Discussed in great detail throughout our architecture portfolio guide; the design, format and presentation of your work should hold just as much importance as the projects themselves, and although challenging, must be given the same amount of rigor and thoughtfulness throughout. …as should your cover letter and resume!
As presented below and if used correctly, architecture portfolio templates can provide an invaluable tool to both students and professionals, by making what can often be a high pressured time and design based task a whole lot more efficient.
The key however is to not solely be reliant upon them, as they are not designed to be a quick fix, but are there to be a guide and aid…
Having spent over a decade within the architecture profession, at archisoup we have experienced the various stages of a portfolio’s creation firsthand, from preparing our own undergraduate portfolios, through to now reviewing potential applicants for job placements.
And using what we have learnt, developed, and now look for within an application, we have created the below set of 80 bespoke InDesign cover, contents, title, and project page architecture portfolio templates in 4 alternative paper sizes.
Why use a portfolio template?
This primarily comes down to just three key areas; time, experience, and graphic ability, if one is lacking then the other two are often also severely affected.
Time – Architecture portfolio templates are not designed to provide users with a shortcut, but what they are able to offer is a solid foundation and inspiration for a portfolio’s design from the very beginning, which can of course make its creation a much easier and quicker process.
Experience – Particularly with undergraduates and those preparing a professional portfolio for the first time, knowing how to arrange an engaging and effective body of work can be a daunting and confusing task.
Portfolio templates set out a core structure, and guide inexperienced designers towards a tried and tested visual arrangement.
Graphic ability – Not every architect has an eye for visual composition and formatting, and others may yet to experience and collect the relevant knowledge and skills to successfully do so.
It’s very easy to get the balance of media and levels of presented information wrong, however portfolio templates are able to provide a careful selection of out-of-the-box arrangements that we know will work.
- Solid starting platform
- Simple drag and drop into any portfolio structure
- Tried and tested results
- Time efficient
- 100% adaptable and editable
- Reused an infinite amount of times
- Page numbers and titles already in place
- There is a temptation to be too reliant upon them
How do architecture portfolio templates differ from design based portfolio templates?
Not all portfolio templates are suited to presenting architectural work, as the sheer scale of the projects themselves and the vast range of drawings they command, means that a template designed to present graphic and/or web design work for example, simply won’t have the capacity.
Architectural portfolios require large and varied image blocks, that are complemented by small and precise paragraphs of descriptive text, where a singular project may take upwards of five to six related and linked pages to successfully portray it.
Very rarely can an architectural project be successfully and descriptively presented on one or two pages, and therefore not only do a number of templated pages need to work together, but there also needs to be a greater and varied number of them.
Formatting wise, architectural imagery and drawings are large and therefore frequently require double paged presentations and/or expansive image blocks, a graphic design based portfolio rarely requires this, and so you must be sure that your chosen template set is capable.
Architecture portfolio template key characteristics
This really comes down to personal preference, and is often dictated by the size and format of your portfolios primary contents.
However standard landscape and portrait formats are less labor intensive when it comes to physically printing, than say a square format for example.
For this reason most template packs will come in either landscape or portrait, and sometimes both (as ours do).
Portfolios are mobile documents and should have both a physical and virtual presence. Gone are the days of awkwardly carrying in a large D/A1 or C/A2 portfolio case, its format needs to be flexible.
So for the configuration to be successful, it needs to work in all scenarios, and your drawings and images need to be proportioned sensibly so that they are readable in both an A/A4 and B/A3 format.
This not only ensures that it is easy to transport but should also transfer nicely between digital and physical formats.
We provide four alternative sets of A5, A4 and A (US letter) portrait, and A3 landscape paper sizes.
It hopefully goes without saying that your work must be presented on pages with page numbers, as this will link your projects back to your portfolio’s contents page, and also enable both you and your readers to have a quick point of reference.
For this reason alone, do not consider any templates that are not numbered accordingly.
Font types much like design are very subjective, and therefore a portfolio template must be completely flexible and allow its users to fully edit and adapt its fonts.
Templates that are created in InDesign for example (which is the industry standard), have the full suite of fonts that comes with any Adobe product, and also the ability to freely import typography designs that are missing and may be more to your liking.
Portfolio template programs
Adobe InDesign is a fantastic layout and formatting tool for creating and arranging items such as booklets, presentations sheets, and of course portfolios.
It is without doubt the best and most efficient program for organizing and editing your portfolio templates, through enabling images and text to be freefly swapped in and out with just a couple of clicks whilst maintaining their positions and proportions.
For those who are unfamiliar with its benefits and user interface, there are an abundance of tutorials available all over the internet.
- The aligning and combining of text and graphics are simple and effective.
- Fairly simple learning curve.
- Many tutorials available.
- Too many features to list!
- This is not a tool for creating graphics.
- Nor a tool for image adjustments.
Portfolio template designs
Whilst we would obviously prefer for you to purchase and use our own tailored architectural portfolio templates, there are of course several other useful resources available, one of which is through Adobes Stock Asset Library.
As you see from the above link, a quick search reveals thousands of portfolio templates, and as mentioned not all of them are suitable for architectural work.
The below collection however features several alternative approaches and formats that you may want to consider.
Architecture portfolio template page types
A useful and well produced set of architecture portfolio templates should cover all the key portfolio categories and chapters. This largely can be summarized by a cover, contents page, project title pages, and the project pages themselves.
Your portfolio’s cover will be its readers first impression of your work, and it must therefore be a carefully presented balance of visual and informational content.
Portfolio cover templates should provide ready made and well proportioned visual arrangements, that simply require the author to place a single graphic onto the page and input their details.
A good quality template pack should also provide a series of different visual configurations and options, that allows for quick testing and alternative future arrangements.
Contents page templates
Every portfolio should have a contents page, and as you can see from the below template examples, there should be many options to consider from your chosen template pack.
From simple text and page numbers, through to a graphic representation for each project, content page templates make what can often be an afterthought, a very speedy process.
Title page templates
A projects title page introduces the work to follow, and must provide an introduction in both text and image formats.
Title page templates should provide a ready-made visual arrangement that simply needs editing with the appropriate media by the author.
Projects page template
Lastly the project page templates. These will make up the bulk of your portfolio, and as mentioned above are often linked by project.
The key to finding a good template pack is to ensure that it provides enough alternative page layouts without too much representation. They should however all subtly speak the same visual arrangement and proportional language.
Creating your own portfolio templates
Aside from buying a ready made pack of portfolio templates, you can of course create your own, however this does go against and remove the initial requirement for them in the first place.
As one of the primary benefits of using templates is the time saving aspect they provide, and therefore creating your own before assembling your portfolio becomes very counterintuitive.
Before embarking on this, calculate how long this will take, and then divide that by the cost of purchasing a template pack.
It’s highly likely that this will return a very low hourly rate, and instead show just how useful portfolio templates can be in saving time.
With the above in mind our architecture portfolio template pack provides 10 cover page templates, 10 contents page templates, 10 title page templates, and 50 project page templates, all in four paper size options.
The amount of design options and choices presented here ensures that these templates will by far exceed their initial purpose and go onto also aid you in future portfolio presentations for many years to come.
Although we are slightly biased here, we want you to buy the right product first time around, and concentrate on what matters (your portfolio and interview!) rather than testing various types of other template packs before getting it right.