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Thread: MLA applicants

  1. #1

    MLA applicants

    Anyone wanna post their portfolio?

    A far more serious question is, how are you printing it? I've never had to print a portfolio before (usually I've done slides or PDF). Are you using indesign to design it? Or just putting it in a folder?

  2. #2
    Dec 2006
    Each program is different. Carefully read what each school requires. Some want a hard-copy 8 1/2x11 format (12 pages or less). Some might allow more flexibility (hard-copy, digital format, etc.).

    I am not applying to MLA programs for a few years. However, since you asked, I will tell you. My portfolio is bursting at the seams from my job here and previous jobs (text and design work). I have seen remarkable hard-copy portfolios created through lulu.com. I will probably have mine bound in case-wrap or saddle-stitch. I will include several writing samples (excerpts from comp plans, zoning ordinances, landscape ordinances). The design work (site designs, construction documents, planting plans, architectural elevations, and sketchup illustraton) will be 11x17 and attached as a z-fold into the document. I am planning on enrolling in a Mike Lin workshop (either the 1 or 2 week option) before I go back to school, so I will have a heads-up on rendering on the fly when I go into school. As a personal touch, I will also include case-sensitive photography as a background watermark (pictures of the campus or the town that I am applying to) along with the logo/seal of the school I am applying to. The CD website's colors will be similar if not identical to the school colors. I have a few years of marketing experience working as a planning consultant (cut-sheets, powerpoints, etc.) so I want the portfolio not only to be tailored but to stand out as much as possible against the competition. Hopefully, this will give me a head-up over the competition for financial aid such as scholarships, etc.

    I have been experimenting with various digital formats for portfolios for 5-6 years now (PDF, PPT, Dreamweaver, Adobe Illustrator, Maxmedia, etc.). I taught myself Actionscript 2.0 last year and now the entire portfolio is in Flash 8. It's basically an entire website tailored on aan Autorun CD. All samples (text and graphics) are in swf. format (no Acrobat Reader needed). The files used to be viewable through Flash Player via Adobe Flashpaper 2.0. However, Flashpaper 2.0 is not compatible with Windows Vista, and Adobe doesn't plan on revamping the program anymore. I am thinking about using either Print2Flash or finding a way to use iPaper from Scribd directly onto a CD. The CD label will either be in color or light-scribed directly onto the disc. I will probably also design a separate cardboard envelope with graphics and captions about the disc's contents and have it professionally created.

    Personally, I prefer to use Flash over PDF anyday. The file sizes are smaller, you can pan around documents and entire construction documents with greater ease, and you can open the swf in the main window, without having to have a separate Reader (most internet browsers already have Flash Player installed).

    Keep in mind you are applying for MLA programs. All of them require some degree of creativity. I think it's imperative to stand out from the other applicants when applying to design programs, internships, and design positions after school. UGA used to have a course-website dedicated entirely to portfolio design for landscape architecture students. Unforunately the website is longer available. However, I have a copy of a PDF article from the professor on hard-copy portfolio design along with some beautiful samples. I also might be able to dig up an old PDF of one or two sheets from an old hard-copy portfolio when I was looking for jobs a few years ago. I just need your e-mail.
    Last edited by nrschmid; 14 Oct 2008 at 2:42 PM.

  3. #3
    Wow, thanks for all of that information. I was thinking of trying out the books from apple and lulu.com...I did a book through apple as a gift and it turned out beautiful.

    I would love the documents! darlasawler @ gmail.com


  4. #4
    Mar 2006
    athens, ga
    Mine was amazingly basic. I put it together using word, printed it at home on decent paper, then had it bound at a print shop with spiral binding.

    IMHO they're looking for content, not a glitzy presentation. They want to know who you are.

  5. #5
    Aug 2008

    NC State Landscape Architecture

    Anybody know anything about NC State's MLA program? I haven't seen any information on the forum.

    It's unfortunate for those of us applying this time around as we will be forced in to a more competitive application process due to an increase in applicants from the recent economic downturn.

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