Being a part-time web instructor, I advise my students to start posting their works online and to go the free route. I encourage them to make their collections of designs as mobile as possible since at one point in our curriculum, they are required to find a client, deal with that client and create a project either pro-bono or with a fee.
Sure, they can get a web host and domain name for their portfolios, but being beginners and students, I want them to be as resourceful and intuitive as they can in using available tools online and perhaps save them lunch money to spend on other important things..
Here are some free sites that can host your work for free!
Professional web portfolio site to showcase your work and connect to other designer (ala Linked-in)
Scrnshots just started this year (2008) and is growing. Upload unlimited web comps and screenshots from your desktop with the downloadable application.
DeviantArt has been there for many years. They have one of the best creative communities on the web today. Post and receive helpful feedbacks from fellow artists.
Flickr has a very active community behind it. You can utilize the site’s Group section to show-off your work and let people leave their comment. Video uploading is also possible. I use Flickr’s note labeling feature to add comments to web comps. The Free Account can view 200 stored photos, after that you need to pay for the Pro account to see the rest of your uploaded photos.
CarbonMade is a paid portfolio storage website but they also have a free account which lets you upload and categorize your work. You can upload images, flash files and even video.
Why not print?
Although having print portfolio helps in presenting you as a very professional designer, students cannot afford to pay high-quality printing and binding services for multiple copies of their works.
The 5 disadvantages of having printed stuff as your portfolio:
- Expensive – not ideal for student to spend on yet being beginners
- Exposure – limited to those saw and received your printed portfolio.
- Static Medium – viewers can’t interact with it (well, unless you have and thin OLED display there)
- Mobility – sure it’s easy to bring a compilation of your work, but giving a link to your online work is easier
- Upgradability – hard to update as new works are created
There are also some disadvantages in having an online portfolio (hey, nothing’s perfect), which I will discuss in a future post.