As part of the application process for the Graphic Design program, you are required to submit the following items:
Draw a self-portrait in pencil that shows off your attention to detail, your style, your cleanliness and your ability to follow instructions.
Redesign a jewellery store advert showing us your creativity, your communication skills and your ability to work within constraints.
10–15 creative works
Demonstrate what you can do with samples of your absolute best work: layout, typography, painting, drawing, web design, interface design and sketches.
Due June 15th
or until program is full
Deliver completed portfolios to:Algonquin College
Graphic Design Department
Room N215, 1385 Woodroffe Ave.
Ottawa, ON, K2G 1V8 or
Email a PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org
More details below.
- Plagiarism is not tolerated! Applicants who have submitted work which is not their own will not be accepted to the program.
- Please supply photographs or photocopies or your originals.
- If you submit work that was part of a collaboration, indicate what part you played in the process.
- Portfolios will be returned to you if requested. You can pick it up at room N215.
- Draw a 6″ × 9″ self-portrait centered on an 8.5″ × 11″ piece of #27 (smooth) white illustration board.
(If you purchase the Portfolio Kit it will be 10″ × 15″.)
- Render your portrait in pencil. Attention to detail, style and cleanliness are very important.
- Tape a recent photo of yourself to the back of the board.
Below are some examples, some good & some bad, of self-portraits in varying styles.
- Select a jewellery advertisement from the yellow pages, newspaper, or from a magazine.
- In pencil, redesign and re-draw the ad to a new size of 6″ wide × 9″ high on an 8.5″ × 11″ piece of #27 (smooth) white illustration board.
If you purchase the Portfolio Kit the illustration board will be 10″ × 15″. Just centre your 6″ × 9″ layout nicely on the larger board supplied in the kit.
- In your new layout, include all of the text, as well as the company logo from the original ad.
- If your ad has no image, draw any piece of jewellery (watch, ring, etc.) and include it within your newly designed ad.
- Tape a copy of the original paper advertisement to the back of your board.
Below are some examples, some good & some bad, of redesigned jewellery adverts in varying styles.
Be very critical of what you put in your portfolio. Only include pieces that you are very proud of.
We suggest including between 10 and 15 pieces in total. Quality, variety and presentation are important. If you don’t take care and pride in your portfolio, it will say a lot about you and your commitment to being accepted to the program.
You should explore and research all aspects of graphic design. You will discover that graphic design is a very broad field. Graphic designers do not only sit and draw all day long.
Including only a large number of drawings in your portfolio will not sufficiently demonstrate your design abilities. Your self-portrait will showcase your drawing skills. If you have many drawings, go further by including them in your own advertisement design. If you include many cartoons or animé pieces, maybe the Animation program would be a better fit for you.
Consider including the redesign of an existing logo or package in your portfolio. If you do, include the original design.
Typography is a crucial and important part of graphic design. Any piece that incorporates type would stand out. Explore type shapes and possibilities in design. Create abstract images with type. Or layouts that incorporate your images and type.
You’re encouraged to come to Algonquin’s portfolio workshops where you can get feedback and direction.
Things to include:
- Typographic design
- Logos & packaging
- Website designs
- Interface designs
Mediums to include:
Hand drawings are great, but we’re mostly interested in the layout & communication—the drawing skill is secondary.
Computer-created work like website designs, page layouts, logos, packaging that communicate clearly are wonderful.
- Thumbnail sketches
Show your process to the design solution. This is especially important for computer-generated pieces.
Photography can show interesting use of space, organization & cropping. It will speak to your design eye.
Below are some good examples of work previous applicants have included in their portfolio.
Submit a physical book
Use the Portfolio Kit or neatly collect your portfolio into a single book, box it, and send it to the Graphic Design program.
Deliver physical portfolios to:Algonquin College
Graphic Design Department
1385 Woodroffe Ave.
Ottawa, ON, K2G 1V8
Submit a digital PDF
Send us your portfolio in a single PDF file named “Graphic Design Portfolio”. Each piece should be clearly labeled indicating the title and medium used, as well as the dimensions of the actual work.
In the PDF, include your name, e-mail address, telephone number and student number.Dropbox or Google Drive, and share the link with us.