Reflective practice
PDF portfolios
PDF portfolios are used by designers as a promotional and marketing tool and are often the first point of contact a prospective employer might have with a student’s or new graduate’s work.

While online portfolios in the form of a website certainly are effective, they can be expensive to develop, require technical knowledge, and can be extremely time consuming to create and maintain. Additionally, they are not always the best option to showcase print work, and they may display differently from browser to browser and computer to computer. A PDF portfolio allows the designer to create a custom brochure-style piece showcasing their best work, which can be easily emailed to prospective clients or employers. It gives control over layout without having to worry about browser and web issues, and the PDF itself showcases layout and typography skills.

From Year Two, students are being prepared for eventual employment, initially by being asked to consider the best ways to promote themselves and make contact with potential employers in order to obtain a work placement. Alongside blogs and websites, the PDF portfolio is a vital tool in this search, so continual practice and refinement of its design, by producing an updated version at the end of every module, is a very valuable and worthwhile experience. Preparing the portfolio also obliges the student to undertake a certain amout of self-reflection in the selection and ordering of their work, and in surveying their output as a whole reveals underlying issues in their working practice hitherto hidden by concentration on individual projects.

In Year Three, this activity is supported and supplemented by work done in the Professional Practice module which aims to develop the skills necessary to identify, generate and access opportunities in the workplace or continuing education. Students consider CVs, application letters, work placement and internship opportunities and, together with a strong PDF portfolio, should have a refined and sophisticated all-round package with which they can begin their job search in ernest.

Yr 2 PDF Portfolios

Davey Rees

Megan Hyslop

Mark Collins

Dave Wharton

Josh Robey

Jade Wall

Josh Taylor

Steph Stilwell
Yr 3 PDF portfolios

Stephen Arthur

Petra Blahova

Elly Carthy

Jenny Cox

Sarah Gill

Gary Nicholson

Helen Quint

Claire Wood