Portfolio Design: Square One

Your design portfolio is one of the most unique, important design projects you will undertake. During the span of your career, you will need to put together several, changing the design and the content each time. In the simplest terms, your portfolio is a communication tool – marketing YOU.

If you google “Landscape Architecture” with “design portfolio”, you’ll get others’ online portfolios, and little to zero information about designing your own. Do the same search for graphic art, photography, or pretty much anything else and there are tons of resources. Land8 wanted to change that…..

….SO, in the coming weeks, I will be posting thoughts on portfolios for Landscape Architects. Whether you are working on your first or your twelfth, I sincerely hope that you find these posts a helpful resource.

Square one: in order to design any project, we must know what the project is and who it is for. With this knowledge you can move into the details, so let’s start with the absolute first thing – what is a design portfolio, and who is it for:

What is it? (hint: it should be all of these things)

  • A representation of your work and professional experience
  • A visual cue about your style, interests, approach, and sophistication
  • A demonstration of your tech abilities – software, hard-copy, construction
  • An illustration of your creativity and ability to solve this design problem
  • A manifestation of your ability to edit, recognize the best, eliminate worst, and put it in an order that makes sense.

Who is it for? (keep the target audience in mind at all times)

  • Employers so you get that job!
  • Clients
  • Grad schools and grant fund managers as part of the application process.
  • You, as a record of your best work and a reminder of how far you’ve come.
  • Your parents. This one is a little tongue in cheek, but I know I am not alone in having to explain to my parents that I did not go to school all those years to mow lawns.

Next week, I will write about how your portfolio fits into a marketing system.

I encourage everyone to send me your opinions, favorite ideas, and disaster stories; I will keep your feedback for these posts and anything that comes later….

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