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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Learn more about the use of colour in logo design from our logo blog post.
Colors are sectioned off into two groups – warm and cool.
Cool colors are blues, purples and greens. This group expresses calm, trust and professionalism.
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.
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.
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.
Different colors schemes and combinations will attract different audiences. It is important to understand how color affects each gender, age and culture.
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:
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
For anyone looking for that perfect science or education icon, this is the place for you.
Jolly Icons offers designers 400 hand drawn icons, in the same style, that will bring personality and joy to your project.
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?
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 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.
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 supplies a wide variety of free mock-ups as well as fonts, icons, templates and patterns.
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.
The only clothing mock-up site you’ll ever need. Find fresh mock-ups and add your design for a stunning display!
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.
Searching for web and app design icons? Look no further! Sketch Active offers 360 icons made specifically for web and app design.
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.
Working on app design? Then this is just the resource for you! Simply create app icons of all sizes in one click.
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 is a photoshop script for web developers that converts rectangular marquee to labeled measurement marks.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Your go to place to convert RGB colours into CMYK, Pantone and more.
A great tool to find different shades and tints of a colour that you love. Specifically made for web designers and web colours.
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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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 best resource for all things package design. The Dieline also offers a free downloadable PDF with a variety of packaging templates.
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.
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.
Lynda offers thousands of educational courses for new designers. This site will help kick start your knowledge!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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:
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.
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 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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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 =)
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.
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).
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.
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!
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
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.
Once you have your individual pages assembled, its time to combine all your pages into a single PDF.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This one is again up to a mixture of:
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.
Tom van der Lee
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You’ve been working on your portfolio for months (or at least it seems that way) and you’re almost at the finish line except you need that perfect presentation book to house all of your blood, sweat, and tears. A professionally made portfolio book is a direct reflection of your work and will set the tone for the rest of the interview and allow you to stand out from the rest.
It can feel overwhelming to finalize the last piece of the puzzle so we’ve outlined some helpful tips we’ve passed on to our customers creating their own perfect custom portfolio book. Here are some things to consider before deciding on the best presentation vessel for you.
Are you a LEED accredited Interior Designer or Architect and want communicate this right off the bat? Customizing your portfolio book with one of our bamboo materials and an engraving will be perfectly in line with your message and ideology since it’s LEED certified.
Maybe you’re a young and eclectic fashion designer with a sophisticated yet fierce ready to wear collection. Choosing a matte black acrylic with an engraving and cut-out treatment will perfectly compliment your work.
Over the years we’ve created a comprehensive library that contains hundreds of examples of our work and collaborations with designers and we hope it will serve as an inspiration to you when deciding on how to customize your own portfolio book.
Deciding how mobile and agile you want to be when seeing clients and potential employers are things to think about when deciding on the size of your portfolio book. Do you plan on shipping your portfolio book or traveling often to see potential clients or will your trips be local and comfortable? Other things to consider are how detailed your prints are and if having a larger book will facilitate showcasing more intricate work.
An 11 x 14 portfolio or 11 x 17 is large enough to showcase your beautiful prints but not so big that it feels awkward on a potential employer’s or customer’s desk. It will be lighter and more comfortable to carry then a larger size which could become cumbersome if you need to ship it or travel a lot.
So you’ve browsed through our library of custom portfolio books, decided on the size and material and now it’s time for the fun part, choosing a treatment or treatments to apply to your branding and logo. We’ve outlined some details about the different treatments that can be applied to your custom portfolio.
Engraving and Engraved Color Fills
Our engraving treatment permanently etches acrylic, brushed aluminum, or bamboo materials for a classic and timeless look.
This option can be further customized with engraved color fills which is a process completed by hand where a specific color is added to the engraved area and is bound to make an impression.
If you have a colorful first page or want to incorporate a pattern in to your cover, you can combine an engraving with our cut-out design and have the first page pop through the cover for a more dramatic effect. The cut-out treatment lends a dramatic and edgy feel and will add an element of surprise to your portfolio book.
Vinyl Decals and Metallic Foils
Vinyl decals are best suited if your branding includes color and you prefer a seamless treatment on your portfolio book or in combination with a cut-out or engraving.
Metallic foils provide an easy way to add instant shine and come in silver, gold, blue, green, and red. You can choose to incorporate a metallic foil to a single design element or to your entire logo.
Burnishing Treatment for Brushed Aluminum
The burnishing treatment is exclusively for our brushed aluminum materials and lightly etches the surface to reveal a beautiful silver engraving. This treatment works best for more intricate designs on the brushed aluminum material. One thing to keep in mind is that the brushed gold and bronze material will result in a silver etching rather than a gold or bronze color.
The combinations and permutations of treatments for your portfolio book are endless so have fun with it! If you are unsure or need a second opinion, shoot us an email or give us a quick call and we’ll guide you through the process. Rest assure that no matter what combination of treatments you choose, you are in great hands and we’ll make it look professional and dreamy.
How will you be inserting pages in to your custom portfolio? Do you prefer having plastic over your pages or do you want to create a more tactile experience for the viewer? This will determine whether you use hinge strips, printed pages, or sheet protectors. Learn more about the 3 most popular options of properly inserting your pages in to your portfolio book.
Quality over Quantity of Prints in your Portfolio Book
20 well executed pieces of your work trumps 50 so-so pages so share only your best even it it means you won’t have as much as you’d like to show. Your first page will set the tone so you’ll want to make sure it’s a strong piece. It’s always best to spread your best work through out your portfolio book rather than front-loading it. You’ll want to finish on a high note as well so include a piece you’re really proud of in the end.
Cater Your Work for Your Audience
The magical thing about a screwpost portfolio book is that you can easily add and remove pages so make use of this wonderful feature and cater your work towards the potential client or employer you’re going to see.
For example, If you’re applying for a job at a digital agency, do some research and see what industry they serve and align your work as closely as you can to the type of work you’ll potentially get hired for. This level of customization shows that you mean business and you’ve done your research.
Ask for Advice
If you’re a design student, pick your instructor’s brain and fine tune your portfolio as best you can. Ask for constructive criticism from others outside of the design world, maybe Bob your Uncle? They may offer up a new perspective or reveal something about the fluidity of your work by the way they browse through it. Ask trusted friends and colleagues what they think can be done better and take their feedback in to consideration.
Remember, You’ve Got This!
You’ve made it through the door and you’re one step closer to landing an awesome client or dream design job so take a moment and give yourself a self-high five. You’ve got an awesome custom portfolio, a well thought-out body of work, and you’re ready to rock!
Still have questions? Feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll guide you through the process.
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