Feeling like your (online) portfolio needs a face lift but in need of some inspiration?
I’ve compiled a list of 50 awesome portfolio designs and a short blurb on why I’ve chosen them, categorized alphabetically by awesome design element, to spark creativity for designing or redesigning yours. Take a look and let me know which ones are your favorite by leaving a comment on this post!
Great Use of Color
Authentic Style :: The brown and orange work so well to create a rich, warm experience.
Charlotte Tang :: The color in her projects is so tangible and vibrant due to her muted design.
Chris Thurman :: Beautiful color scheme and easy to follow. I think the sections should be reordered so that his portfolio is higher on the page, but the layout is stunning.
Dreamdust :: Love their use of color on their home page without it looking cluttered. (Wish they would continue it rather than the grey with rollover color in their portfolio!)
Hot Meteor :: His use of red just makes my day.
Matt Dempsey :: Warm and inviting color palette that still focuses on the portfolio at hand.
Ryan Scherf :: This rich, dark background really makes the portfolio pieces vibrant and beautiful.
Yaron Schoen :: Really awesome how the colors on the site change based on the project.
Strong Calls to Action
Jay Hafling :: Instantly you know he’s ready and waiting for you.
Kisko Labs :: Great dark portfolio design with a call to action offset in color.
Laureano Endeiza :: Bright “Available for Freelance Work” right up top, and it’s neat that you can change the design (and language) via the settings in the upper right-hand corner.
Project 365 :: Fun typography and copywriting with a bright orange call to action.
Second and Park :: Questions can make great calls to action.
Theater Website Studio :: Multiple ways to contact them on the home page, and a great use of color, too.
Sweet, Sweet Minimalism
Ben Hulse :: A beautiful example of minimalism with color images.
Hannah Dollery :: Beautiful and simple way to display portfolio pieces with multiple images.
Kyee :: Really simple and elegant one-page design.
Luke Larsen :: Just a hint of design that makes it feel nicely polished.
Lundren + Lindqvist :: The rollover half-tone is a really nice touch, and really beautifully (and simply) laid out.
Nine Lion Design :: Minimalism can utilize (lots of) color. Who knew?!
Robbie Manson :: Minimalism that doesn’t feel like minimalism with a huge emphasis on the portfolio pieces.
Smart! Grupo Creativo :: The rage these days is grey with rollover color. This site exemplifies a great way to do this and a beautiful one-page design. Also, really neat studio section (click on the team names).
SmearGraph :: This grid/minimal cross really gives the artwork the spotlight to shine in.
Alex Dukal :: The rigid design of this site juxtaposes very well with the softness of his portfolio.
Damian Simpkins :: Grid meets minimalism in a nice and simple to navigate format.
Gerren Lamson :: While I’m not a huge fan of his typography headers, I just couldn’t stop browsing.
Jeroen Homan :: His tagline says it all: “Clean, smart & effective web design.”
Seymourpowell :: Beautiful layout and rollovers in their portfolio, and a really nice case study page to boot.
Signature Creative :: They’ve found a great way to keep the focus on their portfolio no matter what link you click.
Visualbox :: Interesting scrolling effect to highlight exactly where they want you to look.
Zync :: I really love that I don’t have to go back to the main portfolio page to view other works.
Fun with Moving Parts
DJNR :: So different and unique, it’s fun. This one stands out from the crowd.
Dumbwaiter Design :: A pretty website with a few interesting moving parts and a nice color scheme.
Ghost Horses :: A lot of moving parts done tastefully.
M1 Design :: Great use of color and fun movement in this (German? I believe) portfolio.
Marc Anton Dahmen :: Flash-based portfolio where each project is a different business card in the mix.
Morten Claussen :: Very cool effects and transitions in this Flash-based portfolio (not as big a fan on information display, though).
Sid Lee :: Really nice and clean side scrolling portfolio, and an interesting touch with the portfolio reel as well as a ‘normal’ portfolio.
Tanq :: I like the bright red rollovers on the home page portfolio pics.
Whiteboard :: Neat layering effect with different background pictures as you scroll. It creates the illusion of movement without actually moving.
13 Creative :: Quite the opposite of minimalism, this site fits nicely with her niche.
Astuteo :: Nice layout and easy to read.
Cast Iron Design Studio :: Neat old-timey site design, but an example of where rollover color works against them (if you click on logos, you have to roll over each one to see them in full color).
Cymetriq Studio :: Neat variation on the rollover color that’s not grey. It really highlights the current project nicely.
I am Rahul :: Nice one-page design with really pretty blues and a good dark color scheme.
Jason Reed :: I really enjoy the horizontal slide bars.
Kendra Schaefer :: Great copy and a neat freebies page for fellow designers.
Shannon Moeller :: This one feels fun – supported by the funky grid on the home page.
Tony Geer :: I like how he incorporates his blog on the home page without it dominating the content.
Yodaa :: Colorful and beautifully illustrated site.
In case you don’t make it through all 50…
…here are some interesting notes on what jumped out at me during my research:
- Everyone is using the grey to color rollover scheme. I’m not saying it doesn’t look good when done right, but it’s a
- Grey is in. Everywhere.
- So is that little tab at the top of a site that looks sewn or like the tail of a ribbon.
- A lot of designers would like clients to hire them, but they never ask them to! Very few portfolios have strong calls to action guiding clients to contact them.
What do you think?
Which one is your favorite? Do any inspire you to try a different technique or improve your portfolio website? Let us know in the comments on this post!Written by April Greer April creates brilliant graphic and web design through her freelance design business: Greer Genius. She specializes in information presentation and engaging content with a splash of marketing prowess where needed. April is available for speaking engagements and mentorships - visit her website for her contact information.