POSTED BY: Deirdre O'Sullivan

What We Look For in a Design Portfolio

12th Jun, 2018
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What We Look For in a Design Portfolio

I recently chatted with a number of team members at Neworld to find out exactly what we look for in a design portfolio when interviewing potential new team members. Based on these conversations I’ve pulled out 3 key things that will help you craft a winning portfolio.

Design portfolio

1. Explain the strategy behind your work

The most important thing in our eyes is to see the thought process behind your work. When showing your work we want to understand how you got there – how you interpreted the creative brief, what your objective was and how you executed your idea from concept to design. At Neworld our work is always built on a strong understanding of who our design is speaking to and how we need to communicate with them. We want to see that you know the importance of understanding your target audience.

2. Add context in your design portfolio

A little bit of context goes a long way for us. If you can, show sketches and rough work that effectively illustrate your design process and help to explain the thinking behind your work. When we’re sharing case studies with clients we always explain why we are showing them particular projects. You can do the same with your portfolio by adding a very short piece of copy to explain what the brief was and why a piece of work is being highlighted now. Additionally, when showing finished work, mention briefly what your role in the project was so we don’t have to do the guesswork.

3. Include personal projects

Don’t be afraid to display your personality and artistic flair by sharing your own projects that may not have been client work. We love to see other creative talents such as photography or illustration. As account director Mary says, “this is where the cool shit comes in!”


By sharing your passion you can show us what you do well outside of the confines of a creative brief from a client or an assignment from a lecturer. This kind of work tells us what you can bring to the team, highlighting skills that others in the agency might not have. Personal projects also give us insight into your personality. At Neworld, our priority is making sure that new team members are the right fit, so showing your true personality is critical.


Finally, as a branding agency we like to see that you have an understanding of what’s involved in building a brand and that it’s so much more than just designing a logo. If you’ve worked on a brand roll-out before we’d love to see this included in your portfolio. So show that you’re a strategic thinker, explain the context behind your work, show off your passion projects and good luck with your applications!