Digital or traditional? This is a question that has been asked for many years, and of course, there is no right or wrong answer. At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference and what the purpose of your portfolio is; for personal gain, or for a business venture.
In this week’s article, we’ll take a look at the top 5 factors to consider when deciding what format your next portfolio should be - digital, traditional, or both.
Online portfolios can be free, whereas traditional portfolios generally will cost you money in supplies and paper. That being said, there is no substitute for the traditional touch, feel, and physical presence of a traditional portfolio.
However, in today’s fast-moving, technologically-centred world, the possibility of a free, or very low-cost monthly online portfolio on the internet is a path many creatives are taking. Not to mention the environmental benefits of going digital.
One key advantage of an online digital portfolio is that you can access it anywhere, anytime. On the flip side, a traditional portfolio may be a great spectacle to look at, but it isn’t as portable as that of an online portfolio, whereby anyone, anywhere, can log on and access it right away.
The layout of a digital portfolio is also easier for potential clients to scroll through your work, as opposed to having to physically search for desired information. As aforementioned, in today’s fast-paced world, the less clients and your audience have to do to access your work, the better off you will be as a creative and a business owner.
3. Collaboration Is Key
Again, coming back to modern-day society, most creatives in the history of the world will know that getting your foot off the ground means collaborating. Be it with fellow creatives, small to medium-sized companies, or other individuals, collaborating allows exposure, ultimately increasing your potential clientele.
A digital portfolio allows you to collaborate seamlessly with anyone around the world, whereas a traditional portfolio does not give you that opportunity. Utilising social media also helps share your work with the world, and helps expose and give credit to other creatives that you may have worked with.
Having an online portfolio allows you to showcase your versatility and depth in your desired skill set. It allows you to upload photos, videos, illustrations, sketches, and anything else you would need to attract clients. Traditional portfolios, though nothing can beat physical presence, does not allow you to upload whatever you want, whenever.
Furthermore, if you have one traditional portfolio full of your varying styles of work, it will look messy and unorganised, whereas a digital portfolio allows you to separate different projects in one place, which ultimately looks much neater and streamlined.
5. Seamless Integration
Going back to modern technology, social media and other social platforms are a key driver in attracting potential clientele. A paper portfolio does not allow for social media sharing and seamless integration to a broader audience.
An online portfolio, on the other hand, allows users to expand their reach online, and in just a few clicks, possibly land a client from the other side of the world. Taking it one step further, creatives with a digital portfolio can also develop an app that they can integrate with their online portfolio, business, and e-commerce store.
As the world and its people evolve and become busier in their everyday lives, an online presence is almost a key component of a successful creative business. Being able to reach new clients and audiences far and wide can only be possible through the internet. In saying that, nothing will ever compare to the physical touch and feel of a traditional, paper portfolio.
With all of these factors taken into consideration, it could be beneficial to have both a digital and traditional portfolio. If you draw, sketch, illustrate, or even if you are a photographer, it could be an idea to have these images stored in a physical portfolio, which you then capture and place online for a wider audience.
When you attend an event or gathering of fellow creatives, integrate traditional with physical so that people can see your work in both formats.