A couple of days ago I published the latest version Ale’s portfolio. And that got me thinking about the importance of having a portfolio.
I’ve been freelancing for the past 6 years and I never had a proper portfolio. I had more than a few different personal websites, all super minimal, all one page. Why I never designed and coded a portfolio for myself is a good question. The main reason is that most of my projects aren’t designed by me. 90% of my time is spent working on websites designed by other studios and so having those in my portfolio feels wrong for some reason. I know it’s not wrong, but it feels wrong to me.
Also, websites come and go very quickly, and in addition to that, once my job is done, clients take over and what started as a clean and organized website quickly becomes a mess. Those are the main reasons why I don’t have a portfolio. But I’m aware that that’s not the case for everyone, and it’s especially not true if you work in other fields that are less volatile than the web. Also, a portfolio can’t tell you much about the behind the scenes of a project. What you see is the final result and, if you’re lucky, some informations about the process.
What you don’t see is all the personal details about the collaboration. Maybe the studio you worked with was a nightmare, maybe the client was a total pain in the ass or maybe the materials were awful. We all know how these things go. A good example of this are the two current projects I’m involved with, DS and Mimo. Both Carl and Mike are awesome guys and the collaboration with them is a total pleasure. But what you see online is only the final result of a process that in the case of DS has going on for quite some time (Sorry Mike). You can’t obviously see the discussions, all the experiments, the extra work. That’s the real value in a project in my opinion and it’s something you can’t really communicate in a portfolio. Or at least I can’t.
But still, I enjoy working on portfolios, especially for designers and architects and illustrators. They’re always fun projects. So if you need help for your portfolio get in touch 😉