The Makings of a Portfolio and a Portfolio School
May 27, 2023

The Makings of a Portfolio and a Portfolio School

Sarah Latz

Our very first semester of book180 portfolio school is coming to an end, and it’s clear that all endings are really beginnings. In this case, 25 beginnings.

Our 25 creative students are embarking on their art director or copywriter career paths. But maybe you’re where they were 6 months ago, hoping to break into this industry and wondering, “What goes into an advertising portfolio?!”

Creatives usually build their portfolios on Squarespace, Wix or Adobe Portfolio, and every portfolio has 4 main features:

1.) A clear landing page, featuring your name, the job you want, your work and “about me” section.

2.) The landing page work section should consist of 5-6 campaigns that ladder up to an interesting insight for a brand.

That insight part is the toughest for students to nail. A really interesting piece of advertising isn’t just fun and creative—it has to solve a real problem in the world.

3.) BIG ideas. We help a lot of students create advertising portfolios. Many of these students coming out of undergrad have some smart print campaigns, but are missing the earned-media activations that are really popular in the industry these days. Product innovations, interesting NFT ideas, stunts and partnerships—these are the pieces that really help get your portfolio to that next level.

4.) A page that tells hiring managers a little bit more about you. The more quirky and interesting you can make this, the better. You have a paragraph to stand out, how will you do it? If you win every chili cookoff you enter, we want to hear about it! If you’ve been to 1000 concerts in your life, tell us! Featuring these personal details can help you stand out as an art director or copywriter.

It sounds simple, but it takes a lot of work. In our students’ case — 6 months of hard work.The good news is, it takes more hard work than it takes creativity. Anyone can learn copywrting or art directing. If you’d like to see our grad portfolios and creatives for hire, check them out at