3 Things to Include in Your Online Graphic Design Portfolio
Filed under: Visual Design
June 12, 2017
Building an outstanding online graphic design portfolio takes a lot more than just selecting and uploading your best work to the internet. Your online portfolio is your chance to demonstrate your design thinking and your ability to design an engaging, intuitive website. Perhaps most importantly, your online graphic design portfolio must convince potential clients or employers to contact you. To help you achieve these goals, here are three things we believe should always be included on an online graphic design portfolio.
1. Project context and results
Think about portfolio pieces as case studies rather than standalone designs, accompanying each posted work with brief explanatory text. You see, managers want to know how you approach and solve problems through design. If they don’t know your goal, audience, methods, or other background and context, how can they judge your work? In some cases, you may choose to show your process visually, starting with a picture of the final product and then allowing your visitor to scroll through initial concepts and early sketches or wireframes.
Finally, wherever possible include the business impact, outcome, or even testimonial to showcase how your online graphic design portfolio pieces perform in real-life situations. Did you create marketing materials for an event with record attendance? Did user engagement jump dramatically after you redesigned a website? Did a client leave you a rave review about their satisfaction with your work? Those are the kind of details that make employers want to hire you.
2. Custom site logo and design
Your site represents you, so it should say something special. Don’t just grab a default template without making any changes. Visitors to your site won’t only be checking your portfolio pieces. Judging your site is entirely fair game, and your font, colors, layout, and logo should all be on point.
This doesn’t mean your online graphic design portfolio should be flashy or complex; simple is often better for portfolios, but it should be well thought out with some customization. In fact, it’s worth it to have friends, instructors, and other connections review your site before you send it to potential employers. Does it seem straightforward? Easy to navigate? What impression will someone who has never met you take away from your site? Be open to their opinions and feedback, and make revisions where needed.
3. A call to action
Every page of your site should have a purpose. Consider your primary and secondary goals on your site. You likely want visitors to contact you through a form, phone, or email, but maybe you also want them to sign up for your blog updates or follow you on social. On the homepage, your goal is probably to move them further into the site. Make sure you’ve designed your online graphic design portfolio site with these goals in mind and that you prominently feature your contact information and tell visitors to get in touch. There’s no reason to be shy!
If you’re serious about taking your graphic design skills to the next level, see how The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division can push, challenge, and inspire you to become the graphic designer you’ve always known you could be.
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