With competition in the art industries growing more intense every day, more graduates are turning to resourceful and original ways to market their skills. With the average employment rate for graphic designers expected to increase by 7% in the next decade (and an anticipated 16% decline in the employment of graphic designers in previously reliable industries like newspapers, periodicals, and directory assistance books) competition is only going to increase.
After all the time, effort and individual thought you’ve invested in your designs, you want to showcase them through the most original platform available. That’s why more designers are taking their portfolios online. A platform that allows you to consistently edit your portfolio and study its reception from major industry professionals gives you the power to make more informed decisions, helping you land that elusive first graduate job with your dream design agency. Here at Clemmie, we’ve discussed before why the digital portfolio is quickly becoming the platform for modern designers. The digital portfolio presents its own unique set of challenges for graphic designers, but the potential rewards can be huge.
Be heard above the noise
In the highly competitive graphic design industry, you have to take any opportunity you can to stand out from the crowd. More designers are turning to a digital portfolio to get their work on the desks of design agencies, but there is still an abundance of ways to give your designs an original platform. A digital portfolio provides an opportunity to challenge the traditional print, post and pray method of applying for your first graduate job, but it also encourages employers to engage with your designs on a more intricate level. For those looking to earn a living from freelance work alone (with around 25% of all graphic designers self-employed), having the right portfolio is even more essential to ensure a regular income.
Keep it contemporary
Imagine; rather than endlessly printing updated portfolios custom made for a particular opportunity, you could instead create a new fully customised portfolio in a matter of minutes. This ensures you don’t go ahead and send out a resume with old designs simply because you printed too many and want to get your money’s worth (we’ve all been there). Instead, you can select the latest and greatest projects according to the opportunity in hand. In the competitive world of graphic design, an outdated design can mean the difference between being called up for that elusive interview or passed over for someone who kept their material up-to-date.
Lower the costs
The traditional paper portfolio is an outdated concept. As developments in technology enable people to work remotely, the geographic scope for employment opportunities has expanded. In turn, graphic designers are looking further afield to find their ideal role. In doing so, however, you also need to be prepared to send your portfolios further. This means getting your designs into the hands of employers requires more time, effort and, perhaps crucially, money. With a digital portfolio, you can send illustrations around the world with no added cost while demonstrating your versatility with new technologies, a vital skill for the modern designer. The money saved on not printing expensive portfolios and paying for postage costs can be channelled into continuing to hunt for employment and honing your skills for future opportunities.
Notifications on the go
Perhaps one of the most frustrating elements of applying for a graphic design role is the waiting period that follows sending off your portfolio. Creating a digital portfolio through Clemmie, however, allows you to send the best designs digitally to a range of organisations safe in the knowledge that you will receive a notification when it’s opened, coupled with a detailed breakdown of exactly how an organisation has interacted with your materials. The analytics Clemmie provides detail exactly which projects stood out, which illustrations grabbed their attention, and which designs were so good they just had to share them, allowing you to focus your attention on developing the best digital portfolio and creating new designs based on what you know design agencies want.
Be your own employment agency
Not only does a digital portfolio from Clemmie give you a better understanding of how to develop a stronger CV for the future, it also enables you to craft the best material for an interview based on what elements most appealed to an employer. This is essential for a designer looking to put their best foot forward and go into an interview confident they can make the right impression first time. By studying the analytics provided by a Clemmie portfolio, you can begin to tailor material for subsequent interactions with a potential employer according to what they responded to positively. With quantified data, you can categorise and prioritise employment opportunities based on which prospective employers expressed the most interest. Designs can be prioritised and you can enter an interview confident you are arriving with your best material.
As more and more employers turn to data in the hunt for the ideal employee, it stands to reason that you should too. Graphic design requires not only a keen eye for appealing visuals, it also requires a willingness to embrace new technology as and when it becomes available. What better place to start proving both these attributes than in your portfolio?