The ability of a young designer to market themselves through their portfolios can be incredibly complex. It is commonly accepted that a young designer will need more than one portfolio, and more than one kind of portfolio to successfully market themselves. The days of only having a print-based portfolio to show work is over.  At a minimum, a young designer should have a screen-based and print-based portfolio, but this is really not enough. A young designer should consider having the following portfolios:
  • A website portfolio with links to your social media accounts.

  • Social Media portfolios—Facebook, Instagram, and a at least Twitter. These accounts should be professionally driven—no personal stuff about your life and friends. These accounts should only talk about your work and design in general.

  • A Prototype App portfolio—These portfolios have two purposes. One, it is another screen-based portfolio that can be viewed anywhere anytime via the phone. Secondly, this type of app is also another portfolio project showing the potential employer your abilities as a UX/UI designer.

  • A print-based portfolio—this can be expensive, but in the end it can be worth it. Eventually when called in to an interview you have something to show, and if done right will be another portfolio project. For example, a portfolio created using Blurb Books. I have my students do this in the oversize format, and have them lay out the book using the custom template. This is a blank template that has the necessary coding for Blurb to do their flight check, and ultimately shows your abilities to layout all types of information. With Blurb a student can publish their portfolio, therefore the book will be on the Blurb website for review. When publishing, a student can click on the preview feature so that people can look inside the book without having to buy it, and the link can be shown on all social media accounts.

  • Leave behind—this is typically part of the overall marketing strategy. It is something you have designed with your contact information on it. It should be design as to be unforgettable and well executed. For example, a three-dimensional business card. If done right, these types of cards become collectible and do not hit the circular file.


Behance is a network of sites and services specializing in self-promotion, including consulting and online portfolio sites. It is owned by Adobe. Businesses like LinkedIn, AIGA, Adweek, and Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, and schools such as Art Center College of Design, Rhode Island School of Design, School of Visual Arts, Savannah College of Art and Design, and the Maryland Institute College of Art have used their services.

 Blurb Books
Blurb books can be used for portfolio books employing their custom template that is downloadable in InDesign. The custom template is a blank slate, allowing a student to fully design. Go to Creation & Layout Tools and click on the Adobe InDesign Plugin. The following link is an example of a portfolio book.
The Design Kids
“The Design Kids: a group originating in Australia designed to bring together college-age students to discuss current trends in the community, swap portfolios for critique, and to create better design skills overall.  There are new groups forming weekly across the U.S., including in Los Angeles and Orange County.”


Online Portfolio/Inspiration. Here you will can find links to others work as well as post your own work. This site also has a “looking to hire” button, so on some level this site provides exposure to potential clients.