7 Steps to Effectively Boost your Design Portfolio and The Platforms We Recommend

Illustration by Teddy Tri Murdianto

In a literal definition, a Portfolio is a large, thin case used for carrying documents, papers, or drawings. However, today, the term “portfolio” has transformed its meaning into a digital display of a collection of illustrations, designs, or anything representing a person’s work.

Before you decided to build your portfolio online, the first essential thing to do is research. It would help you find a settled platform that suits your needs. You don’t want to lose your time for a repetitive trial and error on several platforms, don’t you?

By reading this article, you are about to have your preliminary research as we have collected and reviewed some useful information regarding portfolio making for you. On top of that, we offer you recommendations of platforms you can use for your online portfolio.

Why is a portfolio essential?

If you are a professional creative worker, you must have a portfolio. Be you an illustrator, graphic designer, photographer, videographer, web developer, or architect. Having a portfolio is, so far, the ultimate way to show your skill and specialization.

Potential clients or employers are still human. Each has a different taste in visual and design. Hence, having a portfolio would help you find a perfect match for a project or job as the client or employer would have checked your portfolio before deciding to contact you.

How to build an impressive digital portfolio?

Set your brand identity

Before displaying your work as a portfolio, you need to set your own brand identity. A designer is a brand of him/herself. You can use your name as your service brand or create a new name as your brand. From this, you can create a logo that you put as a profile picture or header of your portfolio website. This logo could be a telescope lens of your style and taste in graphic design and illustrating.

Show your Range of Skills

The core of visual skills is sketching and drawing. In today’s digital ecosystem, this core skill is needed in many fields. Sometimes, an illustrator can also do graphic design, motion graphics, image editing, to UI/UX design for digital products. You should put those skills in your portfolio to show your all-in-one package and the plus side of why the client should choose or the employer should hire you. Remember that you need to organize them well in a simple layout to be easy to navigate.

Define Why You’re Distinctive

There are plenty of graphic designers in the market. Hence, becoming specific to your specialization and taste would help distinguish you from the sea of graphic designers. If you have decided to be a professional artist as you have a degree in art, you must know that there are many visual design streams. Starting from Victorian, Psychedelic, Futurism, Flat Design, to Contemporary. Each artist has a personal favorite. Your portfolio should demonstrate your niche as an artist that is soulful in every piece they made.

Tell a Story

Even if you are a visual person, the text is still the only seamless way to tell a story and build effective communication. That is also why a marvelous picture on Instagram still needs a caption. Hence, we encouraged you to tell a story behind each of your designs. It can be your inspiration, messages, or anything “behind the visual.” Additionally, to be more engaged with your audience, you can also tell the story of your journey as an artist. In your profile section, you can also put a link to your music playlist. Maybe your taste of music could also impress them like your art.

Only Display your Best Work

The only reaction you wish when someone sees your portfolio is to be impressed. Hence, you must only show the work which you, or your colleagues, find impressive. Don’t forget to put a high resolution only. Don’t let small pixels overdue your big talent.

Keep it Simple

We recommend you to be straightforward and present your portfolio as most uncomplicated as possible. Because less is always more, thus, you might design a layout that shows your profile and portfolio — including your past works and work sample right on the front page of your web.

Ask for Opinion

As you’re about to show your work to the public on the world-wide-web where everyone in the world can pretty much see it, we suggest you do a preliminary simple A/B Testing by showing your creations to colleagues. It can be your friends, family, and especially your mentor. It is crucial to consider insights from both commoners and professionals as you’re about to deal with many kinds of people as potential clients.

Where to Display my Portfolio Online?

You need to consider and pay attention to before choosing a portfolio platform: copyright agreement, compatibility with your need, and options between paid or free services. We have summarized the three most popular platforms for you to display your portfolio, which is as follows:

A Personal Website

A personal website is the handiest networking and personal development tool of all platforms ever available on the internet. However, setting up a website needs a little extra effort from buying a domain to customize the layout. But, if you want a platform that is 100% customizable, a website is the ultimate go-to.

Behance

Behance, lately, is the most popular platform in the designer communities to put their portfolio. It started to be popular among UI/UX designers. It is also widely used by artists, photographers, architects, and other professional workers whose core is visual and design. Behance has also become the main reference for head hunters to look for new talents and hiring managers to assess your portfolio.

In Behance, you can enjoy primary portfolio features, starting from uploading and editing your design cases/photos with its advanced editing tools, add multiple owners to a collaborative project, interact with the site visitors, send and receive feedback, search for inspiration, and share free design kits for audiences.

Dribbble

Dribble is another popular portfolio website in the fields of UI/UX designers. It is a good platform for designers to show their works, improve their skills, share, and interact with other users about design ideas. Dribbble Meetups block is available for users to join various design communities and activities. It also has Blog features, where the designers can tell their story about the design, ideas, and experiences. However, unlike Behance, Dribbble only allows users to display the screenshots of different design works as it focuses on UI/UX fields. In many cases, designers often use Behance and Dribbble together to reach more audiences.

Conclusion

It is important to note that a portfolio is your only door to a business. It should only include your best collection, not a museum of your past projects, nor a sketchbook of your random ideas. It is a medium where you must prove that you’re a professional and can ignite a nice imagination to beautiful design to address the client’s needs.

Your portfolio is a determinant of your business. The sooner you build it, the closer opportunities you can have! ✨

Have something in mind? 🤔 Don’t hesitate to drop your comments below. 👇🏼

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