How many pieces a solid portfolio should have?

as many solid pieces you have available

Thank you for your answer. This is for Industrial Design. I do have about 9 good pieces. Is that a good number or is it expected to have more than that.

How are you presenting it, in an (A1) portfolio or as an online one?


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9 pieces with some projects showing the full sketching and developmental process, that seems fine.

I guess it depends on your experience. 9 pieces sounds like a professional’s portfolio.

That’s a very dumb question to which there is no answer to. Its like asking how many pairs of underwear you would need.

That’s a very dumb question …

Gee… not only is it a dumb question, it’s a very dumb question. Thanks for clearing that up.

I’ve only got three pieces in my portfolio, with a full (although abbreviated) workup of each; conceptual thumbnail sketches, refined detail sketches, presentation art, CAD, prototypes, and engineering documentation (bills of material, processes, vendors).

Snow-boy, it’s just a matter of what you want to say to your interviewer; “I’ve got cool ideas and cute sketches” or “I have workable ideas, can convey those ideas to management and engineers, and I have the technical know-how to help make it all happen.” It’s good to keep in mind that you’re not the only one involved in the design process.

Just remember; sketches are sketches, 3D models are 3D models; they all look the same to an HR person and the faster you can convey your story to the person on the other side of the table the better (they notoriously have short, and generally uninterested, attention spans.)

When you get past HR, the person you really want to see will know at a glance whether you’re the guy or not. Whether it’s 3, 9, or 40 pieces probably won’t make much difference; the quality of what you DO show, and your technical knowledge as a industrial designer, will.

I vote for quality, over quantity. Spend the extra minutes you save from going over six more concepts and engage your prospective employer in conversation about his/er work and how you may be of service to him/er.

Thank you for all the answers. The reason why I ask is to survey opinions. To some art directors 3 projects are not enough and for others 20 is too much.
My intention is to present a full spectrum of my abilities without tiring the viewer.
This is not the on-line portfolio and I have over 2 years of experience.
I think 9 quality projects is good enough but some people have recommended 12.
I certainly appreciate everyone’s time and I hope you don’t mind if continue asking dumb questions.