Build a design
portfolio that
stands out.

Get better jobs & clients by showing you're a problem solver, not just a designer.

Modern designers can make incredible impact but our portfolios only show nice visuals. To get a product design or UX job at a top company or to work with a higher tier of freelance clients, your portfolio needs to show you can do more than make pretty pictures.

Portfolio Builder is an online, self-paced course that will teach you to show the value of your design work right inside your portfolio and help you fill it with your best work.

Learn more about the course

Having practice briefs to work on has been invaluable, and of course getting feedback is also essential. Jarrod really went above and beyond with the feedback. Thank you for being so specific.


I worked on practice projects and created a portfolio site. Jarrod gave me feedback on areas I needed to grow but also praised areas that were well done. It gave me the confidence to rock a final round interview and land a job at Facebook.

—Kenny R.

I didn't expect to receive such a detailed and thorough critique. It helped me to finally land a UI designer job!

—Julia C.

Practice Project Briefs

Do your best work—even if no one will give you the chance.





















Sometimes you just can't find better projects to put in your portfolio because of your current job or clients. Maybe a creative director or client micromanages your work so you don't have complete control, or you're not getting paid work yet.

The Portfolio Builder course includes in-depth practice project briefs based on real clients. You can use them to practice your skills and fill your portfolio with your best work.

Most hypothetical design challenges are shallow and simple, but these briefs are written exactly like an RFP sent by a real client so you can produce designs for your portfolio that resemble paid work as closely as possible.


Learn to make a portfolio that will earn you better clients and jobs

Your portfolio is the most important thing you'll ever design because it leads to every opportunity you get as a designer. But we designers tend to make our portfolios for all the wrong reasons—to show off our eye candy, archive old projects, or act as a resume.

Portfolio Builder will teach you how to design your portfolio around the purpose of getting the clients and jobs you want. The lessons and videos teach you the same methods I've used to get hired at top agencies, work with prestigious clients, and stay booked months in advance as a freelancer.

Course Outline

Part 1: Why Your Portfolio Isn't Working

  • Video: A Pretty Portfolio Isn't Enough
  • Lesson: What's the Purpose of Your Portfolio?

Part 2: Planning Your Portfolio

  • Video: How to Stand Out from the Crowd
  • Lesson: Qualities of Effective Portfolios

Part 3: Using Your Portfolio to Get Hired

  • Video: Your Most Effective Sales Tool (and Why Selling Isn't Bad)
  • Lesson: Do You Even Need a Portfolio?

Part 4: How to Present Your Work Clearly
  • Video: Proving the Value of Visual Design
  • Lesson: How to Format Your Portfolio

Part 5: Creating Case Studies

  • Video: Don't Be Afraid to Write
  • Lesson: How to Write a Case Study

Part 6: Evaluating Your Portfolio

  • Video: How to Know When Your Portfolio is Ready
  • Lesson: How to Evaluate Your Own Portfolio

Part 7: Showing Off Your Best Work

  • Video: Let Yourself Do Your Best
  • Lesson: How to Find Better Projects to Put in Your Portfolio

Part 8: Practice Project Briefs

Bonus: Free Portfolio Review


Get an objective opinion about your portfolio so you know exactly what needs improvement and whether it's ready for your new job or client search.

Submit your portfolio when you feel ready (I recommend completing the lessons first), and I'll give you a kind but honest written evaluation with both specific suggestions on how you can improve and highlights about what you did well.

Features & Bonus Content

  • 100% Money-back guarantee
  • Online course access forever
  • Download and keep all the content forever
  • 10 practice project briefs
  • 7 short video lessons
  • 7 written lessons (pdf & mp3s included)
  • Private Facebook group access
  • Free portfolio review from the instructor, Jarrod Drysdale
  • 7 worksheets to help you apply what you learn

Get the Complete Course for $129 $99

I've never received such detailed and constructive feedback. It was so helpful for me.


Thank you so very much for being so thorough, constructive, and detailed with the review! It was a very pleasant surprise. Your support also really means a lot at this stage of learning.

—Jane T.

A List Apart

I'm Jarrod Drysdale, creator of Portfolio Builder

I created Proximity School and Portfolio Builder because I know how it feels when you're a better designer than the opportunities you're getting. At several points in my career, reworking my portfolio led to huge leaps forward for me as a designer: my first chance to work for a household brand name, doubling my salary, moving my family to the mountains, and finally getting to run my own studio. In this course I'll teach you exactly how I did it.

Here's more about my experience. I've been a professional designer since 2004. My design business earns 6 digits per year. I've worked at top agencies, and have served clients like State Farm, LensCrafters, McDonald's, Kraft Foods, New Line Cinema, Domino's Pizza, Scottrade, Intuit, and Bloomberg. My email newsletter has reached over 40,000 unique readers and has operated for 6 years. Tens of thousands of people have used my design courses and books.

My work and writing have appeared in:

  • A List Apart
  • AIGA
  • Smashing Magazine
  • Communication Arts
  • The Creative Bloq
  • Net Magazine
  • GOOD magazine
  • Fast Company
  • Despreneur
  • Design Taxi
icon of speech bubbles


The course is entirely at your own pace. When you join the course you get instant, unlimited access to all the lessons and content. There are no schedules, waiting periods, or time limits. Complete lessons whenever you like. Your account will stay active forever and you can revisit any lesson anytime.

The course includes 7 video lessons that are each around 3 minutes long, 7 written lessons totaling about 12k words, and 10 practice project briefs.

You could easily complete all the lessons in an afternoon or two, but the project briefs will take longer because each is an entire design project.

The time required to complete the project briefs depends on your design skills, how many you plan to complete, and whether you choose to complete the optional "challenge" portions which expand the requirements and deliverables. The first few practice projects are smaller, and they gradually grow in scope. Some students might choose to spend months working to complete all the briefs, but others can easily complete a couple in one intense weekend.

Portfolio Builder is for designers of all specializations and experience levels. If you use a portfolio to get hired, this course is for you.

There might be ways to apply the advice to other professions, but the course is intended for design students and professional designers. So developers, architects, marketers, writers, and others might not always find this advice as useful.

If you're not sure if the course is right for you, send me an email and I'll give you my honest opinion. I don't want your money if the course isn't valuable to you.

That's totally up to you! You can get your free portfolio review included with the course whenever it's most helpful to you. I recommend waiting until after you finish all the lessons & videos but before you do practice projects. That way, you won't need to get repeat advice from me, and I'll be able to recommend which practice projects would be best for you to do first. But, do it when it's helpful, rather than waiting and never using it!

There are no prerequisites for the course. To get full value from the practice project briefs you obviously need to be able to create designs on your own. This course will not teach you how to design. For that, check out TheorySprints, my visual design course.

Refund requests are extremely rare. I've only had a few in over 7 years of writing design books and courses to thousands of students.

If you aren't satisfied, shoot me an email and tell me what's wrong. I want to help!

You have 30 days after purchase to request a refund. Refunds are at my discretion, but if I can see you gave the course a sincere effort and it isn't working for you, I will happily refund 100% of your money.