The internet has done something amazing for those working in the creative industry. Today, creatives have the perfect platform on which to showcase their work and get noticed by employers and clients who can provide them with work. Today, creative professionals have an unprecedented audience with whom they can share their work.
As a result, you’ll find countless creative portfolios floating around the web. But unfortunately, many of these are simply not as effective as they could be. As a creative professional, an effective online portfolio is the most powerful tool in your box. On the other hand, an ineffective portfolio can have the complete opposite effect, driving clients away quickly. The good news is that putting together an effective portfolio that stands out is easier than you think. Follow these top tips to help you get started.
1. Design a Logo:
Whether you’re building a business or simply working for yourself, having a strong brand has never been more effective. And, your branding starts with a logo that quickly tells a short story of what you offer and makes you stand out. The first step to putting your effective portfolio together is to come up with a logo that describes you and your work well.
However, there’s more to logo design than simply getting a nice font and putting a circle around your name. Designing a logo that’s truly thoughtful and unique will not only make your portfolio look more professional – it’s also going to help you better understand yourself as an artist. As a result, it can actually help you gain a better insight into how others perceive your work and the type of impressions that you make. Ask yourself a few key questions to help you come up with a logo idea that matches you well. What is the purpose of your brand? Who are your target audience, and how do they perceive you? Who is your competition, and how are you different from them?
2. Keep it Clean and Simple
Once you’ve got a brand idea in mind, it’s time to start working on the website itself. The key here is to keep the design clean and simple to make sure that your work is the star of the show. In addition, a minimalistic, sleek website design is always much easier on the eye than one which is cluttered with colors, features, and more.
Even if you’re not a professional web designer, you’ll be glad to hear that putting together a clean, crisp portfolio design is accessible to anybody. Using a website builder to create an online portfolio is a great idea if you don’t have any knowledge of coding and can’t afford to pay somebody else to design it for you. It can be useful to look at other portfolio sites for ideas and inspiration, but remember to make it your own and let your personality and individuality shine through. Don’t simply copy another site because it looks successful.
3. Take a Selective Approach
Once your site is in the works, it’s time to make some big decisions regarding the work that you’re going to display. You might want to upload everything that you’ve ever worked on, but this isn’t always the best route to take. Unless you’re in the very early stages of establishing yourself as a professional and have very little past work to show so far, the best idea is to take a selective approach. Remember that less can often be more, if the little that you do show is of excellent quality.
Take a look through your work and choose some of the best projects to showcase to your prospective clients. It’s also worth determining the kind of work that you’d like to do in the future, and picking projects that closely mimic this. Anything that you’d rather avoid doing again should be left out of your portfolio; similarly, don’t include anything that you’re not immensely proud of. It can be a good idea to get some outside perspective on this; other people can give you honest feedback on what they’d like to see on there the most.
4. Be Confident in Yourself
Writing about yourself and your abilities is always going to be one of the most difficult things to do. You might want to consider hiring a content writer to help you put your ideas into words or come up with a descriptive ‘about me’ page that really shows off your best qualities. Or, you could do it all yourself but whichever choice you make, ensure that your personality and confidence really shine through.
Every word on your website should be written with your goals and objectives in mind. Trust your talents, and show them off – show that you’re confident in your abilities to produce excellent results for anybody who chooses to work with you. It can also help to think about your portfolio as a physical store front. If you were shopping and a store advertised itself in the same way, would you want to shop there? If the answer is no, then you might want to re-consider your wording.
5. Make it Easy to Navigate
Another key design tip that you’ll need to prioritize is making your online portfolio easy for visitors to navigate. Nobody enjoys visiting a website where they cannot easily find what they are looking for, and forcing people to scroll through all your work before getting to the thing that they really wanted to see is not going to leave a good impression.
Instead, impeccable organization is key to ensuring an easy to use navigation system that your visitors can follow. Consider adding a search bar to your site to make it easier than ever for users to quickly find what they are looking for. If you work in different genres, organize your work by genre. You could also organize it by client if you work with several high-profile businesses or individuals. Or, if you do creative work exclusively, organize your work by project to make each one easy to find.
6. Use White Space, Not Emptiness
White space is great for your website, making it look uncluttered, clean and professional. But, it’s important to know exactly where the fine line is where white space crosses over into emptiness. When choosing a theme for your site, think about the amount of work that you’re showcasing and pick one that is able to do so effectively without making any part of your site look empty.
If your site ends up looking threadbare, or your work looks almost entirely absent, you’ll need to re-think the theme that you’ve chosen. If you have a large portfolio with lots of work to showcase, a tiled theme is an excellent choice, particularly with vertical scrolling. On the other hand, those with a smaller amount of work to display could consider doing so in the form of a slideshow or horizontal scrolling. Bear in mind that you can always fill in gaps and bulk your portfolio out with written content; write a description of your projects to add some context and help viewers get to know a little bit more about you and your work.
If you’re creating an online portfolio, keep these design tips in mind for the best results.