Pro Tips to Create a World-Class Design Portfolio (With Examples)

Monday, November 30, 2015

If you’re a web designer or some other type of creative professional, sooner or later you will need to showcase your expertise on a global stage, which is only possible through an online portfolio. A thoughtful, well-designed personal portfolio not only helps you get work from new clients but also establishes you as a reputed expert in your respective competitive industry.
Building a simple online portfolio is quite easy but a great portfolio, which could make your stand out from the crowd, needs to be created with proper planning. So to help you build an awe-inspiring design portfolio (or improve an existing one), I’ve listed twenty proven tips accompanied by great real-life examples.
Let’s dig in!
Keep a Strong Core Objective:
The first and foremost thing you need to know is the real purpose behind your portfolio. Ask yourself why you want to build your portfolio – to get a good job or sell your works or gain yourself some reputation or just to make new connections. Define the main objective of the portfolio and stick to it really well till the end.

Examples: Sean Halpin and Andrew DotsonSean H

Andrew1 Andrew

Focus on Personal Branding:

Since your portfolio is about you (and of course your work), you must create a powerful personal brand. This can be done by using an awesome logo and adding a short and descriptive tagline to your portfolio. While an eye-catching logo quickly tells visitors who you are, on the other hand, a strong tagline explains them succinctly what you actually do.

Examples: Monica Lynn and Anthony Wiktor

Monica Lyn

Add Information About Yourself:

Consider adding sufficient information about yourself so that your prospective clients could know a little bit more about you. Business occurs between real people and therefore, you need to show your potential clients that you’re a human. To convert your visitors from interested to invested, write a killer “About” page that makes you stand out from the crowd.

Examples: Calvin Teoh and Adam Hartwig

Calvin Theoh

Keep Portfolio Simple and Intuitive:

Be it a portfolio, blog or online store, simplicity rules everywhere. Where a simple portfolio helps visitors quickly focus on your showcased work, on the contrary, a complex portfolio having a lot of unnecessary stuff burns out your reputation among potential clients. Hence, keep every design element on your portfolio as simple and intuitive as possible.

Examples: Yaron Schoen and Rob Wootten


Make It Super Easy to Use:

Along with being simple, a good portfolio needs to be user-friendly. To check whether or not your portfolio is easy to access and navigate, browse it from a user’s perspective. Make sure your portfolio doesn’t contain any confusing design elements – like pop-ups and shiny banner – which most of the common users find difficult to understand and use.

Examples: Hayk and Jim Ramsdem


Keep Contact Information Visible:

Don’t make your perspective client go here and there just to find your contact details. The easier you make it for visitors to contact you, the higher the chances of getting work from them will be. Keep in mind, the ultimate purpose of making a portfolio is to attract clients and get paid. So let your potential clients easily reach out to you!

Examples: Seb Kay and Jared Christensen

Jared Christensen

Include Testimonials:

Whether you’re an experienced professional or just starting out, adding your previous clients’ testimonials to your portfolio is a great way to make your potential clients more likely to try you out. You may ask your previous clients to write testimonials but always remember, every single testimonial on your portfolio must reveal the truth and be honest.

Examples: Philip Park and Steffan Williams

Steffan Wiliams

Show Only the Best Pieces of Your Work:

Don’t try to showcase every project you’ve ever worked on. Instead, show off only your best projects that demonstrate your expertise efficiently. As clients generally don’t have time to dig through tons of projects, you must be thoughtful about what projects you’re going to put in your portfolio. Remember, quality always wins over quantity.

Examples: Ivo Mynttinen and Camille Léonard

Ivo Mynttinen

Categorize Your Work:

One of the most overlooked things while building a portfolio is not categorizing work samples. For a client, it’s much easier to browse hundred categorized projects than those ten that are not categorized. So categorize your best works, which you’ve added to your portfolio, to spice up portfolio browsing experience and help clients quickly find what they actually are searching for.

Examples: Huncwot and Olly Gibbs

Olly Gibbs

Tell the Story of Each Work Sample:

Every piece of your work that you’ve added to your portfolio should tell a compelling story, with both engaging text and attractive images. To make your portfolio more memorable and impressive, do a creative write-up of your each project along with adding stunning visuals. Let the work speak for itself and give your perspective client an undeniable reason to hire you.

Examples: Martin Fletcher and Cole Townsend

Cole TownsendCole Townsend2

Showcase Your Design Process:

Do you know clients love to hire designers who have a great working process? That’s because when you explain your design process, it becomes quite easy for a client to understand how you frame, think and solve a problem. Additionally, showing your design process gives answers to many questions of your clients, saving them from wandering here and there.

Examples: Stacey Baldini and Deidre “Deda” Bain

Stacy Baldini

Don’t Skimp on High-Resolution Photography:

Even though your portfolio is completely online, having stunning, high-quality images is always a plus point for your portfolio. You never know when you may need to showcase printed materials or a physical product. Therefore, incorporating gorgeous photography is a great idea whether your design portfolio has a print version or not.

Examples: Deluxemodern Design and Nainoa Shizuru

DeluxModern Design

Highlight Your Expertise:

Make it clear to your clients what work you really are available for. Let them know what you specialize in and what you are not so good at. For example, if you’re expert and passionate about Photoshop, clearly say that. Don’t make it hard for your clients to figure out what kind of work you’re able to do. Finally, be honest about your areas of expertise.

Examples: Robby Leonardi and R.V.Krishna

RV Krishna

Add a Downloadable Resume:

Believe it or not, most of the people today still use hard-copy resumes. This is specifically true in the case of a traditional workplace that has a number of HR (Human Resource) departments. So if possible, include a downloadable copy of your resume on your portfolio. A PDF file is usually works best for this purpose.

Examples: Matthias Holler and Andreas Knutsson

Andreas Knutsson

Andreas Resume

Include Links to Relevant Social Media Profiles:

Feel free to add links to any relevant (and active) social media accounts on your design portfolio. Whether you’re a freelancer or full-time designer, you must include at least three social media profiles – LinkedIn, Dribbble and Behance – to your portfolio. Keep in mind, your links must be relevant and should not compromise getting clients.

Examples: Beta Takaki and Eliot Slevin

Beta TakakiBeta

Add a Compelling CTA (Call to Action):

No matter what purpose you’re creating portfolio for, each page on your portfolio must have an effective call to action to make your clients take the next step. The longer a visitor stays on your portfolio, the better the chance is you’ll accomplish the main objective of your portfolio. Use persuasive CTAs like “Request a quote”, “Hire Me” and “Download resume”.

Examples: Joe Rutland and Ashley Farrand

Ashley Ferrand

Highlight Side Projects:

Show off your personal side projects to reveal more about your personality and make employers feel that you’re active even outside the office. Like a creative person, you need to assure your clients that you are passionate about your work and have the ability to work on a broad set of problems. As long as your side projects support the main goal of your portfolio, they can be added.

Examples: Jessica Hische and Joshua McCartney

JessicaJessica Hische

Go For Variety:

Instead of adding only one kind of projects, include a wide variety of projects on your portfolio. This way, you’ll be able to show a wide range of your skills and abilities to your clients. Remember, a great portfolio demonstrates diversity. Even if you’re versatile enough, make sure all projects on your portfolio represent one person’s (i.e. you) work.

Examples: Stefan Lucut and Studio Mast

Studio Mast

Keep It Fresh:

From technology to content, always keep your portfolio up-to-date. Every time you finished working on a new project, look at it as a new portfolio piece. If you find it better than your previous works, include it instantly on your portfolio. Keep in mind, your portfolio is a never-ending process and therefore, it needs to be updated from time to time.

Examples: Pierre Georges and Josh Overton

Pierre Georges

Be Unique:

Last but certainly not least, don’t forget the most important thing: your uniqueness. As much as possible, be unique all over your portfolio so that you could give your prospective clients a solid reason to choose you. Sit down and think how you can make your portfolio different from others. Make your portfolio so unique that your potential client would have no option except “hiring you”.

Examples: Colin Snow and Pauline Osmont

Collin Snow

The post Pro Tips to Create a World-Class Design Portfolio (With Examples) appeared first on


Design your way

Everyone knows that Cyber Monday is a super time to hunt for bargains, but not everyone always knows exactly where to look. For web designers, the best place is right here. We’ve assembled a listing of 10 website businesses well known for the high quality of products or services they offer.

Grab a cup of coffee, settle back, browse the list, and visit the sites featuring items of particular interest to you. You’re sure to find something that will make your time spent well worth it, and your Cyber Monday a huge success.

XPRS website builder


We will start at the beginning, which in this case is the XPRS site builder, to see what IM Creator, the parent company, has to offer. The Cyber Monday special on this case is XPRS’ Commercial plan which comes with a 50% discountonly $3.98/month today. With this plan you have access to every XPRS theme, a free domain connection, and unlimited hosting for the price of Starbucks Tall Latte.

XPRS is not your traditional drag and drop website builder. Site building is accomplished using professionally-designed, pre-made stripes, with a new technology named “Polydoms”. While you might find this approach somewhat different, you will also find it better than most other site-building methods, and that what also allows the websites to be responsive by nature. Whichever package you choose, will have every feature you need to build an attention-grabbing website.

Included is also a simple and easy to use eCommerce solution and everything you will need to create an online store. Be sure to check out their iPhone Mobile App. It enables you to add to or update your website with photos, video, or text, while on the go.

Dreamstime Stock Photos

Dreamstime Stock Photos

If you have been looking for a reliable source of premium stock photos, videos, and vector images, not only does your search end right here, but you can take advantage of a great Cyber Monday offer in the process. Dreamstime’s Cyber Monday special is a 50% discount on a stock photo subscription or credit package of your choice. All you need to do is sign up, and your discount will automatically be awarded.

Over the past 15 years, the Dreamtime inventory has grown and grown. At the present time, it consists of a whopping 37 million stock photos, thanks to contributions by 300.000+ professional photographers and artists. The editors go about their work meticulously, so every image is a quality image and it won’t take you long at all to find the gem you’ve been looking for. is a well-known name in the mobile app prototyping world. If you want to take advantage of a Cyber Monday opportunity to purchase a premium product at a discount, in this case a 30% discount, this is your chance. It’s their best deal of the year, and a wonderful opportunity to purchase a prototyping tool that has everything going for it, including ease in sharing and collaborating, and the ability to test your prototype on real mobile devices.

With hardly any effort at all, you can create an interactive, high-fidelity prototype that feels real. Test your prototypes in full-screen mode using the iOS or Android free native apps. Visit’s website, sign up for the free trial, then pick a paid plan and apply the coupon code: CYBERMONDAY2015

Elegant Themes

Elegant Themes

Elegant Themes has a well-established reputation as a creator of quality WordPress themes, including Divi, their flagship theme. When you have the opportunity to purchase Divi, or any of the other premium themes for 25% off, it’s a pretty good way to take full advantage of Cyber Monday shopping specials. Whatever your purchase, it will come with a 30 day money back guarantee, although the chances are between slim and none you’ll be dissatisfied. Do what more than 307,000 Elegant Theme members have done in the past – visit the website and try out a live demo or two.

Visual Hierarchy Market

Visual Hierarchy Market

On Cyber Monday you’ll feel like a kid in a candy store when you visit a marketplace where innovative products typically sell at affordable prices, but today premium UI Kits, icons, fonts and more are selling for only $8 each. Visual Hierarchy Market is definitely a best bet if you want to pick up a quality product you really need and have been looking for at a ridiculously low price. You don’t have to wake up at 2 AM to stand in line either. Do your shopping while enjoying your second cup of coffee.

Designmodo Shop and Market

Designmodo Shop and Market

Designmodo is yet another online shopping place that features innovative products at affordable prices. You will find a complete line of website-building tools marked down at 60% on Cyber Monday only. Designmodo is a good place to pick up a quality UI kit, the Slides Website Framework, Qards or Startup Framework. You’ll not only find a host of products featured on their website, but an informative selection of blogs and tutorials as well. Their website is a great place to visit!

Themify 40% Off Cyber Monday Sale & iPad Giveaway


Themify has several Cyber Monday offers well worth looking into. First of all, every one of their website design themes and products is available at a 40% discount, and you can purchase as many as you want. The discount applies to their Club memberships as well. They are also offering $100 off on the Lifetime Master Club. Whether you are planning on making a purchase or not, pay a visit to their website, enter their Black Friday contest, and you could walk away with a free iPad mini!

Huge Bundle with Amazingly Cool Fonts

Huge Bundle with Amazingly Cool Fonts

If you intend to spend the rest of your life using the same one or two fonts for your websites or apps, this isn’t for you. But maybe it’s time to break loose, take a look at Visual Hierarchy’s Huge Bundle with Amazingly Cool Fonts, and add some real pizzazz to your designs by purchasing 51 handcrafted fonts in 26 font families marked down from $370 to $28. $342 is definitely a nice Cyber Monday savings, especially for a quality assortment of handcrafted fonts.



We will close things out with a couple of Cyber Monday specials on web design and website services. First off, XHTMLized offers their website design conversion services at a 5% Cyber Monday discount (this special shopping day is also celebrated in Australia). They specialize in PSD, Sketch, and Illustrator design conversions to HTML, but they will be more than happy to convert anything you might care to submit to them to squeaky-clean HTML5/CSS3. XHTMLized is a serious web development studio that will look after your project with TLC.



The second service provider on our list, Pixeno offers you the chance to experience the future of web hosting. Their Premium Hosting platform brings the future of web hosting to the here and now, and places it on your doorstep at a Cyber Monday 27% discount – for Life! This premium service is currently enjoying a 94% customer satisfaction rating. That’s about as close as you ever get to a five-star rating for any product or service. If you have any reservations at all about your present service, give Pixeno a closer look.

Cyber Monday is a great time to shop, but it’s especially nice when the best web design products and services are placed before you in one convenient package – as we’ve done here.

Instead of standing in the rain waiting for a store to open, you can realize some big-time savings from the comfort of your own home. That’s what Cyber Monday is all about. Happy Shopping!


The Coolest Cyber Monday Deals for Designers

Cyber Monday is always a time to get a great deal on products and services. It can be a very special day for web designers looking for savings or bargains on premium web design or development products or services.

This year is no different. Here you can expect to find exceptional discounts offered by some of the top design and development businesses. Whether you are looking for a website building theme, a prototyping tool, photos, fonts, or programming services, you’ll find something here to make your Cyber Monday shopping complete.

XPRS website builder


Unlike the classic drag & drop website builders, IM Creator’s XPRS websites are built using professionally designed pre-made stripes. XPRS’s Commercial Plan is yours for 50% off, but on Cyber Monday only. Take advantage of this offer and you will have access to all of the XPRS themes, plus unlimited hosting, eCommerce, and connection to your own domain, for the low price of $3.98 per month.

XPRS has all the features you could ask for. The websites are fully responsive, a free eCommerce solution is included, and you will have hundreds of templates to choose from, including a selection of great landing pages for marketing purposes.

Another XPRS product worth a look is its iPhone mobile app. It allows you to update your website with a photo, video, or text while on the go. Yet another Cyber Monday special to consider is the XPRS white label solution; a white label website builder with unlimited licenses for only $250.

Dreamstime Stock Photos


On Cyber Monday, and Cyber Monday only, you can save 50% on any Dreamstime stock photo subscription or credit package. That’s any package for half-price. Sign up for an account now and the discount will automatically be awarded to you.

Dreamstime has been a trusted source of stock photos of the highest quality for 15 years. An inventory of more than 37 million stock photos, video footage, and vectors awaits. The more than 300,000 professional photographers that have contributed to Dreamstime, is the largest such community to be found anywhere.

Since the editorial staff selects only the best images, you won’t have to sort through assortments of low- to medium-grade images to find those that are suitable for your website. Stock photos, images, and footage can be downloaded at any time, and what you don’t use will be rolled over for credit to be used at a later time.


With you can create fully-interactive, high-fidelity prototypes that perform exactly as you want your app to do. On Cyber Monday 2015, is offering their best deal of the year – 30% off on any of their plans – for up to a full year! All you need to do is sign up for a new account. provides a premium platform for your mobile app prototyping needs. You can import your own designs or use the built-in iOS, Android, and Windows native elements as you build your prototypes. makes sharing your prototypes and collaborating with others easy. You can get comments and feedback from anyone you choose share information with, and you can test your prototypes on real mobile devices as well.

No coding is necessary. It’s all drag and drop! After signing up for a free trial, pick a paid plan and apply the coupon code: CYBERMONDAY2015

Visual Hierarchy Market


Visual Hierarchy has always been a great place for designers to shop. On Cyber Monday you can choose from the selection of high-quality UI kits, icons, fonts, and more for only $8 each. The selection of fonts, icons and templates is as complete as you will find anywhere. Mockups are also available at 50-63% off. On Visual Hierarchy you will always be able to find innovative and creative products at affordable prices.

Designmodo Shop and Market


Designmodo is an online superstore, and their Huge Sale is on now. Many of the most popular website creating tools on the market today can be yours at 60% off. If you’ve been looking for the Slides website framework, the Qards website plugin, or their market products, there is no better time than Cyber Monday to get what you want at truly a bargain price. While you’re visiting the Designmodo Shop, check out the many valuable tutorials and articles that can keep you up to date on the latest happenings.

Elegant Themes


Elegant Themes is a source of over 90 premium WordPress themes and plugins, including the smartest and most flexible theme of all, Divi. Cyber Monday is your chance to get any of these themes or plugins at a 25% discount. When you join, you will be in good company. More than 307,000 designers have chosen Elegant themes. Signing up is risk free, since any purchase you make comes with a 30 day money back guarantee.

Huge Bundle with Amazingly Cool Fonts



If you’ve been using the same boring font for all of your websites or apps, it’s probably time for a change. Visual Hierarchy is offering huge Cyber Monday savings on their Huge Bundle of Amazingly Cool Fonts. A premium selection 51 handcrafted fonts have been marked down from the regular $370 price to a cool $28. With these new fonts, you can be ready for your Christmas projects, by purchasing a fantastic Christmas present for yourself on Cyber Monday!

Themify 40% Off Cyber Monday Sale & iPad Giveaway

Cyber Monday is a great time to pay a visit to Themify. You can get 40% off all of the themes, plugins and regular club memberships. Select the products of interest and checkout the membership plans as well. The Master Club membership is also available for $100 less gives you access to all themes, plugins, Photoshop files, and future releases, and you can use themes and plugins on as many sites as you want. Celebrate Cyber Monday by paying Themify a visit and don’t forget to enter their iPad mini Giveaway.



Pixeno is another great customer-first oriented web business. They are offering their premium hosting service at a 27% discount – for life! All you need to do is take a moment to submit the “SignMeUp!” coupon code to discover what the future of web hosting is all about.

The Pixeno hosting platform has a 94% customer satisfaction rating on 3rd party review site, TrustPilot, is available in many different countries, and features white-glove support. If your current hosting service is not quite up to snuff, or it simply does not have a great deal to offer beyond the usual, give Pixeno a look.



XHTMLized has been converting customers’ designs to responsive websites since 2006. Sign up to submit your next project on Cyber Monday and you will get a 5% discount. This design to HTML5/CSS3 service specializes in Sketch to HTML, PSD to HTML, and Illustrator to HTML, and much more. An Australia-based company, XHTMLized works with web developers and designers from every time zone. They will look after your project with the greatest care, and provide you with the highest quality code.

Whether you are looking for a huge discount on a variety of items, or a smaller but meaningful discount on a premium product or service, you should find something here.

These are not clearance houses, where you can purchase something at a bargain, but you are stuck with it if things don’t work out. These businesses are well established. They offer the highest quality products or services. Visit any one of them and you can make this years’ Cyber Monday your best one ever.

The post The Coolest Cyber Monday Deals for Designers appeared first on Line25.


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