ASK DN: Are Printed Portfolios Still a Thing?

almost 8 years ago from , Creative Director at Deciduous

Hey guys, just wondering if any of you still use printed portfolios for job interviews or if you think people are still interested in seeing a printed portfolio anymore. I have an online portfolio (dannygugger.com), but I'm wondering if we should just flip through some projects on my website together in an interview or what the best way to show your work is today.


  • Anton StokesAnton Stokes, almost 8 years ago

    It can't hurt to have some printed backup. I brought a printed portfolio to the interview for my current job. It felt nice to pass stuff around while talking. Plus, you never know when a connection might go down, or your battery might die. I've seen it happen to other people enough times in interviews to not take the chance. It looks better if you can say "no problem" in those situations and pull something on paper out of your bag.

    2 points
  • Caleb SylvestCaleb Sylvest, almost 8 years ago

    I would say no, well, unless you actually do print work, then maybe. If you are a print designer bringing in examples of work in a magazine or something would be beneficial.

    As for bringing a portfolio to an interview I would suggest prepping several works, either as images in a directory or building a nice presentation, that you can show on an iPad or laptop. Print portfolios are very final and difficult to manage and update. And I find that most people in our industry (even designers!) do not have the level of craftsmanship necessary to create a good print portfolio (once I had an applicant show a print portfolio with a piece of masking tape on the front with his name written in sharpie!). Handling a digital in-person portfolio is easier to change, update, and modify on a per interview basis.

    When I interview potential hires I do want to see work during the interview. I will already have researched the potential but want to talk about their work still. Yes, we can always pull up their online portfolio, but if they bring something it shows they put in extra effort and thought ahead of time (a little more than others).

    On another note, and I don't know how this correlates to job opportunities, but I've been through about a dozen interviews myself. Some actually ask to see work during the interview and some don't (because they've already reviewed my work). I don't know what this means, but the ones that don't ask to see my work end up extending a job offer.

    2 points
  • Danny Gugger, almost 8 years ago

    Here's a link to my current portfolio: (http://www.dannygugger.com )

    2 points
    • Mihai SerbanMihai Serban, almost 8 years ago

      Pretty cool but I think you're using too many mockups to display your work. I wasn't sure you're a designer or a photographer (until I saw "Design Portfolio")

      1 point
  • Brittany HunterBrittany Hunter, almost 8 years ago

    There is a human-centered design program local to me (most of its graduates are headed towards digital industries of one sort or another) that requires their grads to create beautiful printed portfolios. The portfolios not only include screenshots & mockups of finished work, but process documents -- workflows, IA, personas, etc. They are large, expensive books, printed on heavy stock.

    When interviewing these candidates, to me it is always delightful to see the pride and care that goes into these books. Candidates definitely ought to have an online portfolio too, but the printed books definitely get my attention and speak to the attention to detail and thoroughness of the candidate's preparation.

    1 point
  • Jordan FlaigJordan Flaig, almost 8 years ago

    I would think showing up to an interview with a nicely printed book would make an impression. Anything to help stand out during an interview can only help. Especially if its printed professionally. Having something tactile can make a lasting impression instead of a interview where you both huddle around your laptop.

    Also its a bullet proof item to have during a interview as a backup plan incase technology decides to have a moment.

    1 point
  • Pierre de MillyPierre de Milly, almost 8 years ago

    Hey, while browsing your site, I found your pdf resume and should tell you there's one big but simple problem with it.

    You should put your experiences in reverse order. The most recent comes first. It's like when you meet someone, you first talk about what you do now and when acquaintances become friends, you talk about your past.

    1 point
  • Bridget HapnerBridget Hapner, almost 8 years ago

    I bring my iPad in with a simple PDF showing my work that the interviewers can flip through. I like it because it's zoom-able, so I have this 24x36 infographic they can zoom into it. If I printed it, it wouldn't have the same effect. I do bring in my book samples just to have something to pass around, but in my last few interviews for more digital / UX jobs, the books didn't come out at all.

    The books did save my once, about 2 years ago in an print graphic design interview, I forgot my printed portfolio (this was before I got an iPad) and showed only my physical books. When I realized I forgot my portfolio my heart pretty much stopped, but the books saved the day.

    0 points
  • Wil NicholsWil Nichols, almost 8 years ago

    I have writeups and print guides for each of my projects that I compile into a print portfolio / RFQ-response with a cover letter and résumé page when I have local interviews. I almost prefer it to an online portfolio — I can show full storyboards and pages of sketches at the actual device size rather than showing 2/3/4x designs on a 1x screen.

    I've also found that folks tend to only visit specific projects on my online folio, while they will flip through an entire physical booklet.

    0 points
  • jj moijj moi, almost 8 years ago (edited almost 8 years ago )

    Nothing beats live examples. I organize work pieces neatly and put them in a nice luggage as the portfolio container - including my laptop. For print, I usually bring my bound books, medium size posters, and branding materials. For UX/UI, I'd just open it live on the browser, and show them the non-NDA documentation pdfs.

    0 points