"Wax Flux" from Serial Cut's digital portfolio

“Wax Flux” from Serial Cut’s digital portfolio

In today’s competitive world a website is the minimum requirement for any business, which is exactly why a digital portfolio is THE key element a web designer has to have in his or her promotional toolkit.

But what makes a good digital design portfolio? Depends on what it is you’re trying to convey. For your own personal digital portfolio variety is key. Don’t use one type of style, but instead display at least three types of art you’re good at. And if you’re just starting out, don’t be afraid to design new images specifically for your digital portfolio or use your best samples from college.

However, creating art for customers is another story. In addition to getting your clients to convey exactly what it is they want you also have to find inspiration. The best place to go for that is to other designers to see what they’ve done. That’s not to say you should copy them, but instead use their work to inspire the creativity that already flows within you.

So to get your mojo moving, here are 10 great examples of digital portfolios that can’t help but stir your soul.

The Case Study

On way to present your talents is to do several pieces of art for one campaign in a case study, as The Gilmore Group did with Walgreens. This shows that you can attack a campaign from more than one angle, which hopefully leads to long-lasting relationships with clients.

The 3D Design and Animation

If possible, show your art in an animated fashion, as Spine 3D did in their digital portfolio. Movement makes your portfolio dynamic and actually gives it a high-tech, hip, contemporary personality. Even static images come alive if you show them from a moving 3D perspective.

The Slideshow

Sometimes it’s just best to let the images speak for themselves, and in that case nothing beats a good old-fashioned slide show, as proven by freelance designer Hakan Schallinger. A slideshow is a huge timesaver for the busy client who knows exactly what they want, yet doesn’t want to wade through a lot of verbiage to find it.

The Logo Designer

Along those same lines, if you’re really good at one particular thing then put that thing front and center, as Rainy Day Media has done with their logos. Similar to the slideshow, Rainy Day allows the viewer to click through their logo samples as soon as the viewer hits the homepage. That way anyone looking specifically for a logo can tell right away if this designer hits the mark.

The “Get Right to the Point” Designer

On the other hand, if you offer a variety of services, have your digital portfolio get right to the point of what those services are, as designer Matthew Carlin has done. His specialties are motion graphics and video production, which crosses a broad range of client possibilities. Notice, however, how he boils down his many talents into four simple categories, making it easy for a busy prospective client to digest.

The Minimalist

Sometimes less is more, as designer Michelle Rayner proves on her digital portfolio for her business Cosmic Design. The creator of everything from marketing brochures to book covers to sustainable advertising Michelle uses a combination of simple animation and music to set a mood for her digital portfolio. The simplicity along with the visual and audio effects actually makes the viewer want to investigate the website further.

The Social Network Junkie

If you’re a social networking geek, then getting people to follow you on Twitter, for example, is a great way to build a client base for future business, as designer James Warfield has done. Instead of adding a bunch of images to his website, James instead directs the viewer straight to his Flickr page, which means that he easily maintains his images from one public spot (Flickr). His resume is on LinkedIn, his daily comments on Twitter, and his videos are on Vimeo, thus making his own personal website easy to maintain.

The Art Show

If your art is detailed and colorful, then you want to present it literally as museum pieces, as the folks at Serial Cut have done. Notice how they make their images as big as possible so that the viewer can see the level of detail they put into their work. These images displayed as thumbnails would be much less impressive.

The Interactive Website

Giving a directive from the homepage is a great way to engage the viewer, as Morten Nielsen has done for his Graydient digital portfolio. Asking the viewer specially to do something as soon as they hit the homepage is a polite way of saying, “Hey, pay attention here, I’ve got some cool stuff to show you!”

The 10 Best Portfolios

And finally, if you want to see examples of the best, check out MycroBurst.com’s Top 10 Digital Portfolio Designers. Rankings are determined by the number of awards these designers have received based on the work they’ve done for their clients. The website also includes the five most important ingredients for the perfect digital portfolio.

Have you seen a great digital portfolio? Share the link with us so we can all be inspired by it!

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