Image is everything in the world of art and design. This means an online art and design portfolio is just as much a piece of art as the actual creations. These users have understood that in order to sell to their audience, it’s necessary to present their products in the most marketable, eye-catching fashion. The same ideology can be applied when it comes to putting your business in the spotlight by figuring out how to make a website.
Are you looking for inspiration to create a free portfolio website of your own? These different website types from talented artists and design agencies have used effects and features that suited their content just right - and just might help you come up with web portfolio ideas (or UX portfolio examples for further inspiration) to showcase yours, regardless of your claimed industry.
From parallax scrolling to lightboxes, photo galleries, social bars, contact forms and more—take a slice of creativity from these 15 impressive art and design portfolio website examples:
01. David Milan
David’s website is made up almost entirely of a photo gallery. If you want to learn how to make a portfolio, especially a photography portfolio that is highly image-focused, you can certainly use this method to make a statement. The clean, defined borders and aura of clarity are ever so simple to replicate, so consider this design technique as you choose a portfolio website template of your own. With the addition of a contact form, sponsorships tab, and logo, this site is ready to go, suited up in entirely professional attire.
We love website examples with bold, eye-catching visuals.This graphic design and branding agency’s use of subtle animations on their homepage truly draws in the viewer’s attention. The images also link to more information about their projects, each of which is displayed on their own page. If you want to emphasize individual components of your business, this is a great way to do it. Our favorite part? Their about page, which is so sleek and provides details about each essential element of their business broken down into finite sections.
03. Annie Atkins
Immediately when you enter her site, you’re struck with a cleverly worded lightbox subscription to her newsletter. Going forward, the whole site’s layout is the recommended structure if you have multiple components of your business, such as if you're starting a blog, different products or services, or a video series. Here, Annie displays in her site’s sections everything from workshops and speaking events she hosts, to her newsletter, gallery and more. To layout her information, she separates everything out into pages of their own, clearly labeled via the menu bar at the top.
04. Reut Chen
If you’re looking for inspiration to display visuals, look no further. Reut uses hover effects on each image to let you know the name of the categorized project. From each product to the about page, she adds in subtle touches of animations too—an effect that will enhance the users’ experience. Also in her about page, she says that she enjoys ‘creating new visual worlds,’ and if you ask us, we have to say that her site does just that.
05. Pilgrim Creative
Using your strong skills as the center point of your website is one way to impress a crowd. That’s what Pilgrim Creative does with his graphic design abilities, by displaying his beautiful logo front and center on his site. While browsing, you’ll find that this is a great place to come for visual inspiration. Although he uses his images and designs throughout his site every chance he gets, the website functions beyond just any design portfolio. It also has an online store with a very intuitive checkout process and secured SSL shopping.
With a name like ‘Floating Llama’ you may not be surprised to see the first animated graphic on their site (hint: it floats). This studio takes a different approach to web design, leaving their homepage almost bare. In order to explore their site, visitors have to navigate using their menu bar which lists all their sections. This allows each piece of content to breath, or ‘float in its own separate direction,’ as we assume they may have worded it.
07. Nathalie Lété
Nathalie uses her beautiful illustrations throughout her site everywhere she can, from her ‘home’ button to her signature all the way to the icons that lead to each section. Her homepage is pretty much just a menu, but the image icons add so much more character to it. She also integrates a subtle touch of her profession by making the background look like a sketch book. And overall, the majority of her website is just made up of photo galleries—one excellent way to instill visuals into your site in a clean and organized manner.
08. June Digan
June’s work is beautifully detailed in a hand drawn, colorful fashion. One way she compliments this is through her personalized, hand-written logo. Another way is by giving each piece the attention it deserves with the right balance of white space for contrast. It’s evident that this designer and illustrator knows how to display each screen with beauty and simplicity. One of the best examples of that is her clear attention to the above the fold content. On the top portion of the screen before you scroll, you’ll only see a couple of basic (but important) items: a background image, her name, title, signature logo, and menu.
09. Nim Ben-Reuven
Unlike the other portfolio websites we’ve seen, Nim adds an appealing touch to his media through the sharp white border outlining each image and video. Perfectly laid out in a grid, his homepage is designed with a nice mix of videos and images, all of which compliment his lettered designs. While you’re exploring, don’t miss out on his humorous about page - the perfect example of how to inject a bit of personality into your own site.
10. Hollie Fuller
Hollie’s simple, yet noteworthy illustration portfolio website is filled with GIFs and illustrations she’s created with her talented hands. If you’re looking to make your website flow with a coordinated brand-focus vibe, a view at her curated website design will certainly help. This is because of her apparent style which is visible through her illustrations and consistent theme of colors throughout. One other component that makes her branding efforts complete is the addition of an Instagram Feed on her about page.
This freelancer’s animated logo designed welcome page will most likely leave you breathless, and also clicking replay over and over again. And again. It’s created on the basis that first impressions really do count, by displaying this impressive introduction as a standard for the work that they hope to offer their clients.
Many features of this website will motivate you to make yours just as special. First, the homepage uses parallax scrolling to give off the illusion of a three-dimensional website. Next, this page is split up into noticeably bold categories to represent the different elements of her work. Lastly, the unique contact page is broken out into three ways you can get in touch, depending on your prerogative.
The first thing you’ll notice when you enter this colorful site is the poppy designs, pizazzy personality, and use of movement. Michael is one art director that knows how to make chaos look appealing. Yet, when you go to his info or contact page (you’ll notice less visual elements) - he tones it down to just the right level of directness.
14. Sasha Pivovarova
The opening video of Sasha’s website is the ultimate way to build up anticipation. This feature alone left us awestruck. Her use of white space contrasted with black clothing and black ink are perfectly suited to mesmerize visitors. If you can find a way to hold your visitors’ attention through build up while slowly revealing certain elements, they will form a connection with you right off the bat.
15. Justin Lemmon
The first thing Justin offers his visitors is an introduction to his services. He does so by using the power of video as an opportunity to hook them in with engaging content they won’t be able to take their eyes off of. This is displayed full screen, covering the entire top fold. And after you’ve viewed the video, there’s no doubt you’ll be tempted to scroll down. Once you do, you’ll be presented with a second fold dedicated to the top projects he markets. As a motion graphic artist, he stays true to his craft and lets it shine through to the tiniest of details, from his animated icons to his services. The website is complete with a map of his location and a contact form—pretty much all he needs to initiate work with his potential clients and show off his impressive pieces.
Art and design portfolios FAQ
What should be included in an art and design portfolio?
An art and design portfolio should showcase your creativity, skills, and expertise as an artist or designer. Consider including some or all of the following: Cover, Introduction, Work Samples, Illustrations and multimedia, Descriptions, Work Processes and Sketches, Links to other online resources related to your work or person, Contact Information, Resume.
What to not include in an art and design portfolio?
In an art portfolio, it's essential to curate and present your best work to showcase your skills and creativity effectively. Avoid including irrelevant or poor quality work. Only include artwork that is relevant to the field or industry you are applying for. Avoid adding pieces that do not align with the type of art you want to pursue. Don't include multiple pieces that are very similar in style or subject matter. Make sure to add only completed work and don't display unfinished work. Be sure to include the work that you're most proud of and which represents your unique style and talents.