How to present page layouts in a portfolio

A student came to see me today, debating on how she should be presenting her page layout work to apply in a very selective B.A. in graphic design. I have a lot of page layout work in my portfolio, magazines, books, brochures, etc. and I have struggled with this as well.

Keeping books open to photograph a spread is a challenge. When I did manage, the curve of the pages looked somewhat distorted and reflections were annoying.

I’ve seen portfolios where people just hold the book open in front of themselves. Presenting flat PDFs just doesn’t seem like an option and looks lifeless.

3D mockups are better, but finding the right fit gets complicated and doesn’t show the texture of the paper(s) used. Also, the admission committee who views portfolio probably sees the same templates constantly so I wouldn’t be surprised they would get annoyed by them after a while.

What other options are there out there to present spreads inside multi-page work that look good and involve seeing the object (i.e. not just a flat file)? I’m specifically looking for a compromise between a professional look where the layout is emphasized and a reasonable amount of effort.


If I’m correctly understanding the goal here, I would create a 3D mockup and present that along with the flat layout (probably each on their own page so they don’t fight for the viewer’s attention) and that way both the design in its “pure” form and its final realized form can be appreciated.

A book is a common enough object that she wouldn’t even need to create a 3D model by herself. She could just grab one off a site like BlendSwap or TurboSquid.

Here is one example of a free CC0 book on BlendSwap that could serve as a starting point:

BlendSwap free 3D book model

It would show that a little more effort was invested and demonstrate that the designer is able to create mockups too.

If starting with 3D data presents too much of a learning curve for the project’s timeframe another option would be to start with a professional looking stock photo of an open book and impose the layout onto it in Photoshop using the Warp tool or in Illustrator using Mesh Warp.

Here is a stock photo from Pixabay (also CC0) that could serve as a starting point for image manipulation:

Pixabay stock photo of a book

Hopefully some kind of approach like this can be a solution for her.

Source : Link , Question Author : curious , Answer Author : Mentalist

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