A design portfolio, much like a resume, is a showcase of professional skills, projects, education, and accumulated knowledge. When done right, a design portfolio not only shows the competence of a designer, but also their willingness to experiment with current trends in the industry.
Maintaining a fresh portfolio can be the difference between a dream client and a missed opportunity. However, we know keeping an up-to-date portfolio is no easy task on top of all of the other things you have to do to keep a client or brand happy.
To help you get started on your refresh, we’ve gathered a list of 10 impressive design portfolios of all shapes and sizes to draw inspiration from. While we don’t recommend copying a portfolio’s style, we hope this gives you some authority in experimenting with your own style.
If you need a place to store your design portfolio, sign up for Playbook, or if you don’t want to create your design portfolio from scratch, check out our pick of free templates and illustrations.
Studio Feixen, a small Design Studio based in Lucerne, Switzerland, creates visual concepts - focused on nothing in particular and a variety of areas at the same time. The studio's abstract portfolio straddles maximalism with an explosion of colors and a huge range of projects featured on the site organized by discipline. The constant in each project is the in-depth examination of color, shape and typography. It’s fun, interactive and keeps users interested in the studio.
French graphic artist Malika Favre is one of the most sought after designers with a running client list of major brands like The New Yorker, Vogue, BAFTA, Sephora and more. Favre uses a colorful tapestry of visually stunning thumbnails that invite viewers to click open for more detail. Once opened, the thumbnails reveal a full-screen gallery presentation of the work featured. Like her work, her portfolio is bold, striking and an exploration of positive/negative space and color.
Located in Los Angeles and Amsterdam, Active Theory employs a moody, cyberpunk aesthetic throughout. The mouse-activated glitches and the trippy About Page gel together into one cohesive futuristic package. Active Theory separates their work by websites, apps, installations, VR & AR experiences - all in which are crafted in-house by a tightly-knit team of designers and developers. Each project opens up to its own page with full-screen animation, a short blurb, and relevant information, including detailed cause studies hosted on Medium.
Velvet Spectrum is a full-service Design and Animation Studio based in Astoria, Oregon. Created by visual artist and designer, Luke Choice, Velvet Spectrum errs on the side of simplicity, showing a montage of impactful thumbnails that link to visually interesting projects. Each project opens to supersized examples of work that maximize the detail of the work that makes Velvet Spectrum stand out from the rest.
Brazilian artist, art director and letterer, Leandro Assis focuses on colorful palettes, bold letterings and playful illustrations that have been featured by major brands including Nike, Apple, Disney, Netflix, and Twitter. Listed in no particular order, the work featured on Leandro’s portfolio is bright, colorful and clearly uses design to highlight Black culture, gender topics and LGBTQ+ rights.
With more than a decade of experience, Locomotive is a leading digital agency in Quebec, Canada. Locomotives website exhibits creativity with an all-around engaging experience. Animations bring to life the entire site and not just the homepage. Unexpected and quirky, little surprises keep the viewer’s interest without being too gimmicky or distracting. Locomotive displays a shining example of how animations can be used effectively.
Sofia Yeshi, a Brooklyn-based illustrator and designer, creates culturally-relevant work centered around topics she’s passionate about like climate change, mental health, body positivity, and self-confidence. Yeshi’s portfolio is colorful, classic and clean with each project touting only a few explanatory sentences before letting the work speak for itself.
Brooklyn-based, Buzzworthy Studio features dazzling effects throughout combined with bold typography and animations that grab your attention. Each project is listed on one page with a fresh and spunky font. Each project holds a story of chapters that describe the project with a collective of design, digital media, digital marketing and SEO, brand strategy and website development.
Creative Theory Agency, a culture-focused marketing agency based in Washington, DC, uses scrolling animations that signify movement in more ways than one and a natural color palette that draws viewers to dig deeper. Honest and pure, each part of the website is meticulously curated to evoke emotion and a feeling of familiarity. Their work is sectioned by brand projects that further display evocative photos centered around people.
Kim Dero, located in Portland, Oregon, is an independent packaging designer with extensive experience as a designer at global agencies. Rooted in food and beverage design with beautiful, yet utilitarian undertones, Dero curated a refined portfolio that leads to striking images of his bold packaging work.
Why maintain a graphic design portfolio?
Simply put, a graphic design portfolio can establish your legitimacy as a designer worth hiring. As a designer, creating visuals is half the job. The other half is communication - actually showcasing and talking about your work. Hopefully these design portfolios gave a peak into the many different ways you can communicate your point of view.
The first step to a great portfolio is organization, collaboration and ample storage. To make sure you don’t run out of space, you can store your digital design portfolio on Playbook, a creative and intuitive digital asset management platform. For teams, Playbook makes it easy to share, and collaborate on visual projects. For freelancers, Playbook makes it easy to collaborate with clients and share their work with the world.