“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 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. To set you on the right track, here are 15 of the best portfolio websites out there, all created with Wix:
Graphic designer and visual communicator Christina Vanessa clearly has an eye for aesthetics. The first page we reach on her portfolio website 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. 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 portfolio website certainly demonstrates her skills in both areas. She’s crafted a well-defined visual language for her site, 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 Designs’ portfolio website, it almost feels like you can reach out and grab the products photographed. 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 create your own online design portfolio in a similar style, head over to this template. You can add your own works and adjust the design to express your style.
04. Wendy Ju
The animation that greets us upon entering graphic designer Wendy Ju’s 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 Corvid by Wix. Not only is this interactivity somewhat addictive, 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. 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’s homepage is reminiscent of a mood board. His unique style 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 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.
07. Shiyuan Ye
Fun, playful vibes meet chic and professionalism in graphic designer Shiyuan Ye’s portfolio website. She starts off by introducing herself with a bold sentence that clearly explains her line of work while giving us a glimpse into her personality. Certain web design trends are put to good use here, with the seamless incorporation of movement and interactivity.
A selection of animated pastel-colored blobs float around the page, making for a unique homepage design. Merging with her gallery of works, their mesmerizing movement balances just the right amount of silliness with impressive animation skills. The project pages are just as intriguing, with each one adopting a different color scheme.
08. 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. 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.
09. 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 it 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.
10. 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 services.
As opposed to the other portfolio websites 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.
Despite having such a diverse portfolio, photographer Thai Pham 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 website, you’ll discover a diverse collection of highly stylized editorial, fashion and wedding photographs. Thai Pham adopts an uneven grid layout for displaying images, contrasting with the otherwise clean, minimalistic aesthetics.
12. Ana Leovy
Artist and illustrator Ana Leovy proves that an illustration artist’s portfolio doesn’t necessarily need images to succeed. In fact, the homepage of her portfolio website contains no images whatsoever, but rather a lilac 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 and color. To showcase her works and sell art online through her store, Ana implements a simple white background that gives her vivid illustrations the platform they deserve.
13. Two One Studio
Serving as both a portfolio and an online store, Two One Studio’s website manages to balance high-end design with a sense of down-to-earthness. This may be explained by Sofia and Nuno’s (the duo behind this design and printing studio) roots in graffiti. Influenced by their days as graffiti artists, the creators continue to infuse elements of street art into their present-day work and website design.
The crisp black border and timeless, on-trend logo design exude elegance. In perfect contrast are the digital illustrations featuring street scenes, such as a cut wire fence, a basketball, and the all-too-familiar scenario of a shoe that’s just stepped in gum.
14. 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 design lets her art stand out.
Breaking away from the grid is a new project that Reut 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 is one of the top graphic design portfolio tips.
15. 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.
Text Dana Meir
Featured Image Lena Steinkühler's portfolio