Books · design · reviews

Book Review: How to Create a Portfolio and Get Hired by Fig Taylor

howtocreateaportfolioHow to Create a Portfolio and Get Hired:
A Guide for Graphic Designers and Illustrators
Second Edition
by Fig Taylor

Published by Laurence King Publishing in October 2013

This book shows those embarking on an illustration or graphic design career how best to put together an effective, professional portfolio. It discusses what to include and how to organize and display the work, and also advises on presentation techniques and self promotion. Both print and digital portfolios are examined. [Source: Goodreads]

I bought this book because it seemed to have a lot of great design portfolio examples in the back, and I thought it would offer a lot of detailed advice on building a graphic design portfolio. (Full disclosure: I skipped mos of the Illustration-specific sections.) In some ways, it delivered that promise, but in a lot of ways I was disappointed.

How to Create a Portfolio and Get Hired would be a great gift book for college students who are just now considering a graphic design career, but don’t know much about the different industries that graphic designers usually find work. The book offers very basic descriptions of different industries, like advertising, book publishing, and magazine publishing, and a short overview of how graphic design or illustration portfolios for each of these industries may differ.

A lot of the tips imparted in the book seem like common sense to me. Much of the book seemed to be written for people who have never dealt with someone on a professional level before and I don’t think this book was meant for potential career changers, or at least not for people who have had some dealings with the creative industry before. There were a lot of tips about networking, getting internships, etc.

I do feel like I learned some things, and would recommend this book for high school graduates and college students just starting off their graphic design/illustration careers.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: How to Create a Portfolio and Get Hired by Fig Taylor

  1. Aw, I’m sorry this wasn’t as helpful as you hoped, but at least it wasn’t a total waste. It reminds me of my experience reading part of “What Color is Your Parachute?” It said a lot about staying upbeat and how internships were helpful, and I kept thinking, Great, now where are the tips for concrete things I can actually do to get those elusive internships? Maybe it was in the last third of the book. 😛

    1. Yeah, I feel like a lot of these advice books are very limited. A lot of the books I’ve read also assume that people who are reading them are still in college.

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