18 top examples of graphic design portfolios + how to start & what to include

18 top examples of graphic design portfolios + how to start & what to include
Showcase your work to win clients and projects. Explore these 18 top examples of graphic design portfolios + how to start & what to include. #graphidesign #designportfolios
Showcase your work to win clients and projects. A design portfolio is a must for all freelance, online, and part-time graphic design jobs. Find examples, a 7 point cheat sheet on how to create a graphic design portfolio & ideas on what to include if you are just starting out as a beginner. #graphicdesign #howto #portfolio

Impress clients with your portfolio! Create or even refine yours with curated inspiration on graphic design portfolios, each with unique selling points and features!

Creating an impactful graphic design portfolio is the fervent desire of every designer looking to make an impression. Whether it’s a new opportunity or freelance, remote, graphic design jobs that you covet, a portfolio is an absolute must!

It starts with putting together your best work online. But it takes a lot more – most design portfolios are a constant work in progress, with doubts hindering your creative output. Or it could simply be that you are overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. 

Lots of designers wonder about what to share, how to begin if you’re a newbie, and how to present your work in the best possible way.

Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place if you are searching for inspiration for starting a design portfolio- what to include, and how to include it. The graphic design portfolio examples that we have curated will inspire you to create a portfolio that showcases, persuades and ultimately converts! 

Plus, a 7 point cheat sheet on how to create a graphic design portfolio and ideas on what to include if you are just starting out as a beginner.

A designer’s portfolio needs to be as multi-dimensional as design itself. . 

In both creation and presentation, keep the customer’s  perspective front and center when you document your graphic design portfolio projects. Needless to say, as a designer, your visuals and presentation matter foremost!  When you add to that your role, the task, your actions, results, and a compelling Call to Action, it adds fuel to your fire! .

Browse these 18 graphic design portfolio examples to showcase your work as a freelance graphic designer

Read on for ideas and inspiration from these graphic design portfolio examples – a wide variety of styles and ways to present your work. Find examples of graphic design, branding, visual design, typography, illustration, packaging, and even UI and UX design portfolios. You can even make a choice depending on whether your work is a dedicated or multi-niche one. Take what works for you, to create a portfolio that wins!

Single focus –  when your design niche is clearly defined

Marketing professional and branding expert Nathalie Fleitas has a one page website and design portfolio. With one brief, but impressive case study, and an explainer video, she highlights her competency in brand design for products.

When you visit letterer, illustrator, and type designer Jessica Hische’s beautiful portfolio, you are welcomed with a grid of her extensive work. Each image then clicks through to a brief descriptor and more visual delights.

18 top examples of graphic design portfolios + how to start & what to include

Independent Brand Designer Yana K displays her portfolio on Behance as well as her design services website. A design portfolio on sites like Behance and Dribbble also includes stats on project views and ‘appreciations’ for the projects. Plus, you get access to an in-built community and talent marketplace. Notice how Yana has seamlessly incorporated the share button on top of her individual portfolio pages.

18 top examples of graphic design portfolios + how to start & what to include

Each one of brand designer, illustrator and iconographer Bonnie Kate Wolf’s portfolio designs opens up to a fabulously detailed case study. She uses it to showcase her understanding of design, and  a grasp of business strategy. I was truly fascinated by her Email Design Study for Open Table.

18 top examples of graphic design portfolios + how to start & what to include

Branding, web design and social content creator Christine of CL Designs has a simple clean design portfolio page on her website. A quick scroll gets you to a CTA to connect at the bottom of the page. Each project opens to images and a brief project description, and they all wisely follow the same template which makes it easier for clients to follow.

18 top examples of graphic design portfolios + how to start & what to include

Designer and developer Julie Ralston of Jules Design has a unique niche portfolio of work focusing on wellness pros & holistic entrepreneurs. She also offers a Digital freebie at the end of her portfolio page.

18 top examples of graphic design portfolios + how to start & what to include

Are you a freelance graphic designer looking for remote graphic design jobs?

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Multi-focus – For when you have a multi-niche creative repertoire

The following graphic design portfolio examples show the multi-faceted talents of their designers in compelling ways.

Graphic Designer Layla Nami’s brilliant portfolio layout is diverse, yet easy to navigate with clear navigation prompts in a sidebar. Clicking on each image takes you through a detailed, visual & descriptive journey of her projects! What I loved best was her clever twist on the CTA. The Contact button on the website takes you to a compelling design resume. Talk about double whammy! 

It almost does not make you miss an ‘About Me’ 🙂

Freelance creative designer Emily Baldwin of We Are Rare Design highlights her diverse skills – from illustration to web design and animation. Each project in her design portfolio starts with a brief overview and her level of involvement, followed by her visuals.

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Graphic designer, hand letterer, and illustrator Madelyne Adams comprehensive portfolio website showcases her extensive print and digital design capabilities. Fashioned in a cool grid, each image opens in a light box with a brief description on the project details. Combined with an About page with a Resume Call to Action, it does a great job of intriguing and satisfying audience interest. 

Freelance designer Stefanie Bruckler, specializes in logo design, branding, packaging, editorial design & much more. A simple hover over the images in her portfolio provides you with clues to its project details. I also love the project list word cloud at the bottom of every page.

Graphic Designer Taryn Carey’s portfolio website has only two menu items – Portfolio and About Me. Her design work in the portfolio is beautifully segregated into categories, so a customer looking for a particular skill can find what they want right away. The About Page is impressively clear and succinct, with a graphic showing the level of her skills. Plus, it has her social, Linkedin and Resume links right there too!

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Designer Silvana Simon of Sisisi Design showcases the branding work she does by sharing not just the brief, but also the mood board, color palette and fonts used. For her website design projects, she creatively includes the entire landing page as a screen shot.

18 top examples of graphic design portfolios + how to start & what to include

Creative visual communications specialist Abigail Fowler accentuates her design portfolio with subtle animations that show off her creative repertoire.

18 top examples of graphic design portfolios + how to start & what to include

Social media graphics and packaging designer Christina of Tiny Oak Studip has a design portfolio page divided into brief sections. Not only do the images summarize her best work, they also visually communicate her design process.

18 top examples of graphic design portfolios + how to start & what to include

The website design portfolio of designer, developer, and strategist Jen of Inksplash Designs shows her range of responsive website designs. She cleverly shares her services right under the designs, for anyone inspired by her work. There’s also a handy client list to refer too. Each website design graphic clicks through to a detailed visual overview with the project role and scope.

18 top examples of graphic design portfolios + how to start & what to include

Multidisciplinary performer and designer Hannah Priscillas’s portfolio shows her clean, modern and fun design aesthetic. Her choice of yellow is bold, but perfectly complements all her project colors.

18 top examples of graphic design portfolios + how to start & what to include

Alyssa Trinh’s visual and UX design portfolio impresses with its clean, crisp imagery and detailed overview of projects. While you are there, don’t forget to review the cool PDF of her design process.

18 top examples of graphic design portfolios + how to start & what to include

Owlsome studio impresses with the detailed visuals in every project – color palette, typography, and key visual assets. Their portfolio includes examples of branding, packaging, web design, UX, UI and more.

18 top examples of graphic design portfolios + how to start & what to include

Are you looking for remote work from home jobs?

Browse the best Remote Freelance graphic design, social media & content creation jobs

How to make an awesome graphic design portfolio Showcase your work to win clients and projects. A design portfolio is a must for all freelance, online, and part-time graphic design jobs. Find examples, a 7 point cheat sheet on how to create a graphic design portfolio & ideas on what to include if you are just starting out as a beginner. #graphicdesign #howto #portfolio

Your design portfolio is your project. Make it personal and get it ready for your desired audience- the client. 

Here’s a winning portfolio cheatsheet!

Follow these 7 F’s to create a winning graphic design portfolio!

  1. Favor your best work- high resolution visuals, typography and color palette.
  2. Find the right platform to showcase your portfolio – WordPress, Squarespace, Behance, Dribbble, Semplice, etc are all great options.
  3. Focus on the type of role/work you are looking for. If you do want to show your versatility and breadth of skills, then segment your projects out by discipline.
  4. Feature the creative process – include case studies and results
  5. Fuel with your personality- ensure your personal branding seems strong and consistent throughout
  6. Flaunt client recommendations- A happy client is the best marketing strategy
  7. Feedback- A second pair of eyes on your design portfolio can really help.

Are you wondering how to build a freelance portfolio as a beginner?

Get our best tips on creating a freelance portfolio

5 creative Ideas for graphic design portfolio projects as a beginner!

When you are just starting out, this is your “cutting your teeth” stage in your design career, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have creative fun and have great portfolio elements, to boot. Here are some ideas you can use.

  1. Ask to design for friends and family who have a business
  2. Rebrand a local or online business you love
  3. Offer to design for nonprofits
  4. Create a conceptual brand with full color and typography details
  5. Evaluate a brand and present alternate solutions as a case study

Much like any other endeavor that we undertake, a design process is better, faster, even richer when the end objective is clear. Your portfolio is a winner when you are able to show both visual appeal and strategic thinking.

Conclusion

Your portfolio should focus on the kind of work you want to do more of. Constantly review it against these metrics – is it clear, is it current & competitive? Remember, you are creating it for your audience, and it’s them your graphic design portfolio should speak to. 

At the end of the day though, done is better than perfect!

Contributor-Aditi Tandon
Aditi Tandon

You can’t use up creativity. The more you create, the more you have.

A Designer and Entrepreneur, Aditi graduated from a top design school and subsequently started her own design and merchandising business. Co-founder at Maroon Oak, she has over 17 years of business experience with Two Dotts, her design consulting company and an Etsy store which serves as an outlet for her gifts and patented product designs.

A mother to a teen and a tween, she enjoys running, dancing and raising her newest baby, a Bichon named Miltie.

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2 Comments
  1. Wow these are awesome!

  2. Heidi 3 weeks ago

    Great article! I love these graphic design portfolio examples and info on how to start & what to include!

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