You should conceive of your portfolio as a collection of projects. We are open to projects of varying aesthetic, formal and conceptual types. Whatever their form, projects should:
- Demonstrate an ability to think through a problem
- Articulate the designer’s approach and resolution in compelling ways
- Manifest solutions and offerings that show craft, rigor and delight.
Please include at least 10 projects in your portfolio. These 10 projects may vary in complexity and kind. Below is a partial list of some possible project kinds:
- Research project
- Designed object/artifact
- Business venture
- Conceptual work
- Published work
- Pro-bono initiatives
- Competition entries
Your projects should show process along with finished work; we want to see the key decision points along the way–how you came to a resolution. Do not be afraid to show broken models, failed attempts, iteration and learning.
Be sure to include any published work (on the web, in print, or in exhibition), awards or competition submissions, and any other materials that evidence your commitment and passion for the enterprise of problem solving, celebration and design.
We will review the portfolios of accomplished designers for concept development, sketching and drawing skill, iteration, research, problem solving, analytical thinking, strategy, prototyping, form, presentation and storytelling.
Products of Design welcomes candidates who do not have a formal design degree or experience in professional design practice. While these candidates’ portfolios may not emphasize the specific competencies listed above for practicing designers, they must convey the applicant’s acute ability to think analytically and strategically, and to harness this thinking toward successful problem solving. Your portfolio projects may be less visual, but please include snapshots of your process, images of the project in its final form, screenshots or PDFs of written documentation, and any documentation or press coverage of results.
In addition to strong strategic, research, and three-dimensional abilities, we are especially interested in candidates possessing strong two-dimensional skills and who can create visually convincing artifacts through communication design and graphic ability. This includes graphic design, typography, motion graphics, branding, advertising, packaging, writing, websites, apps, and other collateral elements.
SVA is honored to welcome veterans to our campus. SVA is a Yellow Ribbon Program participating school.
Optional Video Profile
Applicants are asked to submit an optional, speak-into-the-webcam video profile, 2-3 minutes in length, answering the following questions:
- What is your assessment of the current state of the design industry?
- Where do you see yourself within it, both now and in the future?
- At what scale are you most interested in working? Personal? Interpersonal? Community? Political? Global?
(Don’t like guidelines? Then scrap these questions and tell us what you’re really about and why you want to pursue advanced work in the enterprise of design.)
Portfolio Submission Format:
The following formats are the only acceptable ways to submit your portfolio:
- Link to an online portfolio (preferred)
- Bound books or physical printouts
Optional Video Profiles should be published online with a link (and password if required)
Note: All portfolio submissions become the property of the School of Visual Arts and will not be returned. For this reason, we strongly recommend that applicants NOT submit original artwork. The College is not responsible for any media that is received in damaged condition and cannot be viewed.