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How many pages of work samples?


Junior Member
Hi there,

I've decided it's time to start looking for a new job again and have been reworking my portfolio after getting some feedback from a friend in the industry. Having reached the conclusion I was showing far too much work, I've simplified it right down so I'm only showing one or two things on each page (maybe a cover & spread or a logo & flyer or just one view of a mailer). I sent one of the job agencies I'm signed up with three pages of my very best work. They replied and said they think I should be showing more, given my 8 years experience in the industry, maybe about 8-10 pages.

That seems rather a lot to me as I'd always been told 3-4 pages and I plan on taking 8-10 pages to interviews so I don't want to send people my entire portfolio to look at. The response back from the agency is maybe 5-7 pages then but that still seems a lot. My other problem is that there has been very little creative work in my current job (one of my reasons for leaving) and while I've got work I've done outside of work, I don't have loads of work I think really shows what I can do and I don't want to rely too heavily on old work.

What do you guys think? How many pages of work do you generally send out to people?


Well-Known Member
When I was building my portfolio, Mr Google told me that 10 is a pretty good number. Personally I struggle to keep it under 15.
Bollocks to the '12 best pieces' i say.

If you're a good creative designer you should have have hundreds of pieces to chose from, but don't limit yourself to 8/10 pages.

If it's good enough work then it goes in.

If a designer is showing me their book i want to see everything they can do, a full spectrum, not just a little bit of this or that.

Don't listen to google.


Active Member
I've always been mean..... 12 pieces only....... the very best only........... but no repetition. Leave em wanted more.

We are in the selling game......


Junior Member
Thanks for your replies everyone. Do you mean 12 pages in my actual portfolio or 12 pages of samples?? I am really struggling to get 12 pages of work in my actual portfolio due to the massive limitation of good work given to me in my current job and previous jobs, despite me doing stuff at home!


Senior Member
I don't think there is a hard and fast rule on this, it's a judgement call for each designer to make for themselves.
A portfolio is meant to show other people what you are capable of, it's your best work that displays the skills you have.

In my mind it's a case of figuring out what you are capable of, then deciding what pieces of work best display this to someone else.

Depending on a designers experience, productivity and range of skills it could mean 10 samples of work or 20.

A few rules I try to follow:
No repetition, if one piece of work shows you have an understanding of typography, there's no need for another sample that repeats that statement.

Only use your best work, sometimes your favourite projects aren't your best work. As Berry said, you're selling yourself to someone else.

If you use one sample or project to illustrate that you understand the principles and skills you have, you're not going to have a massive portfolio.

Sometimes it's better to hint at potential than show someone everything you've done, but that takes a certain amount of confidence in yourself and your work.

One thing I would say, after your last comment. NEVER pad a portfolio. If you've only got enough quality work for 6 pages, then that's your portfolio. Don't put something in to fill what you think is the correct amount of pages.