How to Create a Portfolio for Visual Merchandising

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A visual merchandising portfolio is the marketing tool merchandisers use to sell themselves to the prospective clients whose goods they will help sell. To develop a good visual merchandising portfolio, the merchandiser will need to carefully document their work – or demo work as the case may be – and provide a platform for prospective clients to view it. Traditionally a portfolio binder for interviews is the norm; however, merchandisers looking to go the extra distance to impress clients can also publish their portfolio digitally.

Construct demo displays. Each demo display should showcase a visual merchandising concept for the genre of product being sold. For example, a display selling sweaters would be well accented by yellows, oranges and leaf motifs. A display marketing swimming attire might make use of sand and beach toys for a backdrop.

Photograph the demo displays.

Compile the photos into a digital format at a photo lab if using traditional film, or import them to a computer directly from a digital camera. Have a photo lab print a full page 8-inch by 11-inch for each demo photo and put them together in a binder for in person interviews.

Create a video sideshow of the various demo photos using a computer video production program. Include a public domain musical score, as well as relevant narration to explain each demo and introduce the portfolio.

Upload the video to a publicly accessible video sharing website such as YouTube. Write down the video's URL and include that URL with your resume and business card.

Tips

  • Offering a would-be client a URL to a visual portfolio is a good plan; however, applicants really trying to make a good impression can invest a little bit extra in CD business cards. The CD is shaped like a business card with rounded corners and can also store data: in this case, the entire video presentation. CD business cards are available as a custom order product from a variety of producers but do take longer to procure than regular cards and resumes.

    Windows comes with a basic video editing program called “Windows Movie Maker," which is more than capable of handling the job.

    Professional video editors may be able to create a more polished looking visual portfolio, but often charge a substantial fee.

Warnings

  • The portfolio hinges on high-quality photographs. If you're unsure of your photography skills, consider hiring a professional to assist in capturing the best possible likeness of your demo work.