Self-Promotionals Could Only Be For Yourself.


Inside of Emergency Designer Card

After graduating college with my BFA in Graphic Design, I had a leave behind booklet for interviews and a self-promotional item that got me an A in the portfolio class. However since college, I haven’t really used either concept and after talking to a few seasoned graphic designers and employers, I will leave those projects in my portfolio. When I asked employers, “What would you do with a self-promotional item?” Several said, “Truthfully, I would throw it away. I have no place for it and if I did, I would forget it was there. It’s much easier for me to bookmark a website or resume.” Some of us are pack rats and won’t throw away something cool or inspirational, but others have no problem clearing out the unused objects. So as you hunt for a job, look for ways to get your name on the web and in emails.


My two favorite resources for the web are (for easy creating of websites) and (for web help and inspiration).

To see some my web portfolio go to see other people’s creativity with portfolios try starting at


Consider Paper

Paper is the mat and frame for your designs. Just like there is variety in paint finishes, there is variety in paper. Choose from mat to glossy, white to cream, 90 lb. to 180 lb, textured to smooth. Should you round the corners? Should you use recycled paper?

Metallic is great for replicating package surfaces. This picture is a student project designing a fictional special edition holiday line for Ugly Mug Coffee.

Try staining paper. The length of time in the tea affects the color.

Tea stains can give an aged, classic, or western look.

Textured paper in different colored tones.

Take a look at your favorite magazines or catalogs or store’s brochure. The paper they choose should reflect their brand and their message.  How many eco-friendly products aren’t printed on something recycled or at least look like they do?  How many cutting edge magazines don’t have a sheen to them? If they don’t, should they?

Pei Wei menu paper compared to Chipotle menu.

Whole Foods coupon book, Urban Outfitters catalog, and Dallas art news. Note the color saturation difference between papers, especially in the black.

New York University interest mail stands out with paper texture layering.

Scion promotional disguises itself in newsprint the size of an atlas.

Inside spread.

Local print shops can have expand your knowledge in paper. If they are knowledgeable, they understand how ink reacts to the paper which affects your design. They also can have a variety in paper as well as stores like Paper Source and Hobby Lobby.

Paper Companies can have the best sample books for not only indulging in the product but also in the design of presenting it. Check out French Paper Co. and Clampitt for ideas, products, and education.