Just starting out or in need of a design portfolio refresh? Whilst you'll be aware of the pros of sites like Behance, you may not have heard of these offerings. Here, Rob Carney showcases five alternative sites that could be the stepping stone into standing out in an ever-crowded industry.
01. Cargo Collective
A curated community site that actually makes individuals stand out. I've no idea what you have to say to get approval to join, which makes it all the more alluring on the upside and cultish on the downside. Thumbs up for a free-standing website with its own URL, open source design and aesthetically pleasing templates that place the emphasis on content.
An old-school favourite for many, from designers Eatock and Vasta. It's 25 Euros to buy, but there's no web hosting. The simple layout allows images and all-important descriptions of work to shine through. You get that unmistakable Indexhibit feel, which nods towards a no-nonsense stamp of designer quirk. Everything looks like it's been written on a typewriter first.
If you want a site that looks to a CEO like you know what you're doing, then this is probably the one for you. Slick and 'hip', this trendy template portal offers glossy portfolio coverage, custom domains, e-commerce – everything you need in our 2.0 world. Even logos, just in case.
This is the fun underdog. A joint collaboration between designers in Latvia, The Netherlands and San Francisco, it's an open source, simple, flexible online tool for creating websites. Prices are pretty reasonable, they host, and you get the feeling that this young startup gets the whole portfolio ordeal. Their 'happy websites' look great too.
Lest we forget Tumblr. Some of the best portfolios come from re-imagined spaces, self-made coded sites and the combo-draw of social media and blogs. Have a look at self-styled portfolios, designers like Simon Whybray offer an alternative take on the whole portfolio angle, with a mix-and-match DIY online presence.
Words: Rob Carney
These tips originally featured in Computer Arts issue 230.
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