A designer should definitely have a portfolio with examples of work. This is a perfect way to show customers your level of skill. Design is not the kind of business where it is enough to show your resume, pay lip service to your experience and get a profitable order.
This article tells how you should create a portfolio, what you should put in it, how it should be formatted, and what you should put in it. We will show you a lot of illustrative examples of how to create a portfolio.
Designer’s Portfolio – How to Create and Design and Where to Place It
Your work is 90% of the success of a portfolio. But you have to design them and present yourself properly. If a graphic, web, or UX/UI designer can’t create a visually appealing portfolio, that’s a reason to doubt their abilities.
Collecting and preparing material for the portfolio
If you don’t have a portfolio it might seem like a five minute affair – I have so much work, I’ll just sit down tonight and make one for myself. But you have to be serious about the process: collect your work, choose the best ones (and not just leave them all out), prepare them for posting, design them.
- Collect all the work you have.
- Choose the artwork you want to post (a few of the best ones). If you place in social networks or sites for designers, then do not limit the number – the more the better. But on a personal site, all the work is unlikely to be viewed.
- Discuss with clients whether you can publish the design you’ve made.
- Get feedback on the design and add customer feedback to the job page.
*If you don’t have clients or have very few, you can take a design course – you’ll have some ready-made works for your portfolio during the course. You can also create works specifically for your portfolio – then you won’t have to ask a client’s permission. But having at least a few real cases with reviews will be a plus (which you can show, for example, by adding a link to the customer’s website).
- Sort the selected work into sections (if you work in more than one area). This is necessary if you place sections with the works on your site or service/platform, which implies sections. For Instagram, you can sort except for the actual posts.
- Bring the work to a single format. For example, if you place in the form of images on your site – make the same size images.
- If you place it on Instagram, you need to crop it so that the main thing is included in the frame.
- If you post a portfolio on your site, and the images or animation are too heavy – you need to compress them or set up Lazy Load. Otherwise the content can slow down the site, which will irritate its visitors – potential customers.
- Make each job for the portfolio – write the type of work (logo, layout, redesign of the old site), the name of the project or company for which you created the design, you can add a brief history (what was the point of the work or what was the task before you), for how long the work was done (if you remember, of course), in what year (optional).
- Design or think about how to design reviews. If you place it on your site – it can be a separate block with a quote. If you place feedback in social networks – it may be in the form of screenshots (for example, in the actual posts, if this is Instagram).
Where to place the designer’s portfolio
You can choose one option or combine them if you want to get more orders. However, keep in mind that you may not be able to cope with the flow of assignments from several customers.
On your website. This is the most convenient option, since you are not limited by the capabilities of other people’s sites. If you know how to create and design sites, the result depends on your imagination and skills.
If you don’t know how to make a website from scratch, such as with WordPress, you can create a beautiful website with a portfolio on the website builder.
Portfolio services. Instead of a website, you can use services to create a portfolio: Portfeel and Portfoliobox.
Online marketplaces. Must-have platforms for posting design portfolios are Behance and Dribbble. Even if you have a personal site, they are still worth placing their work. Especially if you plan to work with foreign clients. They are not only sites for demonstrating work, but also for finding clients.
In social networks. You can present yourself and find customers through social networks. For designers (especially graphic designers), two ideal platforms are Instagram and Pinterest. There is also a little-known analogue of Pinterest -Savee.it. You can use it to show your work to potential clients.
How to make a site with a portfolio of the designer
In addition to a page in social networks (or a profile on Behance) you can make your own website (but not necessarily). With the site you will look like a professional + on it you can specify the rates and beautifully packaged examples in the sections. The customer can find the work in the section he is interested in (eg, just logos), and not look through all the work in a row. If you take the site – it must be of high quality.
Which sections should be included in a site with a portfolio?
1. An “About You” section. Your name, photo (optional), design direction, information about you (experience, achievements, education).
2. Examples of work. Depending on the design direction it can be pictures or videos. If you do web design, you should additionally specify the links to the projects you were working on.
Tip: Place examples in high resolution, so the customer can see the details. Look for the work of famous designers and creative agencies for inspiration.
3. Your design direction. Besides the global direction (graphic design, web design, interior design, UX design, and so on) it’s worth indicating what exactly you do. For example, you can do graphic design for packaging, make out banners and covers for social networks, draw posters, do creative advertising.
4. Price List. Write down the prices for a specific service or per hour if you have an hourly rate.
5. Contacts. Write how you can be contacted and at what time.
6. The brief. You can immediately create a questionnaire for potential customers, where they can describe what exactly needs to be done. This will save time for you and for the customer.
How to design the “Portfolio” section of the site
There are several ways to decorate it:
– if the works are not many, you can put them all in a row, for example, in the form of a tile. You can put a title or a short description underneath the work (or have it pop up when you hover over it).
– If there are a lot of different pieces of work, you’d better organize them by sections.
If you click on a picture with a section such as logos, it opens a separate page with those logos. They are designed as a slider gallery + list.
*At the beginning of each section add a short description.
– A creative way of design. It depends on your imagination and web-design skills. You can choose a non-standard template for the portfolio or come up with your own unique flair and implement it with the help of a web designer. Examples of creative design in the section below: check out BuzzWorthyStudio, ToyFight, and Shantell Martin.
Examples of designing a designer’s portfolio
Unlike other professions where it is acceptable to have a simple portfolio or even no portfolio, a designer has to do everything of the highest quality.
Examples of a beautifully designed portfolio (on a personal or studio website):
#1. Liz Grant.
This is the site of a graphic design studio, but there’s an interesting idea that you can implement in your portfolio. On the site, a list of semi-transparent words are the names of projects (in large print). If you hover your mouse over the title, it becomes bright white and the work itself appears in the background.
This is also a studio. When you click on the name of the project, you can see not only all the work associated with it, but also a detailed history. About the brand, how the design concept was created and what idea was put into it. It looks very professional and expensive.
#4. Shantell Martin.
A designer with a creative approach. What is interesting here is that the specialist has his own unique style both in his works and in the design of the website and portfolio. The page with the works is designed with endless scrolling – the picture on the right does not move, and the works appear on the left as you scroll.
If you click on the work, a separate page opens. It has the title, a brief description of the project and pictures of how the design was created.
How to decorate portfolio in social networks (by the example of Instagram):
@interfacely – UX and web designers.
@robertgabrielb. It’s interesting to see how the designer visualized his thing – the use of calligraphy in graphic design and photography.
@beandbear_graphicdesign is a logo designer. He doesn’t have many followers yet, but you can see the idea – using mocaps to make his work more presentable.
*Don’t forget to include information about yourself in the “Description” or “Biography” section. You can also specify your contacts and attach a link to the price list.
As a presentation. To send electronically to potential customers. You can use PowerPoint, Keynote (if you have a Macbook), Google Slides.
Printed version. If you go to live meetings and design-related events, you can additionally print out the portfolio and show it to potential clients.
A designer’s portfolio is a business card that will say a lot more about him or her than a resume. You can be a beginner, but you can be talented and create designs that are unique and different. And then customers won’t care what experience or education you have.
You can’t understand that a designer is an expert without looking at his or her work. We advise you to create a portfolio and update it over time – as new worthy cases appear. If you can come up with your own unique thing and reflect it in your portfolio, you’ll be two steps ahead of your competitors.