Portfolio Review 2013: FAQ

Portfolio Review 2013 is just a few days away (register here!). Here’s what you need to know:

What should I put in my book?

8-12 pieces of your absolute best work. You have exactly 15 minutes with each reviewer, so remember: quality trumps quantity. Weaker pieces tend to bring the whole portfolio down, so if you only have six outstanding projects to show, don’t feel the need to pad your book.

How should I present my pieces?

There is no set size or format. Presentation definitely counts, but great ideas executed well is equally important. Table space is limited, so large pieces are best presented either photographed or scaled down.

What about 3D work or packaging pieces?

Small pieces are OK to bring (at your own risk), but most 3D pieces should be photographed in advance.

Can I show my work on my laptop or iPad?

Yes, as long as you follow these strict guidelines:
Be ready to go. Your device must be powered up with the presentation ON SCREEN when you sit down.
Bring your own computer. None will be provided.
Make sure everything you need is on your device. Wi-fi WILL NOT be available at the event.
Charge a full battery. You won’t be able to plug your device in when you sit down.

What else should I bring?

Resume and a small notebook for taking notes. Business cards too, if you have them.

Should I be nervous? What should I expect?

The evening has a single purpose: to give you the most honest criticism of your work you’ve ever had. Seriously. There will be a lot of nervous people in attendance, and it can be brutal. But we do our best to keep the evening fun and enlightening. The reviewers have all been in your shoes and are there because they want you to do well. Be calm, be professional, and most of all, be yourself.

How many reviewers will I see?

You’ll see 3 reviewers, minimum. More if there’s time.

Can I choose my reviewers?
Unfortunately, no. Reviewers and reviewees are paired randomly. The reviewers invited are some of the top creatives in Houston, so you’re in good hands no matter who you end up with.

Anything else I should do to prepare?

Practice your presentation skills on your friends, family or instructors. Speak intelligently and confidently about your work and the design choices you’ve made (because the reviewers WILL ask).

I’d like to volunteer to be a reviewer myself. I’m scouting for a junior designer…

While we appreciate such offers, reviewers are selected by invitation only, and reviewing to scout for talent is discouraged. Our priority is for emerging designers to receive the best feedback possible. We certainly hope attendees make connections and even get interviews, but it’s a secondary concern.

What if I’d like to attend, but don’t have a portfolio to review?

We will be issuing a limited number of complimentary Observer Passes this year. Send requests here.

Questions? Email president (at) houston.aiga.org

By Andy Rich
Published April 14, 2013
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