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How to Create a Better Art Portfolio: Tips From a Pro

Whether the ink on your art degree is fairly wet or you’re a seasoned artist with plenty of sales under your belt, an art portfolio is among the best ways to market your skills and set you apart from other artists. You may only have a few seconds to catch the attention of a potential client, so create your art portfolio with originality in mind and take care when you select what will be showcased there. While you may already have an online portfolio, consider a print portfolio as well. This gives clients the chance to hold your work in their hands, and the presentation of your portfolio can be a bit more elaborate and memorable. Plus, a print portfolio is more difficult to scrap than the link to a digital collection.

Tim Tadder Photograph (www.timtadder.com)

Tim Tadder Photograph (www.timtadder.com)

Art Portfolios Need the Right Team

What should you look for in an art portfolio production team? While you’re letting your imagination run wild, consider these three important steps to choosing a print shop:

1.  Choose a shop that can pay your project ample attention. Since an art portfolio only has 10 to 20 well photographed pieces, it’s especially important to choose images that count.  To assure those images are printed to the highest quality, select a shop that will take the time to understand how you want your images to come to life.  Also,  it helps to work with a shop that is full service,not only offering printing, but also finishing and binding at the same location. Working with a single vendor makes the process more streamlined and your vision is less likely to get lost in translation.

Tim Tadder Photography (www.timtadder.com)

Tim Tadder Photography (www.timtadder.com)

2.  Work with a print shop that offers lots of finishing and binding capabilities.  Since you want your art portfolio to stand out, you may end up thinking outside the box. A vendor that only has a few finishing options available will have a harder time helping you realize your vision than one that can create a wide range of portfolio books. Look for a shop that has finishes like creasing, digital die cutting, embossing/debossing, foil stamping, folding, laminating, perforating, slitting, spot UV coating, spot color, and white ink. A good range of binding options will include: cased coil binding, fabric spine wrap binding, hardcover case binding utilizing PUR adhesive, hardcover with Wire-o binding, layflat photo books, soft cover PUR Perfect binding, spiral binding, and Wire-o binding. If you are using landscape photos, be sure to ask how large they can be – a size of up to 11″ x 15″ may be required.

3.  Create a collaborative relationship. The best print shop for an art portfolio is one that will help you choose your strongest pieces and also organize any supplemental materials that you want to include, such as publications about your work. Ideally, once you hand over your files to the printer the designers will want to keep you involved in the process as much as you want to be – never allow yourself to be shut out of the production of your portfolio.

At Clearstory, we are committed to making your ideal art portfolio come to life. You dream it. We make it. It’s really that simple. Each art portfolio is handcrafted at our San Diego, CA facility and our entire design and production staff is committed to creating an art portfolio that can help take your art career to the next level.

What are you waiting for? Call us today!  858.526.3600 or 888.907.5611.