Industrial Design portfolio size

What is a standard size portfolio page for a face to face interview. I know it should be at least carry-on size if you have to fly some where. I have looked over portfolios that are presented with nice binding and are 8.5 x 11. I think they are a little on the small size. If the larger size is more professional what is a presentable case? Leather, plastic, etc… Should there be storage for a Design Evolution book?

I think 8.5 x 11 is sufficient, but make it simple and easy to read, like an executive summary of a project. I like seeing any process work or sketches a little bigger 11x14 or 14x11 that is easy to flip through. I carry an extra portfolio (that the smaller one fits in and still goes on as a carry on) for process work and sketches. I keep it organized so if the interviwer wants more detail about something, I’ll take out the supplemental sketches. I may put some work on a cd or something that the interviewer can zoom in on to see details.
It also depends on the position you’re applying for. A more junior position may require you to take those extra sketches and modelmaking pictures.


When you say put some on a CD. Would you save as a PDF or what kind of program would you use to apply the work?

Yeah. I usually do .pdf’s. I forget if you can lock them so they can’t be reproduced. I usually give cd’s to people I’ve met in person and I include a self-addressed sleeve (postage paid) so they can send it back easily. You can also show off your interactive skills by including a flash example, but I don’t have the skills for that. I’m old school like that.

I am still learning flash as well. Thanks for your advice!

Personally, I feel 8x11 size is too small if you have a lot of annotation on your portfolio book pages, or tend to put a lot of annotation on sketches etc…

I’ve printed my pages on Super B size paper (13x19) and have been very happy with the results. That size is not too small. The portbooks for that size paper fit nicely into most carry ons, and are good at interviews where there are several people viewing your work at the same time…


Since you print your portfolio out on Super B size (13 x 19), how or where do you print it out? Kinkos, home…? I can’t print larger than 8.5 x 11 on my printer.

Do you also get them printed on flat of glossy paper? I have heard glossy is bad, due to it’s glare.

I like looking at portfolios that have been designed by the designer.

Make your own “page” size. What is a page anyway? Make it your own. All this nonsense about space is irrelevant. Tell your story- that is all it has to do.

We have a portfolio (it should be noted it was a mailer) from a designer that is a pop-up book that tells the story of one project. Yeah, I work for a toy company - but nonetheless we still talk about this person everytime we are looking for a freelancer. It was they interesting (and comical at some points)



Did this person apply for a freelance or full-time position?

Did they get the job they applied for? If not, why?

Why do you still talk about this person?

Just Q’s for me to consider. Thanks!

Did this person apply for a freelance or full-time position? <<

It was for both- we still use them for freelance

Did they get the job they applied for? If not, why?<<

We never offered them a full-time position simply because of experience level. We haven’t had an opening for a Sr. designer… but like I said, still an excellent resource for freelance.

Why do you still talk about this person?<<

They had an approach that was very modest and fun. The level of work was adequate, but the creative approach to such a simple and usually boring thing to look at made them an excellent candidate. The way the book was layed out forced us to actually look at it, and even read it, which is practically unheard of in our office where their is little time to do anything.

This being said, if I saw another popup book it may not have the same effect. I would probably be desensitised to it by now.

Hope this helps.

Of coarse! Every thing I absore from this site helps.

I appreciate your honestly.