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Portfolio Binding Ideas

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Whether you are a student, an artist or a professional in just about any industry, it is likely that you will eventually be called upon to present a portfolio of your work. Depending on the reason for needing the portfolio, your budget for putting it together, and how extensive the body of work presented in it, there are a variety of options to help you organize and display your work.

Ring Binding

This simple form of binding is ideal for anyone who needs a quick and inexpensive way to present a portfolio. You can either purchase a pre-made three-ring binder in the size you desire, or get individual rings to bind the pages. You have a choice of four different types of rings. They may be round, D-shaped, slanted-D-shaped, or square. Binders come in a variety of sizes, colors and styles. Some have pockets in the cover for inserting a cover page, while others do not. Aside from the binder or rings, the only tool you need is a standard hole puncher. Simply measure the distance between the rings and punch holes in each page to correspond so that they all fit uniformly into the binder.

Spiral and Comb Binding

Both metal spiral and plastic comb binding involve punching holes in the pages of the portfolio and feeding the binding through the holes. There are professional services which specialize in binding, and some office supply store chains may also offer binding as a part of their menu of services. Additionally, machines can be purchased to help you do the job yourself. The machines and the binding materials can usually be purchased at office supply retailers or ordered online. This method of binding is ideal if you want your portfolio to lie flat when opened, and if it contains mostly pages of regular paper.

Portfolio Books

These books, which are available in cardboard, fabric, or leather, are available in a wide range of sizes and styles. The common feature among them is their pages with clear, plastic covers. These pages are designed so that you can easily and securely insert photographs or other items for display. The nature of these plastic pages makes this type of portfolio ideal for photographers. The plastic covers protect the photographs from damage while the portfolio is handled, and make it easy for you to rearrange or replace the photographs contained within. The binding on these portfolios will vary by style, but will typically be spiral-binding or a traditional-looking book-style binding. According to Photography Magazine, you can expect to pay $50-75 for an attractive and well-made portfolio book.


Heather Harris received her Bachelor of Arts in professional writing from Old Dominion University. Since 2008 her writing has appeared at Pop Bunker, Geek Girls Network, and various other sites. She has appeared on podcasts such as the Meltdown Comics Meltcast and the Paul and Spike Show. She also owns and operates StreetSpirit Photography along with her husband.