How To Create Your Online Design Portfolio

How To Create Your Online Design Portfolio
How To Create Your Online Design Portfolio

If you are a graphic designer or an illustrator, having an online portfolio is an absolute must. It is completely understandable if you are lost when it comes to creating a portfolio. Here is a step-by-step guide that will help you write and create your online design portfolio.


Choose Your Layout

Design Portfolio Layouts
Design Portfolio Layouts

Start by researching and getting inspiration from other online design portfolios to choose a layout for your website. You can check out the library of websites created by designers or directly visit some of the best such as Liz Grant's portfolio or Corina Nika's portfolio.

Think of the layout you want your portfolio to have. It will be a reflection of your personality and your style. Consider such aspects as:
  • Color Palette: The color palette is the essence of your portfolio's design. It can be bright or dark, warm or cold, pastel or neon. Think of what kind of design pieces you usually create and then decide what your palette will be.
  • Fonts: The fonts you use are an integral part of your brand's "personality". If you are already using a certain font on your business cards, you may want to adopt that for your online portfolio as well.
  • General Layout: The general layout is everything from whether your portfolio is a one-pager or not to how your menu will work. More often than not, you will have at least a few pages on your website, but if you want to go for a simpler feel, then a one-pager is perfect.
  • Gallery Type: Since you will be showcasing your work, you need to ensure that the gallery option is available on the platform or template you chose. In addition to that, think of the gallery type you prefer.

Make sure that you settle for a platform that gives you complete creative freedom. This will allow you to make a website that you are truly proud of. Don't be afraid of the technical parts as they are usually not as complicated as you may think. Once again, everything depends on the platform you choose.


Organise & Select Your Visual Content

After you've planned out and created your written content, think of the visuals you will showcase. Just like the previous time, here are the works you can use on each page of your online design portfolio:
  • Homepage: Several of your most impressive works go here. Don't place too many because they may throw off-guard and confuse your visitors. Besides, you have a different page for that.
  • Projects: Include the works in their relative projects. At the end of this article, there are also some tips about what you must and mustn't include in this section.
  • Clients: No need to include many works here, though you can still add some that you are most proud of and that were made for your most well-known clients.
  • Shop: Logically, you will add the relevant designs to every different product listing.
  • Blog: As mentioned above, you can use some of your designs in the articles you publish in your blog.
  • About & Contact: One or two great works will be enough for these pages.


Plan Your Written Content

Writing for your design portfolio
Writing for your design portfolio

In addition to the work you will be showcasing in your online portfolio, you will also need to fill the site with written content. First, this will be the information your clients are looking for. Second, this will help you rank in Google searches. Here are the pages you will have and the kind of content you will need to write for them:

  • Homepage: This is the page a visitor usually gets to when they try to access your site with the help of its primary URL. You want your homepage to grab the attention of your potential customers, so make it impressive. Include a short, catchy description of who you are and what you do. As for the visual content, that will be discussed in one of the later sections.
  • Projects: This page is all about your work. It will mostly be a gallery, but you will also have to include descriptions of each project you did. Try to write about the aim of the project, the idea behind, and any other details that were important for you or your client.
  • Clients: This page is the perfect place for including customer feedback and a list of well-known companies or entrepreneurs who have used your services. If you have ever been featured on a different site or covered by the media, tell about it here. The text you place here should be modest and detailed at the same time. You can boast about your achievements, but don't sound like you are too full of yourself.
  • Shop: This is basically your online store. If you already have one on a different platform, you can simply link to it. Product descriptions and requirements for commissions should be detailed and expressive to make them as effective as possible.
  • Blog: The blog on your website is great for attracting more traffic to your website. However, to make it work, you will have to regularly publish new articles or blog posts to it. Do keyword research and choose relevant topics that your audience will be interested in. It is also a good idea to link the products in your shop or include the relevant illustrations or designs you created in order to showcase your work even here.
  • About: The about page is where you can go crazy about describing yourself and what you do. Tell them who you are and write your story as expressly as possible. Make sure that you show off your personality.
  • Contact: There is not much to write on the contact page except for your contact information and a contact form that will help your customers get in touch with you easier. By the way, don't forget about your social media accounts.

Tools & Services to Write the Content

Once you plan out all of your pages and you know the content you need to write, you can use these tools and services to aid you:
  • Grammarly: Proofreading is one of the most important parts of creating any piece of written content. Grammarly is a tool that detects grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors.
  • Grab My Essay: If you don't have the time or effort for writing your content, you can hire a professional from this online writing service to do the job for you.
  • Hemingway Editor: Just like Grammarly, this is a tool used for proofreading. The difference is that Hemingway Editor highlights adverbs, passive voice, and complicated sentences.
  • Studicus: This is another great online writing service you can use instead of Grab My Essay.
  • Google Docs: For all those used to Microsoft Office Word, Google Docs will be a real lifesaver as it is an easy-to-use online equivalent of the popular word processor.
  • Best Essay Education: Yet again, if you are looking for a good online writing service, Best Essay Education is a great choice for it.
  • Focus Writer: If you are tired of getting constantly distracted from writing your content, use Focus Writer. It is specially designed to eliminate all the possible distractions.


Think About User Experience

Remember that your customers are always right. Think about perfecting the user experience and make sure that you are providing the best you possibly can be. Make a list of all the questions your customers may have and consider creating an FAQ page.

At the same time, keep in mind that most of your visitors will be accessing your website from a mobile device. This is why you have to build a mobile version of your website to remain professional and show that you are truly an expert.

The mobile version of your website must have all the information the desktop version has and should not lack in design. If you are still wondering whether or not you really need a mobile version, imagine this: your potential customer visits your website from their smartphone and comes upon a smaller version of your desktop website. They get annoyed and leave.

In order for that not to happen, you must ensure that your online design portfolio is truly optimized for mobile and is just as easy to navigate as the desktop version. It's actually not that difficult to make.



Final Tips

Here are some final tips on what kind of works you should include in your online design portfolio:


  • Be Thoughtful: Carefully think through all the works you decide to include
  • Use the Best: Use only the strongest pieces that are truly your best
  • Spice It Up: Vary the work you choose so that your clients see your expertise
  • Be Unique: Choose the most unique and creative pieces you have
  • High-Res Rules: High-resolution images rule and you should remember that


All in all, having an online portfolio is essential for any graphic designer and shouldn't be a question of "if" but rather of "when". And the sooner, the better. If you follow the advice in this article, you will definitely succeed in creating a successful online design portfolio.


How To Create Your Online Design Portfolio How To Create Your Online Design Portfolio Reviewed by Padraig Cahill on September 02, 2019 Rating: 5

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