Software & Apps Design Learn About the Types of Graphic Design Portfolios by Eric Miller Writer Eric Miller is a former Lifewire writer, freelance graphic designer, and owner of a web development and graphic design studio established in 1998. our editorial process Twitter Eric Miller Updated on July 27, 2019 asiseeit/Getty Images Design Graphic Design Photoshop Animation & Video 3D Design Tweet Share Email When trying to break into the field of graphic design, having a solid portfolio is crucial. If you are job-hunting, your portfolio is what employers will be looking at to decide whether or not to give you an interview. If you are starting a freelance business, potential clients will be comparing portfolios to choose a designer for a project. There are several choices for what type of portfolio to build, and each has their own benefits and drawbacks. Website Online portfolios are probably the most popular type today. As a graphic designer, some will even assume you have a website. If your focus is web design, an online portfolio is the choice for you, as it serves as an example of your work. Benefits Easy to send out…it’s just a linkCan provide a look into your personalityAllows for an interactive presentation of your work Drawbacks The most time consuming to createYou have to worry about it looking or behaving differently from computer to computerYou need the technical knowledge to set it upExpensive to hire someone to develop it for youYou will have to pay for a domain name and monthly web hosting PDF Creating a portfolio as a PDF is becoming more and more popular. Using Acrobat, multi-page PDFs can be created from layouts created in a graphics software program (such as InDesign or Photoshop). The result is a brochure-style piece that shows examples of your work along with descriptions of projects and related information. Benefits Easy to emailControl over layout without having to worry about browser and web issuesThe PDF itself serves as an example of your layout and typography skillsCan be printed with consistent resultsRelatively quick and free to create Drawbacks Relies on the user to save and open the fileLess effective for showing web design projects The Classic Portfolio The classic portfolio, an actual book of various sizes with printed examples of your work, still serves a purpose in today’s “digital world.” There are several ways to present such a portfolio, from placing prints in a pre-made book with sleeves, to creating your own custom, bound book. Advantages Shows your work in its actual, final formatGreat for showing off print designCan be brought to a meeting and shown without a computer Drawbacks Must be delivered by mail or in-personIf you leave with a potential client or employer, you are left without a portfolio In the end, the type of portfolio you choose to have will depend on your budget, available time and type of work. For web designers, an online portfolio is a no-brainer. If you don’t have the time or budget to set up a website right now, you should at least have a PDF so you have something to email. A classic portfolio is great to bring to a meeting and show off your best print work. As a portfolio is a key marketing piece, it should be taken seriously, and a combination of the options above might be the right choice to get you your dream job or client.