Online Portfolio for Designers

What does an effective online portfolio for designers look like? Here are tips and tricks for building a killer digital design portfolio.

Whether you specialize in graphic design, web design, interior design, or UI/UX, maintaining a portfolio can do wonders for your career. When done right, a design portfolio becomes a showcase of your best creative work. It’s an extremely useful tool for showing future collaborators and potential clients everything you're capable of.

But physical portfolios are clunky and social media sites aren't very professional. So here, we'll show you how to put together an impressive portfolio website. From the must-haves in every modern portfolio to the portfolio templates that complement an online portfolio for designers, here’s everything you need to get working on a portfolio site.

Why Designers Need an Online Portfolio

Don't think you need a portfolio site? Here are three ways designers can benefit from maintaining a portfolio website.

Portfolio websites have a much wider reach. Unlike physical portfolios, which can only be shared at face-to-face meetings, websites are accessible pretty much anytime and anywhere, allowing you to connect with potential clients from all over the world.

Portfolio sites are flexible and easy to customize. Want to change your theme? Edit a caption? Replace an entire gallery? With a portfolio site, all of these can be done in just a few clicks. Whereas a physical portfolio needs to be reprinted and organized by hand.

Portfolio websites cut your work in half. With a website, you get a virtual gallery, a marketing tool, and a digital calling card all rolled into one. Instead of having to introduce yourself, talk about your work, and give out your contact details to interested parties over and over again, your website does all your work for you.

Perfecting Your Online Design Portfolio

So you're convinced that you need a portfolio site. But, what can you do to make sure it's in tiptop shape? Here are three tips that never go out of style.

Quality Over Quantity

Portfolio sites should always be comprised of a designer's best work. Try your best to choose at most 10 to 15 pieces, cutting out any work that doesn't exemplify your standards, your creative vision, and your brand. Remember, it's about quality, not quantity. After all, most people are turned off by sites that are overstuffed and way too busy. These days, less is definitely more.

Keep Things Organized

Keep your web design neat and tidy. Create pages for projects in different formats or themes, and organize projects into separate galleries. Inside your galleries, practice minimalism by including only the best work from each project. Add captions in each project too so that visitors know what they're looking at. Lastly, be sure to update your site menu to keep visitors from getting lost in your online folio.

Consider Case Studies

If you're applying to an advertising agency or a design studio, you might want to consider incorporating case studies into your portfolio sites. Case studies are great for showing potential employers how you think and problem solve as a designer, along with your ability to conceptualize an idea from scratch, collaborate with clients and colleagues, and apply your design ideas into the real world.

Modern Design Portfolios that Inspire

  1. Buy a domain name. Your domain name is your website's address. If you want to give off the impression that you're serious about your design career/business, you've got to purchase your own. It's more attractive, easier to remember, and just more professional than a site address like "www.websitebuilder/johndoe.com".

  2. Optimize your images and use a mobile responsive theme. Nothing drives site visitors away faster than portfolio websites that look like they belong in 2002. Use a photo editing software to compress files without compromising quality, check on links regularly, and choose a mobile responsive theme.

  3. Run an online store. For graphic designers and illustrators, one great way to make extra money from your site is by running an online store to sell merch like stickers, prints, postcards, and the like. Aside from these, you can also offer Lightroom Presets, shirts, and even toys you designed yourself!

  4. Keep a blog. A blog is an excellent way to keep site visitors updated, show the "behind-the-scenes" of each work, and let people in on your creative process. It's also a great way to get a better online presence, as you can optimize your blog to rank higher on search engines.

  5. Integrate your social media pages. Many designers, artists, and photographers get their big breaks after being discovered on social media. Be sure to integrate your social media pages into your site so that visitors can find and follow you right away.

Designer Online Portfolio FAQs

Still confused? Here are the answers to five frequently asked questions about creating a designer's portfolio.

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The Importance of an Attractive Portfolio for Designers

An attractive design folio can boost your online presence, increase your sales, and get your career off the ground. As long as you follow the tips and tricks in this guide, you're all set!

Ready to get to work? Try Format's website builder. With Format, you can create a portfolio site in just six simple steps, as well as integrate a blog, SEO, an online store, and your own domain name too. Plus, Format offers a wide array of intuitive, easily navigable, and mobile responsive themes.

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