There are a lot of possibilities to create portfolios digitally and online. But during the application process, the work usually has to be presented offline and in 2D. This can be a portfolio folder where you collect your work, a brochure or even a hand-binded book. If you want to include 3D objects, like garments, you best take pictures or add some sketches and illustrations.
Generally, it makes sense to think of a concept for the overall layout of your portfolio, so that it looks consistent and thought-out. I personally like to layout digitally using Abobe InDesign, as it gives me more freedom to move things around until I am satisfied. A digital portfolio also has the advantage that it can be used both on- and offline. Hence, you can also send it our via email if required. However, this means using scans or photographs of your sketches and illustrations and I know there are schools who only want to see original work. For me, the main drawback of a digital portfolio is the lack of haptic qualities of original work, particularly if you include fabric samples etc. So in the end both options have pros and cons.
No matter if you chose a digital or analogue format, make sure to go for a clean and reduced design that does not defer from the actual work. Simple and consistent design elements that help the reader navigate your portfolio (such as chapters, a footer etc) usually work best.
Probably the most important point is to just get started with your portfolio. I know it can be quite a struggle to overcome the hurdle of getting started (hello procrastination), but once you do, it will be worth it.
Here's a quick To Do-List to get started with your portfolio:
- Check for formal criteria at the university you apply for
- Gather all your previous work and pick at least one as a starting point
- Take a course to get into the mode of regular portfolio work
- Brainstorm at least 50 ideas and get started with the one that excites you most
- Decide if you want a digital or analogue portfolio
- Create a clean and consistent design for your portfolio
- Put it all together, once you feel you have enough work
- Make a final check for spelling and consistency
If you want to know more on the overall application process, check out this post on applying at UDK Berlin.