Help me make a pdf portfolio

Alright, so I’m an illustrator/graphic designer (more of the former than the latter) and everyone I want to work for wants me to send them a pdf portfolio. Has anyone done this before? My main question is: these things don’t ever get printed out, do they? I’ve looked around and seen a bunch of other people’s portfolios and they’ve all been split up into pages but there’s no actual restriction on page dimensions, right? Could I make my portfolio into a single infinitely long page if the urge struck me to do so? Obviously, I’d then have to do a little redesigning if I wanted to make a physical portfolio, but still…

Also, contact/resume information in the portfolio itself: yea or nay?

My last roommate was a graphic designer who had an electronic portfolio in addition to her physical. Her electronic one consisted of a CD of .pdfs of all her work to snail-mail to people, and a one-file .pdf to send out online. She didn’t resize them to fit on a standard page. Some of her designs were meant for print while some were web-only, and as far as I know, she didn’t change the web-ones to look good in print - I can’t really see people that know anything about design expecting this. She did include a little blurb next to each one that said what it was originally for, medium, brief concept, etc. to specify.

I don’t know if the one-long page would be a good idea, simply because dividing it up into pages makes it much easier to look at for the person reviewing it.

I would say it’s okay to put your contact information on the very first page of your portfolio, in case they lose any other way of contacting you. Do you have a personal identity made up? You could just stick your contact part of that on the first .pdf.

But if you have the opportunity, I would ask the people you’re submitting it to their preferences. People can be strange (I’m a web designer, and my last interview they wanted printed 8x11 pages of all my work, which I thought was terrible as they were tiny, but that’s what they wanted). Good luck!

Making them standard pages is nice, because then you can print them out and hand them to your interviewers, as well as leave them there. Besides, if you do a single one page someone WILL print it out anyway and strain their eyes looking at all the wee little images resized to fit on one page.

I am a graphic designer and I have a printable pdf in high and low res on my website, and for interviews I bring along enough printouts for everyone as well as my nice leather portfolio with samples. You can’t always count on a computer with a big screen in your interview room to look at stuff online, and it’s easier for people to see what you’re talking about if they all have their own copy. Plus it’s something physical to leave behind so they remember you.

We hire graphic designers at my work and I would definitely recommend individual pages–they often do get printed out here. Have at least your name on each page, and maybe include your web site address also if you have one.

Pay attention to the design of your portfolio pages. The art director here definitely takes that into consideration.

Good luck!

I hope you don’t mind if I add on to your question… Is there a way using Acrobat to combine multiple PDFs into one PDF? I have examples of my work in individual PDF files, but it’d be easier for me to send one file rather than eight.

If you have acrobat pro, there’s a combine files button. Or combine them in a desktop publishing program like indesign.

Sweeeet. I think I’ve been talked out of a terrible decision. Thanks, guys!

I second using InDesign.

I teach several classes and always have them put their portfolios in InDesign…a few of my students have actually printed out booklets, but you can save them in a pdf format suitable for almost anybody with a computer to open.

It is also good in that you can do a full page of artwork you really like, but put three or four pieces artfully on one page for other things that simply showcase your ability, but not necessarily the artwork - if you know what I mean.