8 things to consider when building your portfolio website

8 things to consider when building your portfolio website

Your online portfolio is a key tool in building a design career. Here’s 8 things to think about to ensure you’re building yours right.

If you haven’t put together an online portfolio, you need to get on that. Like now. We know it’s tough to devote personal time to building your portfolio. Especially when you’ve got client projects and personal responsibilities to juggle.

Think about what you want to feature

It’s tempting to include every project you’ve ever worked on. But this approach just makes your best work harder to find. After all, we’ve all worked on projects that aren’t very exciting — and that we never want to work on again.

Collect images of your best stuff

Poor-quality images of great work only diminish their value. So make sure all your graphics are high-resolution and carefully cropped. Whenever you’re working on a project, make sure to save several high-quality visuals of it so you have a variety of images to choose from. Especially if you’re working full-time in the corporate sphere where layoffs are common and often unforeseen, you’ll want to make sure that you have copies of all of your fantastic work ready to go.

Show us your current work

Make sure that you’re showing current projects. You know that graphic design work you did 8 years ago that featured the Bleeding Cowboy font that was all the rage? Yeah, we know you were proud of it at the time. But now it’s hopelessly outdated. It’s like showing up for a job interview wearing a disco suit.

Tell us about you, in your own words

Your portfolio is going to say so much through your imagery. But don’t forget to tell us about your creative process, explain your key skills, and give us a stronger sense of who you are as a human being—and potentially, a coworker.

Creative types tend to be humble. But you have skills and shouldn’t hesitate to talk about them. Whether it’s at a job interview or within the content of your portfolio, don’t hesitate to promote who you are.

Keep things organized

Bring logic to the presentation of your work. Projects can be grouped together depending on the type of work: like book cover design or blog writing. You can also group together projects that show off a similar skill set.

Who are your clients and how have you helped them?

Yes, some projects don’t need a lot of explanation. A holiday ad for Coca-Cola doesn’t need a lengthy description of the client is or what the project was about.

But let’s face it: most of us aren’t building solutions for the Coca-Colas of the world. We freelancers often take on a variety of clients and projects, the vast majority of which won’t be familiar to most viewers.

Let your customers help tell your story

You can proclaim your skills all you want. But having others attest to and validate those skills can be far more meaningful. Whether you’re a writer, videographer, or product designer, ask your clients to share how you helped them. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask people for quotes that you can use on your website.

Your website is always a work in progress

Once your page is live, the hardest part is behind you. But just because it’s “done” doesn’t mean the work is over. Be sure to keep adding new projects and other cool things you’ve worked on while they’re fresh in your mind—and it’s easy to get source files, stats, and quotes from the right people.


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