Last Updated August 9 2022
Great graphic design portfolios are a showcase for your work. So get out of the way and make sure the work is front and center.
Not everything needs to end up on your portfolio website. Instead, choose to curate your best work and showcase it with plenty of negative space. Don’t feel like you need to “fill out” your portfolio. Always remember the portfolio isn’t meant to promote you as a designer— instead, the work should speak for who you are as a designer.
Besides displaying your graphic designs, your portfolio website should include contact information, an about section, and any case studies or testimonials from past employers you feel like showing. Each of these sections should be at the obvious places from a visual hierarchy standpoint — which mostly means you should link to these pages from your header navigation menu or footer.
See the following graphic design portfolio examples to understand what exactly I am talking about. I have also dissected a few portfolios to help you with some ideas for your portfolio.
RyuCreative is a boutique-style marketing agency in Los Angeles. The female-run company has successfully assisted several different companies in PR, Social Branding and Creative Design.
How they have gone about their portfolio site is unique, but it will not alienate any potential clients as it’s well-structured. The first thing visitors will see is the randomly spread pictures on the homepage, which attracts visitors with its originality. The next thing anyone would do is click on one of the navigation items or scroll; either will expand on what RyuCreative does.
If we discuss their portfolio page specifically, Ryu has structured it differently than most agencies. First, the visitor has to select the portfolio category from four options (their primary services): Social Elevation, Content Creation, PR + Events, and Graphic Design. If you click on Graphic Design, you’ll find their past works uniquely spread throughout the page.
Currently located in Los Angeles, visual artist and designer Mindy Nguyen helps brands with identity, art direction, web design, etc. She currently freelances and also works with ilovecreatives Studio.
Her website homepage is her About + Portfolio page. Above the fold, she describes what she does with good typography, concise copy, and cool animations.
As soon as the short bio ends, you’ll find her works, i.e., her online portfolio. Each portfolio item includes four things: an image, the company’s name, what she did for the company, and a link to either see the live project or learn more about the project.
Everything is neatly presented with negative space, proper visual hierarchy, and emojis.
Ramone Henry provides his design services to companies that need web design, packaging, and overall branding. Ramone’s portfolio is highly-curated and a great example of showcasing one’s work quality over quantity.
His portfolio includes only four (distinct) items: Ux/UI design for Shleepy; landing page design mockups for Paypal; design system, UI/UX, and web development for AwesomeCare; and abstract typefaces for himself.
Update : Ramone has shifted to front-end and software development, but his website still is an excellent example to explore.
Note: Ramone’s contact details are on his Github profile (linked from the header), which might not be a big problem for a developer like him. But you, as a designer, should make your contact details obvious by having a contact page on your website.
Meiwen is a professional designer and photographer that features travel, people, editorial, and interior photography. He is also a designer, combining his many artistic talents to help his clients with branding, art direction, and more.
His website is minimalistic. On the homepage, he has gone with the two main things: a short bio and his photography and design portfolio with a few featured items. The minimal navigation bar helps visitors find more of his portfolio items, the contact form, or the primary social media profiles (Behance, Instagram, and Pinterest).
The design portfolio has curated items placed in a three-column grid with plenty of whitespace surrounding it. If you can’t think of any creative ways to showcase your design works, simply copy this format for your own portfolio.
Mel Gardner is a freelance graphic designer with a focus on branding, website creation, and charity work in Ireland. Pick a subcategory on her site, and you’ll see she can do just about anything design-wise.
The website features great micro-animations, awesome fonts, and clear structure. The “My Work” page displays her best works in the form of high-quality pictures in non-symmetric sections. You can hover over the graphic to see the brand name and what she has done for the brand — for example, “Soap with Soul, Packaging.”
Vicky Perry is an upbeat and full of life designer that works for herself in her own home. Her passion is to help small businesses that have a passion for their company find perfect branding and representation.
Her portfolio website is structured like a typical small business template website but has unique graphics and colors that showcase her skills and personality. The website’s portfolio section is clean with ample whitespace, and it sort of looks like the Instagram grid view (something on which, I am sure, the best of the designers would have worked).
John is a brand and identity graphic designer that has worked on some cool projects for all print purposes. Many of his recent projects include those in the music industry.
His portfolio gives the classic Dribbble vibes with the four columns and square column items/portfolio pieces. Though it doesn’t have the aesthetics of the previous examples, it’s still a great graphic design portfolio site with a lot of versatility. Plus, it nails the functionality aspect with a clean header that has links to important pages on one side and social media icons on the other.
Mariah Baker is a graphic designer that works with a focus on motion-based designs, meaning video work. She is located in New York and has some other creative personal projects displayed on her site.
I don’t quite like the icon-like thingy located at each joint-sections — it feels like a scroller but does nothing and messes with the website’s aesthetics. But besides that, the portfolio site is solid.
Located in London, Simon Horton has more than eight years of impressive graphic design experience. He has helped both small and large companies define their brand and message to consumers.
His website homepage is his portfolio page — we recommend you also keep your portfolio page as the website landing page if your main goal is to showcase your work. The design is a typical two-column grid with large images as portfolio items. Personally, I like the three-column or one-column aesthetic over two columns.
Erin Foster has many, many years of experience that go back as far as 12 years. Her design skills have landed her jobs working in popular magazines such as People and Redbook. She now works as an art director at a university and does freelance work from home.
Her typical Instagram-like, three-column grid portfolio looks great. An experienced designer choosing this format is also a testament that you can’t go wrong with three column showcase with ample whitespace. In fact, that’s the reason why the top website builders have similar portfolio templates.
Kaitlin Elisa is a graphic designer as well as a photographer and illustrator. She is currently located in Florida and has provided some beautiful branding designs for big companies like Starbucks.
Kevin Lewis has been a graphic designer for over 14 years. He is also a photographer. Merging these two skills and adding in the goal of his client has earned him a solid reputation as a designer.
With over ten years of experience in the graphic design field and proficiency in programs such as Photoshop, Morgan brings professionalism to many different brands. He loves logo design, website creation, and more.
Alex is a light-hearted, colorful, fun designer and skilled advertiser. Consider her your girl for anything from album covers to brand packaging that may need illustration design.
Liam Foster is a designer with over six years of experience in brand identity, website creation, and packaging. He works as a freelance artist and for a design agency in Margate, Kent.
Kimi Mischke is the designer behind Brave and Co Design. She has over 13 years in the business and started her own brand in 2016. Her work aims to be colorful, clean, and positive, creating an upbeat vibe for clients.
John Sim is located in the UK. His portfolio shows the eye-catching designs he’s created that are colorful, bold, and simplistic. Brand identity and perfecting the user interface are his expertise.
Holly McAlister is a graphic designer with over 15 years of experience in design and packaging for brands. She has won countless awards for her work on branding campaigns and product innovation.
Maxine balances her passion for graphic design with her love of being a mom seamlessly. Her portfolio shows off her beautiful work, which is commonly recognized for its attention to detail and beauty.
Ashley is a freelance graphic designer with over 8 years of experience working for many brands you’ve seen and heard about. Her design skills focus on branding, improving workflow, and appealing to the consumer all in one.
Colleen enjoys working with smaller companies and design agencies. She is well-rounded as a graphic designer providing skills in illustrations, photoshop, and animations, to name a few.
Sarah Zanon is located in Toronto and works as a graphic designer in film and television primarily. She also has photography skills and enjoys working with other creatives to make some awesome designs.
Joseph Ripienski is the graphic designer and all-around brand consultant for many companies. His goal is to create design projects for companies that wish to execute creatives with a message.
Taylor Huizenga is a designer located in New Jersey. Her passion for graphic design stems from many years when she was eager to solve problems in a creative and beautiful way. Her portfolio is well rounded, from event design to magazine print.
Larissa Nahhas has a portfolio full of colorful, pretty, and feminine branding and packaging ideas. She has created some sophisticated yet eye-catching designs for big names like MAC Cosmetics.
Heather Sears Design is a creative design company that provides graphic design services, including logo, packaging, and marketing design, to big-name companies. She has over 20 years of experience and a resume that will wow prospects.
Karen Moore has a passion for creativity that she puts to use each and every day. Her graphic design skills provide logos, print design, and more. She continues to evolve but is currently focused on immersive design.
Jason has years of graphic design experience taking brands to the next level, using eye-catching branding designs that are simplistic and professional. He’s worked in many different specialty fields, including technology and web design, leading him to work with large companies like Amazon.
Kathryn is a graphic designer with over ten years of experience. Most of her work has been in print design and illustrations, where she applies critical thinking and creativity.
Gareth has created a huge following on Youtube from the many years of design experience he has shown. He teaches those skills to other professionals or those interested in the field. His ability to represent brands has landed him jobs with Amazon, Shell, and the BBC, among others.
JulieAnn Larson is a Senior Graphic Design Artist with more than 16 years of experience. She assists real estate, fitness, and beauty brands with their branding and advertising needs.
Paula is her own boss working as a freelance graphic designer and snagging awards for her work in branding, packaging, and affordability. Her love for helping brands blossom shows through in her portfolio.
Chantelle Ivanisevic is the owner and graphic designer within Designs by Chantelle. Her work focuses on branding from a start to finish perspective that is catered to the company and its ideal consumer.
Most graphic designers use a portfolio website builder like Squarespace to easily design their portfolios.
First and foremost, your portfolio must include high-quality images of your best graphic design work. Quality > Quantity.
Then, it must have all the necessary details: contact information, an 'about' section, case studies (if any), client testimonials, etc. All these details must be in obvious places, i.e., your site should be easy to navigate.
As many as needed. You can be done with one page or you may need hundreds (if, say, for example, you publish articles on your site).
Tip: If showcasing the portfolio is your goal, make the portfolio page your homepage. Everything else is secondary.
There's no one-size-fits-all. However, if you are a non-technical person who wants to build your portfolio fast, Squarespace is probably your best option. It has stunning templates that keep aesthetics over anything, which is the requirement of any good graphic design portfolio.