Visual Design: Project 9 - Final Portfolios

Project Overview

By engaging in print and design projects, you will develop your ability to produce different types of work and see how your skills can be used in industry. You have experienced multiple roles and taken part in various parts of the design and production process. You can use these experiences to determine the direction you might wish to pursue as you leave this course.

In this project, you improve your portfolios from Project 5 in Digital Design 1A/1B and redesign them to better address your overall design and technical skills and career focus. In creating the PDF Portfolio, you focus on design and content to communicate well and optimize employers’ perceptions of you.

Student product:  PDF Portfolio


Project Goals:

  • Update your PDF Portfolio
  • Create a basic marketing plan
  • Plan and create a flowchart for a portfolio
  • Select and organize content for a PDF Portfolio


Project Objectives:

At the completion of the project, you will have developed the following skills:

     Project Management Skills [Rubric]

  • Planning and creating a PDF Portfolio
  • Organizing and managing content
  • Conducting a review and redesign
  • Providing constructive criticism
  • Creating flowcharts

     Design Skills [Rubric]

  • Investigating and incorporating layout and color consistently
  • Designing consistent pages
  • Designing for a specific audience and purpose

     Research and Communication Skills [Rubric]

  • Communicating information to particular audiences
  • Planning and conducting research strategies
  • Understanding and practicing lifelong career skills:
    • Job research skills
    • Presenting skills
    • Soliciting and providing feedback
    • Taking notes on critique
    • Demonstrating the realization of redesign goals
    • Creating a marketing plan

     Technical Skills [Rubric]

     Acrobat Pro

  • Packaging multiple documents

Student Product:  Final Portfolios


Project Steps:

Updating a PDF Portfolio

Consider the ways in which you plan to use your electronic portfolios going forward and how that might change your target audience and purpose. Some questions to aid in your thought process might include:

• Do you plan to look for a job or internship?  If so, what kind of job or internship?
• Do you plan to apply for a program or school?  If so, what type of program or school?
• How are the goals of the portfolio different, depending on where you plan to go next?
• What should the portfolio contain?
• How should the content be presented?

Review your portfolio and analyze how you might change it to represent your new skills well.  Look specifically at your learning plan to see how you addressed the goals in this plan.  You will engage in a review similar to what you did in Project 5 in Digital Design 1A/1B, but this time you will review your portfolio with respect to the career and learning goals and type of audience you plan to focus on after you finish this course.

Look through your work over the entire course and reconsider the content and design of the portfolios.  Consider the following when writing up your list of redesign tasks:


• What is the purpose of the portfolio?  How does the purpose affect the type of content you should include?
• Who is the intended audience for the portfolio?  How does the audience affect the type of content you should include?
• Is the current content relevant to the purpose and audience?  If not, what should you remove and what other projects should you include?
• Is the language level appropriate for your intended audience?
• Do the pages have any spelling errors, punctuation errors, or grammatical errors?


• Uniformity and Consistency:
   Are design elements repeated to help identify the portfolio as a complete package?  What attributes of the portfolio maintain or violate consistency?
• Structure:
   Is the structure logical, or do portfolio components appear to be randomly placed?
• Typography:
   Does formatting improve or reduce readability? Are appropriate fonts, spacing, leading, and so on used?  Is there appropriate hierarchy?
• Accessibility:
Are the text and titles clear and easy for all users to read (color, size, etc.)?

Review the concept of a flowchart from Project 5 and create a new flowchart for this portfolio, incorporating the changes from the redesign tasks.

Guide:  How to create an e-portfolio flowchart

Divide into groups of three or four.  As a group, review each student portfolio, one at a time, discussing the designer’s revised goal, target audience, and plan for redesign.  Each group should provide thoughtful feedback to the designer with respect to planned changes.  Determine which redesign suggestions to implement in their PDF Portfolios.

Guide:  Peer Review

Create a final list of projects and elements to include in your PDF Portfolios.  Update your portfolio, creating any additional assets in Photoshop and Illustrator and any additional layout and text in InDesign using the various techniques learned.  Create a final PDF Portfolio.

Guide:  How to prepare and organize files for a PDF Portfolio
Guide:  How to create and personalize a PDF Portfolio


Presenting A Portfolio

Research job opportunities and requirements on recruitment sites to help visualize and plan for career goals and expectations.  Create a basic plan on how you will market your skills and approach jobs of interest.

  • Career/education planning:  Create a five-year plan outlining the steps necessary to reach your career goals.  This may include education, internships, jobs, and so on.  Also, research and plan resumes appropriate for your desired career field.
  • Reflection supplement:  Write up your career goal plans and how those plans impacted the decisions you made in planning your portfolios.  This document will help you reflect on your process and provide a framework for continued evolution of their PDF Portfolio as you begin to conduct a job search.



  • The Adobe Acrobat Pro curriculum guide on creating e-portfolios using PDFs:
  • Examples and instructions for visualizing information and using flowcharts, mostly for a website but
    can be applied to a PDF:
  • Information and examples of a variety of electronic portfolios:
  • Examples of PDF portfolios:
    education/pdfs/highschool-student.pdf and

Print production and graphic design careers:

  • • AIGA Career guide:
  • Lists of possible careers in graphic and publication design:
  • Department of Labor information and statistics for jobs in graphic design and desktop publishing: