When it comes to creating a graphic design portfolio, there are a number of , but there’s no ‘one correct way’ to lay it out. In a way, that’s good; it means you’re free to experiment and showcase your creativity in designing your website. But it can also create a tyranny of choice: with so many possible avenues to go down, it can be difficult to find the right direction for you.
In this instance, it can be helpful to look at what other graphic designers have been doing with their portfolios. That doesn’t mean blindly copying them, but it does mean taking inspiration from what they’ve done, and how it’s worked for them.
In fact, even deciding you don’t like something about their portfolio may help you clarify what you want yours to achieve. In this post we present eight great graphic design portfolios, all new or newly updated for 2017.
01. Heather Shaw
With 20 years' experience in design, Heather Small designs brochures, menus, business cards, books, annual reports, Powerpoint and Keynote presentations, responsive websites, applications… anything her clients need, in short. And her impressive portfolio site marshalls all this diverse work with simplicity and elegance.
Overlaying photos of each project with a block colour provides an element of visual consistency. Meanwhile, the big, bold typography and simple but effective design make it all very easy to navigate.
Based in New York, Stefanie Bruckler is an Austrian designer and illustrator with a particular interest in branding and editorial design. Passionate about building cohesive and strong brands as well as typography and packaging, she’s applied a touch of old-fashioned elegance to her website. Its minimalist, grid-based layout, muted colour palette and restrained use of type are all enclosed within a fixed, single-line frame.
03. Peter Komierowsk
Peter Komierowski is a visual designer working in Vancouver, British Columbia who specialises in illustration, branding and identity design, and interface design. With many high-profile clients, including The Huffington Post, NBA, Telus, and YouTube, there’s a lot to fit in here.
Komierowski’s homepage takes a quite radical approach, featuring just a small number of logo designs, surrounded by acres of white space. It’s a strategy born of (justified) confidence in the high quality of his designs, and it works brilliantly.
Tobias van Schneider is a multidisciplinary designer and creative director born in Germany, raised in Austria and currently living and working in New York. Focused on branding and interactive design, he’s had some big-name clients including Red Bull, BMW, Google, Wacom, Sony, Toyota and Ralph Lauren.
When you’re working at this level, the work tends to be beautifully photographed. Schneider takes full advantage of that, with a portfolio design that’s strongly image-focused. Some lovely white-on-black typography ties everything together, and overall this site succeeds in conveying the breadth of Schneider’s experience and the depth of his work.
05. Grant Burke
Grant Burke is a Toronto-based freelance graphic designer and illustrator specialising in logo design, brand identity and illustration. In the past he’s worked both as an in-house designer for large corporations and at an agency.
Burke's homepage is unusually text-heavy for a portfolio, but scroll down or click on ‘Portfolio’ in the top menu, and you’re greeted by a strong selection of work in a picture-grid format. Hover over each square for a brief summary, and click through to a full case study. These serve as a model for sharing the right amount of information about a project on a portfolio site; not too little that it leaves you hanging, not too much that it overwhelms.
Italian designer Alessandro Scarpellini has worked for a wide range of clients around the world in the fields of art direction, branding and visual identity, magazines and packaging design. He’s also the curator of , an inspirational blog about the best in branding and graphic design, so you’d expect him to know a thing or two about curating great work. And his portfolio doesn’t disappoint.
There’s a real air of sophistication to its design, which showcases examples of his work in a restrained sideshow and offers a personal biography in bold type below. Comprehensive it is not, but you certainly get a clear sense of this creative’s personality and approach to his design work from this minimalist portfolio.
07. Nicolas Paries
Nicolas Paries is 28-year old French art director who’s been working since 2008 with premium brands such as Chanel, Lancôme, Dior and Nespresso. The layout of his portfolio site is quite original, and the graphic effects as you scroll down are visually spectacular and hugely impressive. In short, this portfolio website is a real one-off.
Jascha Goltermann is a Berlin-based graphic designer who creates infographics, posters, logos, icons and websites. There are some pretty flashy effects and animations on his portfolio site (try mousing over his headshot, for starters).
But at its heart this is a conventional – albeit beautifully realised – picture-grid layout of work. The ability to switch between German and English is highly appreciated by us monoglots, too.