20 Best Portfolio Design Ideas [+ Tips for Your Personal Portfolio]

The importance of having an impressive portfolio can’t be stressed enough, no matter if you’re working in the creative or non-creative industry. Including your personal website for portfolio or your digital portfolio in your job application can help demonstrate your capabilities and qualifications for the position, and thus increase your chances of landing the job interview. 

When making a portfolio, many people may find it most difficult to work on the portfolio’s design. A portfolio that is well designed can allow a nice and comfortable viewing experience to the readers. It also allows the portfolio owner him/herself to showcase their design & organizational skills. How to put together your works, what to show on the portfolio page design, and where to look for inspiring portfolio website examples - we've got you covered in this article.

How to Design a Portfolio

Don’t know where to start first and how to do it right? 

No need to panic - let us show you the steps and tips whether you fancy simple portfolio design or creative portfolio design.

💡 Showcase your strongest pieces of work. 

Think about making a portfolio as showing the best version of yourself. 

Instead of sharing each and every project you've accomplished, it's better to present the most outstanding works you've worked on. That could be a project in which you received a lot of praise from the client, or through which you showcased your great talent. 

💡 Include different variations of works.

If you're doing a creative job, it's a great idea to go for variety. By showing a wide range of skills and specialties, you will attract more clients or impress the potential employer. 

For example, a graphic design portfolio can present 4 different types of design, including brand identity & logo design, web & mobile design, layout & print design, and packaging design.

✨ Pro Tip: Categorizing the works in your portfolio will make the design easier and more comfortable to view.

💡Compile high-quality materials and works.

To ensure that your portfolio website communicates exactly who you are, pay attention to the resolution and format of images, videos, or documents you’ve uploaded. You will not want to miss a great project or precious job opportunity just because your blurry images made your portfolio website visitors leave with no impression. 

💡 Set the dimensions of your portfolio.

There's no specific standard or requirement for this. The dimensions of your portfolio page design depend on the platform you choose to publish your portfolio. That could be a digital file, a website, or a physical document - just go with the medium that you feel most comfortable and familiar with. 

✨ Pro Tip: If you are creating a physical portfolio design, choose the appropriate portfolio design dimensions that allows the most convenient viewing experience for the type of works you present.

💡 Create a mood board.

A mood board (a.k.a inspiration board) is a type of visual presentation or “collage” that consists of images, text, and samples of objects in a composition. Composing a mood board prior to starting your portfolio design is a good way to direct and get rid of distracting ideas, and to ensure that your portfolio design follows a certain theme that you envision.

Considering developing a mood board if you're making a/an: 

  • Interior design portfolio
  • Art portfolio design
  • Graphic design portfolio 
  • Portfolio for fashion designer

💡 Create and stick to a color palette.

A cohesive, eye-catching color scheme is a key element of portfolio design that will make your site more attractive and beautifully designed. Nevertheless, don't overdo it by using too many colors. This common design mistake may cause eye fatigue and overwhelm the site visitors. 

✨ Pro Tip: Stick to a maximum of 5 colors, comprising one dominant color, two standard colors, and two accent colors.

💡 Choose a font style.

Below are 10 great fonts for portfolio design:

  • Open Sans
  • Roboto
  • Montserrat
  • League Spartan
  • LTC Bodoni 175
  • Futura PT
  • Lato
  • Georgia​
  • Raleway
  • Freight Sans Pro

💡 Create a table of contents.

The portfolio table of contents is designed to help site visitors easily find what they’re looking for. 

In general, you need to include the following sections for designing the perfect table of contents: 

  • About me 
  • Resume/CV
  • Works/Projects
  • Contact

💡 Utilize grid layouts for the portfolio page design.

It’s recommended that you utilize bullet points when writing a CV/resume. Similarly, grid layouts work best for a neater-looking portfolio design. Grids not only allow designers to quickly add elements to a layout but also make it easier for visitors to find and navigate through information. 

💡 Write down brief descriptions of each work.

When working on portfolio page design, don't just simply show the finished work. Instead, you should provide as many details as possible so that clients or employers can see the process you went through or your contribution throughout the project.

What to mention in the descriptions of your works: 

  • What client/organization you worked with/for
  • What your main responsibilities are 
  • What tools or methods you used
  • What the outcomes of the project were

This is an excellent portfolio design tip for students since you probably haven't worked on a lot of projects yet. 

💡 Gather some social proofs or testimonials.

Whether you’re looking for a full-time or freelance job, consider putting client testimonials or references in your portfolio. Refer to online portfolio examples and you might see they all use testimonials as a powerful tool for personal branding.

💡 Create an online presence.

If you're aiming for personal branding, make sure you build a strong online presence as well. By doing so, you can expand your professional circles and expose yourself to other professionals and potential employers in the industry.  

Let's say you're a freelance content writer. In addition to sample works, it's a great idea to include a “Blog" section in your portfolio to showcase your writing skills through more creative works that show off your personal style.

💡 Keep your website for portfolio up-to-date.

It might take more time and energy to update a website for a portfolio, compared to an e-document. However, keep in mind that maintaining a portfolio is crucial to ensure that you keep up with trends and to prevent errors that might appear in your portfolio overtime.

💡 Integrate your personality. 

Each portfolio is designed according to your own personal style. Don't be shy to show who you are in your portfolio, in both the “About me" section page and every project you present. When a company is looking to hire you, they not only evaluate your pieces of work but also consider your personal traits.

20 Portfolio Design Examples

Now comes the most exciting part: checking out our favorite examples of portfolio page design. 

You can learn how to make a great impression with the latest trendy visuals, and thus start with your personal website design.

Student portfolio design examples

Jimmy's portfolio on Cake is a good example of portfolio design for students. It is presented as an extended version of a brochure. The front page displays his resume and the rest of his portfolio goes to all of his works.  

Portfolio front page design by Jimmy Lee
Portfolio front page design by Jimmy Lee

Graphic design design examples

Amalina demonstrates her in-depth knowledge in design by using different colors but the same font style. That way, she can showcase a variety of her works in a professional, eye-catching way. 

Graphic design portfolio
Graphic design portfolio by Amalina Utami

App design portfolio design examples

If you're a big fan of simple portfolio websites, check out Karolis’ app design portfolio design. There're not many animations or effects and he mainly utilizes colors to emphasize important points. However, it works equally well for portfolio page design, by telling visitors what the app is created for and what he is in charge of throughout the project. 

App design portfolio
App design portfolio by Karolis Kosas

By making use of magazine-style grid layout, Antoine’s portfolio design looks particularly neat, organized, and professional. He can show a variety of creative pieces while making it easy for visitors to see each of his works. 

App design portfolio by Antoine Barres

Web design portfolio design examples

Robby makes a great impression by turning his portfolio website design into an interesting game design. Refer to this great example of creative portfolio cover page design for students as it helps demonstrate creativity and solid technical skills.

Web design portfolio by Robby Leonardi

Here comes one of the latest trends – over-the-top design. 

The spotlight of the portfolio’s design goes to project titles and funky-type elements, while liquid animated effects grab the visitors' attention and prompt them to keep scrolling. 

Web design portfolio by Zmaslo

Web developer portfolio design examples

It's not uncommon to put a headshot on a portfolio website. However, Eumray steps up in the portfolio game by using big, bold typography and trendy elements. Also, there are other subtle animations below the scroll that make everything look beautiful.

Web developer by Eum Ray

UX design portfolio design examples

Take a look at Rekhchand’s website if you fancy a creative portfolio design, especially one that has bouncing icons in it. You can also click on the icons for more work or scroll for a selection of pieces.

UX design portfolio by Rekhchand Sahu

The portfolio design by Yanice looks simple but informative as you can easily click on each section for more details. This is a great feature of Cake’s portfolio builder that you may want to check out. 

UX design portfolio by Yanice Wu

Portfolio design examples for fashion designer

As a final-year student at National Institute of Fashion Technology, Lakshmi shows a strong passion and great talent for fashion design. She does a great job with her portfolio page design. Her name goes at the top, followed by her profession, school name, and key sections on her site. She sticks to 3 main colors for her portfolio design, keeping a clean & modern look.

Portfolio for fashion designer by Lakshmi Mechery

Sonja's fashion designer portfolio doesn’t have such a profound effect that you might be very impressed at the first sight. In contrast, it looks neat, simple but professional, and to the point.

Portfolio for fashion designer by Sonja Morgan

Logo portfolio design examples

Logo portfolio by Mscarlett

When viewing Malina’s logo portfolio, you should directly see why his site gains much popularity. Obviously, his works presented in a neat portfolio design, plus his strong bio, nice mood boards, and plenty of appreciation. 

Logo portfolio by Malina Cosmica

Product design portfolio design examples

Eva’s portfolio is presented as a beautiful presentation. You can choose to loop through every page like reading a book or view it as an album consisting of many pictures. 

Product design portfolio by Eva Wang

If you're wondering what a minimalist portfolio looks like, you want to look at Faisal's photography portfolio. Maintaining a monotone color scheme and clean fonts, it fully displays a lot of details about Faisal such as his photography style, personal profile, work experience, links to social media platforms, and most importantly, accomplished projects. 

Product design portfolio by Faisal Ismail

Industrial design portfolio design examples

This is a typical example of a commerce portfolio design. The catalog pictures are presented in a grid style, with similar dimensions and the catalog name and type underneath for easy identification. The highlights of Tunto's website are its products and client testimonials. These give Tunto a reliable look and help them gain more prospective customers.

Industrial design portfolio by Tunto

Photography portfolio design examples

You may have seen this name among the best portfolio websites for its tile-grid homepage. It's also easy to view all of Dory's works since they are showcased in a grid layout, allowing you to see his work style at one glance.

Photography portfolio by Dory Younes

Art portfolio design examples

Three words to describe Jessica's portfolio cover design are simple, subtle, and engaging. She makes good use of text animations and color effects, which helps speak to the creative nature of her website itself.

Art portfolio designed by Jessica Bayer

Interior portfolio design examples

The example below emphasizes the importance of a portfolio’s table of contents in design. Laura organizes her portfolio content based on each client she works with. For each section, she includes a thumbnail, page number, project name, and brief introduction. 

Interior design portfolio by Laura Taylor

Architecture portfolio design examples

Here, Yujin shows you how to describe a project in detail by portfolio design and without using too much text. Focus on the materials and tools, as well as how he developed and accomplished the work - that makes it a simple but insightful portfolio website. 

Architecture portfolio by Yujin Cao

Cake’s free online portfolio maker is suitable for creative and design professionals. With our user-friendly portfolio-making tools, anyone can make their very own portfolio hassle-free. Create your online portfolio now!

--- Originally written by May Luong ---

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