I found designing my own portfolio to be hard. That’s because I am doing this alone. I don’t have anyone else to collaborate with. It’s not like I have teammate working towards the same goal. It’s also hard because I am the take holder. I make the final call. It’s easy to get off track and get stuck in a rabbit hole.
My biggest piece of advice I can share with you is to treat your portfolio like you’d a client. Set goals. Set expectations. and keep yourself accountable. With that in mind, I’ve gathered 16 portfolios to inspire you. I find it helpful to keep the creative juices flowing when I am exposed to other beautiful designs. Let’s start with some self-promotion by checking out my own portfolio.
01. Paula Borowska
The reason I want to include my own portfolio is the way I structured my case studies, aka portfolio pieces. I wanted to experiment and see how I could make an impression on people viewing my portfolio.
So, I remove all visual till the end.I structured my case studies around progress. I talked about the problem, the end goal, the brainstorming. Followed by the user research, the mockups and any iterations I’ve made. Eventually, I showed the final visual design. I must say, I’ve received positive feedback from clients about it :).
02. Steven Mengin
I like Steven’s portfolio for all the different animations and transitions. It definitely makes the website much more interesting and captivating.
The portfolio doesn’t come off as showy, though. The animations are small and subtle. They don’t distract at all. I think the hover effects are my favorite. The topography is nice too. I’m a big fan of the big type for the title of his projects like Duracell. The font is called Gza.
03. Ghostly Ferns
The quality of design for Ghostly Fern’s website is unreal. It’s just so good! The homepage is filled with beautiful photos of the freelancers and their workspace.
The design is light, which I enjoy. The white background with the charcoal gray font was a nice touch. But, I also like the pink thrown around occasionally. It makes the design feel much more warm and friendly.
04. Susan Lin
Susan’s home page is fantastic! Susan is a great visual artist. She is also an illustrator who makes beautiful watercolour trees – it’s just her thing. Her Gameboy-like pixel art home page is a unique touch. Only a few portfolios do something like this.
There is a navigation and a scrollable graphic. The first time I saw this page, I was pleasantly surprised. Now, every time I think about portfolios, I think about her home page. It was a great move to design it this way. It makes it so much more memorable.
05. Oykun Yilmaz
I’ve included Oykun’s portfolio in this list because of the visuals. His portfolio inst cookie cutter because there are many overlapping elements. There are many elements out of grid too. I enjoy the iPhones that are showing off his mobile UI design look like they have been thrown on a table. It makes the presentation of the work a lot more interesting. Overall, I think Oykun has an amazing eye for design and presenting his own work.
06. Jan Losert
A piece of Jan’s work became viral a few years back. He redesigned Facebook as a concept and it became an utter sensation. It was a good design. His current portfolio is well designed too.
The typography is big; I like that. It makes it easy to scan the copy. It can’t be too much jargon because there isn’t a lot of it either. I like his light use of color too. The design is pleasant. I like that it’s heavily focused on big typography.
My favorite part of this portfolio is the pastel coloured blocks on the home page. I like that they are not arranged in a perfect grid. I don’t know if I would call this masonry, per se.
There are only three portfolio pieces and one is coming soon. Yet, this portfolio looks high quality. The limited portfolio pieces are strong. This goes to show you don’t need a lot to wow someone.
08. Samuel Burrows
There is a lot to like about Samuel’s portfolio. First, I noticed the use of color. The almost navy blue type and the background is a great color.
The use of white and light blue throughout has been a good design decision too. But the best part of this portfolio is the story it tells as you scroll. It’s not a standard portfolio by any means. This is a portfolio of a great story teller.
09. Ales Nesetril
Ales is a product designer from Prague. I like Ales’ portfolio. Besides the big font, I like the use of a monotype. It makes this a little different. I think Ales’ portfolio deserves a mention for its cleanliness. It doesn’t have any bells and whistles; that’s okay. Not everyone’s portfolio needs to put on a shot. A portfolio should show off one’s work. Ales’ portfolio does this exceptionally well.
10. Joe Mortell
I think I have a thing for non-black fonts. I often use charcoal for text but I’m starting to get into using dark blues like in Joe’s portfolio. The navy blue text looks so good with the light blue background, the mid blue shade for the subheading. It looks really great alongside the accent red. Both of those colors and their shades look good with the small accents of white too. Who says gray or black has to be part of a design?
11. Sean Halpin
I love the graphics’ of Sean’s portfolio. The hero image on the homepage is so sweet. Obviously, Sean knows a thing or two about emotional manipulation within design. Don’t you just love how adorable the design is? It’s a mixture of quality good illustrations with the beautiful shade of green. The light use of the pastel colors takes it over the top!
12. Jake Blakeley
The reason I included Jake’s portfolio here are the animations. Specifically, I am interested in the transitions between pages. Most page transitions are the typical reload. Jake took this to a whole another level. The portfolio piece image moves around and becomes the header image. The illustrations within it move around too. The text kind of jumps into the page. None of this is jarring. Everything is smooth and pleasant and impressive.
This is another portfolio for a studio. But it’s a studio of two, not a big agency. I think we can throw this in here too. Especially because the design is of amazing quality. What I love the most about this portfolio is the meticulous attention to detail.
The hover animation of the logo, the dripping pain of the J from the about page, to the transition effect, when loading the website. These small details make this beautiful website that much more.
14. Anton and Irene
Anton and Irene are a couple of creatives. Their portfolio is the unique. It definitely grabs your attention. The portfolio is heavily focused on scrolling through the homage page. The creative expression in this design is oozing from every pixel. This ranges from the photos in the header to how the figures move out of the way for the next section. It continues throughout the whole website. I’ve never had so much fun scrolling.
15. Aaron Porter
Aaron is a creative filmmaker. It’s no surprise his website is well designed too. I like that the design featured bright red lettering. Red seems like something most web designs avoid. Especially the red this bright. Yet, it works here. I also like the incorporation of video to show off Aaron himself between the home page and the about page. He walks up to you from the stool when you click “About me” and goes back to his stool when you return home.
16. Admir Hadzic
I’ve included Admir’s portfolio because of its messiness. Personally, I believe in cleanliness. But business or messy design can be good design too. Too often we associate busy with bad designs when people threw everything at the user all at once. Hoping something will stick. Amir’s portfolio doesn’t have this problem. The goal is very simple, to show off his work. Yet the various design elements overall. It makes this much more chaotic than we are used to. At least for me. That’s why I enjoy this design.
Portfolios come ins so many varieties. I know it can be hard designing for yourself. Like I mentioned in the beginning, my best piece of advice is to treat this as you would a regular design project.
What goal is this portfolio solving? For me, I wanted to my potential freelance clients to know I could help alleviate their business problem through design. I cannot tell you what that is. It various from person to person. But, I can share with you some beautiful portfolio. Hopefully inspire you to make something beautiful and amazing too.