Turn your iPad into an on-the-go Portfolio

Is that a portfolio in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

While digital portis are nothing new, the use of the Apple iPad to present concepts and indeed, portfolios, is blasting off in creative circles, especially for presentation and graphic designers.

Using Keynote on your iPad, you can string together a Scorsese-like presentation of your best work, be it originally designed in Keynote for Mac or Windows, or PowerPoint, Illustrator and Photoshop portfolio pieces.

There be dragons, though – don’t transfer your portfolio files onto your iPad and present to client before checking how they view in this version of Keynote. Chances are good you’ll need to change fonts and frames sizes: think of Keynote on your iPad as ‘Keynote Lite’.

Also, if you’re anything like us, you’re going to want to use presos you’ve created on your other computers and there are a few things you need to keep your eyes open for. The key problem we come across is that Keynote doesn’t support PowerPoint’s latest XML based file format .pptx. What you need to do is save your Powerpoint presos down into the old format (ppt) first and only then open on your iPad. Another serious issue is fonts (or lack thereof) as Keynote won’t support any special fonts that you’ve used in your preso. Of course, you’re probably used to having to deal with this issue if you’ve ever had to build presentations that need to play across countless teams and countries. Unfortunately having to stick with the stock standard fonts is the only way around this one. Play around with their weights, sizes and colours though to make them look a little more interesting.

If a projector will be available in your meeting… there’s an awesome laser-pointer feature in Keynote; just jab and slide your finger on your display and it’ll show up on the projection. Hot tip: export your Keynote portfolio as a PDF and save it in your iBooks folder on the iPad.

If you can connect easily to your client’s wireless… now you’re talking! You can also use Prezi to put together your portfolio, and then simply log in and press the ‘ta-dah’ button (yes, PLAY) to showcase your porti.

There are also some la-dee-dah porti apps in the iTunes store, especially nice for graphic designers.

  • Portfolio for iPad lets you create a slideshow of your best work set to synchronised music. You can add all types of graphic files, even from your Dropbox account (if you aren’t using Dropbox, cut short your vacation on Mars immediately).
  • Portfolio to Go is great if you currently use as your online portfolio to showcase your work (it’s not just for photographers, you know!). It synchronises like a ballerina, displaying your graphic files beautifully on the iPad.