As an industrial designer, you tend to work in three dimensions, constantly considering each and every angle of your final product. When it comes to your online portfolio, you’ll find yourself limited to the four corners of your (needless to say: flat) screen.
However, you can still create an impressive portfolio that showcases your work in its best light. It’s time to embrace your graphic and web design skills, and craft a winning design that will help attract new clients or potential employers. And just like any other creative project, gathering inspiration is the first step.
London-based industrial designer Bilge Nur Saltik has crafted a highly professional website that truly reflects her diverse skill set. The homepage is sleek and to the point, with a clean website menu at the top and an organized grid layout displaying her works.
The slideshow on the top fold of her homepage features fullscreen photos of her best pieces, instantly capturing our attention. Among the shots are intriguing close-ups and unusual compositions that pique our curiosity. She’s also included a call-to-action button, inviting visitors to view more of each collection.
In addition, Nur utilizes her industrial design portfolio to sell items with an online store builder. Each of her designs includes a well-written product description and a collection of high quality photographs. Best of all, visitors can purchase products directly from her site, with a smooth and intuitive user experience.
02. Rino Claessens
Sometimes, the simplest of designs are the hardest to get right. Rino Claessens’ industrial design portfolio is all about simplicity. However, he’s clearly paid meticulous attention to every detail, from the static floating menu to the favicon that is aligned with the rest of his design.
The homepage is minimalistic, featuring just a wordmark logo, menu and a sample of his works in the center. There’s an abundance of whitespace, crafting an overall tranquil sensation and drawing the focus to the works themselves. The color palette is also cohesive with Rino’s overall aesthetic, with pale gray for the background and two slightly darker shades for the text.
This product design duo, made up of Stefanie Högl and Matthias Borowski, make it instantly clear who they are and what they do. Entering their website, you’re greeted with a welcome page that includes their name, logo and brief description.
Studio Kollektiv Plus Zwei has adopted a magazine-like website layout for their ‘Works’ page, displaying each of their designs alongside a title, description and ‘Read More’ button. Unlike some of the other best portfolio websites, this studio places much importance on text, making it clear that there’s more to their work than meets the eye.
On top of the works themselves, Stefanie and Matthias have made sure to include the most important elements of an industrial design portfolio: professional product photography, an updated bio highlighting awards and exhibitions, a ‘Contact’ section and a photo of themselves that helps them appear more relatable.
Holistic design studio Hi.Hi.Studio really tells a story through their website. The site leads visitors through the homepage, inviting them to follow the black line that runs down the screen and acts as an arrow. We’re slowly introduced to sister design duo Elisabeth and Gesine Hillmann as they explain who they are and what they believe in, as well as their creations.
As we scroll down the page, it feels like the story is unfolding before us, each element fading in with a subtle animation effect. Using just a monochrome color palette and linear icons, this unique homepage design powerfully rouses our interest.
Specializing in contemporary lighting design, Tunto’s industrial design portfolio has a professional feel to it that certainly does justice to their award-winning products. The website highlights the studio’s client work, featuring testimonials as well as pieces they’ve created for clients. This makes Tunto appear reliable and credible, appealing to prospective customers.
Further bolstering this professional feel is a quote by Mikko Kärkkäinen, Tunto’s CEO and designer. Mikko’s quote and photograph, placed on the home page side-by-side design awards and lighting collections, form an impressive brand identity.
06. Satomi Minoshima
The best websites are often the simplest. Graphic and product designer Satomi Minoshima has opted for a straightforward design on her portfolio. There’s a plain white background and black text, allowing her works to take center stage and speak for themselves.
Each individual project page retains the same aesthetic simplicity, with descriptions of her works in both English and Japanese. Here, too, the photos are placed front and center, surrounded by plenty of whitespace. To ensure comfortable website navigation, Satomi has included arrows at the top of the page, enabling us to smoothly transition between projects.
The distinct logo design on Lafeliz’s website instantly crafts a strong visual identity. The rest of their industrial design portfolio remains consistent with their branding, with plenty of photos to showcase their vast collection of furniture, lighting and homeware items. Greeting us at the top of their homepage is a large slideshow depicting their range of products.
Lafeliz has taken into account the needs of their audience by incorporating a few additional touches on their website. The multilingual website option enables visitors to view their site in both English and Spanish, and the live chat feature makes it especially convenient for potential clients to reach out.
08. Lina Patsiou
Conceptual designer Lina Patsiou’s portfolio is another example of a simple yet effective design. She’s crafted a high-end look on her homepage, with a black and white color scheme and obscure yet intriguing photo placed at the center.
Lina’s project pages maintain the same simplicity, including an asymmetrical gallery of images set against a white background. There’s also a brief explanation of each of her works, plus basic details like material and whether it was a personal or client project.
Tips for a successful industrial design portfolio
Your industrial design portfolio is your chance to craft a positive first impression. Done well, this type of website, can help you obtain an interview for a job you want, elevating your career and buying you the opportunities you desire.
On top of checking out plenty of websites for design inspiration, read up on design portfolio tips. While there are many aspects to consider, here are the most important things to take into account as you create your industrial design portfolio:
Introduce yourself: Your work may be the central part of your portfolio, but prospective clients or employers will also want to know a bit about you. This can be in the form of a brief intro on your homepage, or alternatively, as a dedicated About page. Describe your specialty, professional background, education and leading principles in your design work. In addition, help visitors put a face to your name by adding a professional portrait of yourself.
Invest in your product photography: A crucial element of an industrial design portfolio is the product photography. Your work could be amazing, but without the best photos to back it up, no one will ever know. Hiring the services of a professional photographer is recommended, but you can also achieve impressive results on your own. For each project, select a few of the best photos and feature them, instead of an exhaustive selection of never-ending photos. Read about these product photography tips to improve your skills even further.
Share the process: Letting people in on your thought processes can help them get to know you better and understand why you made certain design choices. Share initial sketches, models and renders that give insights into your development process.
Include only your best work: Bombarding your industrial design portfolio with many projects won’t show off your best skills. On top of that, busy potential employers reviewing your portfolio could end up only seeing your mediocre projects and skipping your best pieces. To avoid that scenario, handpick the pieces you’re proudest of and focus on how to showcase them in their best light. If necessary, get back to them and revise areas you think could be improved.
Be concise in your text: When you make a portfolio, it’s important to tell your product’s story, from the initial starting point to the final product. It gives you the outlet you need to share your ideas and concept, while simultaneously conveying your communication skills.
However, don’t go into too much detail, as prospective employers most likely won’t have the time to read every word. Let your products speak for themselves by crafting a strong visual impact and reinforcing certain aspects of your project through images.