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Physical Portfolio Cases - Suggestions?


Senior Member
Hi guys!

I'm on a bit of a re-vamp kick at the moment for a few reasons. Basically I'm trying to get my house in order. This means an update across the board for my promotional materials.

I'm not re-branding, I'm just moving the furniture about a little.

At the moment I have a huge A2 physical portfolio. It's a bit 'retro student' but I like having it around the office for people to browse if they want to. However, I need to evolve how I display my work samples in the real world.
Over the next few months I hope to be doing the rounds and need something a little more compact and professional.

So any suggestions would be welcome.

Maybe an a4/a3 box that has a ring bind inside for removable sleeves. You could personalise the box with logo and colours. But it really depends on how you like to show your work, whether you like to get it out and pass it around, or rather keep it stationery and fixed in.


Senior Member
Cheers for the reply Chris.

I like to keep it mixed. I usually layout design spreads etc in a presentation style with static pages, so you can flip through the portfolio. But I also like to include finished samples of work that went through to production, these are usually loose somewhere in the case.

For this particular folio it needs to be small and easy to flip through I think. I want to take it to client meetings and business introductions.

I think this is like the physical version of an online portfolio, quick snapshots of your work to give an outline of your style and range of work.

The big A2 folio gives a bit more depth and can be produced if needed.
I'm looking at a new folio to take to meetings too, haven't quite decided on what I'm after yet.This is what I currently use.
Mapac Quartz Portfolio Case A3
It's nothing fancy but I prefer the look of the fabric outer to the 'leather' effect ones, and does have room for a decent amount in the the side pockets. As their not expensive I've got a couple of spares as they do get a bit dog eared over time.

A3 is a better size, the A2 folders are just a bit cumbersome and you never know the space you'll be presenting your work in. I remember having an awkward meeting trying to balance it between my lap and a small round coffee table without knocking a drink into clients lap!

A couple of options I'm looking into are some etched aluminum folios or presentation boxes from pina zangara:Pina Zangaro : Home

A couple of copies of a custom hardback book, and maybe smaller scale soft back ones to leave with potential new clients from blurb Make your own book. Make it great.

Or even scrapping the physical and getting an ipad and one of these ipad folio surrounds iPad Folio customised with company name

Think it depends on how often you would be needing to update the contents or customise for each client. I like the idea of the ipad for ease of showing a variety of print/ web/ video and being able to chop and change quickly, but as I'm mainly a print designer think I should have something physical.
I do like the boxes but **** me they can be expensive! An iPad would be a nice idea but then if you want to show physical printed matter then you'll need to carry that around separately.

What would you do if you'd like the show websites and physical printed matter in the same meeting?!


Senior Member
Thanks for the replies guys!

I'd love an iPad, but I can't stretch that far and I don't think I'd use it enough to justify the expense.

Cheers for the links Russell. I like the aluminum cases, but again cost might prohibit those. But it's a refreshing change to the usual folio case.

As for showing online stuff in a physical folio a) I don't do a lot of web work and the bits and piece I do aren't folio fodder, plus I don't promote myself as a web-designer, b) If I did want to do this I'd mock up screen picture of it and direct the client to see a live version. There's usually an internet connection close by to do this in the meeting.

I have considered doing a 'coffee table' type book before, but obviously they can't be updated etc. However, it might be the middle road I need for now. Probably not a giveaway, but something a prospective client can flip through and return to me.

Food for thought! Cheers. Any further suggestions always welcome.
Design a book so you can have interchangeable leaves. Look at different binding techniques that appear to be permanent but actually aren't... Then you can just print and add to it.
It is a tough one to get the mix of professional look but flexible enough to meet different needs. None of the fancier options are cheap but I've got to a stage where I'm happy to invest a bit of money in it.

One option along the lines of what Chris mentions is Screw Binding. Did this for a client's presentation, it was printed digitally and needed to have updatable inserts for presenting to different retailers/ investors/ distributors etc.

Freelance Graphic Design in Birmingham, West Midlands by Russell Hall: print_catalogue_posters_flyers_marketing

The unit cost was well expensive but more down to the size/ stock and finishing than the screw binding.


Staff member
Art on the walls, 2 pieces of perspex with work sandwiched in between. Fixed to wall with mirror screws and some (can't think of name) silver pipe to push from wall.
You could also go the canvas approach or buy the above idea.

If you want to update the look you can get metal portfolio cases....
I use a soft leather A3 folio (approx 20 pages) and I also have a neat A3 holder for all of my printer samples. I've also started to create a portfolio for my iPad so I can flip through samples of my work.


Active Member
I've got a portfolio box (photographers style), they're expensive but with the carry case it's lasted really well so far - Silverprint - Store - Browse Products -

Advantage of these is you can open the box and it lays flat on the desk, then you can pass around the work in the simple clear folders, no ring binder sitting awkward on the desk, spinning the folder round to show different people or taking sleeves out of the folder.

That would be nice with a ring bind potentially? Then you have the option of removing or using as a book.

Have you thought about getting it screen printed?!


Senior Member
Thanks for your thoughts guys.

Greg, I like those folios, it's a nice idea to just open it up and pass pages around. It sounds like a nice informal way of going through a portfolio.

At the moment I'm tempted by two routes. Greg's suggestion and making a small portfolio book.
These guys seem pretty reasonable and I've had recommendations in the past with great opinions of their quality.
Bob Books | Photo Books, Digital Photobooks | Customise at Bob Books

For the cost of putting a conventional portfolio together I can get 2 or 3 copies of a paperback book and one hardback version made. Probably wouldn't be much more than £100.

For that sort of cost I think it's a reasonable yearly expense to start making an annual of sorts that I can take to client meetings. If I have a few copies I can 'loan' the books to clients for a while and pass them around. Always keeping one copy I can carry around with me.

I think there is an added bonus that the layout of the book itself is a portfolio sample.

Like I said I have my huge 'studio' portfolio that I can update easily enough. This idea is for a portable folio that will help me sell my services. I think a small book might make the correct impression if I do it right.

What do you think?
You could make a case study "book" for each project to put inside the boxed portfolio. You can pass them around. Only 4/8 pages per project: cover front and back, description, several images. That could be quite nice I think!

Making some hard copy books could be nice as well though, and potentially done on the cheap. You could look at ways of binding it yourself.


Active Member
Hi Ken,

I'll take some photos of my portfolio box and upload them this afternoon, will hopefully help to give you a better idea :)
Do you think it would be a good idea to start a thread where everyone posts up a image of there portfolio, a bit like the thread on work spaces so when people are unsure on how there portfolio should look they can get a bit of inspiration from the thread?