February 19, 2013

Peer Book Report - No Plastic Sleeves: The Complete Portfolio Guide for Photographers and Designers by Larry Volk and Danielle Currier


Reviewed by Britt Gettys

The main goal of any portfolio isn’t just to display your work in a comprehensive manner, it’s to communicate to prospective employers the value you place on your work as well as showing them who you are as an individual.  As such, No Plastic Sleeves: The Complete 
Portfolio Guide for Photographers and Designers begins by assisting one in figuring out who he or she is as a creative and helping them establish an aesthetic identity.  

When it comes to the presentation of your portfolio, plastic is a real faux pas.  For art directors, editors, and other creative professionals, plastic sleeved portfolios are looked upon as the worst of all portfolio styles.  Not only do they lack creativity, but they’re generic, and show a lack of commitment to one’s work.  If you’ve thought about sending one out, stop now, instead pick up No Plastic Sleeves and start constructing the perfect, creative portfolio.

Authors Larry Volk and Danielle Currier have created a book that isn’t just a “How To,” but an interactive process.  Both have a background in art education and as such No Plastic Sleeves places an emphasis on how art students, just entering the job market, can go about building and presenting a portfolio of their work that will nail them the job.  In fact, the majority of the book's high quality examples come from students who’ve proved to find success in their chosen field.

After that, No Plastic Sleeves covers:
Branding

Cover Design
Images and Iconography
Composition
Layout
Construction Techniques (Remember no plastic sleeves allowed!)
Building an Online Presence
and Promotional Materials

But, if step by step isn’t your style, despair not.  No Plastic Sleeves strays from convention in that one doesn’t have to read it chronologically.  If there’s an aspect of your portfolio you wish to focus on, be it the color pallet or creating an online portfolio to match the physical one, just skip to that section of the book and start reading.     

Metal Fan Photo Portfolio by Karyne Bond 
Apart from glossy, high-res, photo examples of successful portfolios and step-by-step tutorials on bookbinding and web creation, No Plastic Sleeves includes interviews with industry professionals on what makes a good portfolio, and disperses inspiring, feel good quotes from notable creatives throughout it’s pages.  The book is designed to get you in the mood to build and create a portfolio that’s a perfect representation of you.    

For more information on No Plastic Sleeves: The Complete Portfolio Guide for Photographers and Designers, and tips and tricks on building a comprehensive portfolio visit the book’s companion blog: No Plastic Sleeves.  

To view this book, and other texts related to career and professional development, visit Pratt’s Center for Career and Professional Development Library, located in East Hall 001 (first floor).  
For a full listing of books and resources check out our Online Library Catalogue.   

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