As a designer, you always want to come up with the most appealing and awesome portfolio. Here we give twenty effective tips to achieve this objective.
A long time ago, when there was no Internet, designers struggled while keeping physical portfolios in their hands. They tried hard to get an interview or appointment with someone to present their work. This is completely changed now.
Everyone with a handheld device can see your designing work with ease thanks to the technological advancements. You can put your finished projects on the website, social media platforms, and in your business apps with ease.
But is it enough for your business? No. As competition intensifies, you need to think about how to stand out from the crowd. You need to come up with a smart and unique idea to showcase your work to the world. As a designer, you have successfully implemented your creativity in original ideas. Time is now to make your work presentable.
Here we give twenty portfolio design tips that will remain handy for you to create a visually appealing online portfolio:
1. Think Before You Include
Well, this is the first and foremost point to consider while designing your portfolio. It is obvious that there is no need to show everything you’ve created. All you should do is snatch a few photos of your outstanding work and include in the portfolio with a catchy title and engaging description.
It is better to go through all your work and gather anything that you think your best work. Also, make sure that your portfolio appears to be clean, simple, and yet beautiful with easy navigation and inclusion of every detail.
2. Select the Best Designs
Your design projects with great reviews and appreciation must be included in the portfolio. You should showcase the most elegant work to people in a way that they immediately come to know about your talent and creativity.
Even if you have a few such projects, their presentation can speak loudly about your strength. Remember, it’s quality that matters more than quantity.
3. Display Unique and Creative Pieces
As a designer, you may come across several projects in which there would be no need for showing your creativity. No need to include such projects in the portfolio.
Designs that reflect the latest trends and pieces that are created only by you can amaze people. The Portfolio Designer plugin can help you arrange designs in a cool and unique way.
4. Say ‘Yes’ to Variety
You must have worked on different projects and created designs for websites, leaflets, flyers, and even portfolios. It is always better to show all these types. There, you should take care of flow.
In other words, you should take care that all works should look like only one person has done them. All types of projects should be presented with consistency and synergy.
You can also use description and timeline for showing the variety of your projects.
5. Take Care of Viewer’s Attention
You should always keep the focus on the viewer’s attention. Though you have included the best of your works in the design portfolio, the viewer will click only a few of them. Therefore, your portfolio should appear simple yet attractive, and not overwhelming. It is necessary to take care of the attention span of people while making a portfolio.
You can also feature the best of the best project and then show a handful of projects. This method can draw the viewer’s attention on the main project directly. A popular designer Olly Sorsby has made the portfolio by using this format. It looks appealing but not overwhelming.
6. Physical Portfolio is Also Necessary
Well, you may argue that in the digital age, there is no need for a physical portfolio. But, at times, when you give in-person interviews as a print designer, a physical portfolio remains handy for you.
Your portfolio should be of a magazine quality and shows your work as elegantly as in the digital edition. How about developing a physical portfolio of your designs itself as a creative work?
7. High Resolution is Necessary
Make sure that your digital portfolio has HD images or images with high resolution that cover every detail of your work. High-resolution photos can remain appealing in the physical form as well. So, whenever you go for a physical portfolio, such photos in an online portfolio can be helpful for you. Stunning and high-resolution photos speak larger than words and promote your work more effectively.
Also, after launching your online portfolio, you can share the photos on various social media platforms. Such HD photos always look impressive and give new heights to your portfolio in the world of social media. Therefore, consistency and great photos are essential for creating an interesting and attractive digital portfolio.
8. Keep it Up-to-Date
Yes, design trends and people’s requirements keep on changing rapidly. In such a scenario, designs or concepts older than 2 or 3 years can damage your reputation as a unique designer.
Such designs and photos look outdated and the viewers may consider that you do not get quality projects in the current time. You need to update your portfolio in every six months by including the projects in line with the latest trends while removing the projects you feel are irrelevant to the current trends.
9. Focus on Brand
These days, businesses tend to focus on establishing a ‘brand’ for achieving success. Your design work should also have a brand value.
You can serve this objective simply by selecting the most impressive and well-integrated pieces in the digital portfolio. It is important that your design portfolio should look complete in itself to tell the story of your efforts and creativity.
10. Flow is Important
How do you feel when you come across a portfolio with some random photos of different categories? You’ll find it untidy and careless, right?
What is important is the flow of your portfolio. You need to take care of colors, size, angles, and other aspects while arranging photos in the portfolio. Every article related to portfolio design tips will certainly include this point with different words.
‘Down With Design’ is an ideal portfolio that shows everything in a proper manner. You need to keep all the images consistent in a way that do not ‘disturb’ the viewers when they watch your portfolio.
11. Have a Picture of Your Work
Suppose you have a 3D model or a printed project that you want to show online. You can do so by taking its photos. If you do not have a good camera, it is advisable to hire a photographer for this purpose.
Even if you have a high-end phone with an excellent camera, you should avoid snatching a photo with it, because it may not give you a result like a professional camera.
12. Make it More Interesting
So you have a PDF file, magazine, or a poster of your design work, and you want to showcase it online in an attractive way. Online mockup resources like Graphicburger have layered PDF files to make your artwork look like a professional one.
These PDF files are just perfect for both websites and mobile apps. In brief, you should attempt for making your artwork more interesting online with the help of advanced software.
13. Include All Work
Chances are fair that at the beginning of your career, you might not get the paid projects by clients.
For example, you have an artwork in the days when you struggled to establish as a designer. You have tried to integrate your creativity and skills in the early artwork.
If it is the case and you think that such a design is fine for including in the portfolio, then go ahead!
Self-started projects always show your enthusiasm, creativity, and approach for the work, and therefore, they are worth to be included in the portfolio.
14. Notes and Quotes are Fine
How about adding a short but attractive description or project notes with all your work? It can work wonders especially when your prospective clients have an eye on every detail.
Though many of your projects are self-explanatory, it is always better to give notes about the client, idea, and the outcome of a particular project in your portfolio.
You may have come across case studies of IT companies’ websites. Case studies include all related information like the client’s requirements, solutions, and the outcome. Similarly, you can add brief notes and even the client’s quotes with every image.
15. Show Results
You may have worked for the design campaign. It’s a great idea to show the subject or theme and the measured result of your campaign along with its success rate.
Joy Cho has included projects notes that show how the results would be measured. It is useful for prospective clients and gives them a better impression.
16. Display the Details
You will be agreed on the point that online display or presentation is quite different from viewing your portfolio in person.
From the touch of paper to the oral description, the physical portfolio has it all! When it comes to the online display, you need to focus on every detail related to your project. You should show it off.
17. Show the Design Process
How about showing the process you followed while working on a particular project?
Your artwork is your creativity but you can show the process that leads to a particular design or concept.
For example, a client wanted you to give a logo design and you sent them five different logos to choose from. In your portfolio, you can display all five logos and their characteristics before showing the selected logo.
18. Flash is Not Necessary
We can understand that you like graphics and animation. But, when it comes to your online design portfolio, simple is always better. You will certainly agree with the fact that animation or flash can distract the viewers.
It is, therefore, necessary to enable the viewer to go through your portfolio at their speed. Scrolling is the best option. If you want to give popup windows, make sure that they are not distracting and simple enough for the viewers.
19. Second Opinion Matters
Even if you have considered all these design portfolio tips, you can ask your friends, relatives, or even other designers about how your portfolio looks. Someone else’s reaction and opinion can help you improve the look and feel of your design portfolio.
Also, you should show the content (description and project brief) to the subject expert to avoid grammar and syntax-related mistakes.
20. Keep on Improving
Never think that once you have built the online portfolio, you’re done! The design portfolio is an ongoing process and you need to keep on changing as per the viewer’s requirements and current trends.
Ideally, you should review and edit the portfolio every six months. You can replace any outdated projects with the new ones.
Your Portfolio is ready to rock, now what?
Okay. You have included the best work to show a lot of variety and creativity. Your design portfolio is ready to come to the online world. How can you present it? – Let’s think an answer to this question now.
1. If you have a website, you can add a Portfolio section in it. You can give the title ‘Portfolio’ or ‘Work’. If you have a WordPress-based website, then you can use an excellent plugin Portfolio Designer. With over fifty stunning effects, this plugin is capable of managing your portfolio and making it appealing. What’s more, you need not put more efforts to make an attractive design portfolio with this plugin.
2. If you do not have your own website, Behance or Dribble can offer a wonderful platform to display your work. These are free global communities of designers that help you find other designers as well.
3. You can also utilize Flickr that has been evolving into a portfolio website from simply a photo-sharing site. You can also classify your work into categories like a regular portfolio in Flickr.
4. Last but not least is Instagram. It gains ground rapidly as a platform for image sharing and publishing portfolio.
At Solwin Infotech, we have in-house teams of dedicated developers and designers who can meet the requirements with eye-catching and seamlessly-performing web solutions.
Whether you have an eCommerce or any B2C business, you can always get the user-friendly solutions in a cost-effective way from us.