A great online portfolio is crucial for creatives of all skill levels. If you’re just starting out in the industry or a student, you can’t afford to put your portfolio off; you need to be ready to leverage crucial opportunities. And if you’re already an established designer, it’s just as important to maintain a fresh online presence.
Trouble is, setting up and maintaining an online portfolio can be a daunting and time-consuming task. But it doesn’t have to be, and you don’t need to be a coding expert either.
Format (opens in new tab) is a portfolio platform designed specifically to help creatives set up a professional online presence in minutes. An easy-to-use website builder, Format will make setting your portfolio up a cinch, showcasing your work in all its glory with one of its beautiful themes. And if that wasn’t enough, Format is also armed with integrated business features, including commerce, client proofing, marketing, and blogging tools, to help support you at every stage of your creative career.
Read on for how to create a professional, easy-to-navigate online portfolio in five simple steps.
Step 01. Choose a theme
The first thing you need to decide when creating your online portfolio is how you want it to look. Format has a variety of carefully-crafted themes to cater to your specific needs and design discipline. Layouts include:
- Horizontal scrolling
- Fullscreen slideshow
- Vertical scrolling
And remember, nothing is forever. If you decide at a later date that you don’t like the theme you’ve picked, you can easily choose another. Simply select your theme of choice, go to the dashboard and here’s where the fun starts: customising your portfolio.
Step 02. Pick a colour, any colour
And a font too while you’re there. Now you’ve decided on a theme, it’s time to get creative with your design elements. Use the ‘Design’ tab to experiment with the look of your site, tweaking the overall theme, for example. The ‘General’ tab is where you can really inject some personality into your portfolio design. Fonts, colours, images, logos, you can customise them all, making for a truly personalised portfolio.
Step 03. Add a gallery
The purpose of a portfolio is to showcase your best work, and what better way to greet people than with a gallery that has it all. Think of it as a showreel for visitors to your site, a way to grab their attention and immediately give them the right impression about who you are as an individual and an artist.
The hardest part of this step is choosing what work to include. Setting it up with Format is the easy bit; simply choose ‘Gallery’ from the ‘Create New’ tab, upload your images and add captions (if you choose) and voila!
Step 04. Create an 'About' page
Aside from showcasing your work, the ‘About’ section is the second most important page in your portfolio. Once you’ve impressed with your creative talents, the next thing visitors will want to know is who you are and how to get hold of you.
You’d be surprised by how many opportunities are lost due to portfolios missing vital information. Don’t be the one who loses out – under ‘Create New, select ‘Custom Pages’ and pick/customise one of the About page templates at your disposal.
Here you can take some time to add some information about who you are, what you do and the best way for people to get in touch with you. Add your favourite mugshot too, it can go a long way to making things more personal. You could even be brave and lead with a super-sized eye-catching image to introduce yourself, as demonstrated by Anton and Irene (opens in new tab) above.
Step 05. Sync with social media
Love it or hate it, social media provides a number of handy platforms to help get your work seen and build an online following. With Format, you can add up to five icons linking visitors to your social media accounts. Located under the ‘Social’ tab, simply select the platforms you wish to use, be that a Facebook page, Instagram account or Twitter feed so visitors to your site can access them quickly and easily.
And that’s it, one professional portfolio set up and ready to go!
Want to get started on your own portfolio? Sign up to Format here (opens in new tab) for a 14-day, no obligation free trial.