New Design company- do I include old freelance work as part of portfolio


I am starting a design studio after doing freelance and employed work for a number of years. When pitching to new clients on behalf of the new studio, is in acceptable to refer to my old work, and if so how should it be presented ? E.g in different contexts; in the board room, in a web portfolio etc. what's the important info to include and what to leave out.


asked Feb 21 '13 at 06:52
Andrew Welch
167 points

2 Answers


I assume your design studio is just you. If that's the case, why wouldn't you show potential clients everything you have done. It doesn't matter who you were working for at the time you did the work. Don't misrepresent the work as something your design studio did, just show it as your work.

answered Feb 21 '13 at 14:43
Gary E
12,510 points
  • Because it's fraud. If you did work for any major company, and that company see's that x designs inc. claims to have done it, they have grounds for a lawsuit. Practicality usually prevails, but like I said my accomplishments aren't my companies and shouldn't be touted that way. If a company pitched me that way I would think they were extremely unprofessional. – Stephen P. 11 years ago
  • Please check your legal references. You are incorrect. Unless you signed a contract stating you can not show this work to others, what **exactly** is to prevent you from showing a public web site to another party? How is representing accurately the work you have performed, "fraud". – Gary E 11 years ago
  • Well, the issue of copyright. In the US (same goes for Canada, not sure about other jurisdictions), copyright stays with the author. The definition of author is where it gets blurry, because work created under employment is authored by the company NOT the employee. Freelance employees retain rights of work, but any decent legal team requests that you relinquish rights so that the company in question can properly produce derivative works without misrepresenting the creator. Either way, said work was not preformed by his company, unless it's a single person DBA. Am I still incorrect? – Stephen P. 11 years ago
  • Please reread my answer to this question. Read that last sentance. – Gary E 11 years ago


Nope, but you should have a link to your personal portfolio when you introduce yourself. You don't want to misrepresent that your company did the work, not you.

answered Feb 21 '13 at 08:23
Stephen P.
269 points

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