In Architectural practice, your portfolio is as important as your degree – it’s more important in most cases. Therefore Having a great Architectural portfolio can have a huge positive impact on your career.
Your Architectural portfolio is basically your visual calling card. One that lets the world know your accomplishments & capabilities.
therefore, it’s important to have your portfolio presented in the best way possible.
We will provide some tips that can help you create the best and most impressive portfolio.
Be Clear on who your audience is
When anyone goes through your portfolio, what do you want them to see?
First, you need to clearly articulate your audience before you even begin putting the projects together to form the portfolio. Your prospective audience determines how your portfolio would be like. For instance, the goal of a student portfolio is primarily to gain access to further studies. In this case, your intent would be to clearly articulate your design process, thoughts, and what you have learned. Your portfolio will also largely include academic work with the semester specified.
also, have them in an ascending order (First to last year), To assist the academic reviewer grasp your growth.
In the case of a portfolio for work, the order of projects would be quite the opposite, and you might want to include your final project from architecture school as well as just one or two other projects. But the focus will be on experimental projects (if you are just fresh from school with little practice experience) and live projects.
Only include your best work
You need to think quality over quantity. Resist the urge to add everything you’ve ever created. The ultimate aim of creating a portfolio is to communicate with the reviewer who already has a list of criteria.
By adding too many projects the reviewer will probably get bored and lose interest in your work.
Select only your best project – a maximum of 10 (in my educated opinion). The smaller number of projects, the better as it will allow you the opportunity to go in-depth into each project.
Show your versatility
Ideally, this should be a primary driver for the number of projects you want to showcase. Ensure that in the presentation, all of your capabilities are on full display. This may include mixing up your presentation with personal, experimental as well as live projects.
Lack of versatility in a portfolio might create an impression that you’re limited in your style and creativity.
Simple Graphics Ultimately wins
I know you’ve gone through Pinterest and you’ve seen several portfolios with insane graphics and you’re determined to take up advanced courses in InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator, nothing wrong with that…
You need to bear in mind that graphics skills are just one part of what reviewers look for. A poor design with great graphics will make a poor portfolio; a great design portfolio with great graphics but with design concept not properly articulated will only make an average portfolio.
It’s important to clarify your ideas and not let extreme desires to showcase your graphics skills overshadow your actual presentation.
Personally, I would advise a white background, choose only colors for text (preferably dark colors) for ease of readability. Avoid any graphical information (as much as possible) that does not directly communicate anything meaningful to the overall project. Resist the urge to fill up blank pages. As a rule of thumb, always ask yourself, what is the relevance of this graphic decision or direction?
Use High Resolution Images in your portfolio
I cannot stress this enough.
There are few things worse than seeing an architectural design portfolio with low resolution. It will quickly be tossed in the bin or have that window closed immediately. You need to understand that all your efforts will go wayside if they are not presented properly.
Ensure your portfolio is of high quality. If your submission requires a maximum megabyte that your current portfolio size exceeds, reduce the number of projects/pages there but don’t reduce the quality for any reason.
If you are including photographs or renderings in your portfolio, ensure to set proper scale, coloring, and lighting values.
Don’t forget to include Team project in your architectural portfolio
Projects in architecture usually involves a number of people, so don’t be shy to admit that you were part of a team.
Properly highlight the role you played, give credit to your partners, and focus on where you added the most value.
Whether it was technical drawing or solution to a functional problem, just ensure that you highlight the valuable factor.
This is important to access a certain level of objectivity and uniqueness in your portfolio.
You need to get honest feedback from professionals and colleagues, to get an insight on how to improve your portfolio.
An outside eye is a great way to feel how the world will receive your architectural portfolio beforehand.
- Your portfolio is an extension of yourself.
- Your Architectural portfolio is an opportunity to explain your work, skills, and accomplishments.
- In the architecture profession, a degree might be important, but your design level and skillset are crucial.
- Make sure to document your Architectural portfolio in a manner that doesn’t require any further explanation from you.
- As your work progresses, your portfolio should too. A natural thing to do is to have volumes of your portfolio starting from your student portfolio to additional volumes every other year.
- You can leverage online platforms like Issuu to publish them while making use of your social media accounts to re-share them till it reaches the right audience.
- Finally, make sure to read this article about How to be successful in architecture.