Scott Gladd, MFA
5 min readDec 12, 2022

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Senior Projects | Project 4

Portfolio Development

Each of you will be responsible for a digital portfolio presence as well as a physical.

Your Physical portfolio must include two components:
a (1) main portfolio in print / digital form and (2) physical samples to
accompany your print / digital portfolio.

(1) Main Portfolio

Whether you choose the tablet or print option, the following requirements apply to each:

Rework current projects: Review your projects for possible inclusion in your final portfolio and have spend some class time critiquing work you plan to revise. You are responsible for reworking/rewriting/rebuilding and extending these projects. I strongly recommend that you have at least 75% of your project revisions completed by the end of Spring Break. Due to class cancellations and time constraints there may not be any more time reserved in class for instructor critiques of past work. Please make an appointment to meet with me during office hours if you would like more feedback.

* When revising work, remember that you may be able to only revise a selected number of interior spreads / particular components and create digital mock up for these pieces rather than reprint, reassemble, rephotograph!

Final main portfolio must include the following:

  • resume and business card
  • thesis project with process documentation
  • 5–8 additional projects (1 with process)
  • personal branding utilized within design
  • project titles, descriptions, specs, typefaces, dates, credits

All 3D work should be PROFESSIONALLY photographed:

  • this includes, but is not limited to, publications, packaging, environmental signage and exhibition graphics
  • same photography in portfolio will be used on website and any other materials

DIGITAL / TABLET

If you are directing your job search towards an interactive/web designer position, this is a must. It is also strongly encouraged for all G&ID students because it allows you to present any websites and/or motion graphics in their intended form, revising your layout, addressing a typo, replacing images, etc. is quick and simple, and it is easy to add/reorder and update projects on the fly for particular job interviews. Even if you do not own a tablet, the investment replaces the cost of materials (paper / case / binding) and time involved assembling (production set up, printing, assembling).

PRINT / BOOK

A printed book portfolio is acceptable for meeting the requirements of this class, but it does not give you the same amount of freedom and flexibility as the tablet portfolio.

Requirements:

  • Maximum Size: 12”x18”, Minimum Size: 8.5”x11”
  • Recommended: screw post cover
  • Printed interior pages
  • We have a Glowforge laser engraver / cutter and I will be giving a demo on how to use it. For safety and preservation of materials, I will run the machine with each student present.

(2) PHYSICAL SAMPLES

2–3 of your selected main portfolio pieces must be presented with your tablet / book

  • Provides the viewer with an understanding of your knowledge of craft, materials, printing processes, as well as the breadth and depth of your strongest pieces.

WEB HOSTING SITES

Squarespace www.squarespace.com (preferred)

Adobe Portfolio www.myportfolio.com

Behance www.behance.net

Cargo Collective www.cargocollective.com

GoDaddy www.godaddy.com

*I recommend you create your own CUSTOM BUILT site if you are planning to pursue employment as a web/interactive designer.

REQUIRED CONTENT

Writing effective copy for your portfolio can help turn it into an invaluable lead generation tool. Usually, your website portfolio is viewed by others in your absence — the viewer will have to make assumptions about you without any other outside information. For graduating seniors, your target market for your website is potential employers. Write strong copy that helps you stand out from the flood of other online portfolios they will be viewing!

Domain Name

Most content management systems provide an address for free that advertises their product (examples:, behance.net/scottgladd or cargocollective.com/scottgladd). It is recommended that you take the extra step to purchase a custom domain name. It communicates that you are a professional dedicated to your field, and not an amateur. It can be done directly through most CMS applications for around $10-$15 per month.

Ancillary Content

  • Logotype / Name / Title Treatment this is the cohesive brand you’ve created for that will be used across all applications
  • About / Bio gives insight into who you are, what you do, location — w/ link to resume
  • News awards / publications / exhibitions / events

Portfolio Content

This is the bulk of your website and should include images / navigation / descriptive captions / credits — may be separated into categories like print, web, illustration, photography

  • Photography / Digital Mockups should be consistent with those used in print / digital portfolio
  • Project Descriptions a brief about the assignment and how / why the problem was solved this way, be sure to specify projects done at Edinboro versus at an internship, etc
  • Specs size (folded and flat), materials (including paper stock if applicable) — optional, depends on work
  • Typefaces used in project
  • Dates be consistent with formats
  • Credits art direction, copywriting, illustration, photography

Your website should be responsive! (work on mobile, tablet and desktop)

Design Professionalism: Crediting Work

Credit must always be given to all parties involved in producing a creative project both when you are a student and when you enter the professional world. Credits may include: creative director, art director, illustrator, photographer, writer, programmer and other designers. You should also credit the institution / design firm where the work was created, as well as the client it was produced for. These credits must be included on your portfolio website and on any other website or publication that you use to display your work such as Behance, Tumblr, Flickr, Dribbble, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. You must also use these credits when submitting your work to competitions, publications, or blogs. You may have to add this information, often there are not correctly labeled input boxes on a form so you have to improvise. If your work is selected for a publication, whether online or print, always follow up to confirm the correct credit information is included when published. If you have questions about the proper way to credit a project, always ask.

School Work

The work you create in your courses at PennWest must include a credit of “art director” followed by your instructor’s name. It must also state that the work was produced for PennWest University. It is not necessary to include detailed information on the course name.

Proper Credits for School Project:

Art Director: Instructor’s Name

Designer: Your Name

Illustrator / Photographer (When applicable): Your Name

Institution: PennWest University, Edinboro, PA

Client (When applicable): Client Name

Professional Work (Including Internships)

All work produced professionally (full time, freelance or internship) that you use for self-promotion must also contain credits for all parties involved. You must ask for permission from your employer or past employer to confirm they approve of you displaying the work before publishing it. They have the rights to the work, you have no legal right to use it unless they give you permission. You should also ask them to provide the credit information they want displayed. This may vary from company to company. These guidelines apply to internships and any work you do in a studio or agency before or after graduation.

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Scott Gladd, MFA

Unequal parts creative director, writer, educator, type designer, father figure, Labrador Retriever. Have laptop, will travel. www.tessellate.vcfa.work