Holland College | Graphic Design Portfolio Requirements
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Portfolio Requirements

To be accepted into the Graphic Design program applicants must complete and submit the following creative material for assessment as well as meet the academic requirements as identified by the college.

Note to all applicants: Remember that you are applying to a creative program whose focus is on training students as graphic designers. This will enable you to seek work in a variety of areas within this industry. These may include printing and publishing companies, newspaper, magazine and book producers, art and design studios, advertising agencies and other creative studios, as well web, television and the film industries. Keep this in mind when producing work for submissions.

• Complete all work for the traditional portfolio submission on paper no smaller than 11″ x 14″ in size. Identify each piece on the back with the project number and your name.

• Do not copy work from other sources, make sure it is all your own ideas.

• Be original in all your work, the industry expects this of you.

• Explain your work if you do not feel it explains itself.

• Prepare your portfolio presentation carefully. Take your time. Be neat and accurate with cutting and mounting of work.

• Follow all requirements as set out but be as creative as possible. As an example, colour does not mean paint. It could be anything from markers to coloured paper or collage.

• Some projects may be completed digitally, but when handwork is requested, please comply. Computers don’t make people designers. Designers use computers as tools, like pencils, rulers, etc.

Complete Either Option A or B (but not both)

Option A: Video/Audition Portfolio

Produce a short video about yourself. The format and style you take is entirely up to you. It may be in the form of an interview or documentary style piece or a short fictional movie. The video should introduce yourself and explain some of your long-term goals, what you expect to get out of this program and the industry in general. You must also show some examples, no less than 8 and no more than 12, of your own artwork. The work should show your abilities to create with black and white and colour and with type or lettering. Show posters and t-shirt designs and any other original material you have created. Try to describe the work. All the work you show must be original. The video should upload to YouTube and share the link with us. The video should be 4-8 minutes in length. All of the details of the video are up to you.

Remember that the intent of this video is to introduce yourself and your creativity to us, so keep this in mind when producing the video. Show us how creative that you can and would like to be.

Option B: Traditional Portfolio

Complete the following seven project requirements as listed below using the material suggested. Identify each by number.

1. Self-Portrait: Draw a self-portrait, head and shoulders only, using a mirror for reference. Use a soft pencil or other tonal tool to complete the assignment.

2. Perspective Room: Using a black felt tip pen, sit in a corner of any room in your house and draw the entire contents of the room in front of you, being as accurate as possible and including everything that you can see.

3. Expressive Typography: Describe yourself with type or letters, using styles that reflect your personality or qualities. Hand-letter your name. You may use any color or combination of colors and styles of type that you feel reflects you. Explain your reasons for choosing the type/color you chose on the back.

4. Poster Design: Design a poster promoting an event in your area. Pick something of interest to you. Make up all the details you need, such as dates, time and place.

5. T-Shirt Design: Create a t-shirt design for t-shirt for Earth Day (representing current year) using only three colours. Place the lettering and the graphic on a t-shirt shape to show your concept.

6. Original Work: Submit no less than five original works you have created in the past year. On the back of each write a description of the project or why you created the work. At least two must be in colour.

7. Essay: Prepare a 400-500 word statement describing what you would like to gain from this program and what you would like to do in this field or industry once you graduate. Please format for 8.5” x 11” paper.

Note to all applicants: If you have any questions about these requirements please contact the Graphic Design program. Once completed, please deliver all work to the Admissions Office at Holland College. All submissions will be returned.


You can mail or hand deliver the completed portfolio to the college. Make sure it is addressed properly to the Admissions Department and has a return address as well. You can also submit your portfolio as a website. Forward the URL with your application to the Admissions Department (info@hollandcollege.com). Make sure the site is clean, clear and well organized and that you include information about each piece.

Neither Holland College nor the Graphic Design Program can accept any liability for damage done during shipping of portfolios. All portfolios will be returned to applicants once they have been assessed.

If you have any questions concerning the Graphic Design program, you can email program instructor April Condon.