Creating a great graphic design portfolio is, hands-down, the most important and useful step for an individual professional or agency. A portfolio is like a resume that showcases all the impressive design samples and works done in the past.
If you are a designer, an online portfolio can help you attract new clients or help you get your dream job. For an agency, too, a creative design portfolio can help expand their clientele in no time.
If you are new to this field and looking to cement your position in the industry, sit tight and follow the instructions explained in this article. And for those of you who already have a portfolio but that ain’t working positively then this article will help you turn the tides as well.
In order to create an impressive graphic design portfolio there are a few basic things that need to be covered, including;
- What to include in the portfolio
- Explaining the work
- Platforms to select for sharing the portfolio
- Promoting the work
So, without any further ado, let’s dig into the process of creating an impressive graphic design portfolio.
The first thing is a very obvious factor to consider while creating a portfolio for your graphic design services. What to put on display in your portfolio?
The obvious answer… only your best work!
You don’t have to include every single piece of design that you have worked on in your portfolio. Having said that, ensure that it reflects a wide array of your design skills; in order to avoid repetition.
For example, if you have worked on 50 logo designs successfully doesn’t mean you include all 50 of those designs in your portfolio. Simply pick the top 5 or 10 of them. Similarly, select the best few from each category and include them in your portfolio.
Additionally, you can always include any freelance work that you may have done for free (for a friend or a family member) which you feel is one of the most creative designs conceived by you.
Balancing quality and diversity of work samples will make you stand out from the crowd and help clients take note of your work.
Always remember that your client or target audience (customer) may not necessarily be from a designing background. Meaning they may not understand the technical nuances of good graphic design. It is, therefore, your responsibility to explain each of your work in the portfolio for the reader’s reference.
A good portfolio is not simply great images compiled together. There will be plenty of such designer portfolios available online for clients to pick from. But only the one which grabs the attention or has something unique to offer takes the trophy home.
Not that you turn every portfolio item into a standalone case study, but do provide a story about each design.
What transpired the final design? What was the objective/goal behind that design? What role did you play to achieve that goal? How much did the approved design actually helped in achieving the goal?
A clear story contextualizes your work and gives a quantifiable reason to hire you.
Now that you have selected the best of your graphic design work samples and created a good story around them, the next in line is selecting the web platform to display your portfolio.
Now, there are several hosting platforms available on the internet for you to choose from to create your online portfolio. However, you need to ensure that you are selecting the right one.
Now, how would you do that!?
Well, let’s see.
First thing that you need to ensure is that the hosting platform provides you with the option to create a profile and upload your images irrespective of the size of the files and without hampering the resolution.
If you’re a graphic or industrial designer with no coding experience, you might prefer a platform that requires no coding. However, if you have a web or UX background, your portfolio is a chance to show off your coding ability; another thing that you can do to display your work in real-time.
For many, the simplest option is a hosted portfolio website. If you don’t want to write code, these are ideal options. Hosted platforms let you upload images and add content to a ready-made layout. Typically, you’ll be able to choose from a variety of design portfolio templates, all of which offer a dedicated interface to highlight your work.
Social media has turned into the most lucrative marketing platform for any business set up in the last decade. You may create a great portfolio for your design services but, how would your potential clients know about you if they don’t know where to find you?
Hence, social media!
When creating and optimizing your online portfolio, always remember to add your social media handles on the web page. Social media can be a great way to build your brand and bring the necessary human element that might convince a client to hire you.
You can share your latest design works in online communities and groups existing on Facebook, add them to your Instagram stories, or retweet a work that your client approved recently. Of course, while doing all this, do share the link to your online portfolio profile.
Always ensure that your design portfolio is updated with your latest work samples. If you want to be considered as an expert on a particular kind of graphic design skill then, make sure you expand your portfolio with samples of such designs.
Consider your graphic design portfolio as your online tool to enhance your design skills and establishing yourself as a brand. Start creating your portfolio today!