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Graphic Arts presentations
Some guidelines to preparing your work for a Graphic Arts application

Your presentation
We believe that design teaching is all about helping students to find their own ‘voice’ within the graphic
design community. This means preparing you to work out where you fit and exploring what new ideas and
attitudes you can bring to design. Your presentation will need to show off your ideas and your working
processes as well as your art-working skills. Whether your presentation is electronic or paper-based, you
should include at least as much rough work (ideas, research, visual testing, experimental graphic
language, and thumbnail sketches) as final pieces. A digital presentation is best made as a PDF file with
between 20-30 pages.

Your interview
An interview is a two-way process whose aim is to work out whether each partner is right for the other.
Your interviewer will try to put you at ease, as this is the best way of getting to the information about your
design thinking. So there will be no trick questions or catches! And use the opportunity to clarify anything
with us too.

The following are some things to bear in mind when deciding how to put your presentation together,
whether paper or digital. They may not work for everybody because no two presentations are alike, and
we are always open to the ‘maverick’ presentation that breaks all the rules! As a guide, do anything that
clarifies or shows off the work better, and avoid anything that complicates or obscures it.

Order of pages
Choose your favourite two or three projects which could work in an opening or closing sequence Careful
sequencing of the presentation makes the work much easier to appreciate, and gives it ‘pace’ and drama,
like a well-made film. So think about where to place a 6-page wine label project or a one-day logo project.
Keep in mind an interviewer who will be fresh to you and your work, and who will need everything to be as
clear as possible.

Editing: a healthy balance of different styles
Be selective: showing everything is not necessarily a good idea. And do you want to impress with your
diversity or show a limited range of skills?

Page labelling
Does the work explain itself or do some pages need labels? Remember that you may not be present
when the presentation is viewed. Labels may be title and date only, or could be more complex. In general,
anything that explains the work better is to be desired, and anything that complicates it should be avoided.

Rough work / sketchbooks
Interviewers who don’t yet know you will want to see evidence of a working design brain. Roughs and
sketchbooks are crucial for this. IF NECESSARY, SCAN PAGES FROM YOUR ROUGH BOOKS TO
SHOW YOUR WORKING PROCESS. They can contain all the marvellous alternative ideas you had,
whereas a shiny Mac-printed final piece can by its nature only show one idea. So include your rough work
– either within the portfolio or by bringing separate rough sketchbooks – one or two of the best ones.