How To Create The Best Design Portfolio As A Student

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It is simple for designers to showcase their work on the internet by creating a website with an excellent theme. In past years, people were required to put together a printed portfolio and wait for recognition of their work after being interviewed. It has become easier now, as your work is visible to anyone who can connect to a device and the internet. It is possible to display your projects on a website, but do you think that sharing and tweeting are enough to get your work noticed? You have to ensure your work stands out and can be easily viewed. also shows how you can get yourself many fat projects with the help of online portfolios in this article.

Edward Boches, writer, creative director, marketer and advertising professor at Boston University has come up with a few tips to put your original, creative ideas together, and present them to a potential directors or recruiters in an effective manner.  The main aim is to generate reviews coming up with relevant, original and useful ideas that can solve a problem, be it through any digital platform.

Think before you include projects on the web

Don’t post anything and everything you have created in your portfolio, whether it is photos or content. Pick your best works, excluding anything you are unsure about. If you want a particular client or genre to notice you, post your works that fit that category.  The attention span of people is quite short when it comes to the web, so it is advisable to show your best work first. Viewers will not go through several projects to find your best one, so take the time to make sure people can find it.

Choose your best projects

Projects that have obtained exposure and positive reviews should be presented first. Agencies like ‘Nowhere Famous’ show their most beautiful and powerful works by taking the time to highlight them attractively. Such highlights engage the right viewers to click on all of them. On the contrary, the portfolio of Stefan Lucut’s shows very few pieces with a large variety in a small gallery.

Present Your most distinctive and innovative work

Some designers are very innovative, sidelining the latest trends. They try to do something different and do not follow the most popular WordPress theme of the time. Their websites have a ‘wow’ factor that people often find to be cool. Some portfolios are unique, projecting their work in such a big and bold way that impresses the viewers, who then just scroll up, down and across the collection.

Include Variety in your work

Variety should be included in website design, but make sure all things work together in a common theme. In the works of Corina Nika, an art designer who includes a lot of variety in her works, one will notice that they all tend to flow, despite incorporating many different elements. The same is the case with Studio Mast, who meld all things together with the help of consistently solid backgrounds.

Decide on the Number of pieces to be included

Limit the number of pieces, because you would not want to lose the attention of the viewer through being spoilt for choice. The ideal number of pieces can vary, but it is good 4to have somewhere between ten and twenty pieces. However great your work may be, it is common for viewers to just click on a few projects before they move on. Designers like Thuy Truc had selected a few eye catching successful projects that could are seen as soon as you click on his portfolio page. If you follow his work, you will notice that he ensures his projects are inviting but not overwhelming. Another good format could be to show one main project on the portfolio page with successive projects following. This would draw the attention of the viewer first and foremost on the project you want them to view.

Online Portfolios vs. Physical Portfolios

Most designers now use online portfolios. But have you considered making a hard-copy collection to take to personal interviews? Attractive physical portfolios of work tend to have a magazine quality about them, presenting them as quality pieces of art. Designers like Alex Fowkes’s collection speaks volumes about the credibility of hard-copy portfolios.

Go High-Resolution

When your portfolio is solely online, try getting superior and high resolutions pictures of all your pieces. These high-quality photos will suffice, and you might not need a physical portfolio. Some great designers, like Nainoa Shizura, have featured their works with gorgeous, big and high-resolution pieces. Clear and bright close-ups are ideal for posting on social media as they make your portfolio look stunning. The right combination is a consistent format incorporated with excellent photography that will no doubt give your portfolio a sophisticated look. Designer Coco Tafoya suggests spending time to make the layout perfect if you are interested in sharing your designs on social media, especially on Pinterest.

Keep Current Trends in mind

Due to constantly changing trends and technology it is advisable not to include any photos or pieces that are older than three years, as they will tend to look outdated. The latest trends are to have a single page but contemporary online portfolio, or displaying pieces in a modern and striking way instead of PDFs or flat photos.

Selected Pieces

Once you have finalized the display pieces for your portfolio, make sure they are persistent in representing your brand, instead of looking like other people’s work. Websites of designers like Mhow and Jessica Comingore are clean and uniform, with exquisite design work.

The flow of pieces should be consistent

Consistency does not mean all web designs and logos should be the same.  Focus on getting colors and angles working together, while creating a sense of variety and interest. Eg of a consistent portfolio where images roll over are the portfolios of ‘Down with Design’ and ‘Tractor’s Beam.'  Such portfolios do not let the viewer look around, but instead holds their attention.

Take a Picture

If your project is printed and you wish to use it online, it is advisable to take a few photographs of it. You could do this either with your iPhone, a camera or could hire a photographer for a photo shoot. Photographed pieces certainly give a more polished look, making your portfolio look stunning. A static PDF just won’t do.

Try to make it an Interesting portfolio

If you search online, you will be able to download free PDF files where you could drop your artwork that would give the look of a photographed picture. These will look professional and exquisite on apps and websites.

You can self-start your project

Your portfolio does not necessarily have to have projects of paid clients. You could self-start a project and include them in your portfolio.

Measuring Results

If you are designing a marketing campaign, you can add names of others who worked on the project alongside you, giving feedback of the results and success of the project.

Online Portfolios Should Not Include Animation & Flash

Make your portfolio simple and clean. Remove anything that may distract the viewer from what you want them to focus on. Allow the viewers to click at their own pace. Features like Parallax and scrolling features make your portfolio look chic.

A portfolio is a demonstration of your talents, hard work and triumphs. It shows your capability. Take pride in it as it showcases you, and your brand. You are now ready to step out into the internet world with a variety of creative pieces you have selected with care.

Do you have an online portfolio? What has worked for you? Leave us a comment below to share your thoughts!

Postat: 11 august, 2017


Designer // Writer // Creative

Tom is a Design Correspondent for He is currently based in Melbourne and spends most of his non-work moments trying to find the best coffee.

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