How to make a set design portfolio

A portfolio should show a selection of your best work that you have created either in your spare time, at school or at work. Invest in a large folder that can hold all of your work, so that it’s easy to carry around.

What should a set design portfolio contain?

  • Mood boards, research findings, rough drafts to show your process
  • Photographs and drawings/sketches
  • Photographs of final design
  • Evidence of any productions you have been involved in, the programmes or production photographs
  • Any reviews or interviews that have included you in them
  • Any other examples of your work: paintings, clippings, diagrams, textiles

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Showing your process:

This can be in the form of a sketchbook, something that contains all your research, rough sketches and notes that got you to the final design.


If your set model is large, then take photographs of this to include in your portfolio. However, if there are small pieces that you can fit in your portfolio such as textiles and textures then you can include these.

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Choose good quality images in colour. Include photographs of the set under the stage lights as well as without lighting. Any images of the Actors using the set is also really useful to include in your portfolio.


Have these printed out. If there is a particular section that mentions your work or your name, then highlight this so it stands out.

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Photo: Royal Opera House

Published: 04 March 2019

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