The world these days is set up in such a way that you need to be online to get graphic design work. It is no longer enough to only work on a physical platform; regardless of how many references you have or how impressive your work history, you’re not going to get people interested without having a platform to showcase your skills.
Whether you are looking to get full-time work or a freelancing gig, you will need to design an online portfolio that will back up your physical one. Any graphic designer needs to showcase their work to exhibit professionalism, attractiveness, and ease of accessibility.
Think of your portfolio as your one-stop shop window. It is going to be accessible around the clock. People will be able to tell who you are, and the quality of work you produce. Being a silent sales platform, your online portfolio should speak volumes. Site visitors should be able to maneuver without having to ask for clarification. It should give a detailed explanation of how you come up with ideas, how you execute them and ultimately sums up your entire creative process.
A well-done portfolio should also be able to attract traffic without having to take drastic measures. Even if the work displayed is the highest quality, a poorly designed site will attract little traffic - which means fewer inquiries for service.
With this in mind, ask yourself how much time you’re willing to put into designing your portfolio. Is it set up correctly? Which items are you planning to showcase? Is this your best work? Keep these considerations to the fore to help you make smart moves, and convince the viewer that your work will be an indispensable asset.
There are rules and theories that should be actualized when creating a killer design portfolio. This post has compiled advice from the top graphic designers, creatives, and illustrators in the market to give you comprehensive tips for creating an effective portfolio site.
1. Give your portfolio a human feel
It will help viewers connect with you from a human point of view. This means you need to bring your portfolio to life by adding videos and photos of you working on your projects. Show your viewers that you have talent and great energy levels, and that you work enthusiastically to produce quality work.
Renowned designer Jeff Rogers has filled his portfolio with witty photos of himself working, along with his best work. You should focus on including posts that will compel and intrigue your readers from the most basic human point of view. Your viewers should envision you as a creative problem solver, and positive results generator.
2. Focus on your strengths
While this might seem obvious, many designers negate its importance and settle for formal and other projects that are lackluster. Make sure your work shows your viewers what you are best at. The projects that you post should combine to demonstrate skill and your choice of style. This helps to give your viewers an idea of what your work is all about.
Add a substantial amount of wording to accompany your design and communicate with your viewers. Communication means you are giving your viewers insight on what the client expected and how you were able to achieve it. By doing this, you are telling the story behind that particular project. This reveals the design process to them, and showcases how you achieve the final results. Remember, giving your viewers an inside look at the design process piques their interest and ultimately converts views to projects. You don’t need to make a case study out of all of your posts, just be sure that even without the accompanying wording, your portfolio is still captivating and fully highlights your purpose.
3. Choose images that allow you to create visual cohesion
Posting all your latest projects onto the site is redundant if you don’t optimize the images for visual cohesion. This means you need to select elements that unify your work by choosing a harmonious color scheme, a cohesive visual style element, and other creative components.
This allows you to come up with a site that highlights your diverse graphic style to target a wide range of viewers. It enables them to know what’s in store when they choose to work with you.
4. Go for unique elements
Clients always go for a graphic designer who rises above the fray. This means that they will scope different portfolios and pick by quality, execution and a unique approach. To achieve this, you need a unique visual element. This could include an animated logo to capture your viewer's attention, which might translate to additional traffic to your site.
Your domain and page name also help your website stand out, and avoid the possibility of your viewers getting confused.
5. Advertise and sell your work
This step requires you to be creative and think outside the box. The aim of the portfolio on your site is to increase your client base and essentially get more projects. Think of your viewers as a fan base that is interested in purchasing merchandise with your work on it.
You can achieve this by selling your designs imprinted on enamel pins, prints, greeting cards and t-shirts. The success of this move depends on how creative you are, as well as the quality of the merchandise. You can go a step further and create an online store for this endeavor.
6. Take part in all the conversations
Link all your social media pages on your portfolio site. This can help increase your target demographic by using the numerous tools on each platform. You are also able to post messages that show your level of expertise, and your creativity as well.
Keep your viewers updated by giving commentaries and the latest news in the creative industry. Respond to each post and keep your viewers in anticipation by announcing your latest work. Connect with other designers and professionals in your field for the latest trends, and to boost your visibility. All this will help you in defining yourself as an authority in the creative world.
7. Choose a web platform
All these things cannot be done with a web platform that fails to back you up. So you’ve picked out your best samples, and got a story to tell your viewers - the next step is selecting a web platform that allows your users to browse through your portfolio with ease.
Your choice of web platform will be greatly influenced by your technical skill. Regardless, go for a platform that is flexible in formatting and presentation. Ensure that you have enough freedom in determining how your portfolio looks before settling on a particular platform.
Owing to numerous technological advancements, many platforms are coming up to help you design a graphic design portfolio site that can give you leverage over other professionals. It is important to keep in mind that your portfolio is not a museum for all your previous projects. It is also not an idea vault. When designed correctly, it can be a useful tool to attract new clients.
Your site should be user-friendly, versatile and give you a wide range of customizing options and templates. Think about customer service and an easy to use interface.
Thanks for going through our article! If you are a graphic designer, we would be glad to have a look at your Graphic Design Portfolio site. Feel free to share the hyperlink of the same in the Comments section below. Your portfolio website might even be the next one to feature in our upcoming Freelancer Community Blog Post.