Top 10 tips for a captivating design portfolio

Updated: Feb 2

Your portfolio reflects YOU, it demonstrate the competencies listed in your resume and the accomplishments you talk about in interviews



“Do you have a design in mind ? Get inspired by Portfolio designs from designshack.net

Tips for creating the perfect portfolio for designers.


Never rush the process of creating your portfolio instead treat it like a design project. Put on some Lounge music get yourself a cup of coffee/tea/hot coco whatever gets your creative juices flowing, get a pen and note pad and start by answering the following questions:


Who is your audience?

What is your call to action?

Do you have personal branding?

What is your color palette?

How many categories will you have?

What are the top projects you want to display?

How many projects made it to production?


Now that you have answered the above questions you sort of have a rough outline of what the portfolio will include. So lets dive deeper :)


1. Your audience

Who is your targeted audience? are you a freelancer and your aim is to attract clients?

Or are you looking to get hired and your target is managers?

If you are designing the portfolio to showcase your work as a freelancer then run wild and free, let you creatives leap of the pages, let it reflect who your are and what you are capable of in the most creative way possible list your services.


If your target is getting hired by a company then you need to focus on showing case study visuals, how you transformed a brand/product both aesthetically and functionally or how you contributed to its success.


2. Intro page

Design and introduction with a captivating layout. Give your portfolio depth by sharing a couple of things about your background, summarize your career in a few sentences and keep it light. This page will set the tone of your entire design portfolio


3. Add your own touch

Recruiters usually go through many resumes and design portfolios during the day, so stand out by having personal branding. Create your logo with a color palette, and use that palette in both your resume and portfolio (printed or digital) or website, harmony in font, color and style gives you more credibility as a designer.


4. Curate the projects

Before including every design you worked on in your portfolio, STOP, THINK, DECIDE (STD for short :D). What exactly is the design position you want? is it in social media? in web design, branding, or packaging. Highlight the projects that align with the job description you want, while the rest you can showcase briefly.


5. Tell the story

Your portfolio is your own story so you need to communicate it with words as well as visual, visual communication is as important as communication skills. Tell an engaging short story about each project, summarizing the why behind it. Employers and clients like to see how you approach a project, your process, and your problem-solving abilities.


6. Your visuals

As you know it is said a picture is worth a thousand word and no matter how much time passes this quote remains true. Nothing looks more impressive than your designs at work, try putting visuals of product packaging, logos you have designed on products, store signs, book covers....

Even if not every project you worked on reach production, if you want to display the work then use 3D mockups.


7. User friendly

When working on a digital portfolio it is best to make sure that your text is easy to read with white spaces so the eyes can be at ease when skimming through. Make sure your viewer can move through your portfolio easily, double check for any broken links, and ensure that you digital portfolio is responsive meaning it works when viewed from a mobile phone or tablet.


8. Page numbering

What do you do when you see something you like in a book or magazine that you are reading? you bookmark it, whoever is viewing your portfolio might find something interesting and want to do the same, so always number your pages, have clear titles, and category separators to make it easier for them.


9. The call to action

What do you want your viewer to do after going through your portfolio? Contact you? Visit your social media? whatever your call-to-action is you need to direct your viewer to do it. So place a short message with the call-to-action on multiple pages, for example in the bottom of your about page, and on the front and back cover of your portfolio.


10. Upto date

Alway remember to update your portfolio as your skills and positions evolve. And as long as your portfolio reflects you and your passion then no need to redesign a new one.


Goodluck in your client or job hunting, please don't hesitate to drop me a message, I'm really interested to know if this helped anyone.


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