Are you looking to jumpstart your creative career? Then you need to create a portfolio website.
Your portfolio can be a space for you to express yourself, amaze any future employers, and get your work noticed.
But portfolio websites can be challenging to make.
Where should you even start? Which work should you include and which work is better left out? And that’s not to mention the design and the coding that goes into building a portfolio website.
That’s why we made this list for you.
Get inspired by these 25 portfolio websites and gather ideas for what to include in your own online portfolio.
Since portfolios of graphic designers differ from those of front end developers, we’ve included a wide variety of different creative fields to get you started the right way.
All photographers out there, start taking notes: Freya McCartney’s one-page portfolio site is living proof that less is more.
Thanks to the portfolio website’s simple and no-frills design, the visitors are able to focus on what matters the most – her work.
Freya includes all of the essential information at the top of the website, from contact details to a short bio. Most of the website design is dedicated to displaying her work in a dynamic grid layout.
This helps visitors to quickly get a good grasp of Freya’s style and experience.
If you’re only starting out, or are still building a strong portfolio, a one-page portfolio website like this one could be a great place to start.
The moment you open Anton Cristell’s website and move your mouse around, you find that it’s like an empty canvas and you can draw anything you want.
This portfolio website example is creative and keeps the visitors engaged.
Clicking on his name in the top left corner it reveals two options of where to go next, his work, or a short biography. This greatly simplifies navigation between each page.
The unique homepage hints at how Anton Cristell approaches his work too. He combines design, graphics, and architecture.
The artist has already designed many important commercial spaces and structures in the restaurant industry.
3. John Green
John Green is a best-selling author of several novels. Some of his books have been successfully adapted into movies.
He is one half of Vlog Brothers – a YouTube channel he made with his brother in 2007. They have more than 800 million views.
All this information is given to you upon opening his website, complete with links to each successful project.
This is one of the best ways to write a summary for a website: information presented in a compact way that doesn’t make the visitors work too hard.
Use Green’s website design as an inspiration if you want to show off your expertise at a very quick glance.
Studio Schurk is an animation and illustration studio. This is immediately evident on their homepage, which has some examples of their work as the background.
Scroll down a bit further to see their animation in action, as well as their projects and portfolio.
Studio Schurk was founded by Miriam Knijff, who is the illustrator, and Wendy van Veen, who is the animator.
If you own a business similar to Studio Schurk, putting a few of your work examples on the homepage could give potential clients a sneak peek of what your studio is capable of.
Jennifer Fernandez is a writer and editor who has worked for Architectural Digest and other big names. Her work has been featured in well-known magazines such as The Wall Street Journal.
Her portfolio website example is simple, as she makes it known straight away that she’s a writer and editor. She has her job titles under her name, which then link to different categories of writing that she can do.
In those writing categories, she provides links to everything she’s ever written.
Jennifer Fernandez’s portfolio website is simplicity personified. You would do well to take inspiration from this website for your own portfolio design.
More inspiration this way
6. Sean Halpin
Toronto-based Sean Halpin is a web designer. His work has resulted in several WordPress themes, web and app design, UI and UX design, and interface design.
The information displayed on his homepage is informative and concise. The pages about his work, on the other hand, are visually attractive.
He also makes it known to the visitors that he is available for freelance work, by putting a contact form right there for interested potential employers to fill out.
This makes it easier to get more clients. Remember: proper placement of CTA (call to action) buttons increases conversion rates.
You can run your CTA placement through an AI Heatmap tool to make sure you’ve got them optimized to perfection.
7. Tara Pixley
Tara Pixley is a photojournalist and a professor of visual journalism. She has more than a decade of experience as a photographer for various global news organizations.
Her other work, such as documentary films and writing, has also been recognized internationally. One of her cover stories was even awarded as the best B2B single article.
With so much to showcase, Tara Pixley’s portfolio website uses horizontal scrolling to navigate the website.
This is a fun change from the vertical scrolling that most websites feature and certainly makes this website easier to remember.
Consider basing your website design around a non-traditional way of navigating.
8. MDZ Design
MDZ Design was founded by Stacey Mendez, who has commercialized and added value to customer focus products for more than a decade.
She has helped her clients build iconic products, some of which are the leaders in their markets.
Her homepage is great because it immediately explains what MDZ Design is all about, but not in too much detail.
It has a link to a video case study with more information, and there is even a button to schedule a call with Stacey directly.
Talk about website design that is clear and concise, and also works beautifully in generating sales leads.
Gary Vaynerchuk is the chairman of VaynerX. This is the parent company of multiple subsidiary companies that focus on media and lifestyle.
He is also a popular public speaker and an accomplished author. He is a five-time New York Times bestselling author with lots of great work to show off.
Gary Vaynerchuk’s portfolio website example features a few things that you can take inspiration from.
First off, he includes a short video montage about his life, with quick mentions of his skills and accomplishments.
Second, because he’s heavily involved in media, he features his writing about media and links his other media content like podcasts, Snapchat, and YouTube channel.
But remember to not showcase ALL of your work in your portfolio website. Be selective and only put your best foot forward – nobody has got the time to scroll through decades worth of work.
Robert Lawler is a photographer with sixteen years of experience. He has long been involved in the fashion industry, which has heavily influenced his photography.
There are a few things that you can learn from Robert Lawler’s web portfolio.
Firstly, he puts a compilation of his best work right on the landing page. This makes a great first impression.
Making galleries of your work on your website helps potential clients get a better idea of your capabilities. It also reduces clutter on the homepage.
Robert also links his portfolio to social media. This makes it easier for people to share his content and thus increases his market reach.
11. Melanie Daveid
Melanie Daveid is an Austrian-born UX Designer and Art Director based in Berlin. Her works include: Austria Tourism, Pumatrac (Running App), and Mycomfort (Heating Control App).
It’s obvious that she has a user-centered mindset. Her designs are visually appealing due to her love for the aesthetic.
Melanie displays her work in a creative and informative way. She includes images that represent her work and explains her processes in-depth.
All of this creates a seamless user experience and overall web design when browsing her portfolio website.
You can take inspiration from her website design to improve your online portfolio’s user experience. After all, who’s better to take advice from on web design than a web/UX designer herself?
12. Chris Round
Chris Round is a fine art photographer who focuses on documenting landscapes. He documents how humans enhance their surroundings in artistic ways.
His work as a photographer has won him awards both locally and internationally.
Chris worked in advertising before becoming a photographer where he won prizes including the Grand Prix at the Cannes.
Like Tara Pixley, Chris Round’s website uses horizontal scrolling to navigate. The difference between the two is the layout of the homepage.
Chris Round provides links to his work in chronological order as seen from his “Work” and “Older Work” menus.
13. Diana Matar
Diana Matar is a California-born artist who works with photography.
She has won several international awards, and her work has been featured in well-known galleries and museums around the world.
Diana Matar’s website is one of the most creative and informative portfolio websites on this list.
This is mainly because she provides information about her recent and upcoming activities.
Not only does that give her a chance to show off her work, but also gives a chance for potential clients to come and see her in person. That’s a great strategy for a creative person.
She also provides complete information on all the work she’s ever done.
14. Bryan Gentry
Bryan Gentry is a New York-based director of photography who’s worked on documentaries, commercials, feature movies, and brand films.
He includes links to his work on his website, along with a thumbnail of each project. Instead of linking to other video websites, his videos are embedded on his website for faster loading.
This also means his videos can be played without leaving the website.
This is a creative way to keep visitors on your website to see other projects straight away.
Erik Andersson Architects is a studio based in Stockholm. The studio has worked on projects ranging from infrastructure to furniture design.
The studio has been invited to several Swedish and international design competitions and has won numerous international awards.
Little wonder then that their portfolio website example has a clean, minimalistic design with a very user-friendly navigation system.
Visitors don’t need to explore the site much, as all of the work is put together in clear-cut categories that visitors can navigate effortlessly.
16. Danny Jones
Danny Jones is a San Francisco-based 3D Designer.
He currently works at Facebook and has worked for several of the biggest companies in the tech industry, including Dropbox and Google.
This designer’s website is easily one of the most creative portfolio websites on this list.
His homepage captures the attention of visitors with a collection of his work jumbled into a fun background picture.
His portfolio website example is also informative. In it, he explains the processes of each design project with images from start to finish.
Danny also lists the tools he usually uses and links his email. This makes it easier for visitors to contact him.
17. Allison Bratnick
If you’re looking for good graphic design portfolio examples, you should look at how Allison Bratnick does it.
Grid layouts are popular in portfolio design in general, but Allison approaches her web design from a new perspective.
Using smaller preview images is a clever way to solve the problem many established professional face as their design portfolios grow.
Allison uses her portfolio page as the landing page for her website. This is a great tactic to make sure that the first thing the visitors see is her best work.
She also has a separate page about herself, which is clearly visible from the left-hand side menu.
For many graphic designers, portfolios are frequent companions to CVs and job applications. If your design portfolio is extensive, it might be useful to opt for a smaller grid in your website design.
18. Ling K
Ling K is another portfolio site that you can draw inspiration from.
Ling’s graphic design portfolio is a great example of a web design that focuses on promoting the designer’s most recent work.
Rather than displaying all of her work on the home page, Ling keeps things fresh by categorizing her portfolio website.
The clear and minimalist web design makes the portfolio work stand out against the white background.
Any graphic designer should consider making their design portfolios an extension of their skills. Ling has clear brand rules in place on her website, with a predefined color palette and typography that add nice finishing touches to her portfolio website.
19. Nathalie Jankie
Attention, game designers: portfolio websites are not just for photographers and graphic designers.
Nathalie Jankie proves that game designers as well as other web design, back end, and front end developers can benefit from a stylish portfolio website.
Indeed, Jankie’s website design has drawn inspiration from video games and movies, and the black background makes the white text sections stand out.
Jankie’s website consists of three sections. The extensive landing page gives a clear overview of her experience and skills to potential clients, while the dedicated project pages explain in detail what she was responsible for in the various teams.
Recommended for professionals with a number of projects under their belts.
20. Jay van Hutten
Are you looking for a portfolio website design that is unique and sets out to wow the visitors?
Jay van Hutten is a game and level designer with a portfolio website that could stop anyone in their tracks.
To navigate his website, the visitors have to use the side arrows to horizontally scroll the website left or right. The different projects van Hutten has worked can also be viewed by clicking on the square icons on the bottom of the page.
Doing something different from traditional web design instantly engages the visitors in a new way.
In van Hutten’s case, opting for horizontal scrolling rather than the more traditional vertical page navigation is a sure way to keep the visitors glued to his portfolio website for a little longer.
21. Lotta Nieminen
The overall graphic design for portfolio websites can be a deciding factor for clients to contact you.
The Finnish studio-based illustrator Lotta Nieminen pays close attention to the overall website design and matches its design carefully with her other work.
Not only does this make the website look highly professional, but it also emphasizes her professional brand and aptitude as an illustrator and designer. Her landing page displays her overall portfolio, and each featured project takes the visitor onto a more in-depth page detailing the project in question.
With a simple centered menu at the top of the page, the portfolio is easy to navigate while staying loyal to Nieminen’s design studio and overall brand.
22. Dean Tate
Not one for complicated or flashy web design?
Do what Dean Tate did and set up a simple portfolio design that gets the job done and is clear to navigate.
Tate is a game developer and his landing page gives a clear overview of the man himself and the essential projects he has worked on. The top menu features pages for more detailed descriptions of some of the curated projects he has been part of.
Opting for a simple site structure, white background, and clear typography helps the visitors focus on the content of the portfolio website, rather than get distracted by flashy graphics and other features.
Tate also gets points for featuring a headshot of himself in his about-section. Nothing that builds trust better.
23. Paul Barton
For any creative film professionals out there, take Paul Barton as your inspiration.
Compared to many others, Barton’s website design relies on the principle that less is more.
With a simple logo dominating the top part of the page, the main focus of the landing page is the two big images in the middle.
The visitor can choose to view either Barton’s film or photography projects, which are all neatly displayed in minimalist photo grids. Each project opens up on their own page, and offers a quick summary of the highlights.
If you believe that your work speaks for itself, take a page from Barton’s book and opt for minimalist web design.
24. Laura Bellingham
This cinematographer’s portfolio website is a great example of impactful portfolio design.
Laura Bellingham features a rotating photo carousel of her stills as the background of her landing page. These big and colorful images dominate the page and immediately grab the attention of the visitors.
The menu is purposefully written with a thin and simple font so that the logo and the background can take the center stage.
You should consider a similar approach if you have a highly visual portfolio and want to make an impression even before the visitor has scrolled through the individual projects.
The next section on the landing page features a square grid with examples of her work, and the about section and formal resume are placed towards the bottom of the page.
Doing this makes it easy to really engage with the visitors and show them real examples of what you can and have done in the past.
25. Robby Leonardi
Building a web design portfolio isn’t as complicated as you might think.
In fact, if you look at Robby Leonardi, it can be fun, informative, and serve as inspiration for potential clients.
Leonardi’s portfolio website opts for a fun, game-like website design. It’s a one-page website in essence, but offers many complex features like pop-ups and hidden features for each of the different sections.
Having a really out-there portfolio website helps Leonardi demonstrate his skills as a web designer too. Since his website also includes many case studies and website design examples from his previous clients, he can easily prove his versatility to future clients.
As a web designer, web infrastructure should be your home turf: demonstrate that you know it inside out with an out-there web design portfolio.
What is an online portfolio?
An online portfolio is a website for displaying someone’s best work.
Portfolio websites are usually made by people who want to share their creations and knowledge with a bigger audience. Many creative professionals favor portfolio websites, but a consultant or a marketing professional could also benefit from one.
An online portfolio can:
- Boost online presence and attract customers. An attractive and informative website with good SEO will rank well in search results, bringing your work to a wider audience.
- Make you look more professional. Portfolio websites are a great way to showcase your experience. Show off your authority and skills in your industry, and include case studies when possible.
- Help you keep track of your achievements. Regularly updating your portfolio website makes it easier for you to prepare for interviews and to keep your professional development on track.