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    KLO Blog

    How To’s


    Choosing the Perfect Material and Treatment for your Custom Portfolio Book

    We pride ourselves on having the highest quality and largest selection of materials for your custom portfolio book (25 and counting!) and we also know choosing the best one for you can be a daunting task. The good news is that it’s the fun part!

    You can choose just about any combination and permutation that suits your branding and design and we’ll bring your portfolio book to life.  What treatments work best with which materials?  How do you decide between a matte black acrylic or an ebony stained bamboo portfolio book?

    We’ve outlined some helpful tips below about our most popular material and treatment and combinations along with some examples to lend you some inspiration.

    klo photo

    Custom Acrylic Portfolios

    Our most popular material comes in glossy white, matte black, frosted clear, blue, green, and red.  Our concrete and marble portfolio books are also popular choices from our patterned collection.

    White Acrylic

    custom portfolio book for grpahic designers

    Our white acrylic custom graphic design portfolio with an engraved color fill treatment

     White acrylic allows the most flexibility in terms of the treatments you want to add.  Engravings, cut-outs, UV Prints, and engraved color fills all look smashing on this material!  Many of our customers opt for a combination of treatments of their screwpost portfolios such as an engraved color fill and a cut-out.

    Opt for the white acrylic if you:

    •  are including a metallic color fill
    •  have a multi-colored design you’d like UV Printed & Cured
    •  have a minimalist style and prefer a white on white engraved look
    Klo Portfolios- Matte Black ACrylic Portfolio Book

    Our matte black acrylic graphic design portfolio with an engraving treatment being assembled.

    Matte Black Acrylic

    Our matte black acrylic material has a shiny interior and a matte exterior so you get the best of both worlds.  It’s a breeze to clean and doesn’t show fingerprint marks as easily due to it’s matte surface.  This material is also extremely versatile since you can’t go wrong with black.  Our matte black acrylic portfolio books are a popular choice with graphic designers, photographers, and architects.

    Opt for the matte black acrylic if you:

    • are worried about fingerprints and surface scratches
    • are including a metallic or white color fill
    • want to achieve a black on black look with a UV Print & Cure or a simple engraving

    Frosted Clear Acrylic

    best personalized fashion design portfolio books

    Our frosted clear acrylic fashion design portfolio book with an engraved color fill treatment

    This material is semi transparent so you can see the first page of your portfolio book through it which allows you to create an interesting visual.  What sets the frosted clear apart from any other material is that it can be fully UV Printed & Cured with any design, pattern, or image which be seen throughout the material because of it’s transparency.

    fashion design portfolio book made custom by klo portfolios

    Our frosted clear material has been fully UV Printed to create a new material for a fashion design portfolio book!

    It’s like creating your very own patterned or colored portfolio book!  Our frosted clear acrylic portfolios are a popular choice for photographers, interior designers, and graphic designers.

    Opt for the frosted clear acrylic if you:

    • want to create your own colored or patterned material
    • prefer to have the first page of your portfolio showing through the semi-transparent cover
    • Have a gold, black, or white engraved color fill treatment

    Marble Acrylic

    personalized marble acrylic portfolio book

    Our personalized marble acrylic interior design portfolio book with an engraved color fill treatment

    One of our favorite portfolio book materials!  Our marble acrylic is exclusive to Klo Portfolios and made in house so you won’t find it anywhere else.  It’s got the light properties of acrylic with the beautiful marbled pattern of the stone and looks dashing with an engraving, cut-out, or engraved color fill.  Our custom marble acrylic portfolios are popular with fashion designers, photographers, and interior designers.

    Opt for the marble acrylic if you :

    • love the look of marble stone
    • are opting for an engraving, cut-out, or engraved color fill in a metallic tone or a bright color
    • want to standout with a material choice that is unique and limited

    Another popular choice is our bamboo portfolio books which come in 5 options including amber bamboo, caramel bamboo, tiger bamboo, and hand-stained ebony and ivory options.  Let’s explore these options!

    Caramel and Amber Bamboo

    Custom engraved caramel bamboo portfolio book

    Our caramel bamboo portfolio book with a full cover engraving treatment.

    Our caramel and amber bamboo portfolio books look great coupled with an engraving or cut-out treatment or a combination of the two.  If you prefer a more subtle and natural material, this one’s for you.  Popular with food photographers, interior designers, and eco-friendly brands, you can’t go wrong with one of these earthy materials.

    Custom Student Bamboo Portfolio Book Display

    Our amber bamboo custom interior design portfolio with an engraving treatment

    Tiger Bamboo

    custom tattoo portfolio book in tiger bamboo

    Our tiger bamboo material used for a custom tattoo portfolio book

    The most dense and heaviest of them all!  Our tiger bamboo is a beautifully striped material that carries its weight in gold.   Because of its condensed grain, this material can’t be cut-out so keep this in mind if this treatment is a part of your design.  We recommend an engraving, engraved color fill, or a UV Print & Cure with this material.

    Opt for the Tiger bamboo if you:

    • prefer a heavier material
    • like pronounced wood grains in a 2 toned combination
    • have an organic or eco-friendly design or business

    Hand-Stained Ivory and Ebony Stained Bamboo

    Custom screwpost portfolios by Klo Portfolios

    Our ivory stained bamboo portfolio with a vivid UV Print & Cure treatment

    Hand-stained in our studio with either an ebony or ivory stain, the final result of these bamboo portfolio books is stunning.  whether you opt for an engraving which reveals the natural color of the bamboo or you go with a vibrant color fill, the final result is an exquisite portfolio book that will turn a head or two.

    Klo ebony stained and color filled portfolio book by Klo Portfolios

    Our hand-stained ebony bamboo portfolio book with an engraved color fill treatment

    Opt for our bamboo material if you:

    • have an earthier or eco-friendly design aesthetic or business
    • prefer the look and feel of wood but want a black or white backdrop to the customization of your portfolio book
    • have a lot of cut-outs on your portfolio book.  Because our bamboo material is much more dense, it”ll work better with more fragile cut-outs.

    Brushed Aluminum Portfolios

    Custom brushed aluminum portfolio by Klo Portfolios

    Our brushed silver aluminum portfolio with an engraving treatment

    The lightest material of the bunch, our brushed aluminum custom portfolio books offer a modern and polished look.  Because we use different machinery to make and customize these portfolio books, they have more limitations when it comes to engraving and cut-outs.   If you have super fine lines and smaller cut-outs, we recommend opting for our acrylic portfolios instead.  The brushed aluminum works great with full color UV prints or larger engravings and cut-outs.

    The black polyethylene core of the material is revealed once it’s engraved, giving it a tactile touch since you have feel with your fingers the raised areas that now make up your design.

    Our silver burnishing  adds an extremely elegant touch to a brushed silver aluminum with a “silver on silver” look.  If you’re feeling adventurous, you can opt for a silver burnishing on our brushed gold or aluminum portfolio books which has its own charm and uniqueness.   Our engraving, burnishing, and UV print treatments on the brushed aluminum portfolios is another  Klo Portfolios signature look.

    Opt for our brushed aluminum material if you:

    • prefer a lighter material
    • have larger engravings and cut-outs for your design
    • would like to integrate color with a UV Print & Cure treatment

    We hope this helps you create the perfect presentation book!  You can see a lot more examples of custom portfolio books and as always, give us a shout if you have any questions.  We’re always happy to help.




    How to Use Your Portfolio Book to Land Your First Job as a Design Graduate

    You’ve recently graduated design school with a slew of knowledge and ideas and you’re ready to make an imprint on the world!  You’ve built an arsenal of creative and technical skills along with a wicked portfolio that showcases just how awesome you are.  So now it’s time to take to the streets and look for your dream job or if you’re going the entrepreneurial route, your first client.

    We’ll outline everything we’ve learned from our clients as well as our own journey on how to successfully land your first dream design job as a recent graduate.  Let’s dive in to what you’ll need to prep before your interview, how to score major points during your interview, and what you can do to help seal the deal after your interview.

    Best custom printed portfolio books for designers

    Before Your Interview

    Do Your Homework

    There’s nothing worse than a candidate that doesn’t know anything about the company they’re trying to get a job with.  Do your homework, and lots of it.  Know the history of the company, who the owner or the CEO is, recent successes or projects they’ve completed, specifics about their products and services, as well as some background information on the HR Manager or person interviewing you.

    Most of this information is readily available online and can be accessed with a bit of digging.  This will also help you understand your role and how you can help, allowing you to fluently present your case about why you’re the absolute best candidate for the position.

    Look the Part

    Appearances are everything.  This includes your own demeanor as well as how your work is presented.  There will be dozens if not hundreds of other candidates vying for that same position so you’ll need to be a cut above the rest and stand out.

    We’ve built Klo Portfolios around this specific concept.  Creating a beautiful custom portfolio book that is an extension of your personality and unique style will be an automatic icebreaker.  It’ll show your prospective employer or client that you’re meticulous about presentation and are willing to go above and beyond what’s required.  It demonstrates know how in the printing process as well give your audience a change to connect with your work on a physical level.  There’s power in the tangible and having them flip through your portfolio book and its pages will allow for a more visceral connection.

    Your portfolio book in all its glory will stand out from the barrage of ipads and off the shelf portfolios that everyone else will have.

    Tailor Your Portfolio

    The best part about a physical screwpost portfolio book is that you can easily add and remove pages to tailor your presentation so that you’re showing the most relevant pieces of your work.  If you’re seeing a client or employer who is interested in someone with strong typography skills along side illustrations then whip out all the stops and show them what you’re made of!  This is why doing your homework will be important since it’ll give you a good idea of the aesthetic their brand lives in and what design goals they want to reach by hiring you.

    The 40 Page Rule

    Based on the tens of thousands of portfolio books we’ve created for our clients, we find that a large majority of them adhere to having about 40 pages of work.  Of course this will differ depending on the type of designer you are (for example, interior designers tend to have heftier bodies of work due to detailed renderings and floor plans).

    You don’t need to cram anything and everything you’ve ever created.  Great portfolios tell a story about you, your process, and showcase your top shelf work.  Knowing that our dwindling attention spans now beat out goldfish, it’s important to keep the viewer engaged with quality work rather than a larger quantity of work that’s diluted.

    Remember that there’s no right or wrong number of pages so if you have less than this amount, as long as it’s your best work and you can comfortably talk about your creative process and weave an interesting story about how it came about then bob’s your uncle!

    Ask the Critics

    Once you’ve assembled your portfolio book with your best work, ask a trusted friend or a design instructor or mentor to review it and provide you with honest feedback.  You’ve spent so much time prepping your work that it may be tough to step away from it and ascertain flaws because you’re attached to what you’ve created.   A fresh eye will be able to point out things you’ve missed or provide valuable insight on how to improve your portfolio and presentation.


    During Your Interview

    Master Your Manners

    Show up a few minutes early so you’re not running in there looking frazzled with sweat dripping down your forehead.  Greet everyone you see with a sincere smile and an optimistic attitude.  Air on the side of dressing nicely and stay away from heavy perfumes or lotions.

    Do your best not to fidget or flail your arms around during your interview.  If you’re interviewing with more than one person, make eye contact with everyone rather than only the person that’s asking you questions.  The decision maker may be the one that’s quietly sitting there evaluating your candidacy.

    Be Inquisitive and Ask Questions

    As humans we love to talk about ourselves and this is no different in a job interview except you’ll want to turn the tables around and get the employer or client talking about themselves.  Listen wholeheartedly and engage them with questions.  Learn more about their story of how they got started and what drives them.  What characteristics are they looking for in filling this design position?  The better you can engage them, the higher your chances of connecting and leaving a positive impression.

    Let them Lead

    Once you’ve settled in and taken out your rad custom portfolio book, it’s time to hand it over and allow the viewer to have the experience of opening and flipping through your pages.  Let them view at their own pace and be patient if they take longer to view each piece and ask questions.

    HOW TO get a design job klo portfolios

    After Your Interview

    A Hand Written Touch

    I’m going to dispel a nugget of awesomeness that has worked like a charm for me during my job hunting days.  After an interview, especially for a position I really wanted, I’d write a quick hand written thank you note summarizing why I felt I was the perfect person for the position.

    You can incorporate this with a branded leave-behind that will cement in the mind of the employer or client your vying for that you have a level of emotional intelligence above the average person.  Time is valuable and expressing thanks for the time they took to meet with you as well as summarizing why you’re their best bet will bump you forward in their minds.  Attention to details and a genuine hand written note will do you wonders.

    Ask for Feedback

    You went in to your interview prepared, confident, and stood out from the rest with an exceptional presentation.  Congratulations!  Whether you get the job or not, you’re a step closer to understanding the process and even more important, what you’re looking for in a position.  If you got the job then you must celebrate with your friends and loved ones and prepare for your new exciting career!

    If you didn’t get the job this time, it’s worth sending a quick email to the interviewer to ask for feedback.  This will give you an honest look at how others interpreted your presentation along with useful suggestions on how you can improve.

    Remember that you’re not going to be a fit for every interview you go for and the company may not be a fit for you.  Sometimes you’ll know this within the first few minutes of your interview and that’s ok.  It’s important to think of it as a training exercise for future interviews because you can really learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t.

    Equipped with an exceptional physical portfolio book, a strong story of who you are as a designer and what you can offer, and your magnificent personality, there’s no doubt you’ll land that stellar design job you’re after.  It’s only a matter of time.

    Happy Creating,

    Tarlan Seyedfarshi








    Introduction to Color Theory for Designers

    Color and typography are the two most important elements of design.  Color in design is used to attract attention, add contrast, convey a meaning, trigger an emotion and group related elements.  When used correctly, color is the cherry on top of design.

    Fun fact: Color activates the right side of your brain, which is the side responsible for your emotions. This is why choosing the right color for your design project is one of the most important aspects and will influence how the viewer feels.

    To help you out with choosing that killer color scheme, we’ve laid out all our hot tips on color and what you should know.

    Learn the Color Wheel

    The color wheel is your best friend when it comes to the do’s and don’ts of color combinations.  Every color is made up of the primary colors: red, blue and yellow.  From these colors, we have the secondary colors: purple, green and orange. The secondary colors lead to the tertiary colors: yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-purple, red-purple and red-orange.

    Once you understand the breakdown of the wheel you’ll want to analyze more into complimentary, triadic, split complimentary, and analogous color schemes.

    Complimentary is two colors directly across from each other on the wheel.  These colors contrast each other and create a vibrant look. They are used to make something pop and catch the viewer’s attention.

    Colour Wheel Combination Scheme Design Art

    Triadic is three colors that are evenly spaced out on the wheel.  Even with unsaturated hues, this color scheme tends to be vibrant.  Triadic colors schemes work best when one color dominates and the other two are used subtly.

    Colour Wheel Combination Scheme Design Art

    Split complimentary schemes use one base color and the two colors adjacent to it’s complimentary.  Similar to complimentary colors schemes, this color combo has a high contrast although it is slightly more muted than complimentary color schemes.

    Colour Wheel Combination Scheme Design Art

    Analogous colour schemes are made up of colors that are next to each other on the wheel.  Analogous schemes are great for relaxed and serene designs.  They are best used when one color dominates, the second supports, and the third is used as an accent.

    Colour Wheel Combination Scheme Design Art

    Learn more about the use of colour in logo design from our logo blog post.

    Explore Color Psychology

    Colors are sectioned off into two groups – warm and cool.

    Cool colors are blues, purples and greens. This group expresses calm, trust and professionalism.

    Cool color scheme combination ideas design

    Cool bathroom colour palette via Apartment Guide

    Warm colors are reds, oranges and yellows.  These colors are associated with passion, energy, comfort and happiness. Each individual color conveys it’s own emotion and we’ve broken it down below for you.

    Warm Colour Palette Scheme Design Wheel

    Warm living room colour palette via Reader’s Digest

    Red is known for it’s intensity and expresses war, danger, passion, love, confidence and courage.  To sum it up, it is the color that expresses all the most extreme emotions.  Red is easily visible and will draw attention, which is why it’s used in stop signs, buttons and traffic lights.

    Orange is a combination of energy and happiness. It reminds us of healthy foods and can increase appetite through thoughts of fall and harvest.  Orange relays enthusiasm, happiness, joy, creativity, fascination and success.

    Yellow instantly reminds us of the sun.  It is a great color to draw attention although it should be used strategically and minimally.  Yellow draws out feelings of joy, happiness, wisdom and intellectual energy.

    Green is easily recognized as the color of nature, which is why it symbolizes growth, fertility, hope and freshness.  In North American, where money is green, it is a symbol of wealth and riches. Green conveys healing, stability, endurance, harmony, safety, life, and well being.

    Blue is associated with the sea and sky. It creates a calming effect, which is why it’s beneficial for your body and mind. Blue is related to trust, loyalty, wisdom, intelligence, expertise, confidence, stability and depth.

    Purple is often connected to royalty and extravagance.  It’s used to express wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic. Purple can be seen as artificial and is rarely seen in nature. 

    Understand How Colors Change Based on Their Surrounding

    Contrasting colour wheel pop design art

    Vibrant Colour Scheme by Kimberley Coole

    As size and background of a shape change the color within will change as well. When designing it’s important to keep in mind how the colors and shapes are affecting each other.

    A thin line and a large rectangle, filled with the same color on a white background, will appear slightly different.  The color within the line will look darker than the rectangle since it’s surrounded by more bright white space.

    When you pair a tint and shade of the same color with each other, the tint will look lighter and the shade will look darker.  For example if you have created a light green frog, placing it on a dark green background will cause the frog to appear lighter.

    Large background colors will effect small areas of color on top. This one is fairly straight forward.  If a yellow circle is placed on a black background it will pop more than a white background since there is more contrast between black and yellow. This is important to understand so you can add focal points to your design.

    Adding a darker outline to a shape will enhance the color within the shape while a lighter outline will reduce the strength of the inner color.  This is a handy trick when designing text or a graphic that you wish to pop off the page.

    Consider Your Audience

    Different colors schemes and combinations will attract different audiences. It is important to understand how color affects each gender, age and culture.

    Colour Meanings Different Cultures Emotions Symbolism

    Purple Temple in Thailand via Admella on Flickr

    It’s important to be educated on the cultural significance in different countries, to avoid offending anyone.  For example, purple is the color of mourning in Thailand although in Western culture it represents luxury and wealth.  In Western culture black is the color of mourning and would be poor choice on a poster about celebration.

    Blue is considered to be the safest color choice around the world and has many positive associations.  In North America and Europe it is associated with trust and security and emits calm and soothing feelings.  In other countries blue represents healing and evil repellent.  Eastern cultures relate blue to immortality, while in the Ukraine is reflects good health. 

    Some other examples of how color varies through culture are:

    • White is the color of mourning in Japan and black is associated with honor.
    • Red is the colour of purity in India, good luck in China, and mourning in South Africa.
    • In Japan yellow represents courage, mourning in Egypt and hope in the West.

    You can use your knowledge of color in culture to your advantage, to attract different groups of people to your designs.

    Our last tip about color is to use online sources when creating your color scheme.  There are many at your disposal and we’ve grouped them all in our 101 Essential Online Resources for Graphic Designers post.

    How will you incorporate color in to your custom portfolio book?  Whether you go with a subtle and minimalist look or a full cover-full graphic one, we’re excited to see what you come up with!



    How to Create a Stellar Logo for your Brand

    While some logos may look simple, the process of getting the perfect icon typography combo takes a lot of time, thought, tweaking, and trial and error.  Every new designer is in the pursuit of creating that perfect logo to represent their unique design style.  To help with this process, we’ve created a breakdown of what makes a great logo and how to accomplish this.

    A couple of other useful resources you’ll wan to check out are  101 Essential Online Resources for Graphic Designers and Five Place to Boost Your Creativity Other than Pinterest.

    Research, Strategize & Brainstorm

    Logo Design Development Process Sketch

    A show stopping logo won’t come in a matter of a couple hours. The first step is to be open to all of your own ideas and interpretations.  Seek different resources for inspiration, concept ideas and style, both online and offline.

    Comparing Your Design to the Competitors

    When starting the logo design process it’s important to look at what’s already been done.  A designers worst nightmare is creating a logo that resembles another.  This can be easily avoided through extensive research and the analyses of other logos.

    Researching your competitors will allow your logo to standout.  Once you’ve seen what’s out there, you can design your logo to overpower the competition.  You’ll want to draw inspiration from aspects of your competitors’ logos that relate to the target market, although the best logos think differently and contrast trends.

    Exhaust All Options

    Now that you’ve gained a solid understanding of what’s already out there, it’s time to start sketching! Grab your sketchbook and draw out anything and everything that comes to mind. Think of the brand concept and what you want to convey through this logo. How do you want people to feel when they look at it?  Does it convey your brand’s personality?  It’s easy to get stuck on one idea and keep illustrating slightly different versions of this, although we suggest that each sketch is different.

    After you’ve drawn out everything you can think of, it’s time to narrow it down to your top 3.  From there you can continue to tweak and iterate until you’ve found your favorite. This process is an important step to assure you’ve looked into every possibility and what you’ve chosen is the best.

    The Logo is Part of a Bigger Thing

    It’s important to remember that branding consists of more than just a logo. With this in mind, you’ll want to think about how the logo interacts with the rest of the brand experience.  Take into account, the website, packaging, signage and stationary.  When someone discovers a new brand, the logo is not necessarily the first aspect they’ll encounter as all customer touch points are equally important including your website, social media,  and customer interactions through phone and email.

    Icon & Symbolism

    Logo Design Inspiration Symbolism Icon Negative Space

    When used properly, an icon in a logo can help convey your brand’s story and be memorable.  An icon may be simple, although there are many aspects to take into consideration when designing.  We’ve laid them out below for you.

    Is It Memorable?

    This is a question every designer should ask themselves when designing a logo. There’s a video on Youtube of a 5 year old expressing their first impressions of famous logos.  This video emphasizes which brands have successfully created a memorable logo, that even a 5 year old recognizes.

    When designing a logo, you want to think to yourself, “If someone looked at this logo, then looked away would they be able to draw it from memory?”  Of course, the drawing won’t be perfect, but will they be able to convey the general shape.

    Is It Timeless?

    When designing your logo, you want to avoid being sucked into any design trends that could be replaced within a year. Your logo should be effective for at least 5 years so you’ll want to consider how times will change and if your logo will last through these changes.

    We suggest researching examples of logos that are and aren’t timeless and the aspects of each. Overall, think of how much time you put into designing your logo.  You don’t want to be doing this every couple of years.

    Test it Out in All Sizes

    A logo can be placed anywhere from a large billboard to pens and envelopes.  This means it must work and be powerful in all sizes.  Most logos will work large, although it’s the small areas like on pens that will be challenging.  The best way to double check this is to print the logo out small.  Based on the print you can refine the logo so even the smallest details will be seen when printed on smaller items such as stationery or business cards.

    Multiple Meanings

    The most effective logos will take 2-3 messages and wrap it up into one. Think of the 3 most important values of your brand and how this can be conveyed through an icon.

    Having multiple meanings in your logo will add interest and give it the “ohhhhh!” factor. This is another great way to make the logo memorable.  People will be talking about a logo that cleverly combines 3 aspects into one beautiful symbol.

    If you’re stuck on how to do this, we suggest playing around with the negative space. You could use these areas to create a shape that will stand out and highlight your message.

    Always Get a Second Opinion

    One of the scariest aspects about creating a logo is the potential for it to be misinterpreted as something that looks inappropriate. Once the logo is complete, you want to triple check that it isn’t offensive to anyone.

    This is where your friends and family can be extremely useful.  You may have looked at this thing a million times, but a fresh set of eyes will see something that totally flew over your head.  Better safe than sorry!


    Wordmark Logo Design Inspiration Font Typography

    The word mark can be easily forgotten, although it is equally as important as the icon. Text is another opportunity to slip in your message and make the overall logo a memorable one. Although you may be exhausted after creating your perfect icon, it’s important to spend time tweaking the word mark as well.  We’ve added some helpful tips on creating an eye catching word mark.

    Tweak the Typeface

    Once you’ve scoured the internet for the perfect typeface, don’t be scared to play with the letters and make it your own.  We suggest adding character to the text rather than simply downloading a typeface, typing out your brand name and calling it a day.

    The best logos will have a word mark that they’ve added personality to and convey a solid meaning that reflects the brand.

    Consider Hand Lettering

    Can’t find what you’re looking for online? Why not draw it out yourself?  Often times you may have a specific style of lettering in mind and the best way to express this is through your own hand lettering.

    Hand lettered word marks are no doubt unique and won’t be found in any other logo. This is a great way to reassure your brand will stand out from it’s competitors.

    Tracking & Kerning

    Setting up type perfectly can be tedious, but in the end it’s worth it to create an eye pleasing word mark. It’s important to take the time to adjust the space between each letter. The word mark should read smooth and seamlessly.  After all, this text will be everywhere so you want the typesetting to be perfect.


    Logos Colour Combinations Inspiration Design

    Your color scheme can play a huge role in conveying your brand’s message.  Color is a great opportunity to add feeling to your logo and persuade the viewer’s emotions.  It’s important to explore all color schemes and narrow it down to the most effective combo.

    Understand the Color Wheel

    This may be something you learned in kindergarten and now it will come in handy! When designing your logo, you’ll want to take into account complimentary, triadic, split complimentary and tetradic color schemes.  There are many great color scheme resources out there that we’ve listed in our 101 Essential Resources for Graphic Designers blog post.

    Be patient when deciding on a color scheme since it could take longer than anticipated. Once you’ve got it,  you’ll know and will be stoked to show it off.

    Use Colors to Control Moods

    Whether you realize it or not each color subconsciously affects your mood and conveys an emotion. To understand the meaning behind colors, you can research into each color and how it effects our feelings.

    Once you’re knowledgeable on the topic, it will be easier to pick the perfect color or colors for you logo and branding.

    Test Out Your Logo in Black and White and Full Color

    Your logo will be placed on all different color backgrounds, whether that be dark or light.  It’s important to have a logo that is equally as powerful in black and white as it is in color.

    Ask yourself if your message can be conveyed through the symbolism and shape alone.  Although color is another important layer in communicating your brand’s message, your logo and word mark need to be strong and relatable to your audience even without the use of it.


    101 Essential Online Resources for Graphic Designers

    As a graphic designer, I realize the importance of having access to the most current fonts, graphics, tutorials, photography and anything else design related.  Useful design resources are vital for getting those creative juices running and staying up to date.

    I’ve scoured the internet far and wide and have put together a comprehensively awesome list of 101 graphic design resources that will come in handy when you’re conjuring up your next fantastic project.

    Whether you’re a student creating your custom portfolio book, a pro working on a fresh website or branding project, or you’re gathering some inspiration for a personal project, this list supplies a ton of graphic goodies at your fingertips.

    Take a look and find everything you need from a fresh color scheme to that game-changing typeface.

    I hope you find what you’re looking for.

    Cheers to creativity,


    Graphic Design


    The Noun Project

    The Noun Project gives you access to 100,000 free icons. Simply search the keyword of what you’re looking for and hundreds of icons will be available to download as well as groups of icons relating to the subject you searched, created by a designer for your use.


    Explore Vecteezy’s largest vector community for icon inspiration or download your own free icon to keep the ball rolling on your current design project.  Vectors are especially helpful for the production of your portfolio book since this is the format that laser engravers use to produce the highest quality etching.

    Vector Me

    With Vector Me, you can search by “Vector”, “Logos” or “Icons” depending on your design needs. Scroll through thousands of vector art and download your favorite, for free. Vector Me will also show you similar vectors based on what you’ve chosen.

    Subtle Patterns

    Patterns can be time consuming to create on your own.  Subtle Patterns offerers 414 patterns to designers all over the globe! Scroll through the options and download the perfect pattern for your design project.

    Creative Market

    Creative Market is the go-to place for all things design! From photos to fonts, the folks at Creative Market have provided designers a place to go for inspiration and easily download templates, graphic, fonts etc. to use in their creations.

    Endless Icons

    You guessed it! This site contains infinite icons for you to search through and find just what you’re looking for. They are continuously growing and adding new icons.

    Design Instruct

    Design Instruct offers tons of free resources for designers such as Photoshop actions and vectors. They also have a wide variety of useful articles that are worth the read.


    Here you can download free Photoshop brushes, textures and effects to help create the most rad images.


    Scroll through hundreds of textures and patterns or search a keyword to find exactly what you’re looking for.


    Have a colour in mind? Narrow down your search in Pattern8 by selecting the colour you’re looking for along with a pattern that you love.

    Brainy Icons

    For anyone looking for that perfect science or education icon, this is the place for you.

    Jolly Icons

    Jolly Icons offers designers 400 hand drawn icons, in the same style, that will bring personality and joy to your project.

    Lightly Icons

    Browse through this set of 500 icons that have all been inspired by Helvetica Neue. Who knew icons could be designed based on a typeface?

    Busy Icons

    The perfect resource for all your business and office icon needs. The set displays 340 hand drawn icons for you to choose from.


    This is a free downloadable app for Photoshop that allows you to search for icons and then click to make a new layer shape that you can edit.




    For only $10 a month Pixeden offers you unlimited downloads of various mockups. This site provides mockups you haven’t seen before so you can stand out from other designers.

    Graphic Burger

    Graphic Burger is most famous for it’s wide variety of free mockups. Simply download the PSD file and place your design on the proper layer. Graphic Burger also features a variety of icons at your disposal.

    Design Lazy

    The guy behind Design Lazy has created design essentials for all to use including mock-ups and web design templates. You can also browse through the inspiration section if you’re experiencing a creative block.

    Media Loot

    Media Loot supplies a wide variety of free mock-ups as well as fonts, icons, templates and patterns.

    Pixel Buddha

    The folks behind Pixel Buddha are offering designers free graphic resources to help excel their design projects. They update their site each week so the resources are fresh and current.

    Real Thread

    The only clothing mock-up site you’ll ever need. Find fresh mock-ups and add your design for a stunning display!

    Web Development  


    HTML Arrows

    An easy and efficient way to find the HTML code for symbols. You might also want to check out their web design resources for featured deals on web hosting, WordPress templates and more!


    Not a web developer? Neither am I! Webydo’s got us covered. This site allows you to create a stunning website without code.


    Scroll through a variety of wireframes to get your site going and the best part is, it’s free!


    Squarespace makes web creation as easy as 1,2,3! Select one of their templates and replace everything with your own content, et voila, you have a beautiful professional site.


    For anyone building dynamic web content this is a great resource. The blog features news, editorials, podcasts, resource links, code examples, and more.

    Sketch Active

    Searching for web and app design icons? Look no further! Sketch Active offers 360 icons made specifically for web and app design.

    Flat UI Colours

    This site has provided developers with a variety of flat colours for their latest web development project. You can also search through their collection of website inspiration.


    Cameron McEfee created this photoshop plug in to solve the problem of calculating the width of navigation elements in designs every time clients made navigation changes. Guideguide allows you to create your own guides on canvas, artboards, selected layers, or your selection.

    Make App Icon

    Working on app design? Then this is just the resource for you! Simply create app icons of all sizes in one click.

    UI Cloud

    UI Cloud is the largest use interface design database in the world. Search by category and find just what your looking for to complete the perfect site.

    Size Marks

    Size Marks is a photoshop script for web developers that converts rectangular marquee to labeled measurement marks.

    Site Inspire

    An awesome resource that allows you to browse through what’s hot and trending in website development and help start the process of designing your own site.

    Pro Web Type

    A free online resource that covers all areas of web typography. If you find it useful, which I’m positive you will, why not give them a little donation as well.

    UI Space

    UI Space offers high quality, hand crafted PSDs, vectors, fonts and mockups perfect for all your web design needs. Search for what you had in mind or take a look at the editor’s choice for inspiration.


    Design an awesome website, using Photoshop. Choose a template off Velositey and edit it until you love it in Photoshop.


    O’Reilly holds a number of web resources both free and paid for web developers every where. Submit your own questions and browse through responses as well as video content to help drive your site.



    Instagram Filters

    An app for Photoshop that supplies you with 13 filters identical to the ones from Instagram.


    Unsplash releases 10 new high resolution royalty free photos every 10 days.


    This site is great for their abstract stock images which are free to download for commercial or personal use.


    Find all your nature and city shots here and free commercial use stock photos.


    Gratisgraphy adds new photos weekly and specializes in humorous and high contrast photos.

    Little Visuals

    Find free high resolution landscape and nature focused photography as well as 7 new photos added every 7 days.


    Starting a blog? StokPic has thousands of awesome lifestyle photography and adds 10 new photos every 2 weeks.


    While this site might make you hungry, it contains hundreds of food photos that are perfect for any food related site.


    Getrefe contains stock photos that aim to be “real life”, meaning photos you’d take of your morning coffee or snuggling up with your cat by the tv.

    Death to the Stock Photo

    This site delivers a fresh batch of stock photos straight to your email each month that are free for commercial or personal use.

    DIY Photography

    DIY Photography is a great place to go for tips and tricks on all things typography. Whether you’re just learning or already an expert this site will help you out with any questions you may have.

    iPhone Photography School

    Don’t have a fancy shmancy DSLR camera? This site has got you covered. Read all about how to use your iPhone to take professional shots.

    Photography Week

    One of the best photography magazines out there. Read about interviews with professional photographers all over the world and check out the best international photography. A great place for photo inspo to get that perfect shot!

    Perfect Effects 3

    This is a site for photographers where they can add effects to their photos. It is easy and efficient to use, not to mention, it’s free!



    Colour Lovers

    Browse through palettes, patterns, shapes and colours until you find the perfect scheme for your project. Each post also shows the amount of “love” it got so you know whats hot and what’s not.


    Adobe has provided a free site to experiment with the colour wheel and create palettes based on analogous, monochromatic, triad, complimentary and compound colours, as well as shades!


    Find a design you like and select on of the colours from it to see more designs with that colour. An awesome tool to find that perfect colour scheme! You can even download the colour scheme from the design you like.


    Coolors is a great resource to find the perfect colour scheme. Simply hit your space bar to browse through schemes and adjust once you find a colour or colours you love.

    Color Farm

    Colour schemes can be difficult to choose, we know. Scroll through Color Farm’s endless variety of designs with a wide array of colour schemes until you find the perfect one. Each example will also show the hex value for the colours.

    RGB To

    Your go to place to convert RGB colours into CMYK, Pantone and more.

    0 to 255

    A great tool to find different shades and tints of a colour that you love. Specifically made for web designers and web colours.

    Palette Creator

    A Chrome plug-in that allows you find a colour palette based on an image you found online. You simply, find an image you like, right click and select “Palette Creator” and retrieve the colours from the image.




    Typewolf provides you with current type trends and a list of the best fonts based on various subjects such as types of fonts and where the font will be used. One of our favourite features is the font combinations. If you have one font of mind you can use this to find the best font to match.


    This is most designers go to place to find thousands of free fonts and search by category.

    Font Squirrel

    Font Squirrel is a great resource for matching fonts. You can upload a .jpg of a font you like and the site will generate multiple options that look similar to the font you found. The site also features many free fonts for use.


    Another great resource for finding just the right font. Whatthefont also allows you to upload a photo and the site will tell you what fonts resemble the image.


    Fontshop is a great resource for learning type terms to brush up on your knowledge and sound like the professional you are.


    The name says it all. Find a font you like and browse through examples of the font being used for inspiration on typesetting.


    Typecast is a useful text editor for web development that allows you to style HTML text elements, make project wide changes in seconds and focus on more precise areas of the type.

    Type Detail

    The creators of this site set a goal to annotate a web typeface everyday and point out the beauty of the font that most people wouldn’t notice. This is also a great resource to explore typography terminology and learn new words.

    Open Foundry

    Another great source where fellow designers highlight the beauty of a font. You can also find dozens of free fonts to download and appreciate based on what you read!

    Free Typography

    Search through hundreds of free fonts until you find the perfect one. Or submit your own font and and get your name out there while building up your portfolio.

    Handwriting Fonts

    Looking for a handwritten font? This site features 10 fonts that are beautifully designed.


    Everything you need to know about typography and type design. This curriculum will answer all your questions and curiosities about the type world and how type is best used.


    If you already have Creative Cloud, check out Adobe’s Typekit. It comes with Creative Cloud and offers a wide variety of fonts at your disposal.


    A typography blog that reviews new typefaces and discusses typographic design. A great resource for all the type nerds out there who can’t get enough!

    We Love Tyography

    This is a type designers heaven. Scroll through multiple pages of beautiful type and you’ll be sure to gain inspiration for you latest typographic masterpiece.



    The Dieline

    The best resource for all things package design. The Dieline also offers a free downloadable PDF with a variety of packaging templates.

    Package Design

    Your resource for all things packaging from industry news, packaging materials, production and effects processes, and examples of packaging design categorized by industry.


    Ambalaj is the personal site of packaging designer Kristina de Verdier. If you’re interested in expanding your packaging knowledge we recommend checking out her blog section for some awesome reads.

    Packaging of the World

    It’s right in the title, Packaging of the World showcases beautiful packaging from across the globe that is useful for inspiring your own packaging projects.

    How To



    Lynda offers thousands of educational courses for new designers. This site will help kick start your knowledge!

    Adobe KnowHow

    Adobe has launched a place to go and sign up for a course for beginners looking to learn and intermediates looking to expand their knowledge. As we like to say, there’s always more to learn and room for improvement!


    Discover over 20750 free tutorials as well as online courses for more in-depth explinations.

    W3 Schools

    The place to go for web development tutorials and lessons. This site has a wide array of lessons for beginners and experts along with quizzes, examples and reference guides.




    Find inspiration based on the best and most effective designers around the globe. Search through award winning work and gain ideas for your own designs.

    It’s Nice That

    Browse through articles about what’s happening in the design world, from trends to tips. Watch out though, you could get lost on this site for hours!


    A great tool for creating mood boards with your design team and colleagues. Niice keeps everything in one spot so you won’t loose your train of thought.

    Design is Kinky

    Stay up to date on the latest design news and browse through fresh designs. You might also find your newest fav designer to draw inspiration from!


    A great resource to browse through other designers portfolios and gain inspiration when creating your own.


    Notch displays general inspiration that will trigger an idea or help move forward with an existing idea. You can also submit your own post and potentially be featured on the site!


    We love Booooooom because it showcases artists’ work who are unique and have evidently put their personality in their work. This site is a great place to draw inspiration when you’re struggling on a project.

    Portfolio Showcase



    Behance is a an awesome portfolio site for showcasing your work and viewing other designers portfolios. The site allows you to “like” others projects and shows you how many people have liked yours as well as how many views each project has.

    Adobe Portfolio

    If you’ve already signed up to Creative Cloud you have access to a free portfolio builder. Adobe has provided an efficient and easy to navigate portfolio site builder that’s perfect for designers. No more worrying about code, it’s all straight forward here!


    Showcase your work in a user friendly and flexible interface. You have the option to sign up for free, with limited uploads or pay $12 a month and uploads are unlimited as well as some member bonuses.


    Coroflot is a site built by designers for designers who want to get exposure and showcase their work in a professional and intriguing manner.


    If you’re looking to creative a beautiful online mobile portfolio, Viewbook is the place to be. Viewbook sites are mean to be natural and simplistic to gear all the attention toward the work.

    Cargo Collective

    Cargo Collective provides a platform for talented individuals to gain exposure through sharing through work and viewing others creations.


    Moonfruit provides multiple fresh and stylish templates to get your website started. The editor leaves room for creativity so the site will be unique and personal to you.

    Looking to bring your portfolio to life in the tangible world? You know the list isn’t complete without a shameless plug for Klo Portfolios.  We make the highest quality screwpost portfolio books with the largest selection of rad treatments and materials and we’ll take care of you every step of the way so your final portfolio book perfectly reflects your own style.




    No grid paper? No problem! Gridzzly’s got you covered. Make your own grid paper and print it out for free. Perfect for logo sketching.


    Fribbble is a great resource for all things design. Draw inspiration from other designers work or download free resources to get your project going!


    Skillshare gives designers an opportunity to learn from fellow designers or even teach a class of their own. Pick up new tricks or teach others your own hot tips to make designers even better!


    Kaku is a free photoshop plug in that allows you to translate layers to the language of your choice. Perfect for dealing with across the sea customers or employees.

    Freelance Folder

    Read all about freelancing and learn some fresh tips on how it’s done. A great resource to excel your career as a freelance designer and get your name out there.



    A Step by Step Guide to Adding Pages to Your Custom Portfolio Book Using Hinge Strips

    We get asked all the time, how do I add pages to my custom screwpost portfolio book?  We’ve talked about the different methods of inserting pages in another post although we’re going to get up close and personal with our favorite method, hinge strips. You can purchase these along with your custom portfolio and prints in the add-ons section when you build your own custom portfolio.

    Hinge strips are clear strips with an adhesive edge which once applied to your page, allow you to easily add your prints to your portfolio book without worrying about creating an extra gutter on your prints and punching holes.   You can also use sheet protectors to add your pages although we’re going to focus on the hinge strip method for this post.

    Follow along as we show you a step by step guide on how to first add hinge stripsto your pages, add the pages to your screwpost portfolio book, and what it all looks like when it’s done.

    Side note:  This custom portfolio book includes a UV Print & Cure treatment on the inside covers which is available for an additional $50.

    What you’ll need:

    • Your portfolio book
    • Hinge strips
    • A cutting mat
    • Your prints

    1.  Peel the white area off of the hinge strip to reveal the adhesive

    How to use hinge strips klo portfolios


     2.  Use the cutting mat to line up your hinge strip and ensure your page are applied straight.



    3.  Apply your print to your hinge strip starting from the top left corner and slowly move down until your entire page is on the hinge strip.  We recommend applying the hinge strip to the back of your printed page.

    Take your time with this step and ensure your pages are adhered to the hinge strip in a straight manner.  Once the hinge strips makes contact with your page, you won’t be able to take it off since it bonds quickly.

    adding hinge strips to your pages for your portfolio book

    4.  Voila!  This is what your page will look like once your hinge strip is adhered on to it.

    hinge strips on pages example by klo portfolios

    5.  Time to add your pages to your custom Klo Portfolio book!  Gently unscrew the right side of the screwpost on the inside, leaving the left part of the left part of the screw or the post intact within the hinge.

    Don’t use any tools as the screwposts may get stuck if handled with a screwdriver or too much pressure.

    how to put pages in to your screwpost portfolio book


    6.  The front and back cover of your screwpost portfolio book are now apart and the hinge of your left cover has been pressed down so it’s lying flat with the post exposed.  Add your pages on top by lining them up with the screwposts.

    how to add pages to your screwpost portfolio book using hinge strips


    7.  Continue until all of your sexy prints have been added!

    adding pages to a screwpost portfolio book by klo portfolios


    8.  Take the back cover and place its hinge on top of the posts from the front cover of your portfolio book.  If you have a lot of pages, apply some pressure to create space between the tip of the post and the surface of the hinge so you can easily insert your screw in to the post.

    adding pages to your screwpost portfolio book by klo portfolios


    9.  You’re almost there!  Tighten the screw in to the post and you’re done!


    This is what your pages will look like once everything has been added to your screwpost portfolio book.


    Because most of the hinge strip is hidden within the binding of your book, it’s a clean and subtle addition to your pages and won’t be intrusive to the eye which is why we love hinge strips.


    Bam!  Now you’re ready to rock and roll and crush your portfolio show, interview, or that client you’ve been after.
























    Everything You Need to Know About Personalizing Your Custom Portfolio Book

    Think about treatments as the icing and sprinkles to your already unique hand crafted Klo portfolio.  Your portfolio is custom and treated with care and attention so the design implemented onto the portfolio is the ultimate cherry on top.

    Klo’s treatments allow your portfolio to be perfectly customized and catered to YOU and only you!  You’ll have a piece that is 1 of 1, completely unique to your style and aesthetic.

    So let’s begin with the various Klo treatments that can easily allow your digital designs to be a tangible, creative and visual appealing masterpiece.

    Engraving Treatment

    Engraving is essentially carving your design into the portfolio material. Think of engraving as the opposite of embossing; instead of the design being raised it will be etched or carved into the material.  Engravings on our bamboo portfolio books produce a stunning look as it darkens the area that is engraved.

    Engraving on an ebony stained bamboo portfolio book creates a beautiful contrast since the stained bamboo is black and the engraved area reveals the natural color of the bamboo underneath.

    When engraved on our acrylic material, your design will remain the same color as the rest of the material although it will be finished with a clean, semi-gloss etching. The engravings on our brushed aluminum portfolios are black as the core of this material is compressed polyethylene and this is what is revealed once your design is etched.

    Almost the majority of designs can be engraved however the size of the design can play a significant role as the cover of your portfolio may warp if certain designs are too big due to the heat of the engraving machine.

    When representing a design as an engraving on your design template, all you have to do is show the engraved area in black.  That’s it!

    Screwpost portfolio book with engraving how to

    Engraved Color Fill Treatment

    An engraved color fill is a two-step process where we first engrave your design, and then treat it with the color of your choice. Once your portfolio book cover is engraved, we’re able to add any color imaginable, including metallic gold, silver, and copper so your screwpost portfolio really pops!

    With our exclusive UV Print & Cure treatment, we can color fill in virtually any CMYK color! That is a lot of colors that we offer and plenty for you to choose from.

    Colorfills on bamboos work better with more opaque cool colors that differ from wood tones as warm colors absorb more into the wood. Any color on the acrylics looks eye-catching, yet it all boils down to what you prefer for your brand and personally as well. If you prefer color on your brushed aluminum portfolio book, opt for the UV Print & Cure as we don’t offer engraved color fills on this option.

    It’s important to keep in mind that the larger your engraving or engraved color fill design is on your portfolio cover, the more likely the material is likely to warp due to the heat during the engraving process.

    Two color fills are included in your purchase, a third color fill or more will be an additional charge. To indicate that you would like a design or text to be color filled, all you have to do is fill the design with your desired color and add a black stroke around it. Easy peasy!

    Interior design portfolio book custom

    Burnishing Treatment

    Burnishing is a treatment that is offered only on the brushed aluminum collections and is another Exclusive to Klo Portfolios.   A Burnishing is a surface silver on silver etching that looks dramatic and classy all at once.  Please note, the burnishing treatments on the brushed bronze and gold will appear silver on the materials as well.

    Burnishing a larger design area can be tricky as the treatment creates a texture that over a vast surface can showcase some minute imperfections.

    To represent a burnishing, fill your design in black, similar to the engraving, but leave a note on the template itself mentioning your preference of the burnishing treatment. In the case you have an engraving and burnishing in the same design file, you can  represent the burnishing as a grey. Simple!

    portfolio book custom design in brushed aluminum

    Cut Out Treatment

    Cut out treatments are in a league of their own. They offer that wow factor, especially since you can constantly alter the pages underneath allowing colors and designs to peek through the cutout, changing the look of your custom portfolio book!

    Cut outs are available for all the materials with the exception of the tiger bamboo as the material is very dense to cut through.  As with the engraving, cut outs do have their limits as well especially if they are too big. This could leave your screwpost Klo portfolio in a fragile condition allowing for break offs in the design.

    Another issue that crops up with cut outs is the falling away of enclosed or interior shapes. This is more relevant in letters of the alphabet. Take for example the letter R.  If you wish to cut out the letter, keep in mind the interior closed shape in the R will fall away as there is no piece or break within the design linking it to the rest of the portfolio surface. Once all those hiccups have been addressed, the cut out treatment can allow for a creative and custom way to display your design.

    For cut outs on a template, outline your design or text in a red stroke.  Boom!

    Custom fashion and graphic design portfolio books by klo portfolios

    UV Print & Cure Treatment

    The UV Print & Cure treatment is exclusive to Klo Portfolios. This ideal treatment allows you to print your design, pattern, or text in any CMYK color.  This treatment prints and cures right away so no worries about scratching or peeling, if your screwpost portfolio is looked after appropriately.

    All we require for this treatment is a high resolution PNG on a transparent background with a 300dpi for perfect clarity to avoid pixelated images. If you’re printing a design on a matte black acrylic, please make note that if your image is on a white background the white will print as well. Therefore, a PNG works best.  The UV Print and Cure can be treated on all the materials with the exception of the glossy black acrylic, as the ink doesn’t stick to the glossy material of the portfolio.

    The UV Print & Cure treatment prints exactly what you send in your template, so make sure your designs are in vector format or a high resolution PNG and in the CMYK color mode.

    A blue stroke around your design will let us know that you would like the UV Print & Cure treatment.  Ba da bing ba da boom!

    Print on acrylic or wood portfolio book by klo portfolios

    A Few Last Tips on Creating Your Portfolio Book Design File

    A treatment is included in the purchase of your custom Klo screwpost portfolio and as a bonus, the engraving and cutout does count as a single treatment.

    Always remember to create outlines to text so we don’t lose your text style when we open your design file here. You can certainly add more treatments benefiting from all the creative options Klo offers to create a one of kind portfolio that represents you!

    All the best and get picking on those treatments, we can take care of the rest =)










    Formatting Your Print Files with Bleeds and Crop Marks for Klo Portfolios

    Let’s talk about prints! There is nothing like having your creative work come to life in the form of prints, a visually tangible and engaging representation of your work.

    Before we get to that final ‘ah ha!’ moment for our printed work,  let’s go over a few easy steps to ensure that your files are formatted correctly so that your prints perfectly compliment your Klo custom portfolio book.

    Let’s Talk About Bleeds Baby

    Bleeds are your best friend.  Bleeds essentially allow your artwork or design to run off your page ensuring that when your pages are trimmed, the artwork is right up to the edge without unplanned white margins or edges. We recommend adding a 1/8th (o.125″) bleed to all of your pages so that your work reaches the edge of the page.

    It’s important to keep in mind that screwpost portfolios like ours are named after the page size they hold.  For example, if you decide to go with an 11 x 14 landscape custom portfolio book, the dimensions of your printed pages should be 11″ height x 14″ width (plus your bestie, a 1/8″ bleed).

    The Right Way to Complete Your Bleeds

    How to create bleeds for your portfolio prints2

    Click to enlarge example

    The Wrong Way to Complete Your Bleeds

    how to create bleeds for your portfolio prints

    Click to enlarge example

    Whether you choose to have us print your pages to send along with your portfolio book or have another printer complete them, you’ll be required to send your files for print as a single pdf plus a 1/8″ bleed.

    Let’s get crackin’ on how to easily complete this in Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign.

    Adding Bleeds and Crop Marks in Illustrator

    1. Open Illustrator > File > New
    2. Enter the actual page size of your print (for example 11″ width x 14″ height)
    3. Enter the bleeds as 1/8 or 0.125″ in the top, bottom, left and right sections
    4. Click the Advanced dropdown button > Color Mode: CMYK, Raster Effects: High (300 ppi)


    5. When saving your PDF go to “marks and bleeds” and make sure “trim marks” and “use document bleed settings” are selected


    6. You can make sure the crop marks have been added by opening the PDF in Acrobat and if you see small ticks in the corners you are good to go!

    Adding Bleeds and Crop Marks in Photoshop

    1. Open Photoshop > File > New
    2. Enter the actual page size + the bleed (for example 11.25″ width x 14.25″ height), keeping in mind the bleed is around the whole page


    3. Add a guide on each side of the page that is 0.125″ in from the edge of the page by going to > view > new guide


    4. Expand the canvas size by 1″ in both directions by going to > image > canvas size
    5. Create a new layer and put it behind all other layers
    6. Use the rectangular marquee tool to create a rectangle in each corner. Hold shift to do all at one time


    7. With the selection active go to > edit > stroke and add a 2 px stroke
    8. Go to > image > image size and enter the Resolution as 300 Pixels/Inch
    9. Go to > image > mode and enter the Color Mode as CMYK

    Adding Bleeds and Crop Marks in InDesign

    1. Open InDesign > File > New Document
    2. Enter the actual page size of your print (for example 11″ width x 14″ height)
    3. Click the More Options drop down button > Bleed and Slug
    4. Enter the bleeds as 1/8 or 0.125″ in the top, bottom, left and right sections


    5. When saving your PDF go to “marks and bleeds” and make sure “crop marks” and “use document bleed settings” are selected


    6. You can make sure the crop marks have been added by opening the PDF in Acrobat and if you see small ticks in the corners you are good to go!

    When placing images in your print files, make sure your images are 300 dpi for the best print quality, as we print exactly what you send us.  You’re almost there!  Just a few more steps until your files for prints are ready to go.

    Combining Your Pages into a Single PDF

    Once you have your individual pages assembled, its time to combine all your pages into a single PDF.

    1. If you have Adobe Acrobat, here is a step-by-step guide
    2. Another option is to use Third Party Programs to merge PDFs as shown here

    When going through the Build Your Own to place your order you’ll want to consider:

    1. What type of paper finish you would like – matte or glossy?
    2. What type of paper weight – 80 lb or 100 lb?
    3. What type paper format – single or double sided?

    Submitting Your Files to Klo Portfolios

    Yay! Ah-Ha! You have successfully completed setting up your prints! The last and final step will be to forward them via WeTransfer to prints[at]kloportfolios.com.  We love WeTransfer since it allows you to easily send large files instantly for download by the receiver.  You’ll even get a notification once it’s been downloaded.

    Inserting Your Printed Pages in to Your Custom Portfolio Book

    All screwpost portfolio books including ours require either hinge strips, sheet protectors, or having another printer score and hole punch your pages.  We’ve written another post about the different insertion methods of your pages in to your custom portfolio book.

    Have a few more questions about submitting your prints properly with bleeds?  Contact us via email or phone and we’ll get get them answered.



    3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Ordering Your Custom Portfolio Book

    Many folks – be they students or working professionals – come to us asking what sort of components they should consider getting for their custom portfolio book. Chances are if you’re reading this that you are wondering the same. Well never fear! We strive to help you make the best portfolio that your wicked imagination can come up with, so read on for our answers to some of the most asked questions taken into mind when ordering that brand new masterpiece.

    What size portfolio book should I get?

    klo portfolios bleed for fashion

    The main things you want to consider when confronting this question are the presence you wish your portfolio to have when engaged with, and the sort of setting you see it most often in. Large portfolios stand out in a large expo hall, but can be a bit dominating for smaller-quarter meetings.

    Small and medium portfolios are ideal for transportation purposes, and while the medium dimensions of 11×14 are both our most popular size and certainly hold more presence from afar, a smaller piece can just as effectively capture a client’s interest with its inmate intimate charm. By considering these points, you can find the size that is right for you.

    How do I add pages to my screwpost portfolio book?


    We often get asked How do I properly insert pages in to my custom portfolio book?

    For some folks, plastic sleeves can be a viable option as they offer extra protection against wear and tear, and offer the ability to swap prints in and out without too much hassle. On the other hand, hingestrips provide a more direct experience between the prints and the purveyor, and don’t diffuse the coloration of the images through an outer plastic layer.

    Ultimately, if you’re looking to protect your prints for the long term and are willing to invest the extra money, you can go with sleeves.  If presenting your work for that one big showcase is more your situation, and you find yourself wanting to save a bit of money after heartily investing in that new custom portfolio, we recommend hingestrips.

    What material should I choose for my portfolio book?

    Klo Portfolios bamboo portfolio book

    This one is again up to a mixture of:

    • the impact you hope your piece to have and
    • the life spam you’re hoping to get out of it 

    Glossy black acrylic and the brushed aluminum options are more prone to scratching, and as such require a bit more delicate care than other materials, but have a fantastic presence in a lit room and truly catch the eye.

    The matte black and frosted clear acrylic options can be a bit more muted than the more reflective options due to their light diffusing nature, but are better for hiding wear and do a fantastic job of fighting off fingerprint marking.

    Our bamboo collection is a softer material than our metal and plastic options, but is particularly excellent if you’re looking for something that can survive the ages as most scratches obtained over time can be lightly sanded down.

    In addition to all of these points, take into consideration the aesthetics of your design. Do you want your piece to have a natural feel, or perhaps something more industrial? Furthermore, color and combinations there in are HUGE and we talk about this more extensively here. Take the time to consider how the color of material will match up to the rest of your order.

    There you have it! With these guidelines now in your quiver alongside your creative vision, you’re already well on your way to a genius masterpiece of a custom portfolio book.

    If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to throw us an inquiry! We’re always happy to help you see your piece to perfection it deserves.

    Happy Creating!

    Tom van der Lee

    Portfolio Artisan



    4 Things to Consider When Designing Your Custom Portfolio Book

    Hello all! Name’s Tom, and I’m the resident portfolio artisan here at Klo Portfolios.  If you place an order with us, chances are your final product will pass through my hands and soon be assembled to choice perfection!  Having had the special privilege of personally overseeing countless hundreds of precious, unique portfolios from start to finish, I thought I’d take some time to impart to you all some of the insight I’ve gained.

    We strive for nothing short of excellence – supreme-quality custom portfolios are our highest concern. That said, the final design and choices of materials, treatments, etc ultimately boil down you.

    This means that sometimes, some designs turn out softer, or subtler, than the rest of the competition. And likewise, there are always a few custom portfolios that burst forward ahead of the pack.  Still reading, and keen to make your portfolio one of those leading the forefront? Good, then read on and direct your eyes to the tips I’ve listed below.

    Color Relationships

    One of the biggest shortcomings to a great design that we see are a diminished presence of colors on a portfolio surface. It may seem tempting to go for soft values and rock that au natural look, but trust me when I say that a strong portfolio is one that packs a visual punch.

    Contrasting or strong colors are vital here. Strong choices are gold, white, red, color fills on black – whereas a soft and diminished choice would be striving for a dark grey on black, or perhaps a light brown on a darker brown bamboo surface.

    Custom ebony stained bamboo portfolio book with engraved color fill by Klo PortfoliosCustom screwpost graphic design portfolio book in tiger bamboo by Klo PortfoliosSquare portfolio book custom made by Klo Portfolios

    Remember, the eyes sifting over your cover have likely already passed over many others in a rather short duration of time, so do your best to aim for something that pops!


    Much like color, the sizing of your name and/or image is a an equally important detail to consider when it comes to your portfolio’s first impression. You never know how far across a room a potential client or future employer may be when their eyes pass over your custom piece, so don’t be afraid to take advantage of the full dimensions your chosen surface naturally provides!

    Full-cover patterns or large images often stand out best in a crowd, as they maintain clear readability across a large breadth of distance.

    Graphic design full pattern portfolio book made by Klo Portfolios Custom fashion design portfolio book by Klo Portfolios Bamboo portfolio books by Klo Portfolios


    Many portfolios shy away from images, opting instead to simply provide the owner’s name. There is of course a very good reason for this – choosing the perfect picture to convey a portfolio’s contents can be a quite the domineering and exhausting task, especially if there is a chance of the inner content being changed over the years!

    And yet, if you are willing to invest the time to find that right image, I can tell you right now that your portfolio is going to convey a meaning many times deeper and more provocative to your general audience.

    Custom-portfolio-book-by-klo-portfolios-with-UV-Print-treatment large17121793179_22e36da872_zCustom illustration portfolio book by Klo Portfolios


    This last tip pertains to the general quality one can expect to achieve when they really take the time to sift over the details in their portfolio cover design.  At the end of the day, your custom portfolio book is going to be with you for many, many years, and as such it definitely deserves your full consideration before placing an order.

    We’ve seen many portfolio orders come through here that and nice, clean, and simple but that also lack that clear punch because they were designed towards the tail end of a deadline.

    Oftentimes a good design means going back to the drawing board a couple of times, so offer yourself the time for revisions instead of rushing to the finish line, and it’ll shine through the rest of the competition without fail.

    There you have it! With these guidelines now in your quiver alongside your creative vision, you’re already well on your way to a genius masterpiece of a custom portfolio. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to throw us an inquiry! We’re always happy to help you see your piece to perfection it deserves.

    Happy Creating!


    Portfolio Artisan



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