Are Most Still Using Paper Portfolios for Face to Face

Are most IDers still using bound paper portfolios for face to face intereviews, or bringing the large screen laptop?

Yes, right, bound paper is better because it is bigger and can be passed around more easily right?

Basically all digital now with a laptop (so I can project if they have a projector) and/or iPad. I can control the story that I am telling better when I am holding it. I almost never pass things around. Paper is unwieldy and slow to flip through. Digital is much more convenient and easy to switch around within/in between projects so you aren’t fumbling for the right page.

Both. Either. Paper is great, and as is an iPad or digital projection.

Depends on the context.


Actually got the tip to use iPad from Richard after meeting him in Tor. It has been working really well. Fast and responsive.

I use a combination of an on screen projected presentation, and a series of project booklets… though at my last interview (at frog), I brought a lot of my physical prototypes and production pieces, as well as bulldogged clipped 8.5 x 11 presentations, laid them all out on the table and said “I have 15 years worth of work here, what do you want to talk about” and let it rip from there… I think it went well :wink:

I know an Ipad is a lot thinner and lighter than a laptop (easier to pass around, but pricey as hell!), but can you show your work on your MacBook Pro (if you already have one) to an employer? Anyone do that as well?

No, it is strictly forbidden and a punishable offense by The Design Police.

Of course you can show it however you want (even a Dell :open_mouth: ). But consider how you might be 3+ people sitting and looking at one screen, who controls it, how you run out of battery etc… do a trial presentation for your friends and see how it goes.

I just went to see a degree show the other day and it struck me how many of the students showed movies to tell the story. It was so obvious that it was made to be put on vimeo/youtube, I even wonder if it was a required thing by the school? So you can expect recent grads to show up with ipads and showing all kind of content. Anyway, it got boring quickly when you realize more effort was put into the film than the design, or start thinking about stuff like bad acting. Point here being - don’t let your presentation distract from your work, present in a way that fairly describes and elevates it. You will be hired for the skill you excel at, so figure out if you want to be a designer or something else?

PS. if you’re curious about the movies you can find them here Umeå Institute of Design’s Videos on Vimeo , some of the designs AND films were actually really great.

When I interviewed I had a bunch of short interviews with Marketers and Engineers for which I used paper portfolios printed from 8.5 x 11.
Than I had a long 2 hour interview with the Senior ID and ME’s. For that I loaded up a bunch of PDF’s from a flash drive on one of their machines and walked them through a bunch of different projects. I also brought a large format clip of hand drawn sketches on Graphics 360 that I let the last two guys look through.


I should have realized my question about laptop presentations was a bit lacking in common sense but thanks for being sarcastic. :slight_smile:

Good advice about letting one’s ID projects shine, versus shiny graphics and involved films that distract; especially if the project sucks, a shiny logo or graphic or film won’t make the id project any better.

That is really interesting. Would interviewers in design consultancies prefer well-considered and incredibly smart digital presentations over a simple paper portfolio? If I show this digital presentation on a laptop or a projection screen, would this be acceptable? I’m on a very tight budget, so printing may not be an option.

I use my website and a hidden pdf presentation I have stored on my FTP as my digital presentation options.
The advantage with this is that I can access it from whatever device is around that has an internet connection: iPad, iPhone, somebody’s laptop. So I am always ready for an impromptu presentation.

If I go to a meeting however, I actually bring a landscape printed A3 portfolio. What’s great about it is that one can flip easily back and forth once the discussion starts. Elements in projects can be pointed out and discussed, sort of a point’n’shoot method of interviewing.

All projects are connected and if there are specific questions coming up about say project B, the answer might be found in project A.
Also I have noticed that interviewer just LOVE to touch things and a printed portfolio is something to hold on to.
From my experience, it has always been positive that I brought something analog. And I never felt I had to prove to anybody that I was tech savvy by bring in my iPad.

The first step is understanding who your audience will be, and how many people will be in it, and what technologies are available. If you are talking to a dozen people around a conference table with questionable hookups, a tablet computer might actually be inferior to prints (or prototypes/production parts in yo’s example). For larger groups, having a USB stick or laptop with the PDF on it is foolproof. I like reviewing work in smaller groups, with printed work, because there seems to be more interactivity between everyone that way, flipping back and forth, shuffling stuff…plus I can put my finger on a piece of paper, not on someone else’s iPad.

Last interview candidate brought his iPad, expecting to get connected to our wireless to show us some interactive work…but our firewall didn’t let him connect. Oops.

One interview a while back I brought a whole bicycle frame that I designed, and sat it on the conference table.