An online portfolio will make or break your design career. It’s your first impression and last touchpoint for potential employers and clients.
In fact, when you’ve built the perfect portfolio, you don’t have to worry about job interviews and references. According to a recent survey, the majority of executives consider your portfolio to be the most important factor during the hiring process.
It makes sense. Your portfolio will speak for itself. It doesn’t stretch the truth and it doesn’t get a case of the jitters. It’s a showcase of your best work on a website that’s specifically designed for creative work. It should be easy to navigate, look stunning on all devices and optimized for maximum image quality.
At Format, we’ve seen some of the best design portfolios on the internet. They’re elegant, surprising and professional. Keep scrolling to see 20 design portfolios that will inspire you to create a new portfolio or update your existing website. From magazine directors with a distinctive style to freelancers that make everything and anything, here are 20 design portfolios you need to see.
Along with his role as one of the creative minds behind Buffalo Zine, this London-based art director and graphic designer does a wide range of design work. Format’s Panorama theme allows him to easily showcase all his diverse projects in a grid with a 3D vibe.
Branding and packaging designer Kane O’Flaherty gives snapshots of complete projects using Peak theme. The simple sidebar navigation allows clients to quickly jump between examples of his work.
3. Haley Koehn
By mixing gifs with stills, Haley Koehn uses Format’s Sierra theme to show off fashion-focused illustration projects. The clean design puts her work front and center.
Shelby Hipol mixes illustration, design and gifs in a perfectly balanced homepage grid using Format’s Feather theme. Each homepage square clicks through to a new project including Vodafone, Sohcahtoa Brewing Co., and Mir Bootlaces. Hipol is a junior designer at McCann New York.
With a unique words-only homepage, Ryan Booth’s portfolio lists his clients and awards right off the bat. He uses Format’s Ora theme to organize projects into galleries with a vertical scroll. He tells you who he is, then shows you what he’s made.
LA-based designer Liam Moore likes things that move, sparkle, light up, accelerate, rotate, illuminate and accentuate. His portfolio mixes images with text blocks to explain each project for potential clients.
Rendie Studio’s portfolio reflects the tactile nature of their work. They use Format’s Sierra theme to display all their bright, colorful projects on the homepage. You can get a sense for the texture of their materials, from paper to plasticine.
This animated homepage looks polished and professional. Award-winning typography designer Melanie Biewonski keeps her website organized with Format’s Industry theme. It’s a streamlined representation of her sleek book designs.
Designer/illustrator Carl Syn uses the Ora theme’s square grid to mimic the shapes of his projects including record sleeves and calendars. The clean organization makes this an easy portfolio to explore.
By limiting his homepage to three projects, Norwegian designer Orhan Kuresevic prompts visitors to dig deeper into the galleries. A few clicks will reveal logo, print and web designs. The emphasis on a moody and geometric aesthetic can also be found in his photography.
As the design director for Saveur Magazine, Adam Bookbinder uses the Horizon theme to create an editorial experience. The single scroll feels like flipping through a magazine. He highlights specific content types to show his range of talent from front page covers to travel diaries.
Rachel Bender uses Format’s Amazon theme to show off her colorful design work in a neatly organized grid layout. The simple menu allows her to feature other creative work (photography, video) while keeping the focus on design.
Buenos Aires-based graphic designer Maia Bunge displays her work using vertically scrolling Format theme Ora. Her unique, oversized sidebar menu makes her portfolio stand out, and also allows for easy navigation between her different projects.
When it comes to his work and his portfolio, Simon Shen captures quality and sophistication. He organizes his galleries by projects so that potential clients can explore posters, catalogues, logos and ads.
This small creative studio based in a coastal Australian town specializes in imaginative, modern design solutions. Lovelock Studio uses Format’s Horizon theme to tie all of their work together in a horizontal gallery.
Paris-based graphic designer Joséphine Ohl uses Format’s Sierra theme to arrange her modern, minimalist design work in an unconventional way. Her header menu is neatly integrated to be visible at all times, ensuring quick navigation for visitors to her portfolio.
Specializing in print book design, Ninetynorth highlights all of their covers with a dedicated gallery. Visitors to the site can see everything at once, or explore larger versions to see the details. The combination between images and text summarizes provides context for each new project.
Omar Morson uses “Coming Soon” as a gallery title to show that his portfolio is freshly updated. Each of the galleries underneath is distinctly different from the rest. The clean design of Format’s Horizon Left theme keeps this portfolio easy to navigate.
Scrolling through Tokketok’s paper designs shows a progression from pastel to bright colors to earthy neutral tones. For this business, it’s an effective way of showing all the available products that visitors can buy. It serves as both a portfolio and a lookbook.
This art director and designer has a perfectly color-coordinated portfolio. Format’s Industry theme gives lots of space to her design work, which she has neatly organized by campaign. A link to a resume in PDF form makes sure possible clients can find out more about her work.