Clayton JohnsonClayton Johnson   -   June 23, 2018

For those planning on building a portfolio for the first time, an important initial step is to understand the basic components of this type of website, and why each are important. By understanding what’s needed, a designer can then work around these core features to create the unique and visually appealing design they need to get noticed.

Here are 5 major components of portfolio designs to help a beginning web designer get started on the right track.

1. Big Portfolio Pieces

Your work should always be front and center. Any potential clients will want to view your design style and will want proof that you can do what you’re claiming to do. Putting your designs as part of the main feature, will show visitors that you’re confident in your pieces, and it will increase the time they spend looking through your work–perhaps helping you land the client.

Big Portfolio Pieces

Big Pieces

Large, Detailed Examples

Even if you have nothing real to show yet, create some high quality samples, and make them the main feature of the design.

2. Clear Logo and Designer Name

The second thing a visitor should see when coming to a portfolio design is the logo and designer name. Once they glance at the work, they’ll want to know who did it. Share the company or designer name, and a descriptive tagline that explains what you do.

Giant Creative Logo

WPCoder Logo

The logo and name should be noticeable, and it is a component of portfolio design that should not be taken lightly. Think of ways to make it stand out, and make sure it’s in a good location and memorable.

For more insight, look through the article Logo Design 101.

3. Detailed Introduction

In portfolio design, a more detailed introduction should be in place and created as a main feature. In terms of design, it should be in clear focus, noticeable, and interesting. The content should flow and share with the visitor what it is you do, and how well you do it.

Jason Reed Web Design

Shannon Moeller

1024 Media

A paragraph or two is all you need for this front-page description. Focus on how to perfect this paragraph, using descriptive and meaningful words.

4. Easy Contact Method

A very easy contact method should be implemented into portfolio design. Most clients want to inquire about your services before making the deal, and an easy contact form will help them along the way.

Johnston North Contact

Base6 Contact

It may help to put the form on the front page. If it doesn’t fit into you’re design well, make a ‘call to action’ button clear and noticeable.

5. Simple Navigation

It is a common pitfall of portfolio web design to create “creative” (a.k.a. confusing) navigation. Creativity should always to implemented into portfolio design, but don’t take it too far when it comes to usability and navigation.

Add color, texture, shapes and a just bit of creativity.

Viteb Navigation

Freelance Design


These are three great examples of portfolio navigation, from creative and grungy, to simplistic and clean. No matter what the designer has chosen in terms of style, they all are simple enough to be interpreted by a a client.