On a recent trip to London we were required to get in touch with 3 agencies and show them our portfolios. The 3 I had chosen were Think Tank, We Are Tourist and Dorling Kindersley Books, ( essentially Penguin Books ).
I gained a great deal from visiting these companies. The real world of Graphic Design is so different from University. One of the first things I learnt, was to tailor your portfolio to the actual Agency you are applying to. For example, I went to Dorling Kindersley who design books, and my portfolio had a series of Penguin book covers we did last year. This went down well for obvious reasons. I then went to We Are Tourist, the following day and they create album covers for various bands. My work contained no album covers. Although they liked my work, they needed to see something a tad more intruiging , ie. something a little more obscure. This would be okay normally as I would have included different pieces, but to be honest something as obvious as this didn't cross my mind. So I learnt a harsh lesson immediately.
Upon turning up late fot Think Tank, ( due to a clash of appointments ), they asked me to explain my portfolio, which was again, an issue I'd not thought through. If someone doesn't know what the design is about how can they judge? This was good advice. They also mentioned about not putting your work in a box and just to use an A3 portfolio, because, and I quote, "If I see another A3 box they're not getting the job. I'm sick of seeing them." Also good to know.
This visit to London Village was a definite eye opener to the competitive world of Graphic Design and I am better educated for it.