I have gotten 3 jobs in the last year or so on account of my extremely cheap (but impressive looking) giveaway portfolio.
Enough good luck that as I get ready to mail a few more out Sat morning I thought I'd share the idea with the rest of you. hopefully it will bring you some luck as well.
I know it was the quality of my designs that actually got me the work but this presentation was key in sticking in a clients mind.
I have a client in New York for instance. I sent them one of my packages and didn't hear from them for about 6 months. Then one afternoon I received a call & my iPhone screen said "New York".
I answered the phone and the woman on the other end had a heavy NY accent. She explained to me who she was and said she had my portfolio on her desk for a few months. When it was time for them to get some new art produced she remembered my portfolio and called.
As artist we rely so much on digital samples and our websites we forget how convincing a physical portfolio can be. As was the case with me, even if they don't contact right away they won't forget you. Where if you are one of the dozens of artists that emailed them that day you just might get over looked.
Ok, enough talking it up here is what you will need.
Make jpegs of all the art you would like to put in a portfolio. Don't over do it though, the prospective client doesn't need everything you've done just a few good examples.
Now take those jpegs and open them in Photoshop. Size your art to fit 4x6. Sometimes that will leave a big space either on the sides, top or bottom. Thats fine, just fill the blank space with the background color of your piece.
Below you will see 2 example. One has a lot of space on the top and the bottom the other one is a tall skinny design so the empty space is on the sides.
Now after you have adjusted all your pieces save them to a jump drive or a cd and take them to a photolab. I usually go to Wal-mart because its dirt cheap but any photolab will do.
I set down at the do it yourself kiosk insert my media and figure out how many portfolio's I want to make.
This time around I wanted 4 so had the photolab print 4 copies of each picture.
In an hour I had beautiful glossy copies of my designs.
Next I picked up a photo album. 4X6 albums are super cheap. you can get them with book bindings, plastic covers, and various other styles. I like usually pick up one like this for less than $5
Then I add my pictures/designs write a nice letter to the art director (or whoever) and add a business card package it all together in a manilla envelope and send it off to clutter the desk of my target.
I can do all this for around $10 a portfolio. That's pictures, photo album and shipping.
I personally think the size is the key. 4x6 is perfect. You get all the detail, and when you add the album it gives it a really nice look. Plus its chunky and I feel that like with my NY client it was just to different to discard. It stayed on her desk or on a shelf but didn't go in the trash and it kept me in her mind for nearly 6 months. I had emailed them dozens of times and never got a response until I mailed them.
So there you have it. It's worked for me thru the mail and in person. I walked in cold to talk to the art director od a screen print shop. I was told they weren't needing any help but I asked if I could leave my portfolio. The lady took it and within a week I was doing a design & color seps for them.
Just an idead hope you find it helpful
Thanks for reading