design portfolio

How to Build a Design Portfolio: Tips & Portfolio Examples

Design portfolio can be a great way to attract new clients – if built correctly. Today we will share a few tips that will help you create a graphic design portfolio that will be both informative and attention-grabbing. 

Build your graphic design portfolio

Tell a story, make case studies

Any design portfolio should consist of at least a few case studies. However beautiful your designs are, a single picture won’t tell a story of how the client benefited from your solution. Design portfolio should help potential customers check your problem-solving skills.

We would recommend adding the following things to the case study:

  • What was the objective set before the designer;
  • The design process;
  • The solutions you offered;
  • The mistakes and successes;
  • The client feedback and results of cooperation.

No experience? Think hypothetically

Many newbie designers are doubtful of what they should post on their design portfolio if they haven’t finished a single project just yet. In that case, we can recommend finding any existing platform, analyzing it, detecting and fixing the existing flaws. It should be informative and contain the reasoning for every redesign you make.

Show your specialization

Every designer has a specialization. If you want clients from a certain field – for instance, UI/UX – the majority of projects showcased in your portfolio should be of UI solutions. The clients are more likely to pick a designer that specializes in the thing they are looking for, rather than a Jack of all trades.

Say no to blurry images

This one is a no-brainer, all the pictures you upload to the portfolio should be of good quality. If everything is pixelated clients may think that you’re either not attentive to details, or even not professional at all.

Show your best

If you have doubts that a certain project will help you find more clients, then it’s better not to post it. Every designer experiments with styles and fields all the time, however, it’s important to understand that a professional graphic design portfolio is not the place to post every single piece. The portfolio is your business card by which you’re judged, and picked.

Make it easy to navigate

There are a plethora of online design portfolio creation platforms that will help you create an easily navigated gallery of projects. However, if you’re using a personal website as a portfolio, pay attention to the UI and navigation. Make sure the website loads fast, and all the works can be easily found. Today, designers are no rare breed, and clients know that. If a client sees that the website doesn’t load correctly, they will probably leave.

Make it easy to contact you

Don’t make clients look for contacts. Your email and social media links should be easily found and correct – double-check if everything is spelled correctly.

Revisit every so often

Your design portfolio should never be static. It should grow as you grow. As time goes you may find yourself gravitating towards a different style or even field. If that happens, we recommend going in and deleting the works that don’t reflect your interests anymore. The same goes for the projects you are not so confident in anymore.

Consider creating a brand book

The brand book displays the process that the designer did in a very organized and descriptive way – at least if we’re talking about the decision-making process, and showcasing the final result. If you don’t have the time to create a detailed case study, uploading a brand book will definitely be better than just the design alone. With applications like Gingersauce, you can create brand books within minutes – just upload your designs, choose the template and see the platform adding all the elements into their places.

Try Gingersauce for free

Design Portfolio Examples

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design presenttaion examples
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The author

Josh Bloch
Josh Bloch

Josh is a multidisciplinary designer with over 20 years of experience in industrial design, exhibitions, branding, 2d and 3d animation, graphics for print and digital, illustration, and UX/UI for mobile and desktop apps.

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