As a designer, you need a good design portfolio to represent not only your skills but also your experience in design industry. A portfolio can be a website, a collection of your design works on Behance or can be a physical one.
Moreover, there’s nothing more important to your design career than presenting your best work in a beautiful, attractive portfolio. But is your portfolio good enough?
I’ve seen many portfolios of different designers from every design fields and so many of them are just looks the same, some are just photos with no information and a big title name of their work.
This is what I called The Behance Effect.
The Behance effect is what I called when the designer put their work as plain photos without any context to present viewers or even clients.
This has proven to be the simplest way to show your design skills in visual but a bad way to show your design experience, your problem-solving skill and the meaning behind the visual: the thinking.
So what is a good portfolio?
A good portfolio looks good visually and has a personality.
A company or client won’t notice you much if the first thing they see is a messy, ugly, unattractive portfolio.
I see a lot of designers who only use some simple templates on ThemeForest as their portfolio. It is not a bad thing but again, those do not reflex your skills, experience, and your personality as a designer.
If you want to make a portfolio, make a good one and most importantly, show your personality in it.
If you don’t have time to design one, make a pretty showcase (with context) for your work and publish it on Behance or Dribbble. Those still works really well as a portfolio.
Some examples of good portfolios:
A good portfolio shows the best real work of the designer.
People don’t have time to scroll down all the way down to the bottom so make sure show them only your best work in the first 1-3 scrolls in your portfolio. Make sure to choose the thumbnail of those first projects wisely because that will catch their intention.
Don’t show fake or concept project unless you don’t have any real work project to show. That concept project must be good because it will be the first thing clients or companies will see.
Make sure it looks really good and show your skills and thought. Here are some good examples:
A good portfolio has greate case studies.
Case studies are an important part of any designer’s portfolio. It is the foundation of your portfolio.
An important part of case studies that almost every designer doesn’t even bother: Context.
Context in design is very important. It answers the “Why?” question behind the visual design and provides meaning to it. If a design doesn’t have context, they are just a bunch of “eye-catching design photos”.
What the project is about? What’s its problem? How can you the designer solve it? Why this color? Why this layout?…etc.
A good case study can increase the change to get a high salary design job.
Keep it short, simple and keep it real.
Examples of great case studies from good portfolios:
A good portfolio is not an old portfolio – Keep it updated.
Design always change, trends are always changing. Every designer needs to adapt to change and so are their portfolio.
Good designers are the one who cares about their works, keep learning new stuff and keep that momentum going. What’s the best way to keep both you and portfolio up to date?
Write a design blog.
This not only keeps your portfolio fresh with new contents but also you may get more follower, more opportunity and more knowledge for yourself.
Why? Because you will have to constantly update information, trends about design in order to write new content for your blog.
Check out examples below:
Some small tips and tricks to improve your portfolio.
- Cut the Bull shit Introduction.
- Get straight to the point.
- Make it easy and eye-pleasant to look at.
- Create a good About Page.