Book Review: Burn Your Portfolio


Hi readers! I came across this book unexpectedly at my local Barnes and Noble and have been wanting to share it with you ever since. In a nutshell, Burn Your Portfolio: Stuff They Don’t Teach You in Design School, But Should, recognizes that it takes a lot more than a design school degree and a killer portfolio to succeed as a creative professional. Written by Michael Janda, owner of the design firm Riser, this book spews out a ton of real-world advice in a relatable and funny tone. With chapters focusing on relationship building, managing difficult clients, effective production processes and more, Burn Your Portfolio opened my eyes to the many working parts of the design industry beyond stellar knowledge of Adobe CC. While I highly recommend giving this book a read as it is jam-packed with far too much knowledge for me to share with you, I will include a few of my favorite tips that I highlighted as I read. Enjoy!

  • “Teamwork, client skills, communication, social aptitude, production speed, and business savvy all play a GIGANTIC part in what will make you successful as a graphic designer.”
  • “…your friends will willingly and freely market your business, so it would serve you well to make a lot of friends”
  • “You want to be a graphic designer? That means you’re a designer, a writer, a programmer, a photographer, and sometimes an illustrater…you often have to fill the holes left by your client’s inability to deliver necessary assets.”
  • “Bad FPO image usage can scar a great design and keep a client from recognizing the greatness behind a comp…”