Many graphic software programs, such as InDesign and Illustrator, have the option of exporting a design as a PDF. This allows the designer to create a custom brochure-style piece showcasing their best work, which can be emailed to prospective clients or employers. Selecting Work As with any portfolio, perhaps the most important decision is what design work to include. Think about what types of projects you are looking for. If you have a specific focus, such as book design, select your best work in that area. Potential employers and clients will want to see your work and you can email the PDF directly to them, skipping the need for them to visit a website. Since it is a standard supported file format, you dont need to worry about people not being. Consider hiring or teaming up with a professional writer to help prepare your content, as it will be the voice of your portfolio. If you need your pieces photographed, also consider a professional. Create a consistent layout and style throughout. Using the grid system may be helpful here. Remember that the design of the PDF itself is just as much a showcase of your talent as the work within it. Where the work appeared Any awards, publications or recognition related to the project. Along with the project features, the portfolio can include: A cover letter, bio, mission statement or other background information. Contact information Client or industry list Services offered by the designer or firm. Additionally, they are not always the best option to showcase print work, and they may display differently from browser to browser and computer to computer. An excellent alternative is a graphic design PDF portfolio. Remember that the goal here is not to show everything you have ever done. Stick with a less is more philosophy, choosing a small selection of your favorite work. Each piece should serve a purpose, showcasing a particular style, technique or industry. It is ok if you only have design school projects or personal projects to showcase. The work itself, and not necessarily a client or publication name, can impress just as well. However, if you do have some real-world design experience you are proud of, include. One thing to think about here is file size, as you will be emailing this often. Play around with the compression options in your software until you reach a happy medium between quality and file size. Once you have prepared the content, it is time to move on to the design phase. The Design Treat the design like you would any project for a client. Come up with several designs and tweak them until you are happy with the result. You can also print the PDF and bring it to meetings, especially when you wont have computer access. As long as you keep it up-to-date with your strongest work, a graphic design PDF portfolio is sure to be a powerful marketing tool for your design. Think of the flow of contentstart with a quick overview, and then go into project examples with all of the content you came up with earlier. Try using several images per project, and be sure your contact info is very easy to find.