My portfolio printing dilemma

In about a week my portfolio for Art Center is scheduled to be complete, and I would be looking to print it. The largest laser paper/printer I’ve found locally is 12x18in, but I need 16.5 x 23.3. So my question is what type of paper other than laser would be good for portfolio printing? It has to be fairly light, and look good/professional when printed.

should I find another type of paper? or is laser paper so good for this that I should make huge compromises in layout and sketch sizes? I’m really confused when it comes to this as I have no idea what type of paper to print this on.

btw pages are laid out in Photoshop at 16.5x23.3 and at 300dpi. They include marker renderings and lots of line sketches.

any help would be appreciated!

Here is a good exercise…

Find an ‘average sized’ interview desk. In other words, guess at, or go visit some companies or places you would be interviewing at, and take a look at their desk size, what obstacles are on their desk, how you would stand, how they would be sitting across the desk, how far away their eyes are from the paper.

You want to open/prop up your portfolio on their desk, stand behind it, hold the portfolio open with one hand, physically point out details on your pages, turn the pages, use your hands as you speak, and anything else that might happen that may require your dexterity (you need a free hand).

Your portfolio is 47 inches across… nearly four feet!
That’s a midget laying on a desk.

That just might be my opinion, but I would suggest stepping down in size.

However, this is different if its just for a wall-hanging portfolio. And then, you would have to go to a ‘nicer’ print shop and print each sheet as if it were a poster from a large roll of paper. I believe the print shop in Savannah wanted about $60 per sheet for a poster laser print roughly the size you’re talking about.

I printed my portfolio on 12x18 paper if I recall correctly, then cut them all down to 11x17, since my pages required a full bleed. Make sure you have many fresh razor blades, a long ruler, crop marks set in photoshop, and plenty of sleep (or you will have blood on your portfolio).

You don’t want much text. Just a word or three on each page. So the size can be reduced a bit if you’re concerned about the font sizes, etc. No one is going to read the words. If you want to show the details of your sketches, bring your sketch book for additional material. Your portfolio should show your creativity, problem solving ability, and design process more than anything. They will ask to see additional sketches if they’re interested.

Bon chance

Thanks a lot! I guess you’re right about the size, but everything looks so good and neat with that size, and so out of place when downsized. The problem is I can fit 4 ideation drawings on a 12 x 18 (with the originals taking up half of an 8x11 vertically), and I have 12 ideation drawings per each project. I don’t really want to scale them down.

The print shop I contacted said this to me, though I’m still confused about it:

“We can run 13 x 19 maximum this will allow you to set up for 12 x 18 image area finished trim.”

I don’t really know what “full bleed” means either, I’m assuming there is going to have to be a border around the final image which I will have to cut? and therefore I should compensate for that in the layout?

because as is they tell me they have 13x19 maximum so I can lay out comfortably on 12 x18 (final printed and finished image size). I don’t know if it’s even better to go down to 11 x 17 with that paper, although the smaller the worse for me.

“full bleed” means there is ink/color going right to the edge of the page.

depending on how you are printing it (ie. offset/digital, not on your own printer) press sheets are different sizes. normally i know that most presses should be able to accomodate a 19x25" text weight paper sheet or 20x29" cover weight sheet.

how are you printing this (offset, kinkos digital, etc.)? what are your budgets/volumes? (this will affect cutting requirements, printing specs, etc.)…

i do agree however that your paper seems huge. it seems in proportion to standard euro sizes sheets (a4, a3, etc.), but wondering where you came up with the size. its not a2, is it based on a B sized paper?

personally i much prefer the euro sized proportions (8.5x11, or 11x17 is so awkward is ratio), but you should also consider the cut down word required if it will add cost to the job, or require you to cut out everything by hand.