If you don’t have any clients, you can always design for yourself. You could, I don’t know, take a picture of your room back in ’06 (it doesn’t look this dope now) and try to label everything “cool” in the photo like it’s mandatory to own if you wanna be down. Throw in a catchy slogan set in large display type and tag it with your logo and some kind of title (preferably in the bottom right hand corner because Western logic teaches us that we read spreads from the upper left to bottom right, and that’s where sheep the viewing public are most likely to hunt for a logo). And, “buck, buck.” You’ve got a mock two-page spread. That’s right kids. I was gonna teach this stuff one day. Now, I know what you’re gonna say.
“Homie just bit that IKEA scene out of Fight Club.“
Yeah. I did. So what. You know you wanted to do it, too. Well, if you ever get around to doing something like this, maybe expand on the project and photograph different rooms at your pad. Label everything. Before you know it, you’ll have multiple layouts that illustrate and discuss a unified theme – aka a story.
Break open some InDesign (please, not Publisher or Word. Good luck and props if you can get those pictures into Word) and lay out a book or brochure. Take it to CopyWorld and tell ’em you want it printed on gloss book and saddle-stitched. That’s right, saddle-stitched. You’re not ready for perfect bound quite yet, son. Or maybe your number of pages (including the cover and back) isn’t divisible by 4 and they’re laughing at your saddle-stitch request. So you tell ’em like this:
“Hey, copy-boy. When you’re done laughing about your place in life, you can give me a coil-bind instead.”
Then, bamm! You didn’t have a client, but you’ve got yourself a portfolio piece. So you’ve got a piece that you art directed, laid out, and had printed. One of the things I’d look for if I was looking to recruit a designer is a passion for it. What better way is there to show that than to present a piece that you designed just because you wanted to? I mean, it’s still gotta look good, because, if the design’s wack, that’s your bad.