today’s question: how do you present your work?

BRI & KATIE’S ANSWERS (mixed together this time!)

in an interview…

when i was about to graduate college i was interviewing left and right. my book was 8.5″ x 11″ (perfect for fitting in my bag) sturdy (it was touched by so many hands) and made of orange plexi with sheet protectors on the inside. it was really easy to rearrange or make edits if i changed my mind later. there was minimal copy in my layouts because i think its better to talk about my work vs. having the interviewer read it. i did have friends that went above and beyond with a printed and bound book. they looked really great, but they would get so frustrated when they decided they wanted to add a project. last year i transfered over to an ipad. it’s cleaner and i’ve found that people love to be able to zoom into projects to get a closer look. i don’t have to worry about getting my pages nicely printed and can update it so much faster. i also got a nice bright red case to match back to my resume and it usually matches something i’m wearing.

and be confident in the way that you speak about the work…you should be able to say a few sentences about each project in case they ask you specifics about them. if you don’t have anything to say about the project, it probably means that you don’t love it…so take that one out. a few things to think about when explaining a project: your inspiration, why you loved it, an interesting back story, the vibe you were trying to capture…

and how about something you can leave with them? we get our blogshop magazines printed at magcloud (affordable & pretty good quality!) you could make a little magazine with examples of your work, a little about you, and your resume in the back. just a fun idea to think about.

to a client…

i work with most of my clients over emails and pdfs. for each round of delivery i place their files on a pdf with my logo and information at the top of each page. i include the date, deliverable round, brief description and my contact info. sometimes the elements need some descriptive copy that i include off to the side. and! i always watermark everything just incase. i’ve never experienced a client running off with my work (knock on wood) but i’ve hear horror stories.

no matter what, always present your best and favorite pieces. it will really show by the way you talk about it or just by how amazing it looks. don’t overwhelm the viewer with too many options.

always remember, you want this process to be a creative experience. you want them to feel engaged and excited when they see an email come in from you! so if that means going the extra mile and photoshopping the logo option that you love on a shopping bag so they can envision it, do it! the 5 minutes that took you to do will often seal the deal!

(illustration by katie evans. read more freelance advice posts are over here!)



Add your own

  • 1. Vredenburgje.wordpress.com  |  January 23rd, 2013 at 6:37 am

    Thanks! I’ll definitely be bringing a tablet next time I’ll have an interview. Haha love how you get a matching outfit for your case!


  • 2. emmakisstina  |  January 23rd, 2013 at 7:28 am

    I love the idea of sending pdfs to present works in progress. I can only imagine this would be a much easier and more professional way of presenting my ideas and images. I think I’m going to have to adopt this practice from now on. Can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it. xo

  • 3. shazzy  |  January 23rd, 2013 at 8:19 am

    YAY! thanks for answering my question! and perfect timing, im interviewing tomorrow.
    im going iPad.

  • 4. Sandy  |  January 23rd, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Hi Katie, what did you use to hold your graduating portfolio together? Was it like, spiral bound?

  • 5. Daniela  |  January 23rd, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Thanks for the tip on Magcloud. That will definitely come in handy for me.

  • 6. Sarah  |  January 23rd, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Good advice. I have a pina zangaro 8.5×11″ dark grey book with screw posts that I use for my portfolio. It’s nice, professional, and easy to update, but not nearly as easy as an ipad slideshow. You may have just convinced me to make the switch!

  • 7. Judith  |  January 23rd, 2013 at 11:55 am

    “if you don’t have anything to say about the project, it probably means that you don’t love it”: so true! So sweet that your outfit matches your iPad case :)

  • 8. Kelly  |  January 23rd, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    You guys have the best timing! Seriously. Thank you so much for the advice!

  • 9. Alexa Sonken {The Wedding Collection}  |  January 23rd, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    grrrrreat advice!!! i’m all about that extra mile : )

  • 10. Amanda  |  January 23rd, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    I’m not a designer or a freelancer (I’m teaching preschool in Beijing right now!), but I really enjoy this series! It’s fascinating to get a peak into another world.

  • 11. Jill Bencsits  |  January 24th, 2013 at 1:22 am

    What sort of app do you use on your iPad to display your work? I think the hardest thing for me is figuring out how I want the work to be displayed on the iPad itself.

  • 12. katie evans!  |  January 27th, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    hi sandy!
    i used a screw post book. it looked like this one.

  • 13. katie evans!  |  January 27th, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    i just use the photo app. this is how i do it.
    1. design the layouts in indesign in the order you want. (i do it horizontally).
    2. when you’re finished export the document as jpgs. it makes each page it’s own file.
    3. import the jpgs into iphoto.
    4. make an album called “portfolio”
    5. connect your ipad and sync that album.

    the only thing that bothers me is that i can’t delete a page from the album on my ipad. or rearrange. it has to be done in iphone on your computer and then you have to resync.

    does anyone else have a better app? i’m curious how people show their animation or video work.

  • 14. Presenting Your Portfolio&hellip  |  January 28th, 2013 at 11:06 am

    […] Presenting Your Portfolio […]

  • 15. Amber  |  January 29th, 2013 at 7:46 am

    I would absolutely love to see and example of what you send to a client! How design-y do you get on the general stuff? Thanks ladies for all the awesome advice :)

  • 16. ADVICE / 52 | D E S I G N&hellip  |  February 20th, 2013 at 5:30 am

    […] client or employer just wants to click through quickly and be impressed. bri and i wrote about presenting your best projects in job interviews and to clients and the same advice goes for your site too. […]

  • 17. TRICIA severson  |  February 23rd, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Love the iPhoto idea. I actually use behance.com and cargocollective.com. They both are work focused and easy to update.
    From 1 creative mind to another – cheers! -T

  • 18. job interview tips&hellip  |  January 16th, 2014 at 7:14 am

    job interview tips

    ADVICE / 48 | D E S I G N L O V E F E S T



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