40+ Portfolio Design Ideas: Creating the Best Portfolio Design

Free design portfolio eBook with inspiration and ideas for a variety of portfolio designs.

Patrick McNeil is a master of both web design and UX/UI principles. In this excerpt from the first section of The Web Designer’s Idea Book, Vol. 4, he showcases the most successful industry and design portfolio examples from a wide variety of agencies and graphic designers.

Web design is constantly evolving, and it can be difficult to stay on top of the latest trends, but this eBook can help.

Featuring more than 40 examples of successful website designs, this guide can be used as a source of visual inspiration for web designers. Explore what others have done with their creative graphic design portfolio websites, and discover how these ideas can be adapted to suit your own needs. Download this excerpt for free for incredible portfolio design inspiration.

Discover inspired design portfolios with this free download!

This 24-page excerpt from the first section of the book takes an in-depth look at online portfolio design styles and trends. McNeil analyzes six patterns extensively in this area, providing stunning examples for each of successful designer and agency websites. These websites aren’t simply limited to graphic design portfolio sites, either—you’ll find the best portfolio design work from photographers, painters and sports figures as well. This section also includes handy QR codes that you can scan and use to explore all of the featured sites.

Portfolio design styles and trends are at the heart of this excerpt, and it’s amazing to see the patterns that emerge across this broad variety of examples. These patterns can also be used to identify and solve problems that designers encounter when developing and building a portfolio design.

Take a closer look at the ideas Patrick explores in this section of his book:

A great example of super clean portfolio web design.

Super Clean: Minimalist Web Design

“This style embodies all of my favorite qualities and the sites here are typically the ones I admire the most.”

Minimalist web design is a continuously popular trend that makes excellent use of simplicity and whitespace on websites. The examples in this section range from pure minimalism to less sparse simplistic designs that apply successful typographic styles and solid colors in the design. While showcasing several excellent graphic design portfolio examples, McNeil explains the advantages of minimalist web design and a reliance on clarity and concision. Learn how to use whitespace and minimalism to reinforce the content hierarchy of your web design and present your work in a clear, easy-to-use format.

How illustrated portfolio design can enhance your site.


Illustrated Design: Illustrative Portfolio Design Inspiration

“I have long been an advocate of illustration in design if only for a single reason: It almost always leads to a really unique design.”

If you want to blend in with the herd, these ideas aren’t for you. But if you’re interested in creating a stunning, memorable web design that will rope in clients and keep them coming back for more, you might be interested in creating an illustrative graphic design portfolio. From the beautiful type and subtle textures of Symphony Online to the offbeat look of William Cole’s website, these examples are sure to inspire more unconventional and innovative designs.

Discover how Masonry styles can be a perfect for your graphic design portfolio websites.


Masonry Styles: A Perfect Fit for a Design Portfolio

“The Masonry [jQuery] plug-in organizes rectangular items that vary in size and dimension by laying them out in such a way that they all fit together perfectly.”

The Masonry jQuery plugin is a wildly popular web design function that rearranges your web content like stones in a wall, making it perfect for a flawless, responsive design. In this chapter, McNeil showcases the personal graphic design portfolio websites of Alexa Falcone, Glauce Cerveira and more, all featuring the classy application of the Masonry plugin. He also points out the drawbacks of the plugin, explaining that you have little control over the location of the content of your page. He even includes alternatives that provide the same look and feel without the restrictions of the plugin.

Learn how single-page portfolio design might be the right fit.


One Page Folios: Creating a Single-Page Portfolio

“The one page folio is certainly not a new phenomenon, and yet it is rather easy to find examples of one page portfolio sites with styles and trends all their own.”

A one page portfolio makes for a great interactive resume—you can assemble all of your best work in one place so that any potential clients and visitors can explore your work without having to click around to access it. The most important aspects of a one-page portfolio web design are a clear statement of purpose, easy-to-use navigation, and unique application of design trends. Check out the work of designer Cody Eason and other sites that make great use of the one-page model.

Graphic design portfolio examples that featuring design front and center.


Front and Center: Featuring Work on the Homepage of Your Portfolio

“I want to highlight portfolio sites that don’t hide the portfolio pieces away on sub pages; instead they push them to the front page. But these sites don’t stop there—they make the work the primary focus of the home page by placing images front and center.”

Your design portfolio is where you feature your best work. So why make clients dig for it? Feature your work front and center just like the excellent web designers featured in this chapter. The best portfolio design examples in this book are also very adaptive; the work featured in the portfolio looks great on any device. Check out the Hidden Depth website and Sarah Coulton’s portfolio web design as the most successful applications of this trend.

Offbead portfolio design ideas for your sites.


Atypical Portfolios: Offbeat Portfolio Design Ideas

“Portfolio sites as a whole are pretty much atypical. Though we find common patterns, there is such an extreme range of approaches that the sites here don’t feel too much off-the-beaten-path.”

If you want visitors to remember your design portfolio, you need to create a memorable, interesting design that breaks the mold. For example, the site for design agency Creanet features a distinct horizontal orientation instead of the usual vertical orientation found on most websites. While most websites feature squares and rectangles, the AltSpace design features unusual shapes that scale to fit any browser or device.

What are you waiting for? Grab your copy of this free download!

The best portfolio design is one that takes typical design trends and transforms them into something memorable and unique. In this excerpt, you’ll find fresh ideas to inspire great portfolios and other web designs. Get plenty of web design ideas for layout, color, style, and content, and benefit from a special focus on portfolio design ideas.

Whether you need to create a new portfolio or update your current website, or you just want to find some great portfolio design inspiration, this section from The Web Designer’s Idea Book, Vol. 4 is perfect for you. Enter your email to download this free excerpt on portfolio graphic design today.

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