It’s Spring! Time to “renew” your portfolio design.

Spring Cleaning
It’s spring (although still snowing here in New England)! In the spirit of the season (ie: rebirth, renewal and regrowth) it may be time to think about a little “spring cleaning” for your portfolio. Or perhaps a total overhaul is needed.

Branding It
Your portfolio book design should get you noticed and distinguish you right from the start. It should communicate in a distinct, positive and memorable way. Key visual brand components can help set your portfolio apart. Typically, these include a logotype, specific color palette, particular stylization of imagery/iconography, and typographic selections. As creative individuals we are in the business of concerning ourselves with working to translate ideas and abstract qualities into tangible and cohesive visual messages. Such is the process of developing a visual identity from a brand statement. In the art and design world this is often referred to as the “look and feel.” Visual properties as defined by color, image, symbol, material, typeface, and even composition are given significant consideration to make sure that the “look” accurately works to communicate the desired “feel” of the message. And while you may not develop a brand identity per say, at the very least you should consider a visual aesthetic that will work best to represent you — strategize and develop at least some visual and verbal properties that can remain consistent and be used effectively to communicate across multiple forms and mediums.

An Example
A recent submission to No Plastic Sleeves, Jesse Rieser’s new portfolio set, is a great example of a redesign. The fresh color palette and distinct logo work well to brand these smart looking portfolios. The color works on a functional level too as it distinguishes between categories of work. The visual look is also reflected in his online portfolio as seen here:

Jesse says, “In the initial stages my goal was to produce something unique. An object that was easily recognizable and remembered by reflecting my online presence and strengthening my branding across both platforms. Like the site, green indicates the best of my assignment work and the blue showcasing my narrative personal series.”

Including an iPad
What’s also really interesting and unique about these portfolios is that Jesse crafted the books so that an iPad would fit into the book itself. This is the first time I’ve actually seen this done and is a cool way to literally integrate both print and digital presentations.

About the iPad, Jesse says –
Upon completion the iPad was released. Like many visual artists, I was drawn to the easily customized platform that didn’t require hours of proofing, printing, and the cost of materials. But at the same time, I like the idea of showing nicely printed and sequenced photographs. And, I didn’t see any options to truly customize my presentation and was concerned my branding and identity could get lost in the mix. So I decided to have both and marry the old with the new. Integrate the iPad’s multimedia capabilities with classic book design having hand printed matte pages, half linen construction and a cradle for the iPad. The new presentation has been very well received and excited to share.

Photographer Jesse Rieser’s Print Portfolio 3.11.11 from Jesse Rieser on Vimeo.


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