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24 Awesome Design Portfolios to See Before Creating Your Own

One of the great things about design portfolios is the variety of ideas. Take five successful artists and you’ll probably have five radically different design portfolios.

But that same “anything goes” approach can be a struggle if you’re building your own portfolio website to reach potential clients. And that might have you searching around for some quality design portfolio examples.

The following portfolio examples are not only good-looking and creative; they are owned by people who made the breakthrough in this huge worldwide design/illustration market and got their names tied to important clients and known brands along the way. That is, these are the design portfolios of successful artists.

Best design portfolios

 

We did a lot of research on this because we really wanted to present you some of the best design portfolios available on the web at this very moment. No matter if you need inspiration on how to make your own portfolio website, making an effort to improve your online portfolio and make it rank better, or you’re simply looking for interesting designers to hire, we hope this post brings on the value you’re seeking.

But first, let’s answer the key question about this whole thing:

What is a design portfolio? 🤔

A design portfolio is a showcase of professional skills, projects, education, and knowledge. It has the goal of convincing potential employers or clients to hire you for any design work you might specialize in. Showing samples of what you do proves you are the right candidate for a certain company to take into consideration for a professional collaboration.

Through a portfolio website, a client or an employer can see if there’s compatibility between what they are looking for and what you can deliver. In short, an online portfolio is a summary of what you are qualified to provide to the market.

As a designer, having a portfolio is not mandatory but, in most cases, is key to attracting companies and clients that want to work with people who have skills like yours.

Should you create an online design portfolio?

Yes! It will make it easier for you to stand out among other candidates. This way, you can create a personal brand, make contacts, get recommendations, and earn money.

How do you present your portfolio?

We’ll leave that to your imagination. You can get your dose of inspiration from some of the best design portfolios on the web that we hand-picked for this post.

What should you feature in your portfolio?

When you build an online portfolio, you should offer people a few insights into your background and skills. They need to know who you are and what your expertise is. That is, besides delighting them with your best work!

So, what exactly should you feature on your portfolio website?

📝 A description of yourself

You can include a few short sentences about who you are (as a person and as a professional), your goals, hobbies, values, and beliefs. Any aspect that you think is important for people to know about you or would make a difference to potential clients is welcome because it gives a note of personality to your portfolio website.

🎓 Your background

Here, you can briefly present your education, extra courses, cool projects you’ve been involved in, previous job titles, volunteer work, etc. Any training or experience that has contributed to gaining the skills you have today.

🖌️ Skills

Talk about what you are good at that can benefit potential clients and employers. Make sure companies understand what is your current focus and what services you can provide at a given moment.

🤝 Brands you partnered with

If you have worked with companies and clients whose names will give you valuable endorsements, do not hesitate to mention them. You can even link to the specific work that you created for them if you are allowed to. Doing so will add credibility to your online portfolio.

👁️ Your work

This is the work per se, finished projects you managed and built and of which you are proud. It can be any type of project: a template, an illustration, a banner, an animation, a video, etc. Anything that you think represents you and what you can do best. These works and projects are the protagonists of all portfolio websites.

How to choose which of your work to showcase in the portfolio

Design portfolios are indeed an effective way to make clients and look professional in the eyes of potential employers. But how to make sure your work sets apart and looks interesting enough to those who visit your website? In other words, what can you showcase to catch people’s attention?

  • Your best project(s) so far. If you created something that you are proud of, it needs to make the list. It doesn’t have to be the hardest one or the most technical one. It’s enough if you personally love the outcome.
  • Do not avoid publishing work that you did as a volunteer. You don’t have to only showcase projects you created for big brands. If you enjoyed working on something for free, learned from it, and loved the outcome, then showcase it. It can also be a college project, charity work, a thing that you did for a friend, etc.
  • Projects for famous brands (if you love how they turned out). Potential clients will see you as a trustworthy professional if you worked with big companies before.
  • Projects you do as a hobby. If you have high-quality hobbyist projects, do not hesitate to make them public. They still prove your skills, even if they didn’t involve financial compensation. Actually, an online portfolio is not only about work that you did for money. It’s about anything you created, even if you did it for yourself.
  • Something that is both good-looking and hard to create will always impress others. No matter if it’s a complete project or just a part of it that proves your technical skills, showcase it anyway. It could be a header, a sidebar, or a fancy icon that you find unique. Anything that is unique is worth featuring in your portfolio.

💡 No matter what your level of experience is, feature the projects that you love the most and that prove your skills. For each work sample, add a description that talks about what it represents, why you chose it, what it meant to you, or how you built it (the technical specs).

With all that out of the way, let’s now dive into the beauty that the following talented designers provide to the world. Have a look at these impressive portfolio website examples that we handpicked for you:

24 stunning design portfolios to inspire your own!

Mariano Pascual

Best design portfolios: Mariano Pascual

If you ask me, this is one of the best portfolio websites you will see in the online space. It has more of a different design approach, in a gamified style. Apart from visualizing the author’s work, you can even customize your browsing experience on the website by selecting your own colors, playing with the windows, adjusting brightness, and applying filters.

The site has sounds when you hover on the animated icons and immerses you into a unique journey while checking the content. The presentation of the content says it all, but you can still look into the Projects folder where you will see what Mariano Pascual has been working on in his career.

Julie Bonnemoy

Best design portfolios: Julie Bonnemoy

Julie Bonnemoy is a freelancer from Amsterdam, who also approaches a playful presentation style. As you scroll down her portfolio website, you will see a background that lists all the brands the artist has worked with during her designer career.

Next, the site skips right to the projects Julie created, about which you can learn more via a visual-friendly and smooth scrolling experience. The designer does not talk much about herself, she just lets her work speak for itself.

You may also be interested in:

Etienne Godiard

Best design portfolios: Etienne Godiard

A portfolio example of a cool visual presentation. Not too crowded, not too minimalist. The author uses full-screen pages with colorful elements and animations. When you scroll down, the pages will show up as a slideshow showcasing Etienne’s featured works.

To see more samples of the designer’s work or learn more about him, click on the two vertical menu items displayed on either side of the full-screen pages.

Pawel Nolbert

Best design portfolios: Pawel Nolbert

Pawel’s design portfolio features a nice full-screen design with masonry portfolio elements, all showcased on a clean, white background. The first thing you’ll see here is the full-screen static header, which represents one of the artist’s works, followed by the portfolio as you scroll down. Pawel’s projects consist of leaking polish-like colors that give birth to various forms, logos, objects, and even humans. In short, all his designs are re-created in a watercolor style. This portfolio website is dominated by collections of large visual elements, and his works give you the impression of depth.

Kuon Yagi

Best design portfolios: Kuon Yagi

Yagi is a designer experienced in operating corporate websites for more than a dozen companies. His portfolio website is very clean, interactive – it takes you from section to section using smooth animations, and does a good job highlighting the projects.

YASLY

Best design portfolios: YASLY

Here we have a “designer in SF, specializing in 3D interaction”. Sounds exciting! Danny’s website is minimalist, though, with a clean background and a grid portfolio split into three columns. The simple approach, together with the magazine-like typography and the large headers from every page, is what makes Danny Jones’ project showcase interesting and inspiring. Of course, his works are indeed stunning. You should have a look. This is one of the portfolio website examples where you can see many personal projects that the designer has found valuable to showcase.

Wim Delvoye

Best design portfolios: Wim Delvoye

If you are wondering how it would be when web design meets contemporary art, then here’s your answer. The neo-conceptual artist Wim Delvoye has poured his portfolio onto a city map. You can explore the wim-city by clicking on different buildings like foundry, gothic works, and twisted to see a particular artwork. The most famous work of this international artist is the cloaca project. This full-page online portfolio is both creative and straightforward. There’s no custom interaction like hover effect or anything, yet it still manages to stand out.

Stefano Colferai

Best design portfolios: Stefano Colferai

If you like weird and bizarre illustrations, Stefano’s works fit at the meeting point between grotesque and “wow, this guy has such an imagination”. The design of the website is minimalist because the artwork speaks for itself. When you enter Stefano Colferai’s site, you’ll see an upright menu with an animated logo on the left and a grid gallery in the right part of the screen. Nothing fancy about this portfolio website, and still it gets your attention quickly. All his materials are playful, comic, “armed with irony and plasticine”.

Wade and Leta

wade and leta

This portfolio website belongs to a couple of designers – Wade and Leta. It has more of a different design approach, with the artists’ gif-ed pictures on the homepage and various effects in the background. After you scroll for a while on the homepage amazed by what you see, you’ll notice how the portfolio showcase is not ordinary either. It has impressive overlay arrangements that combine beautiful animations and visual effects. If you like unique and creative designs, this is a great portfolio example for you.

Paula Rusu

paularusu

Paula Rusu likes the zigzags, as she showcases her works in a zigzag-like layout – one right and one left below. Her backgrounds mix white and light grey tones, and she uses a boxed featured slider above the fold. Her work consists of happy, colorful drawings and illustrations that make the clean backgrounds of the site look alive.

Lotta Nieminen

lottanieminen

This is an example of an organized and yet creative mind. On top of the clean and neat background, the large portfolio items follow a pattern: two vertical portfolio items in two columns (one next to another), followed below by a horizontal image (landscape style). And so it goes until you reach the bottom of the page. For the Illustration panel, Lotta chose to showcase her drawings in a grid fashion. The simplicity of this portfolio idea is the reason why it is so beautiful.

ToyFight

toyfight

ToyFight is an entirely playful portfolio website; wherever you click or scroll, something happens. Apart from the parallax and fully animated Intro that offers you a quick tour around the designers’ works, the rest of the sections are also very spectacular, full of moving and colorful elements. Everything about ToyFight is so dynamic, you should see for yourself if you don’t want to miss a unique design portfolio presentation.

Verena Michelitsch

verenamichelitsch

Verena Michelitsch shows us the true definition of large elements on her website. It has two pages: the homepage (which is the actual portfolio) and an About section. The homepage displays non-clickable portfolio elements all over the place, in full-screen mode. From right to left, to up and down, the large visuals occupy the entire screen. They’re basically showcased at their original, official size. In contrast with the visually overwhelming homepage presentation, the About section (Info in this case) looks like a magazine’s credits page – a straight author bio, works, and resume references.

Steven Bonner

stevenbonner

Steven Bonner from Glasgow showcases his landscape-like works in a full-screen, one-below-another style. Apart from Steven’s web-based designs, he also creates concepts for physical products (such as beverage paper tags, billboards, sweets wraps etc). The other page on Steven’s site is, again, a minimalist and economical Information page.

Tim Lahan

timlahan

Tim Lahan uses the masonry style and lets his works speak for themselves. It’s a minimalist design and layout, filled with joyful and colorful drawings that will keep you busy while scrolling. Our artist here is not only a designer and illustrator but also a painter, who enjoys decorating interiors with hand-made materials of his own. Furthermore, Lahan designed several covers for books, which you can find listed on the site as part of his graphic design portfolio.

Rakesh

radesign

Unlike the artists we featured up to this point, this one is a graphic designer portfolio. Rakesh designs mobile and web interfaces, including branding and logo concepts. His website’s visual architecture is proof of his good taste in web design. His works beautifully overlay with transparent pieces of text that complement the appearance of the site (together with the catchy color scheme). Actually, Rakesh’s style is unique, which makes it hard to describe. So why don’t you just check out his graphic design portfolio yourself? Apart from the final versions of his projects, he also showcases intermediate stages of graphic design ideas via interesting hand-drawn sketches.

Momkai

momkai

Momkai is a design agency from The Netherlands that uses a nice half-half homepage style. One half has the projects one below another, while the other half displays project names and contains the menu of the website. When you click on a specific project, it widens until it goes full-screen in a special, animated way. Actually, the animation is what defines Momkai; most of their elements are animated, including the illustrations. This is one of those design portfolios that’s really fun to browse.

Elias Klingén

eliasklingen

Back to 3D land, where Elias from Stockholm introduces his website via a full-screen video header presenting a few samples of his work. When you visit his online portfolio, you are treated to a two-column item showcase including both finished projects for clients AND fragments from the experiments he conducted over the years. When you click on the categories, you can see a list of a clean layout containing the images of the projects he worked on so far.

Taylor Franklin

taylor-franklin

Similar to Steven Bonner’s portfolio, Taylor uses the same style of design and layout, only with clickable items and elegant hovering effects, which lead to a fancy magazine-like product showcase. The About page looks somehow like a footer, where you can find a nice and short author bio. If you want to see more of Taylor’s designs, check the Archive section for extra design concepts.

Cristian M. Garcia

cristianmg

Cristian has an interesting project showcase, presented as a vertical slideshow. Each item covers the whole screen size. Basically, each image has the role of a slide. When you scroll, a new one takes its turn, and so on. The website is built entirely full-screen; it contains mostly multimedia and shows as little text as possible. Cristian Garcia has both static and animated arts, most of them looking like they were made of plastic or synthetic materials. Overall, everything looks colorful, 3D, and high-def.

Adrian & Gidi

adrian-gidi

This time, we have two authors who put up a modern website for their complementary design portfolios, choosing a classy masonry gallery combined with beautiful effects for their high-quality designs and illustrations. From commercials to realistic and fictional ideas, Adrian and Gidi seem to do a great job together, with their projects looking like a mashup between real objects and cartoons (the frontier is thin here). A nice parallax scrolling accompanies the elegant product showcase.

Violeta Noy

violetanoy

Violeta from Barcelona is yet another illustrator who likes things simple and who speaks through her work. When you go to the site, a joyful and happy cartoon with floating elements welcomes you, followed by another happy boxed slider and a masonry gallery of colors and funny stories resembling crayon drawings. Once you enter this site, you get a happy vibe and meet the designer’s signature quickly. A simple bi-colored About page puts you up to speed with the author’s achievements, contact details, and bio. If you want to buy the printed versions of her projects, you can order them via the store section, which is a good example of how to integrate design portfolios with eCommerce functionality.

Stefanie Brückler

stefaniebrueckler

Stephanie keeps things simple as well. The above-the-fold page is a full-screen white background with the author’s name centered, leading to a visually contrasting About section that contains her sketches and working samples. The below-the-fold part of the homepage showcases Stephanie’s portfolio in a grid gallery. A nice pre-loader icon makes the transition between pages sweeter.

Shelby Hipol

highpole

Shelby has, again, a simple website portfolio – but simple in her own way. Once you enter the homepage, you see two columns: one with text reading the names of the projects she had so far, while the other one is showing the covers associated with each of the project titles. The items open up in new pages where all the works are displayed via horizontal scrolling. You need to drag them left and right using your mouse or trackpad. Actually, for this particular online portfolio, you can watch all the illustrations in the same horizontal slideshow if you keep clicking Next at the end of each category.

And that’s it! Did you particularly like any of these design portfolios? If so, we would love to know which ones you enjoyed! Also, we’re open to new suggestions. So, if you have other great design portfolios in mind, let us know. We want more!

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Layout and presentation by Karol K.

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