Sophomore Portfolio Review
Submissions for the 2021 Sophomore Portfolio Review are open from Thursday, June 3 at 9am through Sunday, June 6 at 8pm Pacific.
In order to take upper division courses in graphic design at PSU, all students are required to meet all prerequisite requirements. This includes both those courses which are listed as prerequisites of the BA/BS degree or the BFA degree and the Sophomore Portfolio Review (SPR) itself. If students have not passed the Review, then regardless of experience or class standing they are not qualified to take 300- or 400-level courses. Transfer students who are ready to begin third and fourth year requirements must also pass the Portfolio Review. The purpose of this Review is to ensure that students are learning skills required for successful completion of the program.
The Sophomore Portfolio Review is based primarily on creative performance. Supporting documentation such as a the writing sample, contextual statements, and process contribute to the evaluation as secondary elements. The focus of the Review is on the totality of the projects presented, with emphasis placed on the ability to demonstrate the expertise needed to be successful in upper-division courses.
The Sophomore Portfolio Review is a milestone for all students in Graphic Design. Regardless of the outcome, there are several pathways available to students.
2021 REVIEW GUIDELINES
The Sophomore Portfolio Review 2021 handbook outlines the guidelines for participating in this year’s Review, and includes evaluation criteria, intended outcomes, frequently asked questions, and a checklist of required pieces and other portfolio components. Review all requirements carefully as some have changed from previous editions.
Reading through the handbook is critical to success, and it is suggested that you both read through thoroughly before beginning your portfolio and refer back to it frequently when making decisions or determining what to include.
2021 Important Dates & Deadlines
Submit all materials to psu.gd/spr by
Sunday, June 6 at 8pm
Submissions open June 3 at 9am.
You will need to both register for the review online and complete your digital submission. The following week after the close of submissions, your score will be sent electronically.
MANDATORY INFO SESSIONS
Info sessions will be held in two parts this year! In addition to watching the video posted above as part I, you will need to attend one of the Zoom Q&A sessions to complete part II (be sure to watch the video BEFORE attending the Q&A session). Both parts are required and attendance will be taken at the events. Info Sessions will be held on:
Three Information Sessions are held prior to the Review to discuss the Review process. All students expecting to participate in the Review must attend one of these sessions. These sessions give a thorough overview of what is to be expected, an opportunity to see examples of past portfolios, and info about accessing help from a variety of resources.
Please arrive on time with materials ready for taking notes. There will be time at the end of the presentation for asking whatever questions you may have. Before attending an Information Session, note that you must watch the part I video. It is in your best interest to read the SPR 2021 Booklet as well.
In addition to the Part I video, attendance of one of the part II Q&A information sessions is a requirement for participating in this year’s Sophomore Portfolio Review (but you only need to come to one of the three sessions).
RESOURCES & HELP
Students (who’ve been there before) helping students! Information about the 2021 Mentorship group is coming soon!
STUDENT HELP GROUPS
In prior years, students successfully organized a number of critique groups to help themselves develop their portfolios and get to know their peers. Some groups may already be out there, but if you can’t find one, start one! Have a group already that you want other students to know about? Email Sean Schumacher and he can add it below.
MEET WITH YOUR ADVISOR
Full time faculty in PSUGD have advising hours each term and are happy to help give feedback on portfolio pieces and ensure you have all necessary classes to take the Review. Check the School of Art+Design’s “Book an Advising Appointment” page for office hours and to schedule an appointment. Walk-in hours are also available.
SUPPLIES & PRINTING
PORTFOLIO REFERENCE & PHOTO TIPS
- 7 projects
A final portfolio with: a table of contents, seven projects with descriptions for each, one project dedicated to page layout, and process for one of your projects.
- Writing Sample
The writing sample should be a typeset rationale for one of your DES 224, 225, or 254 projects (approx. 300 to 400 words long). This sample should demonstrate your critical thinking skills regarding your work, explaining your design decisions.
- Page Layout PDF
Include a PDF of the project you selected for page layout demonstrating flowed text across multiple spreads with 2 spreads minimum.
Include just a standard exported PDF. Do not typeset or redesign your DARS.
Portfolio Tech Specs
• Dimensions: 1920x1080px
• Color Space: RGB (make sure to set this up at beginning!)
• Image Resolution: 144ppi
• Text size: 24pt (for body copy, smaller sizes can be used for very short text elements, like captions)
• File size: < 20MB (use a PDF compressor if your portfolio is too big)
Are you in need of some tips on the design of your portfolio? Have you been wanting to see examples of portfolios? Want to hear some encouraging words from upperclassmen who’ve made it through portfolio? Meet SOPH Return. A space where past sophomores return the favor by sharing and reflecting on their portfolios. Here, you can view past sophomore portfolios, learn from the feedback they received, and rest knowing that you’ve got this, we’ve been in your shoes, and we are here for you!
Don’t feel like you even know what a portfolio looks like… or is? Let Flaunt help! Flaunt, edited by Byrony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit (of Brand New and other UnderConsideration blogs), curates a fantastic selection of high-quality, professional-grade graphic design portfolios. It’s a great way to see what “effective, compelling, and memorable portfolios of creative work” look like.
Grab a copy of Flaunt, in print or e-book form, from their website!
PHOTOGRAPHING YOUR WORK
For a tutorial on photographing your work, check out Briar Levit’s fantastic online guide to help you do exactly that booklet. Prefer a PDF instead of an online booklet? You can download your own here.