What defines you

A personal journey to building a portfolio

 As a senior in the journalism and technical communication program, I just recently had my portfolio reviewed by professionals in my field. 

The experience of knowing and having professionals look at your work is admittedly intimidating but I found the closer I got to the review, the less concerned I was about presenting. 

I had practiced the night before but hadn’t gotten much sleep—approximately three hours, which is more of a nap than anything else. While I don’t advocate for it, my body was running on pure adrenaline the next day, which ultimately calmed my nerves. 

However, the journey that led up to the point of standing in a classroom in front of my peers, professors and professionals was quite stressful. 

There are so many key components that make up a portfolio. I remember my professor and advisor, Dr. Sandy Balkema, asking us one day when we really first started to dig deep into the subject was, “Start thinking about what fonts define you. What colors are you?” 

In the coming weeks, never have I thought I would think so hard on whether I defined myself as a serif or sans-serif font and whether I identified more with one color over another. 

While I’ve been collecting my work for years now, designing my portfolio and putting everything together took over a week to do. I remember one Monday I was in the library working on the design portion of my digital portfolio and ended up spending 12 hours in there. Those 12 hours were spent simply playing with color schemes, font types and the overall layout of my portfolio. 

It seems odd to emphasize on the importance of font in a portfolio but font choice is almost similar in the same way being creative and playing with shapes and layout would benefit a graphic design portfolio. 

We work with words and written communication and the font choice communicates that role. For instance, I find myself as someone whose overall style is modern, classic, clean and simple. Therefore, I was drawn to fonts like Century Gothic and Quicksand, which would represent my style and aesthetic. 

Really put thought into what work you think really defines who you are. I would advise anyone who has to make a portfolio to be consistently working on it, as it is something that you will utilize for the rest of your career. 

Click here for more from the Torch’s Lifestyles section.