Advice on how to develop portfolio


New Member
Hello all!

Been working in various marketing/sales/financial jobs for the past 7 years and i now want to get on with my real passion, graphic design.

I've been designing and selling digital canvas, flyers and promotional leaflets etc... over the years, but do not have a graphic design degree or the most extensive commercial portfolio to apply for junior designer jobs.

Any advice on the best way to develop a commercial portfolio?

Cheers :)

Hey T

Where are the digital canvas, flyers, promo leaflets you designed?
Can't you use them as a starting point for your portfolio?

Hey T, welcome to the forums.

Offering free or cheap designs to worthy clients (charities?) is always a good start.
Ways of doing it

You could approach charities in need of design and offer them free design services so that you are doing a good turn at the same time as building a portfolio.

You also don't then damage the industry you aim to work in. ie if you offer design services for free to businesses by promoting that actively on forums for instance, you devalue design itself in their eyes (well, if people are doing it for free all the time it can't be that hard, so why pay for it ever).

If you want to work in this industry and be paid regularly one day, I'd recommend against devaluing it in the eyes of businesses. I see that as a growing issue in the design industry that we all need to take responsibility for.

So - you can build a portfolio by going privately to charities, or even approaching other design firms (with the private approach you aren't promoting free designs services out in the open or making it 'known' that you are doing this in normal business circles) and asking them if they would like to outsource to you so that you can develop a nice portfolio that way.

The advantage of offering a small amount of free outsourcing to a few select design firms, is that first of all they aren't going to advertise this themselves and devalue the design industry by doing that, and if they are impressed, when you do get to the paid stage, they may want to use you regularly after trying you once for free.

Agreed. I currently do free design work for a number of charities and the feel good factor is worth it :)

Definitely a good way to build up a folio as they often need all sorts of materials designed.