6 Summer Projects for Your Graphic Design Portfolio

Summer is a great opportunity for new portfolio work. Your graphic design portfolio is one the most essential marketing pieces you have as a designer. It will usually have the most impact on your ability to impress clients and employers. With that in mind, you should constantly be updating your print and web portfolio with new and interesting projects that showcase your skills and creativity.

Sometimes this means including personal work. You won’t always have client or in-house work you want to include, but you should still update your portfolio once a quarter or at least twice a year. Summer is a great time to do creative personal projects that can spice up your portfolio with a splash of color and interesting concepts.

6 Graphic Design Portfolio Projects to Explore This Summer:

  1. Fun Typographic Posters
  2. Geometric Vector Artwork
  3. Summer Photo Manipulation
  4. Infographics
  5. Cool Motion Graphics
  6. Interactive Print Design

Fun Typographic Posters

Typographic skills are highly valued by creative directors and art directors. Clients tend to focus on picture-based artwork and concepts, but many of them do still appreciate type and the power of words—and exceptional type work is always eye-catching.

You can take advantage of this and wow them with some amazing concept-based typographic posters like the ones below:

Geometric Vector Artwork

Visuals that are not only unique in their subject matter, but how they are executed, captivate us and make us more interested and engaged. Geometric vector art can be challenging, but if you can deliver something truly unique, the payoff is usually worth it.

A client may not request this type of artwork, but they are sure to be impressed by it if it’s done well. Check out some amazing geometric artwork from the Behance community:

Summer Photo Manipulation

Photo manipulation and composite art are among the most valued skills in graphic design and advertising, particularly for print design work. Being able to create stunning visuals in Photoshop is the bread and butter of the design industry today as far as most people are concerned.

Summer-based concepts offer a great opportunity to be playful and get some really fun and interesting visuals into your portfolio while still practical applying your skills. Take a look at some of these stunning photo manipulations and digital artwork:

Flare Up Now by Roberto Blake

Nails by Nemanja Pesic


Today we have a lot of data at our fingertips, but consuming it can feel tedious and boring if it’s not presented in an engaging way. That is why infographics are so interesting to us. Skilled infographic designers can taking boring data and actually make it look cool or sexy! No easy task!

Showing off some interesting data is a great way to show potential employers and clients your skills while keeping the visuals fun and informative.

Learn how to make compelling infographics in The Do’s and Don’ts of Making Great Infographics, a live workshop with John T. Meyer of the award-winning design firm Lemonly.

Cool Motion Graphics

Very few things grab our attention as much as moving objects. It’s why nearly all photo cameras today also have video capabilities built in! Bring your graphics to life and make them move using apps like Adobe After Effects or Apple Motion or even Adobe Edge Animate for the web.

Motion graphics like this one are sure to capture someone’s interest in your online portfolio:

BhutiaShengaPadma – popolaz

Interactive Print Media

Print and Web are converging more and more, and there are all kinds of interesting ways to make print an interactive experience. Consider finding interesting and fun ways to incorporate QR Codes into print design where appropriate, or find a unique way to get your audience to interact with your print work like Chris Childerhouse did with the Forest & Bird ad below. Also consider direct ties in between print and web campaigns in your portfolio using traditional methods.

Fairfax County Visitors Bureau – Historical Figures by Wallace Boss


Forest & Bird. Your cash makes a difference. by Chris Childerhouse, Creative Director at Ogilvy & Mather

Bonus: Summer Fun For Graphic Designers

Remember to enjoy the summer and get away from the computer sometimes. There is a big wide world of creative inspiration out there, and it’s important for your life and career that you be a part of it.

Go out and enjoy a weekend at the beach, take some photos or go sailing or hiking!

Use those experiences and moments and everything you see, taste, touch and here to fill you with creative inspiration and recharge you emotionally so you don’t suffer from creative blocks or burnout.

If the outdoors isn’t your thing or an option for you, visit a museum or stay at home with a favorite book or movie, or consider spending time with family or friends. Don’t underestimate the importance of feeding your creativity each and every day.


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