How to Create an Effective Web Design Portfolio

One of the most important questions especially for a beginning designer is how to pack your portfolio?

  • Start by setting a problem

The choice and design of works, a story about yourself and even the style of a designer’s portfolio depend on how you formulate it. Here are some possible targets: get a job in a specific design studio or agency; show that you are open to job offers; find clients among companies or entrepreneurs; enroll in an educational institution or courses. Find an art director or partner for new projects.

Think about who will be looking at your portfolio and what they expect to see there. What is interesting to the employer rarely worries the client, and HR will not pay attention on much of what the colleague sees.

  • Select the desired direction 

If your goal is to get a job in a particular company, analyze the projects it does and select from your work those that are most relevant to this direction. If a studio is engaged in digital design or fireart back end development services, and your portfolio will only have identity, it will be at least strange for an employer.

  • Explore the nuances of how a designer works in different areas

For example, it might seem to some that the portfolios of an illustrator and a concept artist are quite similar. But actually it is not. It is important for the illustrator to polish the drawings, while the finished images can stand alone and each tell their own story. A concept artist’s portfolio is a collection of multiple character variations, even if only in rough sketches. It is important to show the variety and ability to make a large selection of concepts in a short time.

  • Show what problems you dealt with and how you solved them 

If you’re building a portfolio to find clients, showcase real-world challenges. The customer is looking for examples in the designer’s portfolio that are similar to what he needs. It’s good if at first glance at your work it is clear how they change the perception of a product, brand or service.

  • Learn from design studios and creative agencies 

With renowned studios and agencies, you will find a portfolio that attracts clients. Their case studies demonstrate a high level of skill and cohesive work on a client’s task. For example, in the portfolio of the creative agency Red Keds, a video β€œselling” the project was shot about each case.

  • Come up with a client or update an existing design

One more way to populate a portfolio is to refresh an old design from any company or even an imaginary client. Put a brief for yourself, formulate the problem and solve it.

  • Participate in contests

This is another source of work for a designer portfolio. If you win, you will receive recognition and rewards, but in any case, it is a good experience at the beginning of your career. There are many current design contests on the Internet. Some resources collect them into handy collections.

  • Learn and add study papers to your portfolio 

If there is no opportunity to complete a full-fledged training, attend courses of famous designers: on a good course there is always a practical part where you can do one of works, for example designing a website parallax or other creative tasks.

  • Complete test tasks

Respond to vacancies posted by design studios. Even if you do not go to the chosen place, the work can take its rightful place on your site.

  • Make a charity design 

Participate in charity events: help a friend or organization with the design for free. The result will not only enrich your portfolio with new work, but also showcase your values, which in some cases is just as important.

To draw the line remember the following:

Five awesome works are better than 20 mediocre ones. When the goal is clear and the experience has been gained, you can start designing the portfolio itself. And the main thing here is to make the right choice. The ideal portfolio size is 5–7 strong projects that fully reveal your skills and correspond to the chosen direction.


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