Every designer or artist wants to have the best possible online portfolio to showcase their work in a manner that will convert visitors into clients. That’s the desired result, but how does a portfolio have to be to deliver those results?
The answer is that it’s all relative. Even if we like it or not, the answer actually depends on the person that’s viewing the portfolio, because ultimately, that’s the person who decides if he hires you or not.
Even though that’s a little bit discouraging for some, there are still standards that we can follow as designers to create the best portfolio website. First of all, the portfolio has to be useful. It needs to put focus on your work and not on the aesthetics of your website.
If the only impression that the visitor has about your website is regarding its looks and appearances, then you may have lost a client. If, however, the visitor remembers your work primarily, then you have a possible client and that’s what you need to aim for.
I’ve followed discussions online and talked to people who have searched for a designer to contract for a few years now and I have also written previous articles about it and I’ve noticed that are a few characteristics that people look out for.
For example, a portfolio needs to have a clean style and eye for details. A simple site to make the work shine will most of the times get the clients that you want. You should keep the site as minimal and as product-focused as possible. This shouldn’t be because the products speak for themselves, but because most of the time people that are visiting portfolios might be busy and won’t have much time to deal with your heavy loading animations or effects.
Still, you don’t have to develop a hate against modern websites with dynamic graphics generated by SVG or jQuery animations. For some designers, these are quite useful and show the visitor what he is capable of. Of course, if you fall into this category you must show restraint when it comes to what you put in your portfolio. Add too many ‘pretty things’ to your portfolio and some older folks will think it’s a Geocities trend all over again.
20 Well-Designed Portfolio Sites
He’s a multidisciplinary developer & designer based out of the Northwest Indiana/Chicago area.
He primarily creates digital things for the web. By day he’s building stuff with the awesome folks at Juice Interactive.
The portfolio of Bethany Heck, graduate in Graphic Design from Auburn University. Her work has been featured in New York Magazine, the New Yorker, Wired, Smashing Magazine, Uppercase Magazine and several other international publications.
Mike is a UK based designer specialising in Web/UI Design, Graphic Design, Branding, Illustration & Photography.
He has a worldwide client roster and his work is regularly featured in design related publications. Mike is also a regular speaker at design/tech conferences.
Brave the Woods
They are a design and illustration studio based out of Austin, Texas, whose work also happens to be their passion, hobby, and gift (conveniently).
Brave the Woods is not simply a name, it’s a call to action, to be adventurous and curious. It is what they believe and how they work.
By doing so they make connections, experiment, collaborate, get inspired, and ultimately discover creative solutions. Executing those solutions is something they do with great pride and craft.
He’s an Art Director & Designer living in Paris, France. His career started in 2006, and along the years he worked for some recognized agencies and clients.
Over the last 7 years, Fahrenheit Marketing has become a trusted name in Design, Development and Marketing consulting, serving enterprise level clients as well as established local businesses seeking to increase their profile and the reach of their brand.
He’s a passionate Digital Designer and Creative Developer, with a love for digital storytelling. He’s obsessed by usability and constantly looks to create intriguing and concept enhancing interactions that remain intuitive for the user.
He’s obsessed with details and feels strongly about the importance and benefits of prototyping during the design stage of a project. He has a love for typography, which has him constantly looking for ways to improve the typographic nature of the digital space.
Green Chameleon is a creative solutions agency founded by a group of talented creatives and marketers. They combine clear thinking with cutting-edge design and technical development to help drive their clients’ businesses forward within their respective industries.
Whether you are a business owner, marketing manager for a multi-national firm, or anywhere in-between, they love to combine your expertise with their creative and technical skill set to begin a unique and forward-thinking partnership.
Interactive Red is a digital agency based in Kent and with over 10 years experience. They have a full team of designers, developers and consultants that deliver your project with the care and passion it deserves and they do it in plain English.
Kreativa is a forward-thinking studio founded in 2008. Their team consists of talented good people that are in search of progress and ways to break boundaries.
Focusing on the design and development of websites, applications, logotypes and more, they always use modern technologies and try to solve their clients’ problems in new and unique ways.
He’s a freelance designer based in the Netherlands. For the past years, he’s had the pleasure of producing digital art, print and online for a wide range of companies and publications worldwide. He’s worked with clients such as Tribal DDB, NOS, VPRO, Digital Natives, Philips, Born05, ID&T, Meredith and Computer Arts.