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Tips and tools for Setting up your Online Portfolio

Sun, Jul 11, 2010

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Becoming a Graphic Designer has its own joys as well as challenges and hardships. Being able to brainstorm an idea and then watch it cultivate into a full grown design is rewarding. The love for Design resides in the passion of creating solutions and getting your ideas across; and as Milton Glaser puts it, “To design is to communicate clearly by whatever means you can control or master.”

Creating your first portfolio online can bring with it a lot of questions and anxieties. To put together and showcase your best work, you need to present it effectively to win the hearts of clients and make your mark. Remember that your artwork reflects your personality and you have to make sure that it sends out a great impression to others. Add a personal touch to your designs through which others could recognize you easily. Design is in the details, so you have to make sure that your portfolio sets with the  highest standards of Graphic design.

1. Introduce yourself

While presenting your artwork online, it is important that you introduce yourself and your background. It is preferable that you include a recent resume of yourself.  It is important for others to know what fields do you specialize in, your interests, past projects, affiliations, awards and achievements.

2. Answer all the Buying Questions

The main purpose of your online portfolio is not merely to showcase you work, but to get hired as well. Therefore, allow your portfolio to answer as many questions such as contact information, your location, costs, commissions and areas of specialization, so that clients could get in touch with you easily.

3. Do Not be Afraid to Showcase your Work

Many designers are afraid to showcase their work to the world worrying about copyright infringement or the harsh critiques. Well, trust me, that’s for your own good. First of all, people recognize you through your style of artwork, and in the current state of social media and networking, copied work never goes unnoticed. Secondly, positive criticism and feedback helps a lot. It is important to know what others think of your work and in the end, it definitely helps you achieve better. As a professional, it is important to have a great portfolio showcase on your personal domain as well as on various online networking platforms. There are a number of free online platforms and tools which offer you the ability to upload your work and create a design portfolio online for free. Here is my pick of some of the favorites:

Online Platforms & Tools for Setting Up a Portfolio

Behance Network

Behance Network is perhaps by far one of the best and my favorite portfolio management sites I have ever come across. The site offers you a great number of features and the portfolio designs are strikingly appealing, clean and professional. You can setup your dynamic portfolio using their easy-to-use tools, create circles (network with like-minded people), ask for feedback and share content. However, you need to request an invitation to join the Behance Network.

Carbonmade: Your Online Portfolio

Carbonmade allows you to create and manage your online portfolio with a number of online tools. Currently, it boasts to have a database of over 240,000 portfolios. They have two packages, the first is free called Meh. With this package, you are allowed to post 5 projects with 35 images. The other premium package is called Whoo!, This package allows you to get 50 projects with up to 500 hi-res images and 10 high quality videos for $12/month.

Coroflot – Design Jobs & Portfolios

Coroflot is another great site for hosting your portfolio online. It not only showcases individual portfolios but also maintains a database of job openings. It provides you statistics on profile views, and lets you organize your content in folders through an easy drag-and-drop interface. Currently, it is hosting a database of over 190,000 creative portfolios ranging in various genres.


If you are in the world of design, and you don’t know deviantART, then I pity you. DeviantART is perhaps the largest art community of the world which allows you to display, share and sell your artwork online. Moreover, it is a great place to receive feedback from other designers. It allows you to create your own portfolio with unlimited uploads.


SHOWN’D is a great solution to help create your portfolio online as well as get in touch with a number of employers. It provides you with a number of tools including importing images from Flickr. Another great feature is that it allows you to embed your portfolio in an external website. Comes with a number of customizable layouts.

World Architecture

WA is an independent global forum and extensive database targeting to become the “Home Page” of architects from ALL countries of the world. Contributions from all our members will have equitable chances to be represented, promoted, reviewed and criticized at this cosmopolitan arena. WA portal focuses on architecture only.


Indexhibit is a web application used to build and maintain an archetypal, invisible website format that combines text, image, movie and sound. Indexhibit has a clean interface and comes with a number of customizable layouts. However, a bit of a let down is that it requires more web/php knowledge, but considering that it is a free application, it does have a promise.


Cargo managed to get a great amount of exposure lately. It is a CMS tool for creating your portfolio online. They host your portfolio but you can join by invitation only.

4. Include Testimonials

References and positive testimonials from past projects and clients should also be included.  If you don’t have any, get them! They make a winning impression.

5. Know your hood

It is important to always keep an eye out for the latest trends and a review of what others are doing. Look for inspiration by visiting other portfolios and design websites. This would help you keep updated in the design community.

Look for inspiration by visiting other portfolios and design websites.

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This post was written by:

- who has written 49 posts on Creative Repository.

Abdus Salam is a freelance Graphic, Logo & Web designer, currently graduating in Telecom Engineering. He is passionate about every kind of creative stuff. You can follow him on Twitter or find him on Facebook.

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