Original work VS. Color-copy of work

So it’s the summer before my senior year in high school and I intend on submitting my portfolio to Art Center in Spring 2012 for scholarship review, and hopefully entering college Fall 2012. I would say that I’m a little stressed out, but right now, I’m panicking less about my actual projects and more about how I should set up my portfolio.

Would making colored-copies of my renderings (especially the development and final renderings) make the admissions office think lower of my portfolio (I know, it sounds weird but I don’t know how else to state it). I know it’s a silly question, because most of the emphasis is placed on ideation and communication of ideas, but since I’m applying for scholarship, I need to get everything as perfect as I can. Why do I want to make colored copies? I want to organize each page and add graphics/text and maybe a titleblock at the bottom of the page to make my projects more cohesive, clear, and engaging. I don’t intend on editing the actual renderings in photoshop or anything. (Just FYI, I won’t have any photoshop renderings, because that’s something I lack in right now and traditional media is my forte).

Another question: what size would be best to print/do my renderings on? I am accustomed to 8.5x11 paper and it is easy for printing at home (or anywhere), but larger portfolios also seem more engaging. So, convenience or exhibition?

Any tips are appreciated!

Edit: I’m going to be using Moleskines for each project and using those for all my ideation/thumbnail sketches (one, or two, Moleskines for each project). So my ideation for each proejct will be original work sent with the ‘booklets’ that I intend on making for each project. The problem is organizing my development renderings and final renderings.

Hold on. I thought they did things by CDs now. PDFs and such.

Yes, do scan your renderings and touch them up digitally: set up nice compositions with various sketches on pages that tell the story of your process. Why don’t you edit the actual renderings in PS? PS is considered a tool in the industry, not a cheat. It’s a skill. Definitely polish anything you have scanned. Text on pages to explain what the sketches were of/ what they were exploring are crucial.

Are you showing this in person? I’m sure they specify sizes if it’s just for submission. I think 11x17 is the norm (someone correct me).

The transportation design portfolio requirements say no CDs :\ Unless they just haven’t updated the site yet. CD’s/PDFs would be SO convenient.

Ah, so touching up marker renderings in photoshop is alright? I was really worried about that since I wanted to showcase my manual skills but photoshop retouching is so tempting. And I’m definitely adding text and such to it.

I’m going to drop off my portfolio in person, but I won’t be there while they review my portfolio. I might organize an appointment with a counselor and get some last minute tips on how to improve my portfolio, but I feel like it might be a little too late by the time I get an appointment.

Does Kinkos print 11x17 at their computer stations and such? It would be great if they did, though I’m thinking about printing books from blurb.com or something like that for each of my projects to give them more of a wow factor.

Thanks for the speedy reply!

Yes, Kinkos does 11x17. Also, you should know that the standard is to have a really nice portfolio case/cover. I know people who have made their own out of laser cut metal. If it’s for trans, you may not want to trust my reply, since I’m not trans. They love hand-sketching there…

Yup, I plan to make my own case. I’m probably going to end up getting a big, cheap portfolio case from blick or whatever and tear it apart (but keep the inside hinges/board and all) and then redo the outside and inside pockets and such to fit my portfolio pieces and make it look ncie. Or i might just make my own from scratch, but I still have yet to sort all that out haha.