“In writing, you must kill your darlings,” is a legendary piece of writing advice that’s been attributed to the likes of William Faulkner, Oscar Wilde and Eudora Welty. It’s a phrase that, no matter the origin, that has caught on because it’s difficult to take a critical eye to your own best work – and the advice doesn’t just apply to writing.
Killing your darlings is just as difficult for designers. This is especially true when it editing your portfolio. Here’s our best advice for taking the anxiety and frustration out of killing your darlings and ending up with your best portfolio yet:
Your portfolio is your best marketing tool. It’s your visual resume. When someone looks at a resume, they typically only glance it over. The same is true for a portfolio. You only have so much time to convey who you are and what you do, so get specific. Kill, baby, kill.
If you have training in both print and digital design, but only want to work on websites, don’t highlight your print work. Avoid including work that misleads a viewer to what type of projects you’d like to work on in the future.
Don’t forget that your portfolio is only one place to showcase your work. You can also share other projects that don’t make the cut on other platforms. Try Dribbble, Instagram or your blog for other work that you’d like to have people see, but isn’t a priority.