My (First) Design Portfolio

My (First) Design Portfolio

Should you be a generalist or specialist if you want to get work? This is my first design portfolio when I graduated Art Center College of Design in 1995. It’s a collection of logos, editorial design, layout, typography, ads and some early motion design work. Along with the portfolio, I talk bout the importance of developing a “T” Skill which shows why having depth is more important than be a generalist or jack of all trades.


New design school graduates, this is what you need to know in putting your portfolio together. What are employers looking for in new grads? How can you stand out?

Get a valuable look inside the mind of Master Designer and CEO of Blind Labs: Chris Do, as he talks about what employers like himself look for in a portfolio. Learn the criteria employers use to judge your portfolio and the manner and context in which it is seen. What is the purpose of your portfolio? What are you trying to accomplish with it?

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50 replies
  1. Kilyén Balázs
    Kilyén Balázs says:

    I have to admit, the video opened my eyes to thing i already known, but now i can see trough them. The thing with this is "design schools and beginners need to teach every aspect" I mean, to start on the profession you simply have to learn for example typography, or classic mediums like drawing, meaning you are in sime way an illustrator as well, and you can only specialize when you have all the basic skills, and right now the graphic design profession is ultrasuperwide, so you are going to have to know a lot of basic skills, leaving you with a lot less time to specialize. But yes i agree with all this.

  2. Julian Wengkang
    Julian Wengkang says:

    and here i’m in third world country, they even cant tell what is illustration and designer, the corporate think its same. I’m in beginner level, and damn I applied for graphic design and get motion design test skill on the spot, and im just like WTF is going on here its not small corporate its kinda big cause its over the country but they still dont understand the difference, if the end or in the word has design they think i could do it hahahaha

  3. Gireesh mishra
    Gireesh mishra says:

    Hello . I’m MCA student I’m quite good in art and sketching can I go with theses skills in ui/UX designer world?

  4. Jerome Garcia
    Jerome Garcia says:

    I started looking for helpful tips last night cos I have been looking for a new job for a month or two now. I believe I have the talent it’s just the way I present my digital portfolio that’s giving me NO’S from the employers, but this video really helped me understand. I’m going to revamp my website and hopefully it will all work out. Thanks very much Chris!

  5. Micah Bernardo
    Micah Bernardo says:

    I just graduated and recently got an email from a company telling me that my portfolio was irrelevant. So I wondered because I was quite confident that I could do what they do in the agency. Then I realized how scattered my portfolio was and they weren’t able to see my core skills clearly. 🙁 Thanks for the video. Really helpful!!

  6. Janne Wolterbeek
    Janne Wolterbeek says:

    The video about price/rate got me to this channel, I loved it. This one I had to skip, sorry, it was either very obvious or narrowed down to a very select market that does not apply to me. Also, i feel this video should say: ‘This is for the top/most elite market out there’, it would save me time watching.

  7. Marina Papagianni
    Marina Papagianni says:

    Hi guys, how can I get a portfolio review and guidance on how to improve it? I am looking for Graphic Design jobs in London and most of the jobs ask for a wide variety of design skills so I cant limit myself to just a few kinds. Please contact me asap!

  8. Dave Blvnko
    Dave Blvnko says:

    pls make a update video for pdf and website portofolios… i want to create a animated website but i could need a few more inspirations…

  9. Janne Wolterbeek
    Janne Wolterbeek says:

    I completely disagree with the first 3 minutes. You failed to mention the hiring company has a budget to hire all kinds of specialists. To be fair, design positions exist in almost any company, organization or non-profit. Especially the smaller ones appreciate people with a BROAD set of skills, like I do. Yes, I go all the way from graphic design to web design, JS coding, photography, 3D and animation. I did work in pretty much all of these fields for a non-profit recently.

  10. Martin Veloche
    Martin Veloche says:

    That’s my big problem, i am very good in art in general, but i need graphic design to be my main economy. Is hard to focus and know what to show, how to generate a pattern!

  11. A. Angel
    A. Angel says:

    Many firms still want physical portfolios, what is the best way to compile your work together in a physical format? I was thinking a small ring book similar to Mr. Dos first portfolio?

  12. Tagui Manukian
    Tagui Manukian says:

    For someone who is just starting in the field and there is not much of real projects to include in the portfolio can the content be only created for the purpose of forming a portfolio? For example, a book cover of an imaginary book that actually doesn’t exist.

  13. Chloe Bee
    Chloe Bee says:

    Did you send a cover letter and a summary per each piece of work about why you created what you created with your portfoio? Thanks!

  14. Arturs Linde
    Arturs Linde says:

    I want to make small notice here, people commenting around that there is many companies that ask for many skills form one person.
    This video is about making a portfolio for BIG companies like Marvel/Disney if you are an artist or if you are a Designer for big studios or brands, which have a team of designers in-house.
    The questions you have to ask your self are :
    – Are you confident to search for a place directly in the big studios/companies?
    – Is the work that you will put on portfolio right now is good enough for those studios, to know that just do research find out a designer who works at the particular studio and watch their portfolios? is your work on a similar level or way-way lower?
    – The most important question what is your biggest passion?
    If you answer these questions to yourself you will know what type of portfolio you need if you really need the job to earn for basic needs, and you don’t want to work in a warehouse, you can make a portfolio that suits the small companies with like 1 guy does everything, is it good? Well, kind of it is interesting more interesting than just doing one thing you work in the whole process, will it take down your nerves? yes it will, will it pay off? well depends mostly not. If you live with your parents and don’t need to think on basic needs go for 1 thing you really passioned about, compare your work to ones who already work at your dream job, replicate their work that way you will learn, take more classes online, practise practice and you will have skill and works to put on portfolio.

  15. Faith Howroyd
    Faith Howroyd says:

    just graduated.. so hoping I can somehow get a stable plan as to where I should even start. portfolio first probably.

  16. Sheree Fadil
    Sheree Fadil says:

    A Junior designer with a years editorial print design looking for a design role, would you focus on including around 15 examples of print work then a section at the end of various other works or is that as you said, making you look more beginner?

  17. 黄鑫
    黄鑫 says:

    Man, it just so helpful, especially when it comes to NO "VISUAL COMMUNICATOR", that’s a really a problem to me when positioning myself, awesome video, please keep working on it.

  18. Brandon Klotz
    Brandon Klotz says:

    When you applied for your the gig with Cole & Weber sending in the 4 pieces, did you explain via interviewing or supplemental writing any extra info about the pieces conceptually?

  19. Phoenix Villegas
    Phoenix Villegas says:

    I have a question, I have on paper that I am a Associate in multimedia. But my question is would I have a chance (depending on where I apply) if I can provide a excellent portfolio showing my skills in what I apply for?

  20. Oto Tsagareishvili
    Oto Tsagareishvili says:

    Is it same for university portfolio? I’m applying for Graphic Design, but I’m thinking of showing some murals and sculpture 🤷🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️

  21. Aleks Nedovic
    Aleks Nedovic says:

    I’ve found you guys just now, and I have to say thanks for the advice. I’ve graduated years ago, worked freelance for some time during college, but never got my portfolio neat, since most of the work was based on recommendation by friends and online contests, and when I finally decided I wanted and needed to gain some experience in an agency, I can’t find a position, because my portfolio is a mess. That, and a lot of agencies ask for video editing skills, which I have none of. X(

  22. Tanisia Greer
    Tanisia Greer says:

    LOL!! I was such a "Netscape Snob" back in the day. I felt SO "sophisticated" knowing how to use a web browser instead of relying on AOL like "newbies." (Remember the ubiquitous install CD’s that became so much mail spam back in the day?)

    My first "portfolio" pieces were two amateurish Pagemaker (now InDesign – yes, you already know I’ve dated myself!) newsletter spreads I created in college. I thought that was the "It" thing when I graduated college in 1997. I found the newsletters later on this year & shredded them – dead newsletters tell no tales.

    I don’t want to think about what it cost to get all those film and mounted prints done for earlier "true" graphic arts portfolio pieces. Thank Goddess for Behance! (And thank you, once again, for an awesome, informative video.)

  23. Nathaniel Makalima
    Nathaniel Makalima says:

    hello guys big fan i really love the depth in which you go into making content and into business do you have a series on video from a perspective of a video creator or would somebody recommend one a creator that delivers to this point become this is really impressive.

  24. Marie Conlon
    Marie Conlon says:

    OMG I look at your "old" portfolio and laugh because that’s when I started too. HTML webpages with huge image maps. 😉 The typography, imagery, etc. It’s all beautiful, but you can definitely see what was on trend during the time. My physical portfolio is definitely dated too. I need to really update it. I pulled in out the other day and laughed! It needs an update. I struggle building a portfolio purely because I might love it in the moment I create it, but within a few months I’d want to hide it away.

  25. Dhashini Pira
    Dhashini Pira says:

    I’m a graphics student and I do freelancing. Here our currency is MYR. I can’t charge above RM300 and I’m not sure how I find the clients that pay more.

  26. nazmi aiman
    nazmi aiman says:

    I know it is getting late now to comment..but..what do you think about self taught graphic designer like myself..i am in the graphic industry for about 8 month in jersey designing as freelancer and also an engineering student at the same time..i thinking on take it to higher level in after effects and poster design..does company always look away on these self taught designer?
    P/S. I hate engineering..hahaha

  27. Natt Frayne'
    Natt Frayne' says:

    Currently watching this while I work on the renders for my first interior design portfolio! Your video couldn’t come more right in time to my suggestions lol



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