Nowadays, most graphic designers show off their work online to help them grab new opportunities. If you don’t have a portfolio, that is why you probably struggle to get jobs or clients.
In this modern era where everything is accessible, you need a way to stand out from the crowd and make your work visible to a wide range of potential clients online. A graphic design portfolio will help you get in front of and connect to your potential clients and employers.
So, how do you do it? Building a portfolio is not an easy task. It will require a bit of your time, patience, and creativity. Don’t worry, today we will discuss why graphics designers need a portfolio and the dos and don’ts of building a portfolio.
- 1 Why do you need a Graphic Design Portfolio?
- 2 Tips to Build a Great Graphic Design Portfolio
- 3 Things to Avoid While Building a Graphic Design Portfolio
- 4 Conclusion
Why do you need a Graphic Design Portfolio?
A strong portfolio helps graphic designers showcase their work and also helps them attract potential clients to get jobs. For both employers and clients, seeing a portfolio allows them to gain a perspective on the designer’s experience, skillset, and creativity.
A quality portfolio will present the projects you have been involved with, include your basic information, and link to your social media properties. By including case studies, potential clients can also see how you approach projects.
With an online portfolio, you can develop an online presence and make your portfolio and work easily accessible, which can help you be more open to new opportunities.
Tips to Build a Great Graphic Design Portfolio
1.) Show Off Your Specialization
When building a portfolio, always make sure to highlight your expertise and your specialization. You don’t want to present yourself as a Jack-of-all-trades but as a master-of-none. Everything you put into your portfolio should be related to graphic design and Milwaukee web designer, but be sure to focus on a niche or the area that makes you stand out.
For example, you might be a designer who is excellent with logos and branding or someone who specializes in UI/UX design. Focus on your target audience and what you want them to see. A portfolio that typically fits your exact target audience will help you win more clients.
2.) Make It User-Friendly
Your graphic design portfolio is for your potential clients to see. You want to make it easy to navigate around. You may want to portray it as “art” but it will be worth nothing if the portfolio is not user-friendly.
A portfolio is your way of communicating and highlighting your skills, expertise, and qualifications to your clients. Making it difficult for users to navigate will only make them less interested in you and your work.
Select a layout that lets you highlight your best work with simplicity and make it easier for potential clients to navigate. Then, nail down the design basics while building your portfolio.
3.) Express Your Identity
Every designer has their own identity and something unique of their own. Create solid personal branding that is reflected in your portfolio and spend time to create your own strong personal brand that conveys a story or narrative which describes your identity.
Share your personal or artistic story that reflects your journey and helps the audience know you better and gives a good sense of you as a creative individual.
Express your identity and individual story through your graphic design portfolio and reflect your authenticity and originality as a graphic designer.
4.) Create Case Studies
Having case studies in your portfolio is always a plus. Case studies let the visitors know how you approach your projects differently. Whether on logo design, branding, UI/UX design, or even social media design, case studies help you reflect your concepts on different projects.
However, be sure not to overwhelm the visitors with case studies in your portfolio. Instead, limit the case studies in your portfolio to around 2-3. This will help them understand your perspective on how you might approach their project.
Things to Avoid While Building a Graphic Design Portfolio
1.) Unprofessional Design
A big NO while creating a graphic design portfolio is unprofessional design. You need to ensure every single element of the portfolio contributes to making it look professional.
Avoid those layouts, colors, fonts, and unnecessary pictures that might make your portfolio look unprofessional. Having an unprofessional portfolio could give a wrong impression of you and change how your potential clients view your work.
2.) Not Having an “About” Page
One huge mistake is not including your contact information or an informational “About” page in your portfolio. It might not look like much but having an about page is a must.
You might think that letting your work do the talking might be enough but you should also get yourself out there and let the visitors know the person behind the designs.
Your portfolio needs to include basic information such as contact information, your social network profiles, education, qualifications, experience, and skill set.
3.) Too Little or Too Many Projects
I understand, that you might think that more projects in your portfolio would be better to help you get clients but you should focus on quality over quantity. Add only the best projects and case studies to your portfolio.
As I stated earlier, identify your specialty and expertise, bring out your best work, and leave the best possible impression. It’s always better to have fewer quality projects than many weaker ones.
Be careful, putting in too few projects might not give a good sense of your work as a graphic designer.
A portfolio is a must for every graphic designer. It’s basically your resume and what will get you more work. It is important to understand this.
So, get out there and start preparing your portfolio right now. You can build your portfolio as a website on available platforms such as Squarespace or WordPress. In addition, social networks such as LinkedIn and Instagram can be helpful platforms for you to post your work.
While building your portfolio, make sure it is simple, professional, user-friendly, includes an about page, has a few case studies, includes some of your best work, and also shows off your specialization.
Jack Marvin has been a successful graphic designer and web developer for over three decades. He is also a programmer and entrepreneur who runs a digital marketing agency named "Liquid Purple" with a team of experts. He also serves as the CTO and senior business consultant.