50 Stunning graphic design portfolios you MUST see before (re)designing yours

50 graphic design portfolios
14,297 designers received our email newsletter last week. Click here to sign up for free.

Feeling like your graphic design portfolio needs a face lift but in need of some inspiration?

I’ve compiled a list of 50 awesome graphic design portfolio examples 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 graphic design 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 graphic design portfolio!)

Hot Meteor :: His use of red just makes my day.

Matt Dempsey :: Warm and inviting color palette that still focuses on the design portfolio at hand.

Ryan Scherf :: This rich, dark background really makes the design 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 graphic design 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.

Grid-tastic

Alex Dukal :: The rigid design of this site juxtaposes very well with the softness of his graphic design 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 graphic design portfolio, and a really nice case study page to boot.

Signature Creative :: They’ve found a great way to keep the focus on their design 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) graphic design portfolio.

Marc Anton Dahmen :: Flash-based design portfolio where each project is a different business card in the mix.

Morten Claussen :: Very cool effects and transitions in this Flash-based graphic design portfolio (not as big a fan on information display, though).

Sid Lee :: Really nice and clean side scrolling design portfolio, and an interesting touch with the portfolio reel as well as a ‘normal’ design 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.

Just Neat-o

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 graphic design portfolios…

…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 big HUGE fad.
  • 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 graphic design 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 graphic design portfolio website? Let us know in the comments on this post!

Like what you've read?

Subscribe to our M,W,F newsletter packed with awesome content just like this. We'll also throw in a free ebook just for signing up. Enter your email below. Download will begin immediately.

About April Greer

April is a go-to freelance designer with a rare combination of creative expertise and technical savvy. She is available for subcontracting and speaking engagements – visit Greer Genius for more information.

Comments

  1. Ricky Schumacher says:

    I like your “short blurb,” I hate it when I come across a list post like this and there is no description as to the reasoning behind the choice.

    While a lot of these are outside of my ability, I do enjoy looking around for those little sparks of inspiration. In my opinion, I think that a lot of designer portfolios are a bit over the top just to be different, what do you think? I understand that you want to, and especially in this business – need to, stand out from the crowd, but often times I find myself overwhelmed by the design.

    Also, good timing! I’ve been working on my portfolio for the last few days, and this has been a great inspiration. I’ve seen some things that I want to incorporate, and some things that I’d like to avoid for my particular purpose.

    • Ricky,

      I completely agree – I hate to go to a list and not have any idea why each item is on the list!

      You’re right, some people go for different, some for fancy, cool, modern, etc. This is why I categorized them into different groups. You may, for example, like the minimalist look, so maybe you focus on those, while others are interested in sliding and moving parts so they check out that group. And you’re also absolutely right in that often we visit sites and find out what we DO NOT want on our own!

      Ideally, you’ll create a portfolio that fits your style, your audience, and your work.

      Good luck, and please do share when you’ve got something to show us!

  2. I would really like everyone to have a look at http://www.pepde.com and comment your opinions about it :)

    • Deepak,

      First, I really love the sliding yellow bar under the navigation. I also really like how you use yellow so well – the yellow/white combo is very difficult to pull of and you’ve done well.

      I feel like you lose a bit of real estate on the home page by having so much white space around your main “You are here…” I also think it would be great to carry your not-quite-circular shape throughout the website rather than having some circles and some unique shape.

      It would be cool if in your portfolio you could scroll through the projects in the pop-up box rather than having to click in/out and go through the animation. But I do like the horizontal scroll at the top of the website.

      In regards to your logo, the D for me is too abstract. If you hadn’t asked me to go to pepde.com, I would’ve told you your design studio is called Pep E. I don’t dislike the D shape or the bright, bold red, but I don’t get a D out of it, either.

      Also, not sure if this was on purpose, but your spelling of Jhon is (in English) incorrect (should be John). If Jhon makes more sense for your location in India, ignore me.

      Overall, you’ve got a very nice, clean site. Good luck to you!

      • Note: pull off, not pull of. Sorry.

      • April,

        Thanks a lot for such a detailed and true review on my design.

        I will definitely consider these opinions & fixes and include them when Im revamping the design especially the loss of white space in home page.

        Regarding the logo,I do know it is very difficult to figure out pepde from it still I don’t know why I love it so much that Im finding it hard to change but always I do try to come up with some solutions.

        I am sorry,can you point out where I had made the mistake jhon for john(it is the right way of spelling it) so that I can correct it.

        Once again thanks for taking time reviewing my website :)

        All my wishes for your work.

        • Deepak,

          You’re welcome!

          I certainly don’t dislike your logo, but it is hard to read. That’s for you to determine. :) It’s yours!

          Your “John” error is on the contact page in the contact form – http://pepde.com/contact-us/ – super nit-picky, I know.

          Best wishes to you too!

  3. This will be great inspiration, as I am currently working on a new portfolio! I like the description lines, but personally I like these posts to include pictures of the website instead of tabbing every website and then come back here to see why you choose it. But that’s just me, anyways thanks!

    • Johnny,

      I don’t disagree with you, but I will say that would have been quite a bit more work!

      Also, I kind of wanted to focus on the name of the designer/business rather than the image of their portfolio. So often I see something neat and can’t remember the name or URL to return, so I thought by putting the focus on the name, perhaps it’ll stick with readers who designed the portfolio.

      Designers will always be the star in the shadows, but hopefully this helps get their names out there a bit more!

      Thanks for your input! Let us know if you find any particular favorites!

  4. Nice article! I am actually in the process of revamping my site(again) and this really gave me some insight.

  5. Rachel says:

    Great article. I only browsed through a few of the sites listed, but it was very informational. I’m finishing up my website/portfolio and your comment/the section on the Call to Action was the most helpful for me. Thanks for pulling this together!

    • Rachel,

      You’re welcome! Thanks for letting me know. We’d love to see your website when you release it to the world – post a link to it here!

  6. Great inspiration, I am definitely bookmarking this!

    Thanks for adding a minimal category, some of these sites are incredibly beautiful. I personally feel that some designers get *just a little* too “artsy fartsy” sometimes; I’ve even had clients comment on that. But to each their own.

    For the record, I was all about the grey BEFORE it was trendy ;)

    • Sheila,

      You’re welcome – I tried to include several categories as each designer has their own vision for their site, and sometimes experimenting out of your comfort zone is a good thing.

      Duly noted – you’re ahead of the trend. Must be that you created the fad! :)

  7. Wow! thanks a lot for including me in this list! and also love your comments, thanks again!!

    • Jenaro,

      You’re welcome – you certainly deserve the credit!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      PS – Your chair looks pretty comfy. Is it, and where did you get it?

  8. Great list of links.

  9. Thanks for including Authentic Style in the list. Much appreciated!

  10. Thanks mate. This is Rahul here, owner of iamrahul.com. You got some nice collections. All the best everyone.

  11. Hi April,

    Thank you so much for this great compilation, it will be very useful for me as I’m currently re-designing my website http://www.zapiram.es. I’ve always been a fanatical defender of flash technology, but for some incomprehensible reason it seems to be excluded from many new devices and operating systems… So it’s time to undertake the html and css adventure :-)

    http://www.zapiram.es has been online with the same layout for almost five years now… I’m feeling like changing!!

  12. “I’m new to the Graphics World – so a big thank you for putting these out here … Cheers !!!”

  13. Great Collection . . . Nice site and inspirational.

  14. I like a designer’s website that makes the work itself pop, without a lot of distractions, and makes it quick and easy for potential clients to look through. I sometimes wonder if mine is just a little too boring though. What do you think? http://www.jhigginsdesign.com. Thanks for compiling this nice list!

    • Jane,

      I think the slideshow goes just a touch too fast. I feel like I don’t get enough time to absorb each image.

      I really like your site, but I think you can work to strengthen the home page. I really like your simplicity overall.

      Thanks for sharing – it can be scary to put yourself out there for review.

  15. i just Started my Graphic design site, http://giantdesign.biz , i hope i could learn more Tips and trick from you site…Thanks

  16. Great collection- its not often I go through all 50 websites on a “Top 50″ list but this was well worthwhile. Thanks again.

  17. Some I liked, but many had cheesy effects and themes that distracted from the purpose of the site.

    • Dan,

      The purpose of this post was to highlight some of the great aspects of a variety of different websites and website styles. I hope that whether you liked them or didn’t, you took something positive away from the post.

      April

  18. It’s perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or tips. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article. I desire to read even more things about it!

  19. Awesome list April :-) My fave are Sid Lee (have always loved their work), Kisko Labs, and Ben Hulse although they’re all great.

    I compiled a list of physical custom portfolios I’ve created in collabo with some great creatives http://kloportfolios.com/2013/01/top-21-custom-graphic-design-portfolio-books-pics/. A break from the digital!

  20. Interesting selections. I am wondering if I have to many samples on my site. It is, however, multipurpose, as i am looking for a position, but also am open to taking on clients.

  21. This is great. Any new examples of portfolios using responsive design?

    Thanks!

  22. Wow. These are all really beautiful. Some great inspiration here and now I feel like my site is so basic and elementary that I’m glad I had already decided to redesign it. lol. Thanks!

  23. i do not profess to be a web designer, but some of the things that struck me about most of the sites selected are the clutter, confusion, and basic coldness most of them have. they seem to have sacrificed focus. realizing that they are trying to show case as much product as possible, it seems to come at the expense of my being willing to sort through the visual morass of too many unfocused web tricks, hoop jumps, and the indiscriminate use of the over used table function. another thing that i found bothersome is the praised minimalism. we are human beings who require some personal connection to anything in our envirenment we must interact with. minimalism is at root a fallback discription for the unwillingness or inability of the designer to supply the viewer with a context or reason for him or her to have an interest in the subject. minimalism is a very tired design fad that no one in the design profession has the courage to declare dead and a product of a long past error or era. since the end goal of most sites is to inform the viewer of the site’s subject matter and/or sell a product, most selected sites are so unfocused that these basic fuctions fail. lead the customer or viewer in a stepwise fashion through the site and he will make the decision the designer wants him to. provide too many confusing images and unnecessary trendy web tricks and the viewer/customer will do something else with his attention, time, and money. simple human interaction and traditional sales rules are always the paramount guidelines for convincing a viewer to continue doing the thing the designer wants him to.

    • Joseph,

      The purpose of this post is to highlight the many, varied types of portfolios one might endeavor to make. Each business has its own audience and goals and therefore tailor their portfolio to that audience.

      As such, I’ve provided a list of 50 portfolios that fit into several categories so as to have relevance for a wide audience and to challenge designers to think outside of their comfort zone when creating or redesigning their portfolios.

      There are certainly portfolios mentioned here that each person will and will not like. That doesn’t mean they’re ineffective or “bad,” it just means that we have different opinions and that’s a-okay.

      Hope you found something positive to take away from the post!

  24. Gonna go through all of these portfolios soon. Good stuff!

  25. Really like your list of blogs! It helped me a lot making mine at http://www.fatshape.com. I would be glad hearing any opinion, comment etc. Thanks!

  26. I am glad that I came across this posting. I’m working my way back into designing again after a 2-year hiatus and a job in a different industry. I just updated my portfolio, but as a designer, I almost feel like crumpling it up again.

    Like a previous reader mentioned, I too love the fact that you actually took the time to describe what it was that you liked about your picks. While researching for my most recent design, I would try to take my own notes while looking for inspiration, only to find myself overwhelmed and borderline brain dead.

    Feel free to take a look at mine as well. I’m always open to suggestions!

  27. Very good list of portfolios!
    Has a great range of quality designs, it did help me complie a few things on my new portfolio site take a peak – http://deanlynn.com – let me know your thoughts!

    • Dean,

      Very nice. If I may, a few suggestions:
      – The scrolling element doesn’t fit in the box.
      – The bottom feels like it needs some more polish. Everything else is very designed, but the text and footer are just text – no textures, no fancy header, etc.
      – In America, we spell tailor-made with an ‘o,’ not an ‘e.’ Is it different in the UK?
      – Your blog page header is off-centered with the rest of the page.

      Really nice layout! Thanks for sharing!

  28. Good designs gives me lot of help for creating my own portfolio nice work . I recommend this to all who wanted to create their own portfolio plz read this article first.

  29. Wow, this was really inspirational! Thank you! I am still just a beginner, but I really love seeing such strong design work for inspiration. I would love to be half as good as these designers.

  30. This is really beautiful, I like what I see. Good job

  31. Your links are very helpful, thanks!

    My website is a work in progress… any comments would be helpful. Trying to code it myself though I am a beginner.

  32. Very inspirational sites. I wish my website http://www.fahadkhalid.com also should have been there :)

  33. I dislike my (our) site and am in school to learn the tools to change. I am at a point of “Portfolio” and really enjoyed the journey of this set of sites and how you provide guidance to inspire a look.
    Maybe when I have completed my course and Portfolio I might end up on your excellent venue.

  34. LOVE, love this article. I appreciate it!
    LOVED: http://www.nineliondesign.com/

  35. This is a great collection of websites! Thank you for sharing and explaining what you liked about each site. Especially because I’m in the middle of putting my website together. Hope to share it soon. :-)

  36. Amazing examples! Check out this too: http://diorama-studio.com

  37. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon everyday.
    It’s always interesting to read through content from other writers
    and practice a little something from other websites.

Trackbacks

  1. […] 50 Stunning design portfolios you MUST see before (re)designing …By April Greerfifty-design-portfolios-inspiration-graphic-design-blender. 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, …Graphic Design Blender […]

  2. […] 50 Stunning design portfolios you MUST see before (re)designing yours […]

  3. […] | 50 Stunning Design Portfolios… Si te gustó este artículo/recurso, considera compartirlo en las redes sociales, dejar un […]

  4. […] Enlace | 50 Stunning Design Portfolios… Tags: forma, futuro, Necesitamos, Sitio Posted in PORTADA Tags: forma, futuro, Necesitamos, Sitio « Adobe presenta Creative Suite 6 en B.A. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. […]

  5. […] Enlace: 50 Stunning design portfolios … Share this:TwitterFacebookCorreo electrónicoImprimirMe gusta:Me gustaBe the first to like this. Esta entrada fue publicada en Portada y etiquetada Comunicación, Comunicación & Diseño, creatividad, Diseño, Diseño Gráfico, Portfolios, Website. Guarda el enlace permanente. ← FIBES, finalizan los trabajos de ampliación. […]

  6. […] | 50 Stunning Design Portfolios… compartir en:Me gusta:Me gustaBe the first to like […]

  7. […] 50 Stunning design portfolios you MUST see before (re)designing yours […]

Join the conversation

*