40 brilliant design portfolios to inspire you

Design portfolios come in all shapes and sizes - but these examples show what a great one looks like, whatever your discipline.

The internet is full of thousands upon thousands of awe-inspiring design portfolios. To enable you to stand out in this tough market, it's important to make your online portfolio as impressive as you can.

It's not just the examples of work that need to blow away your potential clients (although they do help) it's the way that they're presented. You don't have to be a superstar web designer; a touch of creativity and innovative thinking will get you a long way. And there are plenty of free online tools, such as Behance, to help you build a portfolio without any coding knowledge.

So, check out these inspiring examples of online design portfolios, both for individual designers and design agencies – to help you angle your own in just the right way...

01. Adhemas Batista

Adhemas Batista's portfolio reflects his passion for colour

A Brazilian-born graphic designer and artist based in Los Angeles, Adhemas Batista has worked with some of the world's biggest brands, including Adidas, Coca-Cola and Sony. His awe-inspiring portfolio reflects his passion for exploring vibrant and colorful concepts, all of which pop againt a bright white backdrop.

02. Ryan Scherf

Web developer Ryan Scherf's one-page portfolio site is simple but very effective

Inbetween web designing, developing, writing, teach and building, Ryan Scherf found the time to create this eye-catching portfolio site. A gorgeous example of a one-page site, simply scroll down past the beautifully illustrated landing page to a number of example websites that he's worked on, followed by contacts at the bottom. Simple but very effective.

03. Charlotte Tang

Tang's portfolio lets her work do all the talking

Toronto-based interactive designer Charlotte Tang 'strives to marry the love of web and graphic design by finding a harmonious balance between functionality and aesthetics'. And is something that she's clearly applied to her portfolio site.

Users are greeted by little port holes, featuring a black and white taster of her work. Hover over each and they come to life in full colour. Click and it leads to a short description, which is completely overshadowed by a beautifully big image of said work.

04. Robby Leonardi

portfolios to inspire you
Robby Leonardi stars in his own interactive design portfolio

Robby Leonardi is a multidisciplinary designer based in New York City. Specialising in illustration, graphic design, animation, and front-end development, he has worked with the likes of Fox, Speed TV, FX Networks, myNetworkTV, and G4. This incredibly fun interactive design portfolio will have you scrolling for hours.

05. Lizzie Seymour

portfolios to inspire you
Dive into the world of Lizzie Seymour with this adorable portfolio

Lizzie Seymour is a designer that loves to dabble in character design, illustration, installation, a bit of coding, and stuff that moves. This adorably crafted portfolio will give you a sense of her brilliant work and her impeccably cute characters.

06. Björn Meier

best design portfolios
A beautifully simplistic and easy to navigate portfolio

This beautifully minimal, easy to navigate portfolio from Björn Meier is a feast for the eyes. Designed by German based agency BASICS09, the portfolio went on to become recognised on the AWWWARDS.

07. Jeremy Sallee

design portfolios
Some wonderful icon designs ensure Jeremy's portfolio stands out

Jeremy Sallee is a self-taught French graphic designer. Creating wonderful icons, Sallee uses a very popular portfolio layout but with a few precision tweaks to make it stand out from the creative crowd. Salle has an impressive array of work on offer that you can navigate using some very cute mini icons.

08. Marc Thomas

design portfolio
Simple colours and a responsive layout makes this a portfolio to die for

This portfolio from designer Marc Thomas teams a sleek layout with a handful of striking shades. His use of typography is masterful, plus the look and feel of the site stays consistent on mobile screens.

09. Rosie Lee

design portfolios
It may look scattered at first but we love the layout of this portfolio

Rosie Lee is a hybrid creative agency, with on and offline expertise in branding, advertising and retail design. We love the unique layout and the use of complementing colours makes it a winner in our eyes.

10. Studio Airport

 Studio Airport
The content in the Projects section reorders itself when you switch menu items

Studio Airport is a design agency based in the Netherlands, with a strong online presence embracing airport graphics, large photographs and strong typography. We love the little animated reordering of contents that takes place in its Projects section when you switch options in the left-hand menu.

11. Paul Currah

 Paul Currah
The design portfolio of Paul Currah is clean and simple

Paul Currah is an award-winning multi-disciplinary graphic designer, delivering creative, innovative and engaging solutions to communication problems across brand identity, print, packaging, environmental, and digital. His portfolio is a clean and simple offering, with each project photo fading in and out, showcasing different aspects of the creation.

12. Teacake

Teacake's portfolio is nothing if not eye-catching

Teacake is a quintessentially British, inventive and conscientious design studio. Its online portfolio instantly catches your attention with its yellow backdrop and large imagery. Navigating through the site you see a strong and diverse portfolio of work. Our only plea would be for the trackpad to allow for horizontal scrolling through the content.

13. Smart!

The online portfolio of Smart! has a simple structure

Smart! is a multidisciplinary team of professionals in graphic design, communication and information technology that have two offices in Buenos Aires and Perú.

Their online portfolio has a simple structure, with the grey turning to full colour once you hover over each project. We love that the selected images from each project are presented in a horizontal line.

14. Olly Gibbs

 Olly Gibbs
The online portfolio of Olly Gibbs shows real attention to detail

Olly is a London based, multi-disciplined designer and illustrator who has already worked with the likes of Warner Bros, Muse, and The Salvation Army. It's the attention to detail within his portfolio that really makes it stand out.

The sense of fun immediately showcases Olly's personality, whilst the typography and lay-out makes it work aestheically. We especially love the 'About' section.

15. Pollen

Pollen's online portfolio is beautifully structured and reminiscent of editorial layouts

Pollen are strategists and innovators, as much as as they are designers. They have developed a format that allows them to work closely with clients as creative partners, engaging the target audience and driving results. Pollen have a beautiful structured website, comparable to editorial layouts. We’re a big fan of the chunky yet simplistic footer.

16. Viget

The online portfolio of design agency Viget shows just how important photography is becoming in the industry

Working as a team of 58 creative individuals, Viget have got some impressive projects under their belt. Set up by brothers Brian Williams and Andy Rankin and their Dad, Wynne 'Pop' Williams, Viget Labs was established back in 1999 when the internet was changing.

The portfolio showcases just how important photography and user experience is within this industry. They're able to showcase their work in a stunning fashion that allows potential clients to really get a feel for the agency.

17. Laureano Endeiza

We love the illustrated wire and circuits in the online portfolio of Laureano Endeiza

Laureano is based in San Luis, Argentina and has been working as a web designer for almost a decade. Although his portfolio is pretty simple, it's the brilliant illustrated wire and circuits that make all the difference.

Each wire connects to a different project, which shows off Laureano's hard work. The wire connecting to the sites also coincides with each project's colours, which works as a perfect finish.

18. Super Awesome

 Super Awesome
The online portfolio of web design agency Super Awesome is, well, super awesome

With a name like Super Awesome, you'd expect this web design agency's portfolio to be pretty, well, awesome. And it's safe to say that it most certainly is!

Making sites not suck since 2007, the layout of each project allows the user to gain an insight into each aspect of the web page. We love that the site isn't afraid to produce statements such as 'portfolios are boring' and 'we don't do meetings'. Bold, super awesome stuff.

19. I'm Tawn

 Ashleigh Downer
The design portfolio of Ashleigh Downer is immediately attention grabbing

In a world of quick clickers and impatient scrollers, it's important to instantly grab the attention of your potential clients. Too much text on the homepage could scare away the curious, so it's a good idea to entice them with an image. Here, Ashleigh Downer does just that with a quirky landing page before showcasing her incredible collections. Remember, you want to make your visitors click and you can't help but do just that with this portfolio.

20. Small Studio

 Small Studio
The online portfolio of Small Studio showcases great use of horizontal scrolling

Small Studio is an award winning creative agency, founded in Melbourne in 2007 by directors Paul Kotz and Todd Proctor. Describing themselves as 'design adventurers', this online portfolio is an adventure for any user.

The horizontal scrolling already enables the portfolio to stand out from the rest, with each section of the site within easy reach. It also looks pretty great on a tablet!

Next page: the next 20 design portfolio examples

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