“Good design is innovative,” stated the highly influential industrial designer Dieter Rams in his list of ten principles. Yet breaking new ground with never-before-seen website design is becoming increasingly challenging. In this competitive field, how can you make your portfolio website design stand out from the crowd?
On top of pinpointing what distinguishes you from other creatives and how you can express this in your design, a great place to start is to search for inspiration by looking at the works of others. Before creating your own portfolio website (see best portfolio website builders), check out this selection of 20 of the best portfolio websites, all created with the website builder Wix:
Graphic designer and visual communicator Christina Vanessa clearly has an eye for aesthetics. The first page we reach on this graphic design portfolio example is a simple expression of her creative work and personality. There’s a fullscreen looped video showcasing her best pieces, with her name and disciplines written above.
Following this promising introduction, Christina’s ‘Explore’ page is just as impressive, incorporating multiple design features. From the works themselves to the layered blocks that make up the page’s layout, the website’s color scheme is cohesive and neutral. The soft shades of cream, beige and gray craft a serene atmosphere, further reinforced by the smooth animations.
02. Sophie Brittain
Specializing in branding and UI/UX design, Sophie Brittain’s UX portfolio website example certainly demonstrates her skills in both areas. She’s crafted a well-defined visual language when planning how to create a website as her career portfolio, made up of three colors, geometric shapes, vector line icons and plenty of white space.
In addition, subtle touches like a smiley face in place of the ‘O’ in her name exude personality and wit. Also take note of the comic microcopy, particularly at the bottom of her site, offering a fresh take on the usual social bar icons. Last but not least, Sophie has brought everything together by incorporating a favicon that echoes the striking visual on her homepage.
With the super sharp high-quality visuals on Steve Wolf’s design portfolio website, it almost feels like you can reach out and grab the products photographed in this type of website. The organized grid layout and screen-to-screen visuals put the emphasis on the works themselves.
A discreet hover effect on each image reveals the name of the project, while keeping text to a minimum. To make a portfolio in a similar style, head over to this template. You can add your own works and adjust the design to express your style. You'll also find plenty more portfolio templates as examples on which you can base your design.
04. Wendy Ju
The animation that greets us upon entering Wendy Ju’s graphic design portfolio sets the tone for the rest of her site. It smoothly welcomes us into her world, depicting a book or fan opening up, along with the word “hello” in both English and Mandarin. The animation is subtle and precise, matching her minimalistic aesthetic.
Further down the homepage, Wendy incorporates a fun cursor interaction using Velo by Wix. Not only is this interactivity somewhat addictive as part of the user experience, it also adds a drop of color to the overall neutral color palette.
05. Dennis Krawec
Multidisciplinary designer Dennis Krawec’s portfolio is anything but subtle. And that’s just what makes it so brilliant as a website portfolio example. Merging ‘80s aesthetics with pop culture and outlandish design elements from the dawn of the internet, this is one of the most eye-catching portfolio websites we’ve seen to date.
Sporting an unconventional layout of overlapping images, text and gifs, Dennis’ homepage is reminiscent of a mood board. His unique style and creativity makes for a truly distinct personal brand that remains cohesive throughout each page of his website.
06. Studio Bagaz’
Graphic design brand Studio Bagaz’ is all about crisp aesthetics when it comes to their professional portfolio website. This sophisticated simplicity also applies to their website navigation, thanks to the organized structure of their site. Visitors can swiftly move between pages using the fixed website menu on the side, or by clicking on the images of the works themselves.
The menu opens up as a lightbox that slides onto the screen, covering half of it. Not only does this fill the screen with new compositions and color combinations, but it also lets visitors remain on the page they were browsing while simultaneously navigating around the site making for great user experience design.
07. David Milan
Designer, art director and hand lettering artist David Milan places his art center stage. By including only the most crucial elements on the header and opting for a simple monochrome palette, David draws visitors’ eyes directly to his colorful designs.
His gallery of works spans the width of the screen, making up the majority of the website. David has used the Wix Pro Gallery to form a feed-like website layout that visitors are invited to scroll down for great usability. This straightforward structure allows for more and more images to be uploaded, making for a design portfolio that is easy to update as his body of work expands.
08. Ryan Haskins
Brand designer and creative director Ryan Haskins’ portfolio website is full of surprises, starting from the expressive typography on his homepage. Blending more than three typefaces on one interface is generally seen as a big design no-no. But Ryan has taken font pairings to the extreme - and has no doubt made this visual hierarchy work.
This adventurous, rule-breaking approach makes a strong declaration straight away, which is accentuated by the bold written content stating that Ryan is ‘world famous’ and ‘very expensive’. Further down, we’re introduced to Ryan’s works, which are equally as unique, evocative and surprising as the rest of his graphic design website. While he hasn't included his full graphic design resume, the 'Bio' section of his site shares his impressive client list and the recognition he's received from a variety of publications, acting almost as a resume portfolio would.
09. By Experience
An energizing cobalt blue fills the screen on design agency By Experience’s homepage. Adding to this dynamic sensation is the fast-paced animated text on the top fold of their site. The tone of voice is self-assured and to-the-point, inviting visitors to reach out and hire their expert services.
As opposed to the other portfolio website examples in this selection, By Experience shares their work alongside testimonials by satisfied customers. This demonstrates their skills and past successes, helping to attract potential clients. They make it easy for visitors to contact them by including a static floating menu icon in the top right-hand corner that leads to an online form for getting in touch. Using your professional portfolio as a personal marketing portfolio is never a bad idea.
Despite having such a diverse portfolio, photographer Thai Pham utilizes a Wix photography portfolio template in which he chooses to display one single image above the fold on the homepage: a sequin-clad, dreamy portrait that makes you want to delve inside for more. The photograph is surrounded by a thick white border that acts as a frame and helps highlight the image itself.
Scrolling through the pages of this photography portfolio, you’ll discover a diverse collection of highly stylized editorial, fashion and wedding photographs. Website portfolio example, Thai Pham adopts an uneven grid layout for displaying images, contrasting with the otherwise clean, minimalistic aesthetics.
11. Ana Leovy
Artist and illustrator Ana Leovy proves that an illustration portfolio doesn’t necessarily need images to succeed. In fact, the homepage of her portfolio website contains no images whatsoever, but rather a burnt orange background, her logo and a few introductory sentences that act as an alternative navigation menu.
With no imagery at all, Ana still manages to form a highly visual homepage, thanks to her attention to detail, typography, digital art and color. To showcase her works and sell art online through her store, Ana implements a simple light grey background that gives her vivid illustrations the platform they deserve. This also really helps establish her unique personal branding style.
12. Reut Chen
Textile designer Reut Chen has gone for a classic grid layout on her portfolio website. The geometric building blocks that make up her site contrast with her works, which have a more organic, textured and handmade feel. The simple, distraction-free web design lets her art stand out.
If you’re wondering how to make a portfolio and in search of some good inspiration, Reut’s website is a great example to follow. Breaking away from the grid is a new project that she has chosen to highlight at the top of her homepage. By putting the spotlight on this particular piece, potential clients or collaborators can instantly understand which areas she is currently exploring. Tailoring your portfolio to the type of work you want in the future as a freelancer is a key graphic design portfolio tip.
13. Lena Steinkühler
Lena Steinkühler, a freelance graphic designer focusing on digital film and VFX art, creates a striking first impression by placing her most eye-catching pieces at the top of her site. A curated selection of vibrant, somewhat surreal 3D visuals fill the screen in a slideshow format, piquing our curiosity.
Scrolling down Lena’s portfolio website, plenty more visual delights await. Her works are displayed in a fullscreen grid, with a clean white border to separate between images. The use of an uneven grid, with some images larger than others, adds a sense of hierarchy and brings our focus to certain pieces more than others.
14. Mathias Holmberg
This architecture portfolio example offers a simple yet powerful representation of Mathias Holmberg’s work. Vertical and horizontal images are pieced together in a grid with white space between each to display the range of his capabilities. The color palette used on both the website design and the images encompasses soft neutral tones, offering an inviting, approachable online space.
Unlike other portfolio examples, this site contains very minimal links or navigation and almost no menu. The only other link you’ll find leads to an Info page with contact details and a link to the architect’s Instagram. Likewise, there is very limited written content, allowing Mathias’ talent to shine through in images alone.
Darren Hughes is an Australian artist who specializes in animal illustrations drawn entirely with graphite and colored pencils. His website describes his art as having a “clean and contemporary aesthetic,” and that’s exactly the feeling you get upon arriving at his art portfolio website.
Minimalism and simplicity are the core essence of this site, with his beautiful, life-like animal portraits taking center stage. Visitors are brought to an entrance page where an extraordinary image of a mother or father rhinoceros and its baby greets visitors along with Hughes’ logo and social media profiles. There’s a soft, gentleness about this portfolio that conveys the artist’s passion for animals and wildlife. His immaculate detail shows each animal’s unique characteristics and personality. In fact, a portion of all his proceeds are donated to a no-kill animal shelter.
16. T Sakhi
Sisters Tessa and Tara Sakhi design spaces inspired by the beauty of the human experience. Their interior design portfolio is a true expression of their work, combining multimedia, images and videos of urban architecture and design. A video background of blurred city lights disappears as their work is faded into view, sweeping you into Tessa and Tara’s artistic world.
You’ll find an updated list of current projects and exhibits so visitors are always informed of the duo’s latest happenings. Additionally, an About section shares a bit about their story, creating a personal connection between the artists and potential customers.
This London-based industrial designer has a unique, contemporary style that shines through in her portfolio website. A striking slideshow of her latest work makes up the top strip of her site, containing vibrant, modern images. As visitors continue to scroll, they’ll see sleek, colorful pictures of the artist’s designs pieced together into a grid format with corresponding tones that show off her professional style.
A menu at the top of this industrial design portfolio contains links to About, News and Contact pages, as well as to an online store. Allowing visitors the opportunity to purchase pieces directly from her website simplifies the process for those who want to do so. The online shop contains quick-view images of each product, with a full description and price listing once you click through.
18. Rafael Varona
Berlin and Rotterdam-based illustrator, animator and art director Rafael Varona, showcases his astonishing range of motion design on his animation portfolio website. The artist specializes in complex animated loops, which takes center stage upon entering his site with an array of colorful and detailed clips. As you scroll through the homepage, more of Varona’s work is featured in a grid-type format, giving you a front row seat to his creative world.
In addition to images of his work, a menu link to the artist’s Instagram account is in the upper right hand corner along with a short About section. This portfolio example has very little text, highlighting Varona’s exquisite artistic talent.
19. Kristina Smolyar
Kristina Smolyar’s online modeling portfolio shows us the power of incorporating video effects into a website. This personal web page uses neutral tones and soft imagery on the homepage to showcase Smolyar’s stunning work. However, visitor’s will notice a bold strip at the bottom of the page that breaks this natural, angelic vibe. A picture of Smolyar wearing a white and yellow shirt on a red couch that’s overlayed with a contact form provides contrast in color and style, an effective way to grab visitors’ attention.
Despite the fact that this model portfolio example is only one page, the use of video in both the top strip and the middle of the page is used to convey Smolyar’s brand image and modeling style, and allows you to feel a more personal connection to her.
Looking to take your portfolio to the next level, or designing portfolios for agencies? Check out Wix Studio.