How to Start Making an Architecture Portfolio: Best Portfolio Examples & Ideas

how to make an Architecture Portfolio
Created by Cake

An architecture portfolio is the most crucial tool for professional architects or undergraduate students to showcase their fruit for the effort to employers or clients. If you have several projects and want to organize your works to stand out from the crowd, you’ll need to build up a solid portfolio to present your skills and reflect your attitude, your design process, and your character. 

If you are building a professional architecture portfolio, read on to understand the golden principles as in this article, we will be covering different types of architecture portfolio, the format for an architecture portfolio, guides on how to start an architecture portfolio and most importantly, how to create an online architecture portfolio.

What Is an Architecture Portfolio?

An architecture portfolio is the organization of an architect’s works, which includes a selection of sketches, drawings, images, photographs, texts, and anything that records the essential process that leads to the final architecture work. It demonstrates the architect’s skills, methods, and the service they can provide. 

Without an architecture portfolio, it is hardly possible to determine an architect’s capability. An architecture portfolio is ultimately the key to winning a dream job for an architect.

Depending on the two stages of being an architect, your portfolio will have separate focuses:

Professional Architecture Portfolio for Jobs

As a professional architect whose purpose is to gain new clients or employers, your portfolio is the bridge between your capability and the client’s demand. Simply put, your architecture portfolio needs to establish trust between you and the client. Therefore, past projects, completed works, or related experience (if any) would be excellent.

As for architecture portfolio for employment, you should tailor your work to fit the specific position. Selecting and organizing the most related aspect is a must, whilst it is also applicable to demonstrate some other areas of experience and skills.

University/College Student/Undergraduate Architecture Portfolio

As a student, your architecture student portfolio website assists your application for higher studies, jobs, or internships. Including your drawings, 3D rendering shots, and prototype photos are ideal.

Depending on architecture portfolio formats, you can categorize most architecture portfolios into three types:

Paper/Physical Architecture Portfolio

Yes, people still print out their architecture portfolio. The benefit of having a paper architecture portfolio is to present your work on the physical, tactile quality of the paper. Also, it’s ideal to keep track of your architecture work overtime or to present professionalism. 

It may be cumbersome to carry around, but, if printed right, the remarkable and sublime sense of paper is irreplaceable. Some architects will work with graphic or editorial designers to make their printed portfolio another piece of work.

Digital/Online Architecture Portfolio

Digital or online architecture portfolios are digital files such as an architecture portfolio in PDF or online architecture portfolios shared on websites such as issuu, Archinect, Behance, and more. Digital and online architecture portfolios are cheaper, easy to share, build, and easily update. 

With a digital architecture portfolio, you won’t have to print a hard, expensive copy and worry about getting it folded or dirty. 

It’s easier to share with multiple architecture firms or to the architect community. You can easily find architecture portfolio templates and use online portfolio makers to save time on color schemes or formatting to use it on organizing the content. Lastly, digital contents are easier to edit, delete, renew, and add new projects. 

Architecture Portfolio Website

An architecture portfolio website, compared to a digital architecture portfolio, uses your own web domain. This gives you more control over how the website could establish your personal brand and match your architecture works. 

A portfolio also enables your work to be easily shared, found, and updated. In addition, you can add multi-media such as imagery, video, animation, audio, and more on your website.

What to Include in an Architecture Portfolio - Template

If you are creating an architecture portfolio, no matter what kind, make sure that you include all these elements that are crucial for an architecture portfolio template.

1. Cover/Frontpage

The architecture portfolio front cover will be the first thing that an employer, client, or manager sees. It should be designed in a simple aesthetic and include your name and a title (often just “Portfolio”).

2. About me

The “About” page is to describe yourself as an architect or as a person. Make sure not to include too much irrelevant information to make a professional architecture portfolio. 

3. Resume/CV

After your about page, include your resume or CV in the architecture portfolio. The design of your resume or CV can be coordinated with the architecture portfolio’s design.

4. Content page

The content page can be inserted after your resume. Mark different catalogs with page numbers and a clear table of contents. This way when anyone wants to review a specific work in the architecture portfolio, they can refer to the content page.

What to Include in an Architecture Portfolio - Format

Aside from including all the right elements, format also make sure to use the right formats in your architecture portfolio.

1. Page Size

Typically, your architecture portfolio could be A3 or A4, depending on how you would like the readers to feel while flipping over your architecture portfolio. Needless to say, do follow the requirements if the institute you are applying to specifies the format.

2. Layout & Margins

When designing editorial content, remember one rule: Less is more. Keep your layout simple and easy to read. Give space for your sketch, photos, and pictures to speak for themselves. Margins give the readers some room to absorb your portfolio content and text. 

3. Font Type & Size

With the same rule applied, keep your font type simple. You could use stylish fonts on your cover, but your normal text should be easy to read through. For a printed portfolio, your paragraph text should be between 10-12pt. For a digital architecture portfolio, your paragraph text should be at least 16px.

4. Number of Pages

A typical portfolio has 30-50 pages. That gives you enough space to articulate the essence of each architecture project without losing the focus on specific needs from the architect firm or clients.

How to Make an Architecture Portfolio

Follow these steps to start making your architecture portfolio:

🖋 Determine the purpose of your architecture portfolio.

The main purposes for making an architecture portfolio are to: apply for a new job, pursue an education or academic program, record and document your progress, or build your brand and market yourself. 

Knowing the purpose of your architecture portfolio allows you to identify your readers. You should create your architecture portfolio with your readers in mind. With that being said, tailor your portfolio to target your audience.

🖋 Choose the most suitable medium. 

Next, choose a suitable medium that matches your audience’s preference. Consider the pros and cons (as mentioned above), and decide on a medium that can help you convey your value to your audience.

🖋 Choose the projects to be included in the architecture portfolio.

You should aim to show the best and the most relevant of your works in your architecture portfolio. Tailor the project’s selection to meet their needs. 

These projects should showcase your successful and diverse experiences and your talent for transforming ideas into architecture works. 

🖋 Compile materials.

Compile and collect the materials that you’ll need in your architecture portfolio, which might include:

  1. Personal information (resume)
    Put together the content in your resume as well as your “About me” page. Leave repetitive information out in your architecture portfolio. 
  2. Images of works
    This could be any type of images such as photographs, scanned sketches, model making, architectural visualization, or important blueprints. Select the ones that are shot clearly and simply put them in your architecture portfolio. If the photos do not have good lighting, use photoshop to edit your file to adjust exposure or contrast. 
  3. Descriptions of works
    In addition to images, collect the texts and descriptions used for your architecture projects. Describe the process of your architecture works, perhaps by using storytelling technique.

🖋 Choose the architecture portfolio format.

Decide on an architecture portfolio format, meaning the size of your architecture portfolio. This will affect how much information the readers will be exposed to each page, and how the images and texts look juxtaposed together.

🖋 Create a color palette for your architecture portfolio.

Same as the graphic design process, choose the color palette for you to utilize throughout the entire architecture portfolio. Consider the personality and character you would like to express. 

🖋 Design an architecture portfolio template.

Use a template to unify your architecture portfolio design. When choosing architecture portfolio templates, you should note that there is no best architecture portfolio template that “one size fits all”. A good architecture portfolio template will leave space for personalization, and you should adjust the template to tailor for your audience.
In addition to making your own adjustments, make sure the architecture portfolio template gives you adequate space to demonstrate pictures and arrange descriptions at the same time. 

🖋 Design a front-page as your architecture portfolio cover.

Finally, you can design the front page cover according to the overall style and atmosphere of your architecture portfolio. If you’re not sure where to start, think of the best highlight in your works or your most distinguished accomplishments. These can be the hooks on the architecture portfolio cover to attract people to read your architecture portfolio.

How to Create an Architecture Portfolio Online

Here are 4 more steps for architects who are considering creating an architecture portfolio online. 

💡 Choose an online architecture portfolio maker platform.

Before you start making, know your tools. Choose an architecture portfolio online maker that meets your needs. 

Here we recommend 3 free online portfolio making websites:

1. Cake 

The free online portfolio maker on Cake is suitable for professional architects and creators with other expertise. It offers user-friendly tools for any rookies to build a project-based portfolio.

Cake’s online portfolio maker features several unique functions, including:

  • The ability to link your online portfolio to your digital resume
  • No limit on the numbers of media in your portfolio
  • Shareable link and direct connection to your resume profile
  • Free for registered users

Another great feature of Cake’s free portfolio maker is that it allows users to create multiple portfolios under their profile, allowing them to organize and highlight different projects in a way that is most efficient and convenient for viewing.

Cake portfolio maker allows you to add multimedia materials to your architecture portfolio. As an architect, you build your architecture portfolio for free and  upload your works in no time to be seen by other professionals.

2. Behance

Behance is a free project-sharing website by Adobe. It is where creators showcase creative works and discover inspirations. On Behance, the visitors browse through all of your projects. Once you have signed up on Behance, it is free to use the platform. There is no restriction on the number of architecture projects you can publish.

3. Coroflot

Coroflot is an online community for designer and creative professionals. It offers free online project makers for creators and architects. On Coroflot, you can browse through jobs, creator’s profiles, and projects. Once you have signed up, you can upload media and work on your architecture portfolio projects.

💡 Collect drawings and image files.

To maximize the function of an online architecture portfolio, collect the types of media you would like to include. Organize the file types and make sure they are not too large in size to upload. 

💡 Arrange files into an architecture portfolio template.

Next, arrange your files into a template to make sure your architecture portfolio template works. The template you choose should be flexible enough to ensure all projects look alike in style but can be customized to make alterations such as image sizes, add paragraphs, or insert different media.

💡 Refer to other online architecture portfolio examples for inspiration.

Finally, as you are building your architecture portfolio, refer to good examples. Good examples are the ones that clearly present the idea, design details, visualized process, and explanation of the architecture. Use these examples to think of what are the essential content to put in order.

Online architecture portfolio example by LOER
Online architecture portfolio example by LOER
Online architecture portfolio example by KIMMArchitectuur
Online architecture portfolio example by KIMMArchitecture
Online architecture portfolio example by Player Roberts Bell
Online architecture portfolio example by Player Roberts Bell

Architecture Portfolio Examples

We have put together a list of 10 architecture portfolio examples that may help you get a clearer idea and some inspiration for creating your own architecture portfolio:

Online architecture portfolio website by A+I
Online architecture portfolio website by A+I
Online architecture portfolio website by Catalyst Architecture
Online architecture portfolio website by Catalyst Architecture
Online architecture portfolio website by Tom Holloman
Online architecture portfolio website by Tom Holloman
Online architecture portfolio website by Vita Architecture
Online architecture portfolio website by Vita Architecture
Digital architecture portfolio by Mila Garaeva
Digital architecture portfolio by Mila Garaeva
Online architecture portfolio website by Urban Power
Online architecture portfolio website by Urban Power
Digital architecture portfolio by Yujin Cao
Digital architecture portfolio by Chung-Yi Lin
Digital architecture portfolio by Chung-Yi Lin
Online architecture portfolio website by Emmanuelle Moureaux
Online architecture portfolio website by Emmanuelle Moureaux
Online architecture portfolio website by JC Architecture
Online architecture portfolio website by JC Architecture

Having an online portfolio website is highly crucial in paving your career path as an architect. With Cake’s online portfolio maker, you can create your very own online portfolio that showcases your true skills and creativity. Create your free online portfolio now!

--- Originally written by Wu Chao Min ---

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