Designing a Digital Portfolio (2nd Edition) (Voices That Matter)

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9780321637512: Designing a Digital Portfolio (2nd Edition) (Voices That Matter)
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Portfolios have always been artists' most valuable tools for communicating their talents to the outside world, whether to potential employers or galleries or clients. But the days of sketches and slides have given way to arrangements of digital assets that are both simpler and more complex than their traditional analog counterparts.

Instructor and design professional Cynthia Baron covers all the facets that artists need to know, from choosing the best work for a particular audience to using various file formats to organizing, designing, and presenting the portfolio. Beautiful full-color illustrations demonstrate her instructions, and case studies throughout portray examples of attractive and effective portfolio design. This book gives artists at any level a creative edge, ensuring that their portfolios get noticed and help them stand out from the crowd.

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Review:

It isn't easy finding a job these days and for those working in the creative fields like graphic design, illustration, photography, filmmaking, and music, a digital portfolio is just the shiny object you need to catch the attention of a prospective employer. But you can't just slap a few files on a CD and call it a night. As Cynthia Baron points out in Designing a Digital Portfolio--a thorough guide to digital portfolios--your first impression is critical and good preparation will pay off.

The books begins with soul-searching: what work are you hoping to get, who's your audience, what style of presentation should you choose, and what technology--Zip, CD, DVD? Effective portfolios from various fields are analyzed, for example, one for an industrial designer or a flash animation artist. If you happen to do both or are otherwise a jack-of-all-trades, Baron outlines your strategy for targeting your audience and deciding how to focus your presentation.

There're several great chapters on prepping your work, collecting it (do you have your process materials, like pencil sketches?), digitizing the non-digital and cleaning it up (like stitching together scans or effective cropping), nitty-gritty items like optimizing and encoding (crucial if you don't want your future boss frustrated by large files), and dealing with that neglected cousin of the visually creative: good written content.

Next, the book considers delivery (for example, Web versus a portable portfolio on CD or DVD), a presentation metaphor (for example, gallery or diary), and the navigational master plan. The chapter on copyrights and attribution are worth the cover price alone. (For example, do you know who owns the artwork you just created for that latest brochure? Do you know how to present a large project on which you worked as part of a team?)

Throughout the book, Baron profiles some stellar examples of digital portfolios, most of which are viewable online, for example, illustrator Michael Bartalos's Web site at bartalos.com. And the appendices offer even more resources to help and inspire you. --Angelynn Grant

From the Publisher:

If you ve looked at any of the job classifieds lately, you know employment opportunities are slim. With so few jobs available and so many people looking, your portfolio must command attention.

Fortunately, long-time teacher Cynthia Baron has written Designing a Digital Portfolio. It is packed with ideas for researching and marketing, and it includes everything you need to set up and distribute a digital portfolio that will get you noticed. Throughout, she provides several case studies, and she s interviewed several artists and employers who openly their share successes and mistakes.

This full-color book is full of inspiration, how-to, and what not to do. If you - or someone you know - is looking for a job, Designing a Digital Portfolio will make your efforts more streamlined and your outcome more successful.

Jennifer Eberhardt (feedback@newriders.com)

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