NOTE: These instructions are for portfolio preparation only. Do not submit or mail any portfolio items to FIT until you have applied and received your USERNAME, PASSWORD, and LOGIN INSTRUCTIONS in an email from the FIT Admissions Office.
The Communication Design portfolio submission consists of a design test, original artwork, and written essays. We want to understand your creative process in both written and visual components. We ask that you put thought into your process and work to create original creative art that reflects your unique self-expression and special quirks. Please do not use work done for other purposes. Since this is a test, only the information below will be provided to complete your work. We want to see who you are in your design process.
PART ONE: Design Tests
We are looking for you to use a variety of visual expressions to communicate your ideas and concepts. In addition, we ask for neatness, a high quality of technical execution, and evidence of organizational skills.
Carefully follow the instructions for each project.
PROJECT ONE: SELF PORTRAIT
Create a self-portrait by hand, using any media, such as mixed media, colored pencil, cut paper, collage, or painted media. We are interested in how you portray yourself and what you can tell us about yourself in this portrait. Please write one paragraph about the concept for your portrait. Tell us what inspired you to compose this portrait.
PROJECT TWO: SEQUENCE OF A PHYSICAL ACTION
Part of a designer’s job is to clarify information for other people and to communicate visually. With this project, you will demonstrate that you can visually sequence an action for others to understand without using words.
Visually present an instructional sequence of a physical action. Choose a physical action that requires a number of unique, differentiated steps such as tying shoe strings, tying a tie, starting a campfire, or making a milkshake. (Please DO NOT choose an example from the aforementioned list. Also a bird in flight or a pirouetting ballerina are not good examples because they move in a continuous motion and are not direct actions or steps.)
Using only six images, illustrate the key six steps of the process that are necessary to complete the action you choose. You may not use words to describe the steps or actions. Project Two can be executed in any media, such as mixed media, colored pencil, cut paper, collage, painted media, or computer. Choose a media that is different from the one you choose for Project One: Self Portrait.
PROJECT THREE: THREE-DIMENSIONAL MODEL
Create a 3-dimensional model of an interesting room or space. It may be a room from your past, present, or your imagination. It may be abstract or literal, but you should emphasize the feeling of the room/space and incorporate color as an expression of the space. This project can be executed in any size and with any materials or word choice.
PART TWO: Your Original Artwork
PROJECT: PORTFOLIO SUBMISSION
Provide between 10 to 12 samples of your original artwork. Work that shows experience solving advertising, graphic design, or typographic problems is welcomed, but not required. Your samples should demonstrate one or all of the following: drawing ability; conceptual ability; sense of color, design, and composition; computer design skills; ability to work in a variety of media, and your personal interest in art or design. Be unique. Be creative. Subject matter can be anything you like. All work submitted should be either new or very recent.
You may include the following in any media: abstract or semi abstract work; posters, invitations, or book cover designs; typography; photography; watercolor, wash, or paint; collage, cut out paper composition, or jewelry, sculpture, or anything three-dimensional.
When creating your original work, we recommend that you draw from observation and do not copy photos of famous personalities or comic book characters.
To provide a variety of media, the following are required as part of the 10 to 12 original pieces that you will submit:
- two (2) drawings by hand, using pencil, charcoal, pen or ink of people or objects from nature including still life, portraits, landscapes, or cityscapes
- two (2) pieces created on a computer, using any software; one of the two pieces may be animation or interactive work
- two to four pages from your sketchbook (ideas and drawings do not need to be fully formed); your sketches should indicate your creative process for any piece from the design test or your original work
- for each piece, provide a one-sentence description of the concept behind the piece and include media and size of the piece
PART THREE: Written Essays
- What is your inspiration? In 300 words or less, explain what you turn to for inspiration when you are designing or what takes your breath away. It can be a magazine, an ad, a website, a place, even a dress or a piece of furniture. Describe the piece, tell us what in the design you find so inspirational, and explain why it helps to provide you with ideas. How does this image sum up your feelings about why you want to be a designer? How does it embody the best and most motivating aspects of design?
- Describe yourself in five words. What five words would you use to describe yourself. Please explain in a single sentence why you chose each word and how it relates to who you are.
- In 250 words or less, provide an example of when your point of view differed from a teacher or employer during an evaluation of your performance. How did you handle the situation?
Please also see our general Portfolio Requirements page.