Creating PDF portfolios.... any advice?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by anim8or, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. anim8or macrumors 65816

    anim8or

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #1
    I have been asked to make a PDF version of my portfolio to send to some prospective employers.

    i think i understand what is needed but I am only really used to creating video showreels as i studied animation and have only just started working on print/web/graphic design and have only a small selection of work that i feel confident of showing.

    I have searched around and spoken to a few people about creating a PDF version of my work and have received a lot of differing advice.

    Seeing as my contacts and friends only stretch so far I though it would be prudent to post and see what some other professionals can advise.

    Any help is appreciated, please PM me if you would like to look at my site to see where i am at with my work.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. MagicWok macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #2
    - Keep it simple. Let the work speak for itself. Good employers will see through extravagent 'finishings'. The work will sell it anyway. But it helps to have some styling that is relevant which help identify your style and personality. Create the thing using inDesign.

    - Think about order. Beginning - Middle - End should be your strongest and most relevant works.

    - Keep the file size down, they will understand that is coming over the interwebs and will hate an inbox full of massive PDF's. You could include a link to your website where they can download a higher res version if you want to.

    - Keep it consistent. Work on the layout, if it is sloppy it won't give a good impression. Get some help from someone that does this if you haven't had much experience. Or post it up here.

    - Title of each piece and maybe a 2/3 sentence caption. Client name is up to you.

    - No spelling mistakes! lol
     
  3. skyton macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Location:
    england
    #3
    if youre using indesign make sure you export the pdf as rgb or your images may look flat

    also a weird quirk of indesign pdfs is the lines can come out looking very different to the way you intend on screen - so worth doing a trial export before you have finished
     
  4. jecapaga macrumors 601

    jecapaga

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #4
    What is the advice you've already received but have conflicting thoughts about? You've mentioned this but did not clarify.
     
  5. JasonElise1983 macrumors 6502a

    JasonElise1983

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    Between a rock and a midget
    #5
    one of the things i did with my PDF portfolio, was a thumbnail page at the beginning. Then used InDesigns (or acrobat pros) interactive features to make them buttons that linked to the pages. Just don't forget to include a "back to thumbnail page" button on the pages to help people get around. It's actually really easy, and very useful to people who are viewing it. After i did mine, i ended getting some freelance work from a few photographers to do the same.

    -je
     
  6. anim8or thread starter macrumors 65816

    anim8or

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #6
    Sorry i have not replied in awhile, been quite busy with work and gettting a new puppy!

    Really just about layout, some people say that it is the real selling point of your folio and others say the work does the talking.

    I feel stuck between the two as a lot of my work to date has been video/animation so isn't as transferrable to a PDF portfolio as one would like, i only have 4 or 5 recent projects in print or design work to show and this is why i feel stuck....

    Do i make an creatively designed PDF that will show off my potential to make up for the small amount of work i have to show or do i still let my work, what there is of it, do the talking.

    Any advice is really appreciated, trying to make the jump from dynamic to static design is proving to be quite hard.
     
  7. MBPgracie macrumors member

    MBPgracie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Location:
    Glasgow, SCO
    #7
    I created my portfolio using photoshop, exported the files as a photoshop PDF and then used one of my all time favourite Apps 'Combine PDF's' to create the final file. You can use it to shuffle about the pages, rename in the file etc.

    Nice and Simple and worked a charm :D

    Heres a link

    http://www.monkeybreadsoftware.de/Freeware/CombinePDFs.shtml

    Hope this helps, and that you have better luck in the job hunt than I am
     
  8. macfearless macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #8
     
  9. macfearless macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #9
     
  10. lucero1148 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    #10
    If you're using Acrobat professional you can do it quite easily with "Organizer" which will take your pdf's and organize as a booklet.

    You'll need to design your pages in PhotoShop save as tif then convert to low quality jpg then convert again as a pdf. I use this route because I save the original files as high quality tiffs in case I need to use file for another project or display.

    How to make use of your videography sequences that's a problem. I don't think there's any way you convert a frame from QT or .mov into a udsuable jpg that could be incorporated into a 2d design form. If you have any stills of the projects you've done that would be what to use for this and then in your pdf put a link to you tube of your video clips.

    All best

    Patrick
     
  11. MagicWok macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #11
    Seriously - if you want a half-decent consistent portfolio, do NOT do it photoshop and try to combine it. It's just not what Photoshop is meant for at all...

    The fonts are all bitmaps, not vectors, and will look very poor and take up too much precious file space. You will not get a consistent layout without much headache, and it's just very unprofessional...

    At the end of the day, the OP will do what he feels best, but any designer worth his salt knows what is right and just plain wrong...

    ... Please don't make a portfolio in photoshop, it's easy to tell when it's done so and is such bad bad design practice. Also, if you have Acrobat Pro/Distiller, use that instead of the program suggested above.
     
  12. bbeers macrumors regular

    bbeers

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland
    #12
    just so you know, PDFs can now actually handle movie files. I have done it a few times before.

    Steps to adding video into a PDF

    example of video in pdf

    now i didn't create either of these, and don't know if it will work for you or not, but I just waned to throw it out there that video in a pdf is possible.
     
  13. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #13
    That reminds me of a CV that ended up on my desk once... One of the aspects a particular applicant listed was:

    Attention to drtaile

    I didn't know if this person was being too brilliant or just really lazy and stupid, personally I would have really enjoyed meeting them but no one else wanted too...
     
  14. MBPgracie macrumors member

    MBPgracie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Location:
    Glasgow, SCO
    #14

    Wonderful, I will take your advice and use the program you suggested, which seems to be more "professional" than photoshop, and redo my portfolio.....just to compare the two! Wait a minute....what is it again?

    Also, as I have not used Acrobat Pro/Distiller I really cannot comment on it. However, I honestly cannot believe it can do the this most arbitrary task of taking 1+ .pdf's and putting them together into one, anymore simple and quicker than that 'combine pdf's'.

    That is unless it attaches a little pink bow and sings "...Mary had a little lamb..."

    Can I also add....I still dont have a job :D
     
  15. ecwyatt macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    #15
    One thing I would recommend is to have an online portfolio that your printed/PDF piece directs to. While your only able to show static images in your printed portfolio On your site have the full animation/video. You can set hyperlinks in your PDF to go to what ever page you want on your site. So I personally would have a running "footer" that has the base URL (www.yoursite.com) on the first page and then expand it as they go (www.yourbrand.com/videotitle.mpg). And make sure the overall feel matches, remember your branding yourself.

    Also if you are able to include video and now flash in the latest version of Acrobat see here
     

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