After you've decided what will go in your graphic design portfolio (and created those pieces if you're just starting out) you'll need to decide how best to present those samples. Portfolio cases can be plain or fancy.
Let Your Samples Dictate Your Graphic Design Portfolio Case SizeThe style and size of your graphic design portfolio case should be dictated by the type of pieces you have to display rather than the other way around. A letter size case is easy to carry and showcases smaller works such as business cards, postcards, greeting cards, and simple lettersize fliers nicely. However, you may find that larger sizes allow more flexibility in presenting even these small items, allowing you to display several matching pieces on one page. And if your design samples are large, choose a graphic design portfolio case that lets you present the full sample without folding, if feasible.
Also, keep in mind the type of clients you seek as well as where and how you'll present your graphic design portfolio. Too-large portfolio cases can overwhelm some smaller clients and can also be awkward to carry or present when you meet clients at a coffeshop or in a small, cramped office.
"Spend time on the mounting of your work, the big portfolios are really out. Try something about 11" x 14". No Art Director or Creative Director wants you to take over his or her whole desk, besides, if it's smaller, your viewing is much more intimate and personal." Steve Fleshman, Founder/Creative Partner DR2
Many of those new to desktop publishing start with nothing more than a three-ring notebook and sheet protectors to hold their samples. This is perfectly acceptable although I would recommend avoiding cheap plastic binders. Also, use quality sheet protectors. Some of the cheap ones show scratches or tear easily.
You may not need a physical graphic design portfolio case at all. Web designers or those who cater primarily to long-distance clients can present their graphic design portfolios electronically. The PDF format or online Web portfolios are options on their own or in combination with traditional print graphic design portfolios.
Browse these online stores to see some of the many styles of portfolio cases available: Dick Blick Art Materials | Keysan Art Cases | Animagic Cases. Artist's supply and office supply stores often have a range of portfolio cases from which to choose.
The way in which you place samples in your graphic design portfolio is just as important as the case and its contents.