History of the portfolio

August 17, 2020

A portfolio differs from a resume in that the information it contains is articulated in terms of an objective, such as a job application, and it must also present evidence of the person's prior learning.

The term portfolio is more commonly used in the arts, particularly in the fields of graphic design, photography and game design on the Internet. There is also the false Anglicism "book". The portfolio is also used in the presentation of artistic projects dedicated to dissemination. For example, an artist who wishes to respond to a call for proposals from an art gallery and/or a theatre will have to create a portfolio with this objective in mind.

Etymologically, the term portfolio comes from two Latin words portare which means porter and folium for sheet of paper. Around 1719 in Italian, it refers to a case for carrying unbound documents, similar to the English term which translates into a double folding cardboard box that was used to hold papers. Used in several fields, such as architecture, graphic design and visual arts, the portfolio is usually used to present the best works and to showcase the author's expertise.

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