PDF Portfolio page sizes

Hey all,

I’m in the first stages of creating my Product Design portfolio and trying to come up with a uniformed layout.

However, just a really quick question, what is the best page size to use for a PDF portfolio? 8.5 x 11, 11 x 14, 11 x 17… etc. or is it simply down to personal preference?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


8.5x11 and 11x17 tend to be the most common. Also, these are the aspect ratios (in landscape at least) that will tend to match a computer screen the best, since these days your digital portfolio will generally be the first thing anyone sees if you’re applying for a job.

11x17 is a better printed size because it’s larger and easier to share if you are presenting in person (like a portfolio review) but 8.5x11 will be easier for people to print themselves if you mail out a PDF, and the text will be closer to the correct size if you’re presenting off an iPad or laptop screen. Text optimized for an 11x17 print will be very small unless viewed on a larger screen.

I usually stick to 8.5x11" with consideration for ease of printing. For making a .pdf, its best to keep the size around 5MB.

Another question thats good to think about is how many pages its going to be? Its always a good idea to feature at least one project that demonstrates full process. It can be easy to go overboard, but you don’t want to get too meager either. I always wonder how many pages are in most portfolios? Does it vary greatly between professional and student portfolios?

There are some portfolios that I’ve seen that have way too much fluff and then there are some portfolios that get the point across in just a few pages.