As this semester wraps up, students are buzzing about visiting home to see family and friends some haven’t seen since August. And what am I looking forward to this winter break? I’m ready to eat some good homemade food while I prepare my portfolio. Yes, even on break, the grind never stops.

As a creative, copywriters and art directors alike are expected to have a portfolio website to showcase their projects and thought processes to potential employers. Different website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and even Adobe Portfolio (which comes with the Adobe Creative Cloud package) allow for non-HTML coders to create the portfolio of their dreams.

Yet, the best portfolios do not only include smart headlines and innovative graphics: They also reflect a personal brand that shows off your personality in subtle ways.

Today we will be going over simple ways to show off your personal brand on not only your website, but also your business cards, resumes, and all other professional mediums.


Pick a typeface and roll with it.

Always cringed when professors told you to use Times New Roman? Serif fonts like Times New Roman include ornamental strokes that convey tradition and sophistication. Sans serif fonts like Arial are more modern and convey friendliness. For web publications, the general rule of thumb is to pair a serif headline with sans serif copy. Other fonts include handwritten/novelty fonts. Be cautious and use them sparingly, as to not overwhelm your reader. Create a style guide and include no more than 3 fonts that you will use throughout all professional mediums. And please, stay far away from Comic Sans.


Find a color scheme that reflects you.

Color is so important in reflecting who you are. According to Color Matters, “Brands and color are inextricably linked because color offers an instantaneous method for conveying meaning and message without words.” Every color represents some quality or trait intrinsically, with their meanings often obvious to us: Yellow is happy; green is serene. To find your own color scheme, I suggest Adobe Color, a color palette generator. With Adobe Color, you can either extract colors from an image you would like to use on your website or create a palette from scratch using different options such as analogous, monochromatic, or complementary. Search for color palettes with dynamic contrasts and at least one neutral to balance out the hues. For those who have Adobe Creative Cloud products, you can transfer the color palette you find on Adobe Color and add it to your swatches. 


Consider a personal logo.

Thought logos were just for companies? Think again. After all, in your job/internship search, you are marketing yourself, and logos are a simple visual cue to tie in all bodies of your work. Some personal logos use just typography, such as the initials of your name, while others include graphics/iconography. For creatives who don’t have design skills (I’m calling out my fellow copywriters), The Noun Project is an excellent resource. With over two million royalty-free icons, this website can be used not only for your logo but throughout your entire portfolio. If you decide to use one for a logo, I suggest paying the one-time fee ($2.99) to access color, rotation and background customization without having to attribute the artist directly. Support fellow creatives and give compensation for their work!



Bonus tip: Make mockups of all of your work!

I used to always wonder how everyone would make their ads look so professional on their portfolios. Then I discovered mockup generators, like Placeit and Smartmockups. While this may not seem to relate so much to personal branding, mockups are an easy way to establish credibility and professionalism throughout your portfolio. 


Keep professionalism on your mind at our Internship Panel tomorrow, November 21 at 6:15 p.m. in Turlington L005. Learn from other students within Ad Society who have gone through internships within different crafts. See you then!