Website Strategies for Designers

Unlock the secrets to building an impactful design portfolio website with expert strategies in this insightful video. As a designer, your portfolio is your professional identity, and it's crucial to have a website that authentically represents your skills and experience.

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In this video, we will address some strategies for building a design portfolio website. As a designer, your portfolio is your professional calling card. It is a way for you to demonstrate your skills and experience to potential clients and employers.

It’s essential to have a website that accurately represents your work and highlights your achievements, as well as providing a visually pleasing and user-friendly experience. 

Throughout this video, we will be discussing how to effectively create a website that celebrates and showcases your unique talents. Here are a few key factors to consider: 

1. Find a Theme That Works for You 

Themes on Format affect the layout of your gallery pages, site menu and collection pages. The attributes and customization options vary from theme to theme so previewing themes to test these out with your own images is a great idea. Upload a few images on a gallery page and toggle between themes to find a layout that works best for you. 

For designers, I generally recommend themes with a titled or staggered gallery page so that potential clients can quickly get a sense for your style. Clients might be reviewing the sites of many designers for consideration for a job, so make it easy for them to get a snapshot of you and your work. 

For tiled and staggered galleries, I recommend themes like: Slate, Amazon, Lasso, Shapes 

2. Use Your Navigation and Collection Page to Tell the Story of Your Skills 

If you are a freelancer or targeting business clients, structure your site menu by the types of services you offer to reinforce what you can do for your clients.

Also consider making your homepage a bold collection page, which will tell the story of your services. A collection page is an image navigation. Use the collection page to link to galleries with each one relating to a service or skill you are trying to highlight. To create this type of collection page try themes like:  Exhibition, Stockholm, Sharp, or Still

3. Present Projects as Case Studies of Your Talent

One of the biggest marketable skills a designer can show is how they took a project brief and translated it into an amazing piece of design. Don’t assume that imagery is going to tell this story alone. Add text elements and descriptions throughout your pages. Add information like; how you translated a design brief, your strategies for the project, a benefits snapshot and more.

On your Format sites there are many ways to add text. Add text captions to your images and use text elements within a gallery feed for longer blocks of text. If you require more formatting options, custom pages offer tons of tools for incorporating image and text.

4. Custom Pages for Contact, About and CV pages 

Custom pages are just what they sound like: customizable pages where you can achieve your own layout by using different content blocks. Designers commonly use custom pages for Contact, About and CV pages. When you first go to make a custom page, you’ll see the option to start from scratch or from a template–both options are fully customizable. For CVs especially, I recommend using one of our templates. These templates have been built by our designers to look great when optimizing for mobile. 

When building these pages–keep in mind how paragraphs and sections will stack for mobile display. As you are working on a page, click “edit design” and toggle to mobile display to double- check your page layouts as you go. 

5. Use the Best Media to Tell Your Story

Many designers span the gap between graphic/motion/film design. There are some easy ways to add motion to your site that can add impact when used tastefully. Format offers tons of options for adding motion and media to your projects. 

Here are a few examples:

  • Replace images with animated GIFs (great on collection page links)
  • Embed videos from youtube and vimeo (gallery and custom pages) 
  • Add hosted video files to custom pages
  • Use premium slideshows and turn on the autoplay feature
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