Create a Graphic Design Look Book Portfolio

August 15, 2010

Any designer can put images of their work online or stick samples inside a plastic portfolio, but how many designers have their very own, printed portfolio look books? Digital printing has opened up possibilities in affordable print on demand services. Vendors such as and specialize in turning photographs and images into printed, bound books. While flat digital files will work, the most attractive book portfolios use table-top photography to showcase design work. Here's a link to a how to post on DIY table-top photography. Designers can print one or two copies of a book to take to meetings. Or do a larger print run and hand out sleek portfolio books to clients as leave-behinds or self-promotion pieces. A hardcover book is a lot more impressive than a simple brochure. Another option, for those folks who want to go digital is to create an e-book in Adobe InDesign. The iPad, with its large screen and high resolution, is a great tool for presenting an e-book portfolio to clients. Here's a link to more information about using InDesign to create e-books. Below is a roundup of graphic design look books from around the web to help you get started: Look books are a great tool for recent graduates to showcase their student work during a job search. "DIS\\RUPT." The portfolio of Andrew Johnson BFA, 2007- Academy of Art University. Image via This firm shows off its identity work in a book format. Portfolio of AEC Group Graphic Design. Screenshot via Ian Friday's book has a great introduction with his biography, work experience and cover letter. Portfolio of Ian Friday. Screenshot via Here's an example of showcasing print work with table-top photography. Portfolio of Ryan Musselman. Screenshot via David Arias' book has a wonderful cover design. Image via A large-format book really allows Balsamstudio to show its print work. Image via

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The PsPrint Blog is a resource for graphic designers, freelancers, small business owners and fans of print marketing. You'll find helpful techniques on printing everything there is to print, including business cards, postcards, brochures, stickers, invitations, greeting cards, door hangers, magnets and more. The PsPrint Blog shares creative ways to improve your design and layout skills, and useful tips for marketing your business in any medium. We also like to have a little fun, sharing design inspiration and spotlighting some our favorite customers' printed pieces in our "Hot Off the Press" series.