50 brilliant design portfolios to inspire you

The internet is overflowing with awe-inspiring design portfolios and creative resumes. 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 they're presented – part of which means you'll need a decent DSLR or compact camera to shoot any print work.

You don't have to be a superstar creative director or 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. Sagmeister & Walsh

Sure, it’s a little sketchy to have a live cam of your office feeding into your portfolio website homepage. But whether you think Sagmeister & Walsh’s live feed is an innovative concept or something else, it’s undeniable that the homepage navigation is strong, clear and balances style with extreme usability.    

A detailed Answers section tackles FAQs on everything from the studio’s work to its thoughts on branding, typography, inspiration and more, plus advice for students and thoughts on the industry. Meanwhile, the usual Work, About and Press sections provide visitors with quality information on everything from the brief and creative process of each project to instructions on how writers can access assets for articles. 

Images are large and well-shot, and an alternating grid keeps the Work section interesting. But it’s the level of detail each section drills down into that we love. Balancing form with function, Sagmeister & Walsh’s portfolio website is set up to give any visitor exactly what they want in the fastest (but most interesting) possible way – while showcasing the team’s style and personality, too. 

02. Daniel Spatzek

Graphic and web designer Daniel showcases some CSS tricks and animation on his portfolio website

Daniel Spatzek is freelance graphic designer and art director from Austria, and his site does a brilliant job of showing off both his design and web skills. Using plenty of WebGL and CSS tricks to bring everything to life, it's a selection box of hot web techniques that's packed with animation, but all put together in a restrained way so as not to overload the viewer.

03. Arturo Wibawa

There's some exemplary use of SVG animation on Wibawa's site

Arturo Wibawa's site is worth checking out just for the detailed breakdowns of projects he's worked on, complete with wireframes, flowcharts, palettes, fonts and plenty of information about his process. But it's also a slick, brilliantly executed site with loads of smart effects and visual tricks, including some masterful use of SVG animation.

04. Femme Fatale

Nice Velvet Underground reference, too

Based in Paris, Femme Fatale is a creative studio focused on culture, luxury, editorial and art. It pitches itself as being somewhere between sophistication and simplicity, and its portfolio site reflects this tone excellently, combining swish parallax effects with bold imagery.

05. Alexandre Rochet

It looks dark here but the colour soon kicks in

Also based in Paris, Alexandre Rochet is a French designer who's passionate about image and specialises in web design, identity and interface design. His site's packed with parallax effects and smart colour fades. What it sacrifices in straightforward navigation it more than makes up for in wow factor. 

06. Bert

Big and bold, Bert's site is in your face, with all the facts you need

Netherlands-based Bert's creative specialists work on an international level in branding, design and development. The studio's single-page case studies are a joy to look at, packed with punchy imagery interspersed with informative chunks of text.

07. Yul Moreau

Welcome to the neon jungle

Born in Seoul, based in Paris and raised by the 80s, Yul Moreau's site grabs your attention from the off with its splendidly garish background montage of retro video. The single-pager site does a brilliant job of showcasing the art director's work, combining video, images and clever scroll effects to show everything off nicely.

08. Steven Mengin

Just watch this undulate for a few hours and everything will be fine

To be honest we could happily sit and gaze at Steven Mengin's WebGL splash page, with its gently undulating cloudscape, for hours. However, it's worth dragging yourself down the page to enjoy his work, ever so slightly spiced up with a light ripple effect on each image as you mouse over. Great work by Samsy.

09. Studio Schurk

Studio Schurk design portfolio

Studio Schurk brings humour to its animated site design

Animation studio Studio Schurk (meaning 'Studio Rogue') shows off its sense of humour in its bold and punchy site design. The animations highlight off the duo's talent while being interesting and fun. Scroll down to see their equally bold designs.

10. Melanie Daveid

Melanie Daveid design portfolio

Melanie Daveid's site shows that simplicity come sometimes say it all

UX designer and art director Melanie Daveid's portfolio is simple yet beautiful. Her intricate illustrated logo opens and closes the (almost) infinite scroll design that brings her resumé to life on your screen.

"Artworks and illustrations were my gateway to the creative industry," she says, "which led to the foundation of my own studio and to first steps in the digital world." Something that is crystal clear from her portfolio.

11. A Dandy Punk

The Dandy Punk design portfolio

The Dandy Punk expresses his multifaceted talents through a multimedia portfolio

A Dandy Punk hasn't just created a beautifully intricate illustrated portfolio but an online presence and alter-ego. The site mirrors this, with the character "existing to inspire and motivate creativity, non-conformity, whimsy, intense curiosity, do-it-yourself mentality and everyday eccentricity in everybody."

Next page: 12-20 on our list of brilliant design portfolios