How to Create a Portfolio – Tips for Designers
The world is evolving at a very fast pace, so there is always a need to prove yourself amongst the rest, to remain at that pace. As the famous saying goes “Opportunities knock your door only once”, so when it’s your time, you just have to grab it without giving a second thought. One major reason is the competitive nature of the world. To improve your chances of success, it is necessary to create the best first impression. As a graphic designer, an excellent first impression doesn’t just come with your personality, but also from your creative works. To show that you are better than your peers, you should have a stellar portfolio. That too if you are in a creative field like graphic designing, then you are naturally required to have your creatives showcased to impress your potential clients or employers and land your dream job. Check out these 5 tips on how to create a portfolio.
The boom of technology has made our lives simpler and more comfortable. Back in those days, before the internet era, designers had to physically put down their works together, print them and carry that in a suitcase to show to their employers. It is not the case now. After the emergence of the internet, many online platforms have emerged that lets you build a portfolio digitally. A digital portfolio can be a designer’s best weapon in the job market battlefield. It is something that you can keep alive for the rest of your career.
And most importantly, it is easy to maintain and update, compared to the printed ones which have to be preserved for the long term. From social media to portfolio-specific websites, many digital platforms have evolved to ease the work for graphic designers. These online spaces let you play with your creativity and come up with the best portfolios without breaking a sweat. But there are few places where it would be necessary to have printed copies to showcase your specific design samples. But overall, if we see, the world has digitally transformed. There is no reason for designers to be left behind.
Remember a winning portfolio not only showcases your compelling designs, but it also communicates your personality to your target audience. And you are a designer! So, you should knock the first impression out of the park with your potential employer or client by impressing them with the best of what you have to offer. You need an impressive portfolio to stand your odds among your peers. This will help you land your dream job or get a high-paying client or even take you to the next stage of your career as a designer.
Which Platform to Choose?
When you think about how to create a Portfolio, it is essential to select the right platform before starting to work on your portfolio. It is advisable to choose the ones that are easy and user friendly. There are hundreds of platforms online which lets you socialize and share your designs. Behance is one such world-class platform apt for graphic designers to create their portfolios. It has plenty of talented designers who post their designs regularly. You can easily get the hang of current trends in graphic designs, find the right influencers, and get inspired by their works.
Top 5 designers from Behance to Follow
● Daniel Mountford, a creative designer and talented photographer, stuns his followers with his double exposure works. He makes them all in-camera but adding some bits of post-production to give it a filter effect. His artworks are not just prominent for his double exposure, but also his motion designs and unique illustrations.
● Kronk, a graphic designer from Johannesburg, South Africa, has been creating bold and original works for brands and companies. He has the specialty to infuse his personal experiences that gives life to his artworks. Also, it makes you remember it intact after you’ve seen it. He and his team specialize in story-designing and comic-like illustration
● Yurko Gutsulyak is a Ukrainian graphic designer from Kyiv. He has been in the design industry since 2000. He owns the Gutsulyak.Studio in Kyiv which has got him laurels. One of his great works includes the curation of the Cyrillic font that turned heads. Also, he worked on the creatives of Kozel beer (limited edition tin) which grabbed many beer lovers’ attention.
● Mike is a popular designer from Prague, who also owns Creative Mints, a design agency. His portfolio consists of not only graphics designs but also some fantastic photographs. His hand-drawn illustrations, the texture, the details, tactile quality and the unique way of presentation are exceptional.
● Jessica Walsh is a superwoman designer from Newyork. Her profile in Behance is filled with a variety of masterpieces. It includes self-curated designer emojis to quirky ad creations for Fruity and many more. She works for some of the top clients such as Apple, Snap chat, The New York Times, Levi’s and many more. She has also been awarded the prestigious Forbes’s 30 under 30 Top Creatives Designing The Future.
Another popular social media network for designers and artists is Dribble. You can find some of the most talented designers who could be great inspirations to start your portfolio. Dribble has an invite-only membership system that helps you maintain a high level of quality. You may also like to have a look on Rules of Composition all Designers Live By
5 Talented Graphic Designer Profile to Follow in a Dribble
● Leo Leung has a whopping 15k plus followers on Dribble. When you have a look at his profile, you will know the reason why he makes this list. He has a keen eye for web and app designing and is a pro in motion graphics. Also, emerges top-notch in front end development. He showcases his love for motion design with smooth animated GIFs that quickly grabs your attention.
● Nick Slater, a native of California, has 66k plus followers and is a Dribble superstar. He has a strong understanding of the design, and his works are simple yet impactful. He specializes in logos, icons and product illustrations. He has the honor of working for organizations like Twitter, Slack, Washington Post and many more.
● Cosmin Capitanu is a Romanian freelance web/graphic designer and an architect. He also has a massive 62k plus followers. He has his style and elegance on each design which is something worth marveling over again and again. He plays with colors and keeps trying new techniques to elevate his creativity.
● Emir Ayouni, who has 21k plus followers, is a brand strategist and a graphic designer. He owns Growcase, an independent design studio. Also, specializes in graphic design, typography, art direction and brand identity. His creations include bold lines to silhouette, black and white logos to colorful brands made in retro style.
● Shawana X is a visual designer and an illustrator. She stands out among the crowd because of her eye candy designs and flat visuals. She creates vibrant illustrations that are a sight to behold. She works with a plethora of colors in every design, making it flow in your memory. Her recent illustration for The New Yorker regarding abortion services through mobile- was lauded.
When you have gone through these creatives, you would automatically get an idea on how to start your digital portfolio.
Tips on How to Create a Portfolio
● You might have curated several graphic designs. While choosing it for your portfolio, you have to pick your best. Quality trumps over quantity. Your motive is to attract your ideal clients, so remember to keep these in mind while selecting the works to showcase. Also, make sure your works are diverse, and don’t include designs of the same genre. If you are looking for a job, you would have a lot of potential employers from various industries, so it is smart to give a variety of samples. If all the design works in your portfolio are similar to each other, clients may get the impression that your creativity is limited, and you are just aware of one type of project or aesthetics.
● Exhibiting your designs doesn’t just end with uploading them. Tell your viewers or your prospective clients the story behind them. Tell them what your designs have achieved and how. Assume have been selected for a final round by a client along with another competitor. When your designs give a good explanation, you are more likely to be picked. While giving a summary of your design, include the client’s goals and how the design has achieved it. You don’t have to write a case study but just a sense of purpose for the viewers and what it has achieved for the organization.
● Organize your work in a way that builds a strong case for you. Your portfolio must present all your works visually in sequence to make an impact. It is also important to categorize them based on the type of media or industry. Use tags to filter them, which makes it easy for clients to view relevant work samples they are looking for. One way to go about it is- for example, you could use clients as your database and put all your designs together that you have done for them as one case study. Follow whatever method is convenient but make sure it is easily approachable, memorable and clear.
● Don’t beat around the bush. There are many studies which say that it takes just 2-3 seconds for a website viewer to create an impression. In this tiny viewership window, don’t give lengthy flashy intros. Just keep it simple. Put your best foot forward and make sure you communicate effectively from the word ‘go’.
● Add an ‘About me’ page to describe your story/ Your inspirations and how you have landed in this field. Typically, an ‘about me’ page should give an idea about you and what kind of person you are to work with. Given a choice between two people, the clients might hire the one they like better. Make sure you succeed in that choice.
● Solicit opinions from your mentors and former clients who can offer you a great insight into how your portfolios work for them. They will also remember the best projects you have done for them and encourage you to take more chances with what you’ve included. Always an outsider’s review is a great way to accurately know how your portfolio will be perceived in the outside world.
Before starting to build your own portfolio, learn what a good portfolio is and isn’t’. It is neither a museum for all your past designs nor a sketchbook where you play around with new ideas. It is a tool you use to make money. For organizations seeking design talent, it is your online portfolio that is going to prove you are a professional and is capable of creating designs for your clients to meet their business goals. The sooner you build your tool, the faster it would take you to new heights.