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May 31, 2016

Skateboarding Magazine Replaces Traditional Hardcover Book Portfolio

Graduating photography student Karen Wilson printed a skateboarding magazine to use as a portfolio. I liked the unique project so I called her to learn more.


The school Karen was graduating from requires their photographers to produce a hard cover book as one of their final projects. The goal of this book is to be a portfolio that the students can use to showcase their work when they graduate.

The subject matter in Karen’s photography is usually skateboarding and she felt that her style didn’t really match the formal hardcopy book that the school required. She read a lot of skateboarding magazines as a child which gave her the idea to print a magazine style portfolio instead of a hard cover book. She spoke with her professors and got permission to print a magazine-style portfolio instead.


She wanted the portfolio to really feel like an authentic magazine so she started by designing the cover with a title, catchy headlines, a barcode and an offer of free stickers. She showcased the variety of work she is capable of throughout the design. Some pages feature concept advertising, which shows her ability to photograph and display products that a skateboarding company might sell, like clothing or shoes. Other pages feature art photography. These pages are whimsical, what if your shoes had their own personality? She also included her contact information – highly important in a portfolio!


Color reproduction and quality paper is what she was looking for from a printing company. Her professor had seen a brochure that we printed for another student and they recommended our services to Karen. She was happy with the cheap printing price so she tried us out. The 100# gloss text paper was perfect for her magazines and the colors were spot-on. She was very pleased with the final product.


Her advice for someone with a print project is to order early so you have time to make potential changes. When you order we provide a proof as a “last check” before the order goes into production. Catching a mistake here and correcting it will extend a timeline by a day (or more depending on circumstances) but catching a mistake before the order is printed is better than catching it afterwards!

Karen was very happy with the magazine. She got high marks and positive feedback from those that she has shared it with. A magazine or lookbook is a great way to showcase a photography style or product line. People respond to them very well because they look great and are fun to browse. It’s also nice to give potential customers a copy that they can refer back to later instead of hoping they remember you.


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