Students who have applied to a design-based course will be asked to bring a portfolio of artwork with them to interview (please check the entry requirements in the individual course descriptions).
We understand that there is a lot of pressure on applicants to get their portfolio up to a good standard and have provided some advice and general pointers about what to include in your portfolio.
What is a Portfolio?
A portfolio is a collection of work that shows an applicant's skills and knowledge across a number of projects or studies. It is a visual representation of interests, exploration, experimentation, development and final pieces.
What should it contain?
The portfolio should comprise examples of investigation, development, and final pieces; the design process. This can include drawing, colour study work, materials investigation, design development – 2D and 3D, construction, consumer and market information, written notes and design presentation sheets. Most three-dimensional pieces should be photographed, and presented within the portfolio, but one or two examples of your 3D work should be included. It is important to show off your drawing skills but equally important to demonstrate how you manage a brief and work through all the stages to reach a final design.
What size should my portfolio be, and how should I present my work?
A portfolio can be any size that works for the content – A4, A3 etc. The best advice here is to edit the work and compile the portfolio as a series of projects or studies. Keep the presentation format uncluttered and relevant. Avoid over decoration as this only detracts from the content.
How many pieces of work should I include?
There is no limit, but you will need to transport the portfolio to an interview (if selected) so be practical. If using a zip closure portfolio (Artcare) and the zip is under strain, you have too much. Five projects, plus sketchbook plans is a manageable amount of content. Do not include too many examples of one type of work; include only the two best examples of life drawing/painting, for instance.
Should I include sketchbooks?
Yes - these show how and what you research and help us to understand how you think. They form the background to the more finished work in your portfolio and together tell the whole story of your creative journey.
Should I include fashion design/makeup/photography/footwear work if I am applying to one of these degrees?
Please - we are keen to see how prior experience has informed your choice of course at the College - If it is unlikely you will be ale to make the finished product but we are interested in seeing prototypes or customised work. You can also show your interest in the subject through work in your sketchbooks and projects and through research into designers and historical fashion.
If I am unable to attend an interview in person, can I send my portfolio instead?
Yes - We are prepared to receive portfolios by email from applicants who live far away. This can be arranged with academic registry who will contact you on receipt of your application. We can then arrange a telephone interview. Applicants should make note of the UCAS dates for applications and plan holidays accordingly.
How important is my portfolio?
Your portfolio is a powerful influence when deciding on an offer of a place. It shows the staff how you work, illustrates your interests, skills, and knowledge. Throughout your career, you will need to present yourself and your portfolio.
Can I include actual examples that I have made?
Yes, but limit this to one or two if they are bulky items and difficult to transport. If you have more examples photograph them and include them in your portfolio.
How will my portfolio be looked at?
Initially you will not be present when your portfolio is reviewed so it is important that your work is organised carefully to tell the story of each project. Every portfolio is looked at carefully by two members of staff experienced in portfolio examination.
You will be asked to talk through the portfolio, explaining how the projects were handled and asked questions about relevant issues raised i.e. you may have a particular use of colour, or style of presentation. We are trying to find out about your interests, and how these influence your work. You may also be asked about general interests/activities, such as hobbies, travel experiences, music, cinemas, magazines, exhibition attendance, etc.
Can I use work that I've produced outside of my course?
Of course, so long as it is relevant to the portfolio. Always seek advice on the content and format of your portfolio, as each one is different, personal, and showcases your creative journey to date.
London College of Fashion treats portfolios with great respect and takes every care of them. However, no responsibility can be accepted for the loss or damage of any work.