make a Design Portfolio

You are here CEED >> CEDD 2014 details and dates

By this time, you would know what it mean by portfolio to design exams and design career. Portfolio is an edited collection of your best design/art works intended to showcase your expertise, understanding, talent or even method of work. 

Remember, a portfolio is not just a collection of images or sketches, it's basically all about wrap up of your ideas and concepts put in a single place. So, don't always think that gathering images and sketches will do fine with your portfolio. Content/quality is more important than quantity.

What can be included in a portfolio

  • Index of of the contents
  • A brief introduction about you, your profile, achievements, especially something that tells the interviewer about your design interests through either cover letter format or even personal statement
  • Also, make sure to show a full range of abilities, including sketching, rendering, digital sketching/painting
  • Any of the works made using Photoshop, finished products, photography, 3D-modelling, written documentation, 
  • Water and oil color paintings
  • A collection of some best captures taken by you (photographs) or any other alternatives, 
  • Design case studies


Good Practices

Maintain the order of placing best works at the top and moving to the next lower levels of works. Better not to show same kind of works always, even if you are applying for a specific design stream, try to elaborate your works and attempt a broad and wide variety of design and art works to showcase your extensive interest and diversified nature. 


Pick one of your strongest work as your opening page. Most portfolio tutors recommend to keep resumes and any other paper work in the back or in a separate folder. Try labelling your works with a title and if possible with brief description. Design portfolio's usually should contain only your best works. It's good to have a small portfolio carrying your best works rather than a big and bulk portfolio carrying lots of work ranging from good to silly. 

 A good portfolio should speak itself rather than requiring additional explanation by you. Like it is important for your portfolio work to be self expressive, better prepare for voral explanation too. You should be in a position to briefly explain about 
  • Your work, giving details on what the idea/concept is, 
  • Why it differs from others/present work
  • What advantages the concept provides
  • Who the users are, and so on. 

Get ready to self explain about each and every work of yours as included in the portfolio. The brief descriptions that you include would help you to identify the key points and explain accordingly !

There are quite a huge number of free/open source software's available in internet, that would help you with digital portfolio and other creative work making. 


Preferred format

  1. Sketches/art works (hand or digital made) that depicts construction process
  2. Concepts/idea development/generation process are most effective (Give a good insight into how that idea was generated). 
  3. Font size, style and colors are equally important in portfolio's. 
  4. Don't over load the portfolio's with many sizes and types. 
  5. 10 - 20 pages is quite handy. If exceeds, better to make another portfolio collection.

What portfolio is meant for ?

When the interviewers look at your portfolio, they would expect the work to be :
  • Realistic/original 
  • Concept-oriented 
  • Aesthetic 
  • Well-organized, 
  • Self explanatory and of course practical.  

Quality portfolios are appreciated and not those having huge collections. Interviewers won't be having that much time to go through all your works. Anyway, better to carry all those experimental, or completed works with you. Have two to three portfolio collections if you have quite a huge number of works. If you have some works/models that is quite huge in size, then better to photograph that and carry to showcase the work while at interview.

What materials can be used in making portfolio's


Precisely speaking, any art media can be used in making portfolio works. Design and work samples as well as models/prototypes can be taken as a portfolio support. 

There are a number of Electronic portfolio (also known as online portfolio, digital portfolio or also called e-portfolio). You may try your hands on some of these software's (if you have time)



You may find portfolio works of others in this social networks 


Some portfolio examples














Hope this helps, the thing is; portfolio works depend on individual and there are NO specific formats to follow. It should depict individual creativity and so, keeping all the above tips in mind, try to make the portfolio with your own style (a unique way), depicting your imaginative ideas.

You may also wish to see - Interview tips for CEED and NID


5 comments:

  1. I am not selected yet but as a mechanical engineer what should i add to my portfolio.....and how much does it matters

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will get to know about selection in Jan if i'm not wrong (coz in Jan results will be declared), but its safer to get prepared for portfolio before results. If not this year, your portfolio might be helpful in future too!
      This post is completely dedicated to answer your question "what shld I add to my portfolio?" please read this post from the top :)

      Delete
  2. Bhanu sir, first of all a big thank you for this blog and your online help portal for preparation of students like us.I am a mechanical grad.(2016 batch). This year i want to appear CEED as well as NID-DAT for PG course. My query is that whether in my portfolio can i add my mechanical designs what i had prepared( Design, analysis and simulation of an off-road vehicle chassis and its suspension system) during participation of a national off-road racing event BAJA SAE 2015. please response to my query, sir!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hello sunil,
      first thing is portfolio preparation can be taken care later (after ceed/nid exams) since u will get sufficient time after the exams, but preparation for the preliminary exams are very imp. So, I would rather suggest you to concentrate more on ceed/nid screening exams, of course one will be allowed to present portfolio only when they clear these exams.
      Regarding your actual query, I think you can show/include ur design in for ceed interviews but I little doubt whether it can be presented during nid interview, or not! The design you did is more in-detail type concerning mostly about the how much strength the chassis bears and what is the safe strength that can be loaded on it. But designers expect design in different sense. They rather try to find more about aesthetics in ur design esp nid. So, I would suggest you to try contacting any prospect students and check with them.
      But u can definitely present ur work during IISc interviews for CPDM admission through CEED!

      Delete

Any of your comments for this post will be sent to Bhanu for his approval. It will get published only after his approval. You will receive mail for all the replies to your comment.