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The graphic design industry is growing with each passing day. It generated whopping revenue of $57 billion in the year 2016 and is expected to further grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7% until 2022. Every year more and more young creative minds are inclined towards the booming field of designing to clutch a lucrative share As consequence the competition in designing industry is getting tougher as well. In order to get ahead in this tough competitive world, you need a design portfolio that stands out from the crowd.

Remember, your portfolio is your selling tool to advance in the field of designing. It should not only showcase your best work but also provide exposure to your designing skills and abilities in front of the potential client or employer. From putting the best design forward to creating an engaging portfolio design, there are a number of things you can do that would make your design portfolio stand out. Let’s have a look.

Get Inventive With The Portfolio Design

    • Minimalist: Minimalism is one of the ruling trends in portfolio design. It is simple, subtle, impactful, and carries the right amount of whitespace. You can make your design portfolio simple yet effective by following the minimalist trend. Make sure that you are still able to convey the true essence of your designs while keeping them simple with minimal elements. The portfolio of Cecile Henryon and Anna Rosa Krau are the best example of designers using the minimalist approach.

    • Subtle Scroll: The strong scrolls have faded away and gave way to subtle and creative scrolls that are soothing to the eyes. Incorporating subtle scrolling in the portfolio design can be a great way to catch the attention of the visitor and keep them engaged with the magical effect.  A look at the portfolio of Filip Benda and David McGillivray and you would realize how subtle scrolls can be used to give a new dimension to your portfolio design.

    • Monochrome: Using a single color or value of a single color is seen as gaining the attention of most of the portfolio designers in recent times. The monochrome design can be used to portray any type of work and it would give a classy, elegant and professional feel to the design portfolio. You can make your design portfolio stand out from the portfolios splashed with colors by incorporating this monochromatic technique in it. The portfolio of David Robert and Adam Widmanski are two of the best examples of monochrome design done right.

    • Bold Typography: We all believe that portfolios are all about images. Well, top designers are ditching the all image portfolio designs and embracing a more type-led design. The bold typography engages the users with the content and can also be played with to showcase creativity. The design portfolios of French designer Stephane Issartel and Italian designer & art director Alessandro Scarpellini are can be used to get inspiration for a bold typography led portfolio design.

    • Animation, GIF & Cinemagraph: The days of bland and still design portfolio are numbered and designs with subtle movements and animation are coming to the fore. Make your portfolio designs livelier with subtle effects by using GIFs, animations, and cinemagraphs in them. Don’t make it too flashy or it might divert the attention of the client from your main design. David Spatzek and Arturo Wibawa are excellent examples of portfolio designs using the animated effects to grab the user’s’ attention.

Include Non-Client Work Too

Many designers have a misconception that their design portfolio should only carry the client work they’ve undertaken. This belief needs to be ditched right away as your design portfolio requires your strongest pieces, irrespective of them being a paid client or a non-client work. Give your audience a variety of designs with the work that you’ve done apart from your professional pieces. Self-started and self-initiated projects are mostly appreciated for the illustrator works in the design. Including non-client work can be used to showcase your creative side strongly and even fetch you some freelancing work.

Tell A Story

“You need to tell a story, and order your projects so that they feel fluid and complement each other,” says Malika Favre, a French artist. True indeed! Each design you include in your portfolio needs to tell the story behind its making to make it stand out from the bland and not-so-innovative designs. You can talk about the muse for the design that inspired you, the aim that you had in mind while creating the design, the changes you made until you landed on the finalized design, and the approach you took that helped you create the end design to make an outstanding design portfolio. Moreover, you design portfolio should also speak your story, about your personality, lifestyle, culture, hobbies, and interest to create an instant connection with the audience.

Stick to High-Res Images

While this tip might seem pretty simple and obvious, but including high-resolution images is indispensable in making your design portfolio stand out. Many designers tend to overlook this point while getting bogged down in other details of the designs. The intricacies of your design can only be displayed in your portfolio if you have used high-resolution images. Regardless of the number of designs you showcase in your portfolio, it is the minute details that fetch more clients. Only high-quality images can do justice to your design when it comes to paying attention to the details of your design work.

Decide Smartly On Numbers

It’s not the quantity but the quality that matters in your design portfolio, which calls for a smart decision in terms of the number of designs in your portfolio. Keep the attention span of the user in mind while deciding the numbers of your portfolio designs. The appropriate number of designs in a portfolio is evened out at 10-12. But remember that it is not set in stone; ditch this approach sooner than include any low-quality designs in your portfolio. Include nothing but your best design works in the portfolio, even if they are limited in number.

Keep The First Few And Last Few Strongest

When it comes to the placement of your designs in the portfolio, it is strongly recommended to keep your strongest pieces reserved for the first few and the last few slots. A strategic placement of the designs in the portfolio is what differentiates a good and a great portfolio. You would be able to grab the fancy of the users and keep them engaged throughout the page while browsing through your design portfolio.

You need an outstanding portfolio that reflects your awesomeness as a designer to make a mark in the industry. You need to avoid making any mistake while fashioning your design portfolio and follow the aforementioned steps to create a brilliant portfolio that would help you stand out from the crowd.

P.S. – Once you have your portfolio ready, make sure to update it regularly with your latest designs to make it stand out forever.

Anurag GuptaAvatarAnurag GuptaAnurag Gupta is a budding entrepreneur with stakes in an acclaimed Web Designing & Development Company, headquartered in India. He also happens to be a keen writer, sharing insights, tips, and tutorials on subjects related to the ever evolving landscape of Web Designing and Development.View all posts by Anurag Gupta