Portfolio Content Advice needed

Hi Everyone,

Sorry in advance for the amount of text, but wanted to add context!

I’m working on improving my folio and putting in commercial work I’ve done that has been released into the wild. I graduated in 2015 and I’ve been told its a bit of a red flag if I only have uni work and personal projects with no commercial stuff.

The work I can put in is retail design for a client that wanted interactive, permanent fixtures - so it’s more like product design than traditional cardboard POS. I am 100% not looking to go back into retail design - I liked working with that specific client, but overall it’s not where my interests lie and I’m looking for a more traditional ID role in a studio.

The two projects I’m thinking of adding are for a toy company for 2 different brands they own, but they follow a similar story (making a display exciting to draw people into physical retail, focus on branding etc). So it strikes me as not very exciting to read about basically the same project twice, even if the outcome is different. Other projects I’ve worked on are either not in-depth enough for a folio project or un-released/NDA.

Is it worth putting in both and showing more commercial work, or sticking to the stronger of the two, but only having one commercial project in my portfolio?


My recommendation would be to put both in and tell a story about designing around parameters for production. You can find the universal truth in the project that can be applied to other things. Focus on that aspect of the story.

Then you can present it as one project and the design implementations as two different variations across the brand portfolio. The main thing about a portfolio is that it communicates what you want to do in design.

Thanks for the input guys, much appreciated!

On reflection I think I can frame the projects slightly differently, one is more production/cost-focused and the other is much more about innovation and the challenge of implementation, so should hopefully make them more compelling in terms of story-telling and showing different skills in my portfolio.