High School Portfolio

I’m currently a junior and I am pretty sure that I want to apply to a design school and study ID. I have one very important doubt. If I want to get accepted, what kind of work should I have in my portfolio? Also, when it comes to applying, my preference is Pratt institute, what do you guys think about its ID program. I’ve heard its quite good.
Thanks :slight_smile:

I’m a college freshman (majoring in ID). When I was in highschool I did a design program at Carnegie Mellon and they offered us a lot of good advice about building our portfolios, so just thought i’d pass it along. Last year I applied to nine schools, so I understand what it’s like to have to make a portfolio!

1.) Check out the requirements for all the schools you are applying to. Some schools have specific projects that you have to do

2.) Show that you are versatile.
Let’s say --i’m making this up on the spot, bear with me-- you are really good at drawing life-like cars and you love drawing them. You might assume that because they are your best pieces that you should fill up your portfolio with a bunch of these pieces because they are really good. wrong.
Remember that you are going to college to learn and to grow. You want to show the admissions staff that you are willing to learn and grow, through your portfolio. If you show them only one style that you’ve “mastered,” it kind of says to the school that you already have it figured out (why would they need to admit you to their school?).

Try different things, experiment with various media, try a variety of styles (painting, pastel, graphite, pen and ink, etc.)
Of course include your strong pieces of the cars (going back to the example), but don’t be afraid to try something new because of the fear that “it won’t be good enough to include in your portfolio”

I actually didn’t apply to pratt so I wouldn’t be able to help you out with that.

hope this helps!

also, you will definetely need to have still lifes/observation work in your portfolio no matter what.

my art teachers always advised that more than half of my portfolio be of still lifes, but check the requirements of the colleges you intend on applying to, sometimes they have specifications.

Also-- try not to stress!
just prepare yourself. It’s good that you’re a junior and are looking into this stuff already.

I’d be sure to check out a variety of schools. Not all of them require portfolios. I assume that most high school portfolios would have a lot of fine arts, maybe some DIY projects, etc. Try to find some example portfolios from high school students as a benchmark. If you want some guidelines here’s (http://www.michaelroller.com/?p=1068) an interesting post by one of my professors. If you take what he’s talking about (skills desired in a junior designer) and try to display some of those in your portfolio that would also probably be a good thing. Though, having never made a portfolio in high school, it’s hard to know what to do in your situation.

Consider the school you are applying for and what they look for in general. Even if you want to go into ID, that school’s ID program may have less design students (space) then their fine arts programs. This would mean that most people looking at portfolios will be more fine arts based (as there are more fine art students vs design students). I’m not saying to not include ID related pieces (definitely do submit design related pieces). Just something to consider, general fine art skills will be needed and will help you with ID skills in the future.

Talk/visit/email to someone at the school, ask what they look for. Cater your portfolio around that.