How to Make a Graphic Design Portfolio


To create it as best as possible, you should add clear information about your projects and harmonize it to attract potential customers. A graphic design portfolio helps not only to prove your work but also to express yourself as an individual. It would be best if you include such examples of your works:

  • projects that show the customer what and how you work;
  • commercial design, that is, works for order;
  • your independent works;
  • many various projects to show your technique.

Any portfolio is an example of your work for confirmation of skills and professionalism as a graphic designer. It is important to understand that a design portfolio is not something exhaustive. You don't need to show all your projects over the years to convince people to work with you. Show just enough examples to make it clear that you are an expert in your field. It will help customers better determine whether you will fit their company culture.

Why Do Graphic Designers Need Portfolio Websites?

Graphic designers are in high demand, so competition is high. Thanks to a digital design portfolio, you can bypass this competition. A portfolio is a chance to share your work and inspire others. Graphic designers need portfolio websites to get jobs or leads. It helps you showcase your experience and attract potential clients faster. 

A graphic portfolio is a set of works in an easy-to-view format. It is an important element of presenting one's experience. Typically, it should include your bio, best projects, case studies, collaborations, and contact information. The more quality you present, the greater the chances of success. 

A digital portfolio helps you provide others with more interesting information about yourself. And if you are new to graphic design, a portfolio can greatly assist you. Because when you have it, you can attract employers even without your professionalism.

graphic design portfolio

Types Of Graphic Design Portfolios

There are three types of design portfolios: classic, PDF, and website. A well-designed portfolio will help you stay ahead of all competitors. And actively move up the career ladder. But it will need a lot from you. It is the ability to perform self-presentation and oneself as a competent specialist. But all these skills also depend on which graphic design portfolio type you choose. There are three types:

1. Classic

This graphic design portfolio type is a book with printed examples of your work. To do this, use a folder from a stationery store. You should place all your work and information about it there. Graphic designers often use sketchbooks for their projects. If you do the same, this is an excellent opportunity to show off your skills. Choose the best of them and add them to your portfolio.

Advantages of a classic portfolio:


You can bring this folder to the interview and show yourself as an experienced person in this field. You can add a few words from yourself when presenting the portfolio in printed form. Also, there is an opportunity to add something about your experience, which will be an advantage.


‌It shows your work in its actual final format. That is, you do not edit your files online. You present the design portfolio as you created it. Many employers and potential clients appreciate this kind of portfolio creation. After all, they understand that this is a lot of effort, and you are ready to devote time to it.

If you have difficulties in choosing a portfolio type, check others' works. Also, pay attention to what you are more capable of. Do you work better with online or paper design? Choose the option that works best for you.

2. Website

Having your portfolio site will allow you to stand out from the general indistinct mass. After all, such a graphic design portfolio type gives you many opportunities. You can organize your projects beautifully and present them interactively. More than 80% of employers look for potential employees on social networks. So, there is a great chance that your portfolio will gain many customers.

Advantages of website portfolio:


Information about the specialist is available at any time of the day or night. Anyone with internet access can read about you and see your work. And also decide if you are a good fit for joint projects.


It is the best way to show your work visually. When a potential employer asks where they can see your work, all you have to do is provide a link to your portfolio website. Moreover, customers can search for you using search engines.


You are in control of the entire process. The portfolio site is an online resume. So you can contact potential customers yourself. Or you can promote your site and make it visible in Google queries. This way, clients can find you themselves.

3. PDF

Files in a graphic design PDF portfolio have different formats. Also, it can be in various programs. For example, a PDF portfolio can include text documents, email messages, and spreadsheets. Besides, it contains several grouped files. And each of them, the user can edit, read and open. So, there are many options for submitting information in your portfolio.

Advantages of PDF portfolio:


You can sort files in the portfolio by category. You can add, remove, hide and customize them. To sort the list, just click on the column name. It is very convenient and fast for a harmonious arrangement of your work.


PDF portfolio is a great opportunity to distribute it to all potential clients. Publish your portfolio on a website for others to view. And be sure to give everyone access to it. Then anyone can see your portfolio and contact you.


When building a graphic design portfolio, you can get confused with the materials you create. If you suddenly forgot to add some information to the portfolio, you can do it. The PDF portfolio has an add-and-delete feature. 

building a graphic design portfolio

What Should I Include in a Graphic Design Portfolio?

What to include in a graphic design portfolio? It is an age-old question that has plagued graphic designers of all experience levels. Compiling a design portfolio is an important starting point for beginning your career. A portfolio proves that you are a true expert in your field. But it can be difficult for beginners to understand how to create it and what to include there. So to make your portfolio stand out, include the following:

1. Add a Section “About Yourself”

The first thing you should start with is a story about yourself. You should give a general brief about yourself and your achievements. It sounds easy, but in reality, it is more complicated. 

The fact is that graphic designers are most focused on their projects and websites. Yes, it is essential. But the biography of a graphic designer is no less important. After all, this is how recruiters determine your literacy and expressiveness.

If you don't know where to start your design portfolio, put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter or a prospect:

  • Think about which story about yourself would interest you the most as a recruiter.
  • Based on this, start your own story about yourself.
  • For a graphic designer, it is crucial to state your achievements in this field.
  • And write biographies not just about yourself but about your graphic designer story.

2. Add Your Style

Personal style is critical to your success in graphic design. Personalize your portfolio to let your style shine. And feel free to express your unique talents and style in your presentation:

  • Place a bold personal logo or name at the top of your front page or website.
  • Take the time to think about your unique approach to design.
  • Think about how you can convey this in your digital design portfolio.
  • Maybe your style has brighter colors, a more illustrative type, or handwritten typography.
  • Try incorporating these elements throughout your portfolio regardless of your chosen tactic.

Also, include a high-quality, professional photo of yourself in your collection. It, together with elements of personal branding, wins the viewer's trust.

3. Include Your Best Works

Be meticulous. A design portfolio should contain your best works. Remember that quality is more important than quantity. There is no need to overload the portfolio with a lot of mediocre works. Even if your old logos are meaningful to you, it doesn't say anything about your competence now. So, choose the best projects that show what you can do now. 

We recommend leaving your graphic works in the following cases:

  • They are out of trend and time. Such projects are not widespread; you did them a long time ago.
  • Your work is monotonous and not competitive in the market.

The portfolio works only when it reflects your skills and talents as much as possible. Thus, building a graphic design portfolio, do not be afraid to show only the best. It will increase your chances of success.

4. Use Simple, Clear Layouts

When building a graphic design portfolio, ask yourself some questions. Think about whether your projects will excite someone. Or what do you show on this or that page of your portfolio? Make sure your portfolio layout offers only the essentials. You should not clutter the format with many photos and descriptions. Combine it in a minimalist style to make it more eye-catching:

  • Create a rough layout for the entire portfolio before adding the final photos and text. It will help you create a definitive plan for your digital design portfolio.
  • Once you've created it, you'll know how many photos you might need. You'll also see the amount of text space you divide into a specific area.

5. Include an Explanation of Your Work

A digital design portfolio that only shows screenshots and links has no context. If you don't add a project explanation, your site's viewers won't know about the problems you faced. So, the explanation is what you need to include in a graphic design portfolio:

  • Tell the story of your project.
  • Give examples of problems you encountered during its creation.
  • Tell others how you coped with these difficulties.
  • Mention what motivated you to complete this work.

The explanation is the key point of digital portfolios. You can write it so that it presents you as a professional who can cope with hardships at work.

6. Create a “Contact Me” Section

The next thing you need to include is your contact information. It is necessary so that potential clients or employers can contact you. You need to provide the following personal information:

  • Phone number.
  • Email address.
  • Telegram.
  • Twitter.
  • Facebook.

It is not necessary to mention social networks. The most important thing is to specify the first two points. But if your works are on social networks, add them. It will be a great advantage for you, and employers will contact you faster.

Remember that a design portfolio is a short biography and demonstration of your skills. It is a chance to introduce yourself to a potential customer. So, choose the best works that will show your professionalism. And for this, select the most convenient option to present them qualitatively. Next, check the portfolio for imperfections and ensure you have included everything necessary.

digital design portfolio

How To Create A Graphic Design Portfolio

When building a graphic design portfolio, it is crucial to determine its content. All your work should be organized and specific. Even a professional graphic designer can get rejected at work if he isn’t. It is no exaggeration to say that nowadays, anyone can create an online portfolio. You just need creativity and responsibility for this. Of course, it will be more difficult for you if you are a beginner. After all, for this, you need to know what to include in a graphic design portfolio. And understanding many nuances of creating a portfolio is also essential. It includes choosing a template, platform, and design for the portfolio. In addition, you should know how to structure all the portfolio information properly. Without it, you are unlikely to achieve good results. But thanks to our step-by-step creation of a design portfolio, this creation will be easier for you. So, it's time to start working on your portfolio:

1.Choose a Website Platform

A personal website can help your business strategy in a graphic design portfolio. Because this is a chance to prove your talents willingly. To do this, you need: 

  • Choose a website constructor matching your knowledge and resources.
  • The most professional way is to get your own domain and host your personal website on a hosting platform.
  • Many graphic designers will learn how to create and customize a website this way. 

But if this kind of work is not for you, it is better to use the services of a specialist. As a result, you will receive a portfolio that fully meets your needs and reflects your design taste.

2. Pick a Template or Layout

Professional design templates can form the basis of your digital design portfolio. Because the mockup gives you a better idea of ​​how you want to make it. Many platforms offer portfolio templates designed for the needs of graphic designers. You can use modern design templates such as:

  • 3D design
  • Monochrome and two-color.
  • Cartoon illustrations.
  • Video with a lot of text.
  • Geometric figures.
  • Social slide decks.
  • Simple data visualization.
  • 3D typography.
  • Illusion design.
  • Vector art.
  • Emoji design.
  • Golden design.
  • Typographic chaos.

When building a graphic design portfolio, feel free to go beyond. It will show you as a specialist in the best way.

3. Focus on your speciality

Indicate that you are a designer with rare skills. After that, try to include in your portfolio works related to your speciality, for example:

  • You have your own corporate style.
  • You are excellent at 3D animation.
  • You develop applications.

People prefer to hire professionals in their fields. Accordingly, you should definitely state your skills and strengths. It will make you better in your line of work.

4. Make a structure

A neat logic should be visible in the presentation of your material. You should have a specific principle according to which the sequence of works is formed:

  • You can divide projects chronologically by genre or style. For example, logos to logos and advertising to advertising.
  • Categorization doesn't have to be strict. But a clear structure will help create a positive impression of your soft skills.
  • Place samples of your work in a separate category.
  • Blocks in the design portfolio should be comprehensive and transparent.
  • Look less at how other designers talk about themselves. And don't turn your portfolio into a resume.
  • Approach the categorization with an understanding of how the employers will view them.
  • Show the horizons that you reach in your work.

Structure plays an important role in a portfolio. Thus, keep balance and harmony between your materials. So you can get a great visual appearance of your portfolio.

5. Customize your design with free space

While building your graphic design portfolio, you need to pay attention to free space. How you use it in your work is a serious test of your level of knowledge. Inexperienced designers fill every centimeter of the page with content and graphics. In other words, they are afraid of space. But experienced designers who are at the top do the opposite. They allow their designs to be brighter thanks to the skillful use of space.
You can use the space to:

  • Bring elements closer to each other through narrow spaces to show their connection.
  • Altogether, remove spaces so that different elements overlap each other.

Clients need designers who can balance positive and negative space in their work. So, become such a graphic designer.

Once you have completed all these steps, you can publish your design portfolio. But before that, be sure to check it out. Post your design portfolio on different platforms so that more people can see you. You can share it with your friends, family and social media followers. And, of course, remember to add links to your contacts and various sites.

design portfolio

Graphic Design Portfolio Tips For Students

If you're a student just starting your career path, you need advice on creating a portfolio. And it's good if you're looking for pieces of advice. Because without them, it is difficult for a beginner to promote and create their portfolio. So, the first recommendation for you is to study constantly. Do not rush to make a portfolio by finding only the very first layout for this. Always look for more information on how to do everything best and what it takes. Practice your graphic website management skills. It will play a significant role in your portfolio. Also, remember to gain experience. You have a better chance of success when you include it in your graphic design portfolio. Thus, try to learn new things and immerse yourself in this field. After all, it is more difficult for beginners to create a portfolio, as there are many key points. So that you can impress all employers with your student portfolio, we have some tips for you:

Update your portfolio

The works must be consistent in their level of execution. You can't put old work that "fell down" next to new projects. Update your portfolio every time you get a cool new project that you like. And delete something old instead. If you have ten cool projects, and the eleventh is not so great, cross it out. Don't regret it.

Use multi-layer graphic elements

A portfolio without complex designs seems incomplete. So, use multi-layered graphics in your digital design portfolio. It gives the design depth. But be careful with colorful graphics because it's easy to get carried away. Don't create a random set of unrelated images just because you like them. Relate your graphics to the topic for ease of understanding.

Provide the best works

The ability to find solutions is one of the main characteristics that an employer like. Present those works similar to what you would like to create in the future. The portfolio's competitiveness will be higher in one case. It's when the projects presented in it are united by an aesthetic.

Pay attention to the platform and format

Your digital design portfolio's hosting platform is as crucial as the submitted work. Choose a platform that allows you to load pages quickly and use a personalized domain URL. You can also show your creativity and artistic vision in formatting. The portfolio should be appealing and in line with design trends.

Describe your work

Add explanations to your projects in the form of descriptions of the design process. Attach mockups there. Assume a concise and meaningful header. Find short sentences that convey a clear understanding of your experience and skills.

Personalize the portfolio

Make your portfolio unique with a design that reflects your style. It gives potential clients a sense of who you are. In addition to your work, you have to promote yourself. That's why everything matters in a portfolio: colors, layouts, and fonts. Backgrounds, text, images, and even small details are no less important.

Do not overestimate your professionalism

Avoid boasting, and never exaggerate the actual level of your professional competence. Inflated expectations will soon become your problem. So, you should not add skills that you do not have. But you should also not underestimate yourself. It is best to keep a balance in this.

Pay attention to the grammar of the portfolio

An illiterate text and a bunch of stylistic mistakes can distract an employer. Use outside help. In particular, check the literacy of the text in special applications. Your descriptions about yourself, contact information, etc., should be clear and competently. There should be structure, punctuation, and correct spelling. If you have problems with this, ask someone for help. After all, illiteracy is the first thing that turns people away from your portfolio. 

If you are a student who creates a graphic design portfolio, you have a built-in knowledge base. It is the impetus for making a good portfolio. But certain things distinguish a beginner from a professional. So that they are not visible in your portfolio, it is worth paying attention to these pieces of advice. They will turn your beginner portfolio into a more professional one.

A Word From Portfoliobox

So, creating a graphic design portfolio takes a lot of work. For this, you need to have the skills of creating websites and selecting layouts. But with Portfoliobox you can create your best website easily and without any special skills. So it can be your first step towards a successful graphic design portfolio. Even without experience, your portfolio can bypass all your rivals.

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