First and foremost, I apologize if this topic has been posted several times. The limited amount of searching I did didn't bring up any clear answers as which would be best.
My opinion on what I've read-
CDs: Easy to keep together when a company has several applications to a specific job, and everything- cover letter, portfolio, and resume, will always be together. The bad thing about CDs I've learned is that you can't exactly pass it around to people at a table to show them as well, as if you had printed out the pages.
Printed Pages: As I just stated, they're good for passing around a table and showing others the work... if there was a team that decided (rather than solely the art director) on who and who not to call after reviewing their portfolio and resume. However, things get separated easily- resume, cover letter, and portfolio. This can be remedied by putting all of your contact information on the back of the pages, though.
My question is, which is better overall? I know the most common response will probably be "Depends on the employer and their specifications." What about those companies that don't specify, though?
You've only got so many seconds to impress someone who's looking to hire. Also think about it from their point of view. What's easier to gauge your work?? Make it as simple & brainless as possible for them. Imagine if you're the creative director and you had to look at literally HUNDREDS of CDs from applicants- talk about a pain! Their primary job is to create; secondary is to scout out new talent and look at portfolios. Looking at portfolios can be awfully tedious so keep it simple and manageable.
But as far a printed portfolio, make sure all of the items (cover letter, resume, reel, etc.) arrives in ONE package.
If they want to see more, then send a CD. Follow through, follow through, follow through!
There was a big session on portfolios in the last workshop. DS Illustration's portfolio is unique, and very to the point. It's a fold olf poster with about 5 / 6 of his paintings that comes in an envelopse, and has his contact info right on the poster. Apparently alot of art director's will take a look at your work once and it may just get hidden in a drawer or filing cabinet for years. This was a good way to have your work always visible to clients
* Help a CA artist! Visit the Constructive Critique section! *
Obviously, if your work is static, printed is easier to show off. If you do 3D, webdesign or animation, electronic might be the way to go. I HAVE showed up in interview and just pointed the employer to my site in the past, or just handed them my USB key. But I do animation, not illustration or concept art.
What makes your art look the best? Are you sure that the interviewer has access to a computer? If you are answering an ad, maybe just a link to your website is enough.