BA (Hons) Graphic Design portfolio guide

How to put together a creative portfolio for your course

You'll need this guide if you're applying for BA (Hons) Graphic Design

The course allows you to develop your own visual identity with a distinct emphasis on your typography skills.

You'll need a strong interest and ability in design and visual research skills, as well as a desire to learn and experiment with the traditional and digital making skills offered on the course.

What to expect

Your digital portfolio should showcase the depth and breadth of your creative ability, idea generation and development, while demonstrating an enthusiasm for the course and subject area. 

To supplement the images you submit, we’d recommend either including a supporting statement or annotations alongside each of your images.

Our preference would be for your portfolio to be presented as a PDF.  If you create this as a powerpoint presentation, it allows you to add text boxes to annotate your work.  This can then be converted easily into a PDF to reduce file size.

What to include in your portfolio

The work in your portfolio can be produced as part of a formal course of study or evening class, or anything you have produced independently.

Please include the following elements:

15 images of your finished work

We would like to see a range of media and outcomes; however, you should include at least five examples of graphic design. Please remember, every portfolio will be different. Some examples of completed work could include:

  • Design layouts
  • Posters
  • Typography
  • Photography
  • Illustration
  • Drawings
  • Textiles
  • Collage
  • Paintings
  • Prints
  • Web design
  • 3D work

Please add a short description with each image. If they were produced in response to a brief, please include a description of this.

5 images of research and developmental workbooks/sheets

Please include pages that relate directly to one of your graphic design examples of finished work. This should show your design process and working methodologies. For example:

  • Idea generation
  • Design planning
  • Visual experiments
  • Sketches
  • Observations
  • Research into designers and artists

We want to see images from your sketchbooks and sheets of developmental work.  Please add a short description with each image. You should include notes on books, articles, relevant exhibitions or cultural visits that have influenced your work.

What we’re looking for

We’re looking for your portfolio to demonstrate your:

  • Understanding of graphic design as a subject and its wider social and global context
  • Ability to express your creative process and decision making
  • Ability to reflect on what is, and is not, successful about your work
  • Interest in historical and contemporary visual culture
  • Enthusiasm and commitment to study graphic design at university level

We want you to show your potential for creativity, aptitude for design and evidence of visual communication skills.  Your portfolio should demonstrate evidence of:

  • Enquiry, research and observations
  • Original idea generation
  • Conceptual development
  • Experimental work
  • A good level of technical ability (both traditional and digital)
  • An ability to select and present a range of work to a high standard

Course news and events

Keep up-to-date with BA (Hons) Graphic Design’s activities on Twitter.

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Contact us

Any questions? Contact the Faculty Student Recruitment Team.

Phone: +44 (0)23 9284 2990