How many pages should a portfolio be?

Hello all,

Just wondering what the consensus on how long a portfolio should be was? I’ve heard 15-20 pages, but I’ve been seeing portfolios up to 40 pages in the forums here.

It’s all about the message you are trying to send. In my 2nd and 3rd year I kept my portfolio short (<20) because I was just trying to communicate traditional skills. The projects I was showing also lacked depth in the research area. Each project fit a formula similar to: 1 page sketch ideation, 1 page refinement, 1-2 pages final renders, task analysis, etc… I did that with maybe 3 or 4 projects and it was kept short.

Now I’ve had the opportunity to work on more in depth projects that require more room to unfold. Lots of research, more in depth concept exploration, refinement, validation all the way through final product and prototyping. Some of those projects are a minimum of 6-7 pages just because there was a lot to explain and most importantly I was trying to communicate the fact that I understand the whole design process. Basically early I didn’t have a lot of great work so I kept it short and now I have better projects and more to show.

I’ve had people tell me to keep in short and I’ve had them tell me to use all the space you need as long as it’s all quality information/work. For me it comes down to picking what I want to show, the story I want to tell, and how I am going to communicate my skills to whomever is looking at my portfolio. The length works itself out.