What is it?
Design is a discipline built on a foundation of creating and making, and a design portfolio is a unified visual representation of the things you make -- think of a design portfolio as a visual resume that tells people a story about who you are by showing them examples of what you’ve done. Design portfolios can be physical (like a binder of drawings or photographs), digital (like a website that showcases your digital and physical art, media projects, and the like), or a combination of the two.
Interactive Media Design portfolios are typically digital and available online; if you search for “interactive media design portfolios” you’ll find a wide variety of examples for inspiration. Your design portfolio is a unique expression of who you are as a creator and maker, so have fun with it!
What should I include?
You can include many different kinds of creative projects in a design portfolio, but it’s important that you represent your work in a unified way with enough description that viewers know what they’re looking at and how you made it.
Portfolios should include only your best work -- if you have paintings, sketches or other physical pieces, choose the strongest examples that best represent what you can do, and take photos of the work that you can upload and display online. Photos of physical work should be high quality and taken on a plain, neutral background, and you should spend some time in an image editing program like Adobe’s Photoshop, the freely available GIMP, or similar to make sure your digital photos appear neat and professional. Digital work, videos, animations, music, applications, and the like should similarly represent your best efforts and should be presented with enough description for viewers to understand what the work is and how it was made.
It’s fine to include a mix of physical and digital work in your online portfolio! As long as the work represents your best efforts as a designer, it’s fair game to include.
How can I make a portfolio?
There are many helpful guides available online that can assist you with making a strong portfolio, just search for “make a great design portfolio” to find quite a few good sources. There are also free and approachable options for building and hosting your portfolio online – sites like weebly.com and wix.com provide free hosting and portfolio building tools that you can use to get started, and sites like squarespace.com will provide even more options for a small monthly fee.