The Best Graphic Design Portfolios We’ve Ever Seen, & How to Start Your Own
As a freelance graphic designer, your portfolio is a critical part of your company. Indeed, it is frequently the deciding element in a client’s employment decision. A great portfolio demonstrates not just your skill to design but also your thought process, adaptability, and ability to collaborate with clients and colleagues.
Building an excellent graphic design portfolio takes time and effort if you want your work to get recognised. Unfortunately, merely displaying a few images of your work on a page is insufficient; without context, your work will be assessed subjectively. Here are some tips for creating a portfolio on your own. If you still need help to create a professional portfolio, study graphic design with Blue Sky Graphics and build your own portfolio!
Contact local companies and start-ups to see if they require assistance with marketing campaigns or packaging supplies.
Reaching out to non-profits and local companies in your region is one of the simplest methods to begin expanding your customer base. Consider creating mock-ups or sketches in advance to demonstrate your ability and vision to these firms. Perhaps you believe a neighbourhood restaurant might benefit from a new menu logo, or you would want to assist a gift store with its online marketing materials. Ideally, these firms will offer to leave a testimonial on your portfolio in exchange for your services.
Create content for your personal brand and make sure it is consistent across all of your personal marketing products.
Take the effort to guarantee the consistency and elegance of your own marketing materials. Create a unique design for your website and incorporate it into other documents, such as your business card and CV. If a customer sees the sort of high-quality work you are capable of doing for yourself; they are more inclined to collaborate with you.
Create a website makeover for a brand that you admire
Consider redesigning an entire website for a well-known company to exhibit your abilities to prospective clients. This is a well-known approach that several designers have previously employed — simply take a look at some of the stunning Behance mock-ups for designers like Michael Kors.
If you are developing mockups for existing companies to include in your portfolio, it is critical to accompany them with a case study or description of how you arrived at your recommended design. Discuss what you believe was not working with the previous design, some of the restrictions you believe the designers faced, and why you made the choices you did.
Mockups are excellent for demonstrating your visual design abilities, but they do not always represent your ability to work in a real-world environment. Therefore you will want to take the time to describe how you would have tackled it in a realistic business setting.
Create a creative brief for a hypothetical website and graphic design materials for the imaginary business
If your designs are sufficiently outstanding, potential clients may not care whether they were made for a fake firm – in fact, they may be pleased by your innovativeness and originality. Consider showcasing your abilities by creating a creative brief for a fictitious firm that includes wireframes and sketches. In due course, legitimate businesses will take note.
Create a logo for a brand that you admire
Maintain a focus on the sort of content that you like designing. If you are especially skilled at designing logos and are frequently inspired by the logos used by genuine businesses, try developing a custom logo for a brand you admire. Consider some of these inspirational possible Uber logos; while they were eventually rejected by Uber, they serve as excellent representations of the designers’ abilities.
Create a stock WordPress theme
WordPress, a popular content management system, enables users to create stock themes for the platform — and best of all, if approved, your theme can be sold as a premium theme for additional revenue. Begin by researching the most popular WordPress themes and determining how you might develop an appealing alternative. To learn more, see WordPress’s Theme Review Requirements.
Take part in a design competition
Consider participating in a design challenge to gain inspiration, develop your talents, or engage with other designers in a community while also building your portfolio. By challenging you to move outside your design comfort zone, design challenges may also help you discover abilities you did not realise you possessed.
Create case studies for your most accomplished work
Almost all of the graphic design portfolio examples provided previously feature in-depth case studies. These are particularly critical if you are new to design and lack a plethora of projects to showcase in your portfolio. Make a strong first impression and showcase just the greatest samples of your work. Prioritise quality over quantity. While developing careful and comprehensive case studies might be time-consuming, do not neglect this step!
Collaborate on personal projects
Creating personal (or conceptual) projects allows you to exercise your creative muscles and attract more of the sorts of tasks that interest you. Treat these projects in your portfolio the same way you would a paid project. In other words, create a case study to demonstrate your approach and add several accompanying images to demonstrate the breadth of your work.
Frequently Update your Content
A stale portfolio of previous work is unlikely to attract new clients or keep site visitors engaged. Assemble a design portfolio that features recent work, such as a client-commissioned design or a logo design for a recent marketing campaign. Your portfolio website should be dynamic and engaging, with frequent updates of your most recent and best work.
Provide testimonials from clients
Social proof is extremely valuable in the freelancing sector. Testimonials bolster your credibility in the eyes of a prospective customer who has never met you before. Even though your portfolio is stunning, a customer may prefer to deal with someone who has a greater number of testimonials attesting to the quality of his work. If you are new to freelancing and have yet to work with a customer, consider performing some unpaid or reduced work in return for a testimonial. A solid testimonial pays benefits over time.