8 Tips for Building Your Graphic Design Portfolio

Creating a graphic design portfolio digital can benefit you in countless ways. From connecting with more of your target audience to making your work more accessible, assembling you digital portfolio gives you more than an eco-friendly and versatile way to present your designs. With a few pointers to get your online portfolio going, drawing in and impressing potential clients will be a cinch!

graphic design portfolio

1. Focus on presentation
When presenting your graphic design portfolio digitally, it’s important to do so in an attractive and organized way. Keep your portfolio’s theme simple; you want to use your website as a platform to exhibit your graphic design pieces. Don’t use overpowering themes with elements such as bold, neon background colors. Use neutral colors and designs for your background page instead. You can also create or find a theme that complements your graphic design samples. If possible, add your own design to your website theme to make your portfolio completely about your pieces.

2. Make your portfolio easy to navigate through
Not everyone is Internet savvy, so be sure to organize your online portfolio in a simple and easy-to-use way for your visitors. If clients can’t figure out how to navigate your website, they may leave the page quickly, which amounts to lost professional opportunities. Organize your website by adding links to navigate to other areas of the site. For example, create an “about” link directing visitors to a page that tells them more about your professional background. You can also create links to pages that organize your work by type, such as website design or business cards.

3. Add previous clients’ testimonials
Simply put, including positive testimonials you’ve received from reputable professionals and colleagues helps to build your credibility. Potential clients will develop trust in your abilities by seeing how customers like themselves have reacted to your work. You can also include a page where clients can write and submit testimonials on your portfolio.

4. Display a variety of graphic design works
Don’t limit yourself including only website designs you’ve created in your portfolio: add other works you have done as well, such as business logos, holiday cards, and magazine covers. By adding other types of work, you can reach more clients and illustrate your range as an artist. Remember to include only your very best samples. The rule of thumb when creating your digital graphic design portfolio is quality over quantity.

5. Put your work in PDF format
Offer your visitors another way to view your works by adding a PDF download option to your online portfolio. Instead of going through the pages of your website, a PDF can store all your works in one place for easier viewing when potential clients are in a hurry. They can download the PDF and view it later or on the go at their convenience. When creating a PDF, be sure to add copyright information to it to protect your designs. You can also include an introduction page that tells who you are and provides your contact information.

6. Don’t forget your ‘About Me’ page
Even in the digital age, people still want to meet the face behind the works. Include a small autobiographical section that discusses how you got into graphic design, why you enjoy it, and what sets your work apart. You can also mention awards, education, your mission statement, and your social network links. Make your mini biography friendly and easy to read; you can do so by adding any of your hobbies aside from graphic design. Remember to include a friendly and professional photo of yourself to your ‘About’ page, so others can make a personal connection with you by seeing what you look like.

7. Make your contact information noticeable
Just like a paper resume, your online portfolio should include clear contact information. Be sure to include a professional email address that you check daily as well, so you can respond to inquiries. If you’re comfortable enough, you can include your cell or work phone number as another way for potential clients to contact you. To protect your identity, consider using a Google Voice phone number.

8. Write about each piece you showcase
Even if a graphic design portfolio is all about displaying your finished work, it’s important to tell visitors about each piece. When it comes to works you’ve produced for clients, you can talk about the project requirements and how you fulfilled or surpassed them. For your own personal designs, you can explain your inspirations for each piece and what it represents to you.

One last thing to keep in mind is the increasing ubiquity of mobile platforms. Making your site mobile-friendly will help to further broaden your potential audience, as many people now do the majority of their web browsing on tablet and smart phones. Whether you’re creating your first online graphic design portfolio or revamping one you already have, always keep your clients in mind and make your website as easy to view as possible.

Sara Collins is a writer for NerdWallet, a site that helps consumers learn about the best ways to save money.

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