Knowledge Base > Portfolios > Creating a Graphic Designer Portfolio
Every designer needs a graphic design portfolio. A design portfolio is a great way to demonstrate your graphic design skills and present the completed works so you can get easily find new clients. However, it is not easy to create a stylish and elegant design portfolio.
A good quality portfolio for a graphic designer, whether a pdf presentation or a portfolio website is much more than a simple gallery of your previous work. It’s your opportunity to showcase your diverse skills, personality and versatility to (hopefully) land your next big gig.
In this article you’ll find several tips on how to create an online portfolio, how to build and organize your graphic work, how to use the flipbook format to build a graphic portfolio for designers, and how to present it to potential clients and employers. Keep reading to learn more about building a portfolio.
Select only the best works for your graphic design portfolio
If you’re a graphic designer and illustrator, imagine that you’ve just created a beautiful new illustration – perhaps for a client, perhaps for your own gallery on your design portfolio website. It’s normal to want to show it off and include it in your graphic design portfolio. However, you might reconsider whether that’s the actual place where it belongs. It is worth remembering what a designer’s portfolio is for. Many experts agree that you should put only your best works on your website.
It’s hard to say how many works in a portfolio is too many. But to be honest, you never know which of your works will become famous, adored by the people and which will bore and overwhelm the art director who will view your work. That’s why don’t put all your works in a portfolio, only the ones that will catch the attention of the right client. Start with a dozen high-quality graphic design works that will highlight your greatest achievements – to make the biggest impression.
Tracking down your viewers with Publuu
Publuu provides something unique to any graphic designer, especially when compared to a portfolio hosted on an external site such as Behance. You might be able to see who viewed your design portfolio thanks to Publuu. You can create exclusive links to send to potential clients, and you can easily check whether that fantastic design studio viewed your designer portfolio using Publuu’s great tracking functionality. Using the dedicated link, you can be notified whenever someone opens your portfolio.
That is not the only way Publuu analytics systems can be used. You can also see how frequently people open your designer portfolio, as well as which pages or designs they look at the most often. This is especially useful if you want to create multiple versions of your design portfolio. This can be valuable feedback that will allow you to improve the layout of your PDF, or even the entire collection of your designs. You can track readership, which is especially useful if you’re looking for new clients or partners.
Use your best work
An employer may find you inconsistent if you post projects of varying quality. Ask for an honest assessment of your work from a colleague or mentor and improve or eliminate the weakest links from your work. In general feedback is great if you want to get a sense how a person would view your work. You can ask a fellow designer and illustrator for more advice or ask friends and family to role-play a potential client and rate your best visual designs.
Put only the best graphic design projects in your portfolio
At any rate, your portfolio should contain only the best, fantastic designs you have prepared. In companies, usually the art director reviewing your portfolio simply doesn’t have time to evaluate more illustrations. The ideal is to be this fantastic graphic designer whose first project immediately prompts people to put everything down and call you – and only your best graphic designs can achieve this.
On the other hand, if you post an online portfolio on a site like Behance, people will look at your work and recommend it to a friend. That’s how you find clients as a freelance graphic designer – by word of mouth. Choose the right platform for displaying your social media content and people will share portfolio content.
The main idea is to highlight your best work, not all of it. People these days have a short attention span, so be careful about what you show the people and why. You can put all your work in an online gallery on your graphic portfolio website.
You can also deviate from this rule if you want to show off your versatility. If you have experience with vector graphics, photo manipulation, animation, you can include it all in your portfolio. It’s also very important to list who you worked with, and if it’s a group project what your role was. If your mentor or professor has good credentials, you can mention it, but only if you’re just starting with graphic design.
Create a graphic design portfolio with Publuu
Publuu flipbooks are a perfect compromise between a portfolio website and a graphic design portfolio in a booklet form. Digital flipbooks from Publuu allow you to showcase your work and achievements in drawing, teaching, design, architecture, sculpture, photography and more. What’s more, they are not just a combination of PDF and portfolio website, but enable much more, thanks to interactive links, the ability to upload videos and mp3s, and social websites integration.
Graphic design portfolios in Flipbook format integrate perfectly with your website, providing a fantastic page-turning effect! You can also share the flipbook in your blog, email the link to potential clients, or post a link to a portfolio on your Instagram or Behance profile to reach more readers. Flipbooks are easy to open on any device and their visual design will look perfect every time! You don’t need coding skills – just upload a PDF file to convert it to a flipbook, then you can embedd portfolio to your website. like the example below.
A portfolio is an essential tool for any freelance designer to showcase their work. An online portfolio makes it easy to show off your best work in one place, and you can create many portfolios using flipbooks. This digital format will also allow you to prepare the perfect portfolio from PDF files, photos, video and audio files. You can add multimedia to them. You can easily access your online portfolio from any device, phone, computer or smart TV
Create a unique portfolio website
Nowadays, a graphic design portfolio is usually presented as a single website or an online gallery. A portfolio website that showcases your greatest work is a fantastic method to show off your achievements to the rest of the world. A digital portfolio may be updated on a regular basis, whereas a print portfolio is often a completed booklet that exists separately. You may easily edit your portfolio online, adding and removing photos as needed, if you choose the right platform for your graphic design portfolio website.
The best solution for a design portfolio website is your own site with unique domain. You don’t have to know web design to choose a good portfolio template, and you can display and showcase your work for free. If you are not willing to purchase web space and build a website from the ground up, you can use website creators to create an elegant portfolio website. You may post your work in a gallery online and then adjust the order and display. Adjusting typography, white space and style of web design to match your personal brand identity.
You don’t have to restrict yourself with online portfolio; include all of your outstanding work, not just the finest. Your designs are available all around the world, from Beijing to New York, and your graphics might be shared overnight. Having an art gallery on a design portfolio website is a great opportunity.
However, there may be times when a graphic design is not the best option. For example, you may have a job interview or meeting in a place without Wi-Fi. In such a case, it’s worth having a PDF portfolio that you can save on your laptop or tablet, or present on your website.
While few people today need a tangible, printed portfolio, it’s worth having some of the best graphic design portfolio examples of your work on hand, printed on high-quality paper – ideally it won’t hurt your chances, and it may even help you get a second party to appreciate that you’ve gone the extra mile.
It’s worth having a gallery on creative sites like Dribbble or Behance – but don’t overdo it; it’s good to be able to show off your work, getting fans, and post some graphic design portfolio examples there. The same goes for sharing it on facebook, Instagram or Twitter – you must have a professional artist profile outside your portfolio website. An outdated profile will only decrease your chances of finding commissions.
Put a part of yourself in your graphic design portfolio
You must demonstrate who you are by creating your portfolio – whether as a portfolio website, printed brochure designs, or as a Publuu flipbook. Everyone will tell you that being a graphic designer is all about being yourself, and showing what about practicing your art makes you happy. Art is the art of showing what’s inside you. This is one of those annoying pieces of advice that everyone gives but no one can follow.
Nonetheless, designing, even for commercial purposes, is all about association and personal preferences. Your portfolio should allow you to show what you’re passionate about or to demonstrate your favorite graphic design elements to potential clients. You will always put a piece of yourself in your art, no matter how professional you are. A good designer is someone who is passionate about design and can demonstrate that in his graphic design portfolio.
Of course, you shouldn’t overdo it: showing too much of your passion in your online portfolio and not appearing professional enough can lead to failure. However, the purpose of the portfolio is to showcase your own abilities, which you cannot do without displaying your personality. Present yourself, your entire design process and your interests in your portfolio, whether through the works you create, your personal branding, the way you present your content, the text you write, or any other method.
Tell clients how you create, what’s your design process, and above all, what your story is. Give context to each piece in your portfolio so they can learn how you handle challenges, manage design projects and how do these projects solve problems. That way, you’re talking about skills that aren’t apparent at first glance. Presenting your personality through your design is probably inevitable.
The graphic design portfolio will be more than just an opportunity to showcase of your abilities. Every project you complete is a story you tell about yourself. You can present yourself by piquing your customers’ interest and sharing your personal story so that they will be persuaded to work with you. Previous accomplishments, sketches, photos – anything that reflects your interests. If you have any award-winning design work, don’t just show it – write about it for a while, showing how you earned this award. You can show your education, but don’t overdo it. It you’ve graduated from New York School of Design, you can mention this in your online portfolio, but if you’re more experienced, you shouldn’t brag about it.
Build your graphic design portfolios by any means necessary
It can be difficult to find enough work to complete a portfolio when you’re a beginner. A lot of people will typically encourage you to produce extra design work outside of conventional client gigs, such as side projects, pro bono work, and competition entries. If you’re a beginner, trying to get more volume in your graphic design portfolios shouldn’t feel wrong.
It’s clear that you will not have a large portfolio if you are just starting out. You can find more gigs with assisting non-profit organizations by producing promotional materials for them. You can also submit an application to local businesses in your area. If you don’t like their new logo, for example, send them your sketches; they will undoubtedly be interested. Website designers can contribute their work to create web representation for local causes and activists. In exchange for your services, these companies should ideally offer to leave at least some reference in your portfolio.
Create all sources of content
If you’re a freelancer, you can also create content for yourself. Are you a web designer? Your website should function as the ideal portfolio. Work for brand identity of yourself as a freelance graphic designer. Any art director will be more likely to work with you if they see the high-quality work you do for yourself.
Working as a content creator for a fictional company is also a viable option for embiggening your portfolio. If you have prior experience, consider what project would be the most prestigious and create mock-ups, false case study, fictional designs using pre-made assets. Not only you gain something you can put in your portfolio website, but you also develop new skills and have creative freedom over theentire design process. The fact that the designs are for a fictional company makes no difference to the client; it’s a good example of your ingenuity and creativity.
You can also work with stock graphics and take professional commissions as often as possible. For a beginner, becoming commercially successful can be hard and take a while. Everysmall gig can count for a novice graphic designer. Don’t worry how will you get new clients, just do it. Don’t be afraid to do small-time jobs and perform minor tasks; not just to pay the bills but also to create new samples for your website and make your work stand out.
Organizing your design portfolio
But how should a portfolio be organized? It makes sense to present various aspects of a single project as a whole, working with a single design and creating a large project. If you want to demonstrate a new technique you learned, use all the relevant works and combine them into one project, you will devote a couple of pages in the flipbook to or an entire section of your graphic design portfolio website. Consider the principles of portfolio organization before deciding how to present these projects.
Do you want to tell a story about your personal development? Do you want to present the works in chronological order? Consider your work and whether there are any special connections you want to highlight. The creative director who will browse your portfolio needs to get a sense of what drives you and your graphic designer sensibilities. Remember that images and design projects aren’t the only way to tell your story – creative use of color, typography and white space can help you create your own portfolio story.
Remember that you need to put together a portfolio for potential clients who should understand what you’re saying. If you’re unsure how to organize your portfolio, start with something simple, like presenting your current work on the first few pages to catch the viewer’s attention, and then devote the rest of the portfolio to demonstrating how you learned those design skills.
Plan your graphic design portfolio ahead
As with any project, many graphic designers get so excited about an idea that you don’t really plan how to execute it; instead, you do a lot of things spontaneously, without a plan, and in a chaotic manner. You’ll be overwhelmed and your portfolio will be out of control before you know it. Make sure your goal is clear and that all of the portfolio’s components are as clear to an outsider as they are to you. You can draw a diagram or write an outline to explain why you organized your elements the way you did.
Show or explain your idea to a coworker or another visual design specialist and ask them to review your ideas and how you organize your portfolio. It’s also a good idea to have this person proofread your text, especially if you’re putting together a portfolio in a foreign language. Employers and potential clients want to see that you’ve completed all of your work and are serious about your application.
You don’t want to put in all that effort into developing a stunning portfolio with great art direction that an employer would like, only to be turned down because you misspelled the company’s name or used wrong English grammar.
How to present your portfolio?
You need to work on your portfolio presentation. If you are going to present your portfolio in person, it is important to practice demonstrating it and have something to say for each slide or flipbook page and explain how you prepared the image, how you created the design, etc. Once you have a vision for your presentation, you can present it to your friends so they can comment on the presentation and how you present your art.
Your work should speak for itself. When presenting a portfolio, you should not go into detail to describe each piece of work. You have the right to say why something was created, was inspired by your experiences, or has sentimental value to you, but too much information can overwhelm any potential client. Take full advantage of these opportunities to differentiate yourself from others and again, convey personality and your skills.
When you put together your portfolio, get feedback. Ask a mentor, a friend or some other designers to review your portfolio and provide feedback on its organization, content, structure, and final impression. You can ask a professional for a consultation, especially if you’re a student – at colleges, a career advisor can take care of your portfolio for free.
A great portfolio is your chance to start cooperating with new potential customers. It gives you a chance to make your business more successful and more efficient. Creating this portfolio should be a breeze with our tips – be sure to publish your own presentation on Publuu!
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