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The importance of a design portfolio.

Posted 31/1/2021

For a graphic designer, or for anyone in a creative role, a portfolio is essential! We used to rely only on physical portfolios which we’d take to job interviews and largely ignore whilst we were in employment, but now online digital portfolios are so easily accessed that a potential client or potential employer can have a great view of your work before even making contact with you. 


As a freelance designer, I update my digital portfolio regularly to showcase my work. It is the place I point potential customers to, to give them an idea of the type and style of designs I have worked on in the past. All designers have a different style, and it’s so important that a customer has a good understanding of your design style, to know that what you produce will fit with what they’re looking for. If I was looking for someone to carry out a creative role for me, I would definitely want to see what they’re capable of, before committing to working with them. A design portfolio serves as a true example of what you are capable of and what abilities you have to offer. 


Adobe Portfolio

I use Adobe Portfolio to host my portfolio, which is a stand alone website, but which I have linked to my own website. This way people can easily navigate from my website over to see my full portfolio, or I can give them the link to a specific page of my portfolio site, depending on what type of work they are interested in. This also keeps my own website at a reasonable size, without having multiple portfolio pages or subpages. The portfolio hosting is included in my Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, which is a huge bonus as it means that It’s not an additional expense for me. Also having it hosted by Adobe gives me the confidence that it will look good and be easy to use, as Adobe are a huge and reputable company. It also has the advantage that I can share projects on Behance, which allows other creatives to interact with my work. [This is not an ad!!]



The beauty of an online portfolio really is that anyone in the World can find you and view your work! In a world where the internet is so accessible to so many people, it is truly possible to produce design work for someone no matter where they are! By using an online portfolio, this adds to the ease of showcasing your work to someone in a different location to you. I don’t know how many times I’ve said how grateful I am to be living and working in a time when the internet is so good! Even customers who are geographically close can really benefit from you being online, especially during the Covid pandemic where we’re not able to meet up with others.



My advice if you’re building your own portfolio is that it should be to the point and easy to read and navigate through. Your best work should be kept at the top of each page, because it will be rare that someone looks through your entire portfolio. If you’re able to split your work into different sections this will help too. 


My own portfolio is split into different types of project: branding packages, logos, illustrations & infographics, adverts, flyers, leaflets, brochures, posters, banners, business cards, letterheads, web banners, social media covers, packaging design, event programmes, branded phonecases, and Christmas designs. Then I have ‘case study’ clients who I have done multiple projects for, or who I work with on an ongoing basis.


I then, further down my portfolio, have work that I did before my freelance days, to showcase some of the larger brands I’ve worked on in the past, in employed jobs, such as Maybelline, Ambi Pur, Sharwoods, Radox and Tesco Café. This shows the range of projects I’ve worked on.



If I was attending an interview, I would still produce a physical portfolio, as it’s important to take with you something to talk about and to show off your design work. I have an A3 portfolio case which I would ensure is full of my best projects, projects that I could speak about and which together would demonstrate my skills and the range of projects I had worked on.


I hope this helps, if you’d like any advice please feel free to get in touch. If you'd like to check out my portfolio, you can find it here.

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