Back when I was at college I had an A4 leather portfolio that I would take my work in to show to people. As I travelled on the bus with other students, I would look on enviously as they carried their work in A2 or A1 folders that must have cost the earth. These days, most people just give out a CD with their work on, but why not get back to the old days. Remember looking at a portfolio full of A1 images and being blown away? The portfolios from Arrowfile can bring back the glory days of gargantuan images.
They say the bigger the better and Arrowfile are definitely saying that with the A1 portfolio. You can choose between the Quartz and Ice models which are made of different materials. The Quartz outer casing is made out of padded nylon with a reflective stripe down the middle which looks silver in daylight while the inside is what feels like canvas and what Arrowfile describe as an archive interior. Plastic inserts will keep your images safe and two pockets on the inside of the covers are suitable for holding notepads or paperwork. The material hand strap is covered in a rubber grip and is surprisingly comfortable which is a great thing as the folder is heavy and will only get heavier the more images you insert. The portfolio is set up for business use as it also contains a business card holder but it can only fit five in comfortably or six if you squeeze them in.
The Ice design is a translucent plastic outer with no change for the interior. The two inside pockets are still present as is the business card holder. The Ice design could be used for advertising a company as the company logo could be inserted into the pocket facing outwards and would be visible. The strap is only made of rubber which is unusual as canvas straps would still be a stronger alternative.
The A2 portfolio is also available in the same materials and looks just as good but luckily doesn't weigh as much.
For those of you who don't want to use a large portfolio but still want to show off your work in a traditional but effective way, poster albums could be the answer. Reminiscent of a ring binder, it is bigger, glossier and generally looks nice. The inserts are card which the images are mounted onto and 10 sheets are included. It is nice to see this type of insert and not the plastic sheets normally used. The card mounts will dirty your images quicker, but look far better. Interleaves are available to help separate your images and keep them clean, but none are included with the album.
It's nice to see a company still in touch with the old days of photography where prints were the main format. Nothing is nicer than looking at a photograph. The A1 folder, whilst big, can be a great idea for a professional wanting to showcase his images and the A2 portfolio would be good for the small business professional or the keen student.
The Poster album is suitable for anyone to use but may be most suited to a student at evening class or someone who just wants a shiny gallery for their images.
Value for money
The A1 portfolio costs around £29.99 for the Ice version or £39.99 for the Quartz. The A2 portfolios are £19.99 for the Ice version and £29.99 for the Quartz. The Poster album costs £22.95 for the 380x460mm version and is the medium sized album which will easily hold an image upto A3+.
Because of the high quality and value for money, the Arrowfile portfolio's receive our coveted Highly recommended award.
The portfolio's and poster albums are available from the Arrowfile website here.