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!

21. Bleed

Bleed aims to challenge conventions with its work

Bleed state that they "represent a mix of cultures and disciplines to challenge today’s conventions around art, visual language, interaction, media and identity". This mode of thinking is implemented within their online projects, full screen imagery and large type engage the user whilst scrolling through the site. We love they have included a manifesto at the end - nice touch.

22. Kendra Schaefer

 Kendra Schaefer
The online portfolio of Kendra Schaefer is packed with personality

As soon as you stumble upon Kendra's site, you're immediately presented with this image and we love it! There's nothing better than showing off your personality and sense of humour.

Not only is it great photography; the colours, typography, and statement, "This is how I feel when I'm not making the internet. Luckily, I make websites for a living", will instantly etch Kendra in your memory.

23. Cast Iron Studio

 Cast Iron Studio
The online portfolio of Cast Iron Studio is full of creative flair

With a name like 'Cast Iron Studio', you're going to need a pretty vintage looking portfolio. Thankfully, this design studio does just that but with some creative flair.

Using the simple grid structure, the site oozes class with the use of traditional, vintage-looking typography and complementary colours.

24. DJNR

The online portfolio of DJNR truly stands out

This is an online portfolio that really stands out from the crowd. DJNR crafted this highly interactive site, which includes a GIF of a working day that coincides with the bar running at the bottom of the page.

There's also music and a highly eye-catching colour scheme. You can browse through all the projects on one page, which includes development, games, animation and design. It was even a FWA site of the day!

25. Gareth Strange

 Gareth Strange
The design work of Gareth Strange is showcased well, with the colours complementing each other perfectly

The phenomenon of Pinterest has meant a huge rise in Pinterest-style layouts. Whilst some may grit their teeth at the sight of yet another 'copycat', graphic designer Gareth Strange manages to make this one his own. The homepage directly focuses on his illustrations, with the colours nicely complementing each other. The visitor is able to immediately gauge Gareth's design approach, which certainly makes for a successful portfolio.

26. Emil Olsson

 Emil Olsson
The design portfolio of Emil Olsson offers a great scrolling experience

When you first stumble onto Emil Olsson's portfolio, it may not seem the most impressive of sites. However, once you start scrolling - and we all love a good scroll - it quickly becomes sleek, stylish and highly original. Today, more and more of us are visiting websites via our smartphones and tablets, so it only a matter of time before designers showcased their examples of work on the little gadgets... on their websites. We think it works extremely well but what are your thoughts?

27. Steven Bonner

 Steven Bonner
The design portfolio of Steven Bonner is reminiscent of Pinterest's layout

Steven Bonner is a bonafide illustrator, whose work deserves to be splashed across any screen. Thankfully his online portfolio - designed by Mike Sullivan and David Cole does just that. Laid out in a lovely Pinterest-ish fashion, you're able to hover over each image to gain insight into the brief and Steven's original ideas. It's a fantastic addition to the design that enables the user to really get to know Steven's style. You can also change the layout with a simple click of a button if the array of images is a bit too much for you.

28. Jesse Willmon

 Jesse Willmon
The design portfolio of Jesse Willmon has a playful sense of fun

This playful portfolio comes from designer Jesse Willmon. As soon as you arrive on the homepage, the site alludes an instant sense of fun whilst still managing to showcase the examples of work in an innovative way. Its cute approach allows the visitor to feel welcome, with its chatty tone, felt-tip font and colourful icons. It only gets better once you click on the links as the style continues throughout. 

29. Odd Web Things

 Peter Godek
Peter Godek showcases his work using numbers

Odd Web Things certainly lives up to its name by portraying its portfolio in a somewhat unusual way. Instead of images, web designer Peter Godek showcases his portfolio using numbers - with an image appearing every time you hover over one of them. Once you click on an image, the right to left scrolling continues with the example in full. The site is easy to navigate, fun and fresh.

30. Seymour Powell

 Seymour Powell
The design portfolio of Seymour Powell offers both Flash and HTML versions

You can enter this site in both HTML and Flash, which allows the visitor to see the portfolio in any way they choose. We were curious enough to check out the Flash version and boy, is it awesome! Firstly, you're presented with a stack of business cards entitled 'Seymour Powell in seven clicks'. What ensues is pretty self-explanatory but it's one of the most original portfolio presentations we've ever witnessed.

31. Lounge Lizard

 Lounge Lizard
The design portfolio of Lounge Lizard, who describe themselves as 'brandtenders'

Website design and marketing agency Lounge Lizard has been making waves on the design circuit for almost 15 years. Describing themselves as 'brandtenders', this bar-themed portfolio is the perfect execution of their work and style. It gets even better once you click the 'Games' or 'Mobile Apps' icons, with the examples portrayed on an iPad you have to turn on yourself and another you have to feed money to. A truely impressive, highly interactive portfolio.

32. Trademark

 Tim Lahan
The design portfolio of Tim Lahan is perfectly laid out

New York based graphic designer and artist Tim Lahan presents his portfolio in a simple yet stunning way. The important logo and information stays firmly at the top of your screen as you scroll through his colourful examples of work. The drawings and designs are also perfectly laid out to really show them off; with no framing or barriers to distract the visitor or alter the work's effect. Sometimes, simplicity really is the key.

33. Justin Maller

Justin Maller's portfolio lets the vibrant imagery do the talking

The Australian designer's portfolio site keeps things reasonably simple, and so lets his vibrant work - he's currently going through a delightfully crystalline phase at the moment - do the talking. It lets you get straight to the artwork, with the only fancy stuff going on being a lovely little gradient at the bottom of the main index window, subtly fading everything in as it scrolls up.

34. Tim Smith

The blue sidebar on Tim Smith's site isn't just for social links

Boasting 'Brain-powered graphics fun', Tim Smith's portfolio site uses CSS3 to mix a spotlessly clean look with some clever HTML5 tricks such as the cut-out titles for each piece, that disappear as you mouse over. We love the sidebar as well, featuring social links on the front page and then used for navigation between portfolio pages.

35. Delete

Delete's action-packed site has plenty going on, but it gets away with it

Big, bold and in your face, Delete's site opens with a full-frame carousel showing off four recent projects, and the rest of the portfolio meets the expectations created on the front page, with little interstitial messages as individual pages are loaded, animated backdrops and a splendidly responsive gallery of recent work. It's a joy to explore.

36. Studio Contents

We love the smoothly responsive images on Studio Contents' site

Here's a site that lives up to the statement on the Information page that, "Studio Contents is not a design agency in the traditional sense." The front page seems basic - minimal text sitting on top of a big carousel image, with a grid of smaller images beneath that - but it's fantastically responsive and smooth with it, images resizing with the browser like a dream. It's all about presenting the work in the best possible way, and it does a great job.

37. Bob Galmarini

Bob Galmarini website

'Bright' and 'crisp' are good words to describe the personal portfolio site of Bob Galmarini, an award winning art director at {e} house studio.

"Like a lot of other designers, my work has been hidden within the portfolios of the companies I have worked for," says Galmarini on the goal of his new site. "I needed a simple, easy to update place to host my body of work." Galmarini started with a template theme but heavily used CSS to make it unique. It’s a good example of how altering fonts, colours and other CSS styles can make a difference.

38. Hayk

best design portfolios
Check out the brilliant choice of colours on Hyak's site

Hyak is a full time freelance designer, who also happens to be a music producer by night. After high school he continued to study on his own, reading and gaining experience working as a graphic designer. This cleverly crafted portfolio has a lovely colour scheme and an ace scrolling experience.

39. Stereo Creative

best design portfolios
A creative portfolio site for Stereo Creative

London based agency Stereo Creative have created this simple, yet striking portfolio site. They explain, "Our people lead and deliver projects with energy and accountability. We're flexible and responsive, adapting our approach to meet the needs of individual assignments. We stay close to our clients, partnering with them, to create and deliver as one team".

40. Fieldwork

design portfolios
A clean-cut portfolio for the team at Fieldwork

Fieldwork are a focused team of makers and do-ers who specialise in crafting engaging experiences across digital, web and brand. Founded in 2012 by Loz Ives and Andy Gott, the company has worked with a number of brands including craft beer brewers and illustrators. Their attractive-looking portfolio is both clean-cut and easy to navigate.

Have you seen any awesome design portfolios? Or maybe you'd like to share yours? Let us know in the comments box below!

Words: Sammy Maine

Sammy Maine is staff writer at Creative Bloq.

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