Importance of Portfolio for Admission in Design Courses

Subhashri Roy

Updated On: February 19, 2024 06:51 pm IST

Almost every other design institute in India including the NIDs do a portfolio review to select applicants. Scroll through to learn the importance of portfolios for admission to various undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Portfolio in Design and its Importance in Admission

Importance of Portfolio for Admission in Design Courses: A portfolio is a strong factor which will differentiate you from others when taking admission to a top design college. Not only it is a way to keep a record of all your designs but also a collection of your best works under one umbrella. Many students wonder “How would a fresher create a portfolio?” or “Will my admission depend on how creative your portfolio is?“ This article will address these points and discuss the importance of a portfolio for design admissions. 

Today, a portfolio review or evaluation is one of the parts of the selection process at different design colleges such as the National Institutes of Design (NIDs), Symbiosis Institute of Design (SID), UPES Dehradun, and colleges accepting CEED scores. Well, a portfolio review will also help candidates advertise their skills before the evaluators, so make it as creative and unique as possible. Read with us what a portfolio is, its importance, the list of colleges that do a portfolio review and lastly, a few tips for creating a design portfolio and other details.

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What is a Portfolio?

A portfolio is nothing but a medium to advertise yourself. It is as much about showcasing your research skills, design approach, methodology and results as it is about the design itself. Your design portfolio opens a window for the jury to have a look at a collection of the best pieces of your work and judge your skills, experience and potential. 

What is the Importance of Portfolio for Admission in Design Courses?

Your design portfolio will be reviewed by a panel of interviewers after you qualify for a design entrance test or a situation test or both. Let us try to understand all the possible angles to define the role and importance of a design portfolio. You may go through the pointers given below to get a clear idea of the same:

  • Your portfolio will help analyse the research done by you: You will be asked to present a portfolio of your recent and best work not to showcase your drawing skills but to create an impact through the amount of research you have done.

  • Presentation skills: Making a portfolio takes time and what the interviewers will further evaluate on the basis of that is the way you present the portfolio. Be it a digital or physical portfolio, few things that you must focus on are things such as typography, image quality and clear separation of content, etc.

  • Be different with your portfolio: With many students taking the same courses and applying for the same jobs, it is important to differentiate yourself from the others: Are you a great designer? The portfolio will paint a picture in interviewers' minds of your overall potential.

  • Uniqueness: The uniqueness of your portfolio is the only way for you to stand out. Think outside the box and work on something that others might not be doing.

  • Diverse work sets: Whatever stream or specialisation you may have chosen, your portfolio should be able to show diversity through different types of media such as drawings, sketches, logos, photographs, creatives, etc. This will help the interviewers get an idea of your versatility.

  • Your design will reflect your creative ideas: As you work on your portfolio, make sure you put your thoughts into words. Here, the main goal is to give an idea of your decision-making approach or who you are as a designer.

  • Showcase your skill sets: A good portfolio will sum up your strengths and what kind of understanding you have of design, business communication, concept development and problem-solving.

  • Keep building your portfolio to showcase your journey: If you are new to design, your portfolio may feel scattered but as you begin to build your portfolio, see to it that it clearly portrays your interests as a designer.

List of Design Institutes that Review Portfolio for Admission

Here is the list of a few colleges/ universities that conduct a portfolio review round to select candidates for admission to design courses.

A number of institutes that accept CEED score also conduct a round of portfolio review or portfolio representation. Some colleges may ask for a portfolio in the personal interview round. To take any admission-related assistance, feel free to reach out to our admission experts by either filling up the Common Application Form or by dialling the helpline number, 1800-572-9877 (toll-free).

Tips to Create a Portfolio for Admission in Design Courses

Some of the tips to create an attractive portfolio for admission to design programmes are given below:

# Keep your portfolio as unique as yourself: Put in a lot of research to come up with designs that you are passionate about. Looking at samples will help you ideate but creating something unique is the key.

# Be creative but don’t overstuff: Focus on adding all the documents and requirements in the portfolio. Avoid going over the top and use as much creativity as you can.

# Keep it as neat and minimalistic as possible: Do not make it bulky because portfolio reviews are not about the volume of work but about the quality of work. Keep it neat and minimal. 

# Present works which show your design understanding:Make sure that you include around 10-15 of your best work. You may include work that flaunts your awareness of various themes, colours and designs.

# Keep the best for the first: Try putting your best pieces at the beginning. It captivates the mind of the interviewers and has more chances of impressing them.

# Be diverse in your design and portfolio: As mentioned above, include a diverse range of media. It is an added advantage if your portfolio projects your comfort with different tools, styles of design and approaches.

# Be aware of the font and other factors of the portfolio: Take note of the size of the font, the layout and the loose structure of the portfolio. 

# Learn about the design school criteria before framing your portfolio: Many design schools may limit you and ask you to create a portfolio according to certain fixed criteria. All in all, a good portfolio for admission to design institutes is about thorough research, good presentation skills and the uniqueness of your art.

# Put labels in your work: It is advised to label each item properly. It will also help the evaluators get a quick idea of the item.

We advise candidates to think like a designer while they are creating their portfolio. But also at the same time, ideate the portfolio like an evaluator to give it a strategic look. Give your best and wait for the next. 

In case you have further queries regarding the selection process, portfolio review or design admissions in India, you may visit the QnA zone and post the same.

All the best and stay connected to CollegeDekho to get the latest updates on design admissions or to read more write-ups like this.

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How to make a design portfolio for college?

Students must make a design portfolio for college by keeping in mind certain things such as:

- Create a brief introduction of yourself and your design works.

- Include different types of work in your portfolio.

- Select a design and artwork that tells a story.

- Be aware of the story behind your design.

- Keep the size of the portfolio in mind considering carrying it to the centre.

Do you need a portfolio for design?

Yes, it is not mandatory but it is advised that design students have a portfolio to showcase their work. It will also make the employer confident about your work before making the final decision.

How many things should be in a design portfolio?

There can be 5-10 items in a design portfolio. Candidates must keep distinctive designs in their portfolios to showcase their creativity skills.

What makes a strong design portfolio?

A strong design portfolio is one with visual and textual content. Students must focus on the design works that illustrate a story and keep the attention of the analyser static.

What is the importance of the portfolio?

The importance of the portfolio is many but the most significant is showcasing the versatility of different projects and works. It helps segregate the potential students' skills and give them the best opportunities.


Related Questions

Can I do B.Des in interior designing from NID Ahemdabad?

-SamriddhiUpdated on January 23, 2024 10:19 AM
  • 1 Answer
Ankita Sarkar, Student / Alumni

Hello Samriddhi,

Yes, National Institute of Design (NID) Ahmedabad offers a four year long B.Des programme. Under the Industrial Design faculty, the Furniture and Interior Design course is offered. It has a total of 13 seats. For NID Ahmedabad admission to the B.Des Furniture and Interior Design course, you must go through the two-stage Design Aptitude Test (DAT).  You must appear for DAT Prelims and then successfully get shortlisted for the second stage DAT Mains.  You are going to acquire practical training, resource-material interaction, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills from the B.Des Furniture and Interior Design programme at NID Ahmedabad …


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