Application advice



Preparing your portfolio for Interview

This is always a tricky one to get right, what to put in, what to leave out…what we would say is bring only what is relevant to the work you are showing us in the portfolio. Be concise don’t ‘pad’ the portfolio out.

Work that shows an application of design within a communication context is preferred. However it’s not just Graphic Design that we are interested in, Photography, Painting, 3D, Fashion and Textiles, and Sculpture are all relevant, and can enhance your application. We are looking for your passion and creativity to shine through in the portfolio. We want to be able to follow your creative journey from the beginning through to the final piece so don’t just bring us the finished work. Include unedited sketchbooks if you can, (sometimes ‘mistakes’ are as interesting as ‘successes’ so please leave everything in).

Your portfolio should contain a range of design work that reflects your ability to apply analytical and creative thought processes to solve design and communication problems. It should also demonstrate engagement with a variety of media and production techniques, and associated craft skills. We are looking for the following…


Sketchbooks and preparatory work showing evidence of your creative ideas and development through:

  • Primary and secondary research, (did you look further than ‘Google’ for example)?
  • Evidence of you developing ideas visually and exploring alternative solutions by sketching, drawing, trying different kinds of materials.
  • Intelligent analytical annotation, we’d like you to comment on why you did something not simply describe what you have done.
  • Evidence of you exploring and working in a range of different media (both 2 and 3D)
  • Final ideas.

You conclusion/s:

  • The final piece/s

We don’t need you to mount your work on card or put it in plastic sheets. Neatly collated, clearly labelled and placed in order is all that we require (as this makes it easier for us to look through your work).

Questions we ask ourselves when looking at your portfolio are: How original is this work? Does it surprise and delight us? How many ideas are there here? Has the applicant played safe or have they taken risks and really explored their ideas. What range of materials is evident in the portfolio? Can we see a passion for things creative in the work? (This could be in a range of media and areas not just Graphics). How did the ideas develop, is there evidence of a creative journey? Think about how the work you include in your portfolio answers some or all of these questions.

If you don’t have everything listed here don’t worry, every applicant will have an opportunity to talk to us and discuss his or her work and ideas, (it’s the interview that can sometimes persuade us we’d like to offer you a place, even if your work is not as complete as we’d ideally like to see).

Please think about what you want to tell us about your work, what you want to say about each piece in the portfolio, be prepared to discuss this with us at interview.


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