A Crash Course in Art Portfolio Cases for Art Students

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Different types of art portfolio cases

Display books

These portfolios look like a book with plastic sleeves that are bound together in which the sleeves are not removable. They are often affordably priced and good to use as a send in portfolio or in course project portfolio. Depending on the importance of the presentation there are different levels of quality in this type.

Display portfolios

Display portfolios are a multi-ring binder with sheet protectors used for displaying artworks for presentation that can be removed and re-positioned within the folder. They usually have a streamlined design so they look clean and simple for display but they have the added protection of being zipped up along the edges of the folder, unlike the display book. They offer a streamlined handle on the spine of the binder or a briefcase style of handle over the zipped end for carrying. Some of the larger cases offer a removable shoulder strap.

Carry case portfolios

Carry case portfolios do not have the ring binder construction for the sheets where you can place your work. They instead offer one large open section to slide your large paper pads and canvases plus a series of pockets to organize your works and supplies. The better ones have several pockets of various sizes both inside and outside the folder. Look for one that has a sturdy construction for the handle design, rubber feet and a strong and comfortable shoulder strap. These are a must have for art and design students! Make sure you buy a good one–it will be travelling everywhere with you for your entire course of study!

Display Boxes

Solander Portfolio Case

Solander Portfolio Case (Image by papyraceous at Flickr)

Display boxes are a stylish alternative to books and portfolios, these boxes are used to store and transport your artworks from one place to another. Archival quality boxes can store works without damaging them for a long time. Consider these to not only store past projects but for a uniquely branded presentation for some of your more major college projects–a great way to stand out among your peers and present your course work in style!

Card portfolios

Card portfolios are great for presenting projects that have one to only a few pieces in the series. They offer a classy way to present your work and keep it safe. These are made of cardboard that are covered in either paper or vinyl. The better ones have fold over flaps to ensure that the work does not fall out of the open edges of the folder. Many have cloth ties or clothe elastics to hold the folder shut and a spine that is bound with book binders tape. They have the benefit of looking crisp and being easily customized with branding and labeling on the front panel.

Go to the next page to learn how to choose art portfolio cases that are good for you!

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