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How to Make a Graphic Design Portfolio

In this article, we will look at what it takes to create an outstanding design portfolio.

Kujtim Aliu

Senior Graphic Designer

How to Make a Graphic Design Portfolio

A professional portfolio is a valuable tool at any point in your career, whether you’re an experienced graphic designer or just starting out. While you’ve probably stored your work on your computer and social media accounts, presenting your experience and talent online with a portfolio might make it easier for potential clients to find you for their next job. 


Most clients will look at your graphic design portfolio to see whether you’re a good fit for their requirements, and they’ll use it as a resource to get a sense of your design style and approach. 


A great design portfolio will help you stand out from a crowded and competitive sector as a graphic designer, emphasizing your creative ability and unique point of view for prospective clients.


Not sure how to create a professional, polished, and eye-catching portfolio? What should a graphic design portfolio include? In this article, we will look at what it takes to create an outstanding design portfolio.

What Is A Graphic Design Portfolio?

A graphic design portfolio is a carefully organized collection of your work over the years. It gives potential clients an in-depth understanding of your work, style, and other relevant background information that can impact hiring decisions. 


Most of your portfolio will comprise photographs and descriptions of your previous experience, but having an online graphic design portfolio allows you to engage visitors in new ways. 

Why Do Graphic Designers Need Portfolio Websites?

In order to find new clients or gigs, graphic designers need to have a portfolio to promote their work. Your portfolio allows you to share your design experience and give potential clients an idea of your design style.


Designers are in high demand, and the market is highly competitive, so your online portfolio is an excellent way to stand out and show prospective clients why they should choose you.


Whether you’re a professional or just a digital artist looking to share your work, an online design portfolio allows you to express yourself and inspire others.

How To Make A Graphic Design Portfolio?

You can make something special out of your online design portfolio with the help of website-building tools or expert web development. It’s another chance to show off your creative abilities.


While you have a lot of creative licenses, it’s a good idea to follow some best practices when developing a design portfolio. 


Find a Platform

Finding the right website-building platform is the first step in learning how to design a portfolio. When it comes to developing a website from scratch, choose a website builder that suits your expertise, talents, and resources, ranging from low-code, no-code platforms to completely DIY-friendly software. 


Many systems combine the greatest drag-and-drop technology with extensive design capabilities, optimization tools, and business and eCommerce solutions to provide simplified solutions that will satisfy even the most demanding professionals. 


When it comes to establishing your internet portfolio, you have a few options. Getting a personalized domain and hosting your personal website on a hosting platform is the most professional option. The following are the top hosting platforms for a personal design website:


  • Square Space 
  • WordPress
  • Weebly 
  • Wix


Choose the Layout

Because the layout is already provided, professional website templates can assist you in getting started with your own website. In most cases, you’ll begin with an easy-to-use and customized template that has the pages and design features you need. 


Many platforms provide portfolio themes created specifically for self-creators and freelancers. Choose one that reflects your personal and professional style, and then post your own content. Because a template isn’t written in stone, you can remove design aspects you don’t like before publishing, such as pictures, color, or fonts. 


If you are creating a website from scratch, start by choosing a layout type. For portfolio website designs, symmetrical layouts are a common choice.


Select the Domain Name

Finding a domain name is a critical initial phase in creating your professional graphic design portfolio. A domain name is a URL that users type into a browser to get to a specific website, and it will offer your site some distinct identity and make it easier for clients to recognize.  


When selecting a domain name, keep it brief and to the point. Designers and other creative people frequently use their first and last names as domain names. You can also add “design” to the name in the URL.

Putting Together The Graphic Design Portfolio

Designers who are just starting out understand how difficult it is to get started with portfolio designs. This is the moment to take the initiative and approach small enterprises, friends, and family members to ask if you can do some free work or make your own stuff just to demonstrate your expertise.


To use as an example, you could create an entirely fictional brand. Indeed, this is excellent practice for improving your skills and experimenting. Having the freedom to explore will equip you to provide your best work when recruited. You may even rebrand or build a mock project for an existing brand. Alternatively, there are other design challenges available online, and graphic design books you can use to elevate your skills.


With the essential components of an excellent design portfolio in mind, let’s break down what to include to attract potential clients and promote yourself as a professional designer:


Highlight Your Best Work

When organizing your portfolio website, it’s essential to be selective about the work you include, rather than just throwing everything you’ve ever created onto the site. This implies you may need to let go of certain previous projects or examples that no longer correspond to your current graphic design approach.


Rather than stuffing your portfolio with every design you’ve ever created, curate your website to highlight the work you’re most satisfied with and believe best represents your design style.


Keep a few things in mind when you choose what to include in your portfolio, such as which designs will be the most impressive to potential clients. What graphic design work reflects my approach and style as a designer? How can I make my portfolio more appealing to suitable projects that I want to work on?


Be mindful and thoughtful about the design work you share on your portfolio website so you can be confident that it accurately portrays you as an artist and will be an informative resource for learning more about you as a designer.


Categorize Your Design Work

Keep your online portfolio structured and user-friendly by organizing your work by project so that visitors can easily follow along. Make a note of all the creative work you want to put in your portfolio site and see if you can group it by project, such as client name, or by type, such as “logo designs,” “social media graphics,” or “advertising design campaigns.”


By categorizing your work, visitors will be able to easily navigate your portfolio site and validate your experience and creative approach for different projects. It can also be an excellent way to show your abilities to handle a variety of design tasks and prove that you are a professional who is well-rounded.


If a client is looking for a logo designer, they may be happy that you have an entire area of your portfolio site devoted to logos you’ve developed for other firms, since it gives them a sense of your expertise.


Set Up an Image Gallery

Uploading pictures to your graphic design portfolio and creating a gallery are required steps in getting your work online. First, make sure you have high-quality pictures of the works you intend to display.


While custom pictures can be costly, today’s smartphones are capable of meeting many of your website’s photography needs–just verify that the images look professional and the files are high-resolution.


Next, organize your examples into categories so that visitors can simply locate what they’re looking for.


Make Your Design Unique

Make use of your designer’s vision to give your web portfolio a professional appearance and feel. Most essential, give it character to help it stand out. This includes having a consistent design, strong branded elements, and, of course, giving a good user experience to visitors.


If you pick a template, you may have everything you need for your site to function—but you’ll almost certainly want to make visual changes to reflect your work and personality. For example, in your template, you can replace the color scheme, font, and image style of your site with visual elements more representative of your personal brand.


Link to Your Social Media Accounts

Your portfolio website is a great way to highlight your online presence, from recent projects to social media profiles. Connect your Behance, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other relevant sites so that visitors and other graphic designers may connect with you and see your most recent work.


Your online profiles are a great way to display the most personal aspects of your design work and to keep those who follow you up to date. This can then help to drive traffic to your website and raise your online profile.


Most website builders will include links to your social media accounts at the top and footer of your portfolio website so visitors may easily navigate to them.


Include an About Me Page

It may seem nice to have an “about me” page, but it turns out that this is one of the most popular pages on portfolio websites. Clients tend to be intrigued about the person behind the designs and will frequently seek out background information about designers with whom they deal. Potential collaborators may also be interested in learning more about you as a person to see if you’d be a suitable personality match for them.


Your about me page can include some basic information about your educational background, such as any degrees or qualifications you may have, as well as any important clients for whom you’ve created designs.


Some designers include an artist statement on their about me page, especially if they have a visual design practice or a unique design approach. An artist statement should clarify who you are as a designer and discuss your approach to designing for clients or innovative projects.


Keep your artist statement to one to two paragraphs and highlight your previous works as well as any projects you are currently working on that you believe will offer context to your design approach.


Add A Biography And Contact Information

While your work may be enough to entice potential clients, visitors to your graphic design portfolio will almost certainly want additional information before contacting you. You can elaborate on your work by incorporating your resume, bio, or other data about your professional past. You may even give a personal touch by including interesting facts about your role models or favorite graphic design magazines.


When creating a professional portfolio, you should always include your contact information. When visitors decide they want to hire you, they should be able to easily find an email address or a contact form on your website.

Final Thoughts

In a competitive design landscape, crafting a compelling graphic design portfolio is important for both arising and established designers. An online portfolio efficiently separates individuals by showcasing their unique perspective to potential clients by serving as a dynamic platform for showing creativity and style. Through curated content, thoughtful organization, and personal touches like a “about me” section and social media links, portfolios offer insights into the designer’s journey, humanizing their work and enabling meaningful connections. Portfolios are more than just a collection of images; they represent growth, passion, and a commitment to design, making them important tools for leaving a lasting impression and standing out in the design world.


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