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What do companies look for in a portfolio when hiring a designer, artist, or photographer?

I want to design logos, album covers, and advertisements for record labels, musicians, or lifestyle companies. When creative professionals hire freelance artists or people to work for their company, what kind of things do they look for in their portfolio before hiring them?

#graphic-design #design #designers #photography #advertising #lifestyle #career #hire #artist

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David’s Answer

Hey Raney,


I can only speak from my experience as a photographer. My website is my portfolio and I have it divided into galleries for specific types of photography. So, I have sports images, photojournalism and so on. I only show my best work. My images illustrate my ability to capture compelling photographs with good composition and correct exposure. Additionally, my images show a prospective client how I see photography.


It's important you show work that meets the needs of your clients. So, if you're looking for sports assignments, show sports images, etc. Remember, only show your best images.


I would recommend looking at the websites of the well-regarded people in the field you are looking to enter. This will give you a good idea of the quality of work you need to produce and it can be an inspiration for you.


I wish you the best of luck on your journey.

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Eric’s Answer

Hi Raney,

Frankly when it comes to your portfolio you will likely have multiple portfolios for the job your applying for. For example, one of my associates is an interior designer by trade, however he also is a 3D designer, and does signage. He has 3 portfolios for each of the types of work he does.


Me I have 2 portfolios, one for my fine arts and illustration and one for my graphic design and digital illustration.


When I meet with a potential client, I craft a portfolio that speaks primarily to the client's project with samples of other work to show the extent of my capabilities and talent. However if you're applying for a job, do research on what the company is primarily producing and the potential tasks of the position you're applying for and present a portfolio that speaks to that particular space, with samples of other work just to show the extent of what you can do.


Your resume/CV will also speak to what you can do based on your job experience, so if you did work for a greeting card company doing watercolor but the job your applying for doesn't require that skill, your resume tells of your skill there.


Additionally, your on line portfolio can be segmented into different areas which can provide the client/employer with samples across your skillset.

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Cuong’s Answer

Hello Raney,


The companies you apply to varies what kind of businesses they do and the job you're applying to these companies. Not every companies does everything, for example, Spotify does music streaming and web-based streaming contents to users but nothing relating to designs catering to food designs.


Before applying for the job you want to try your luck in, look at what their needs and requirements. It varies throughout each companies and positions.


Your portfolio can showcase many of your work, it doesn't have to be based on one aspect. As for myself, I have a page where I do design work and another page for motion graphics. Showing your diverse designs can show your future employers you have many talents and skills in different areas rather than one.


I hope this helps, if you need any more advice or feedback to your portfolio. Let me know!

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