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Create a flawless portfolio that everyone loves

1 min, 28 sec read
8:29 AM | 14 October 2013
by Jim Compton-hall
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Sorry, that heading might be a tad misleading in that you can't. It's impossible. And trying to please everyone will be your downfall.

Advertising/design/etc are all unbelievably subjective and different people like to see different things.

These are just some of the things I've been told at book crits:

  • Stop showing me advertising.  I want to see a bunch of random projects and quirky creative stuff that you enjoy doing so I can see how you mind works.
  • Anything that isn't advertising, get rid off. I don't want to see it.
  • We want to see crazy stuff like weird contrasting tones of voice. What if you were to use swear words in a lollipop ad?
  • This is bad because it is not how this brand would advertise.
  • Campaign A is the best thing in your book, but campaign B needs more work.
  • Campaign A isn't very good but I love campaign B.
  • This is nice. You should mock it up.
  • You shouldn't be showing me any mocked up stuff. Just scamps.

So how do you produce a book that will get you a job?

Here's a tip. Find out where you want to work, or who you want to work with first. Look for a place that produces the kind of work that you would like to be doing. You may know exactly where you want to work or you may not. It may require going for a series of book crits around the industry to get a feeling for certain places or people.

Once you find the place, latch on. Keep working on your portfolio and keep going back to them. You'll very quickly learn what they like and dislike and you'll be able to tailor your work specifically to them.  

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