25 Impressive Design Portfolio Websites

The portfolio websites of designers are often excellent sources of inspiration. Portfolio sites frequently demonstrate exceptional creativity and attention to detail, and they often showcase creativity and take some risks that may not be possible with other types of websites. In this post we’ll take a look at what makes a portfolio site successful and we’ll feature 25 outstanding portfolio sites that are worth a look. You’ll find designs from a variety of styles here, including minimal, illustrated, nature-inspired, textured, brightly colored, and more. Whether you are looking for inspiration to put to use in the design of your own portfolio site, or just want to browse some excellent websites, you’ll find something to like in this collection.

Characteristics of Effective Portfolio Websites:

Here is a look at some of the things that can be said of effective portfolio websites.

Excellent Visual Design

Since a design portfolio website exists to show off the work of a designer or agency and to attract new clients, it only makes sense that the portfolio site itself should also be well designed. Visitors who are looking to find the right designer will be judging the quality of the portfolio site in addition to the items that are showcased within the portfolio.

Just because a portfolio site needs to be well designed doesn’t mean that it must be extravagant. In fact, many effective portfolio sites take more of a minimalist approach to the design of the portfolio site itself, which can allow the images from items being showcased to take center stage. For some good examples, see this collection of minimal WordPress themes, which includes many portfolio themes.

Creative

Many of the best portfolio sites, but not all, will showcase the creativity of the designer. Portfolio sites provide an opportunity for designers to take more creative risks and push the boundaries more than some other types of websites, like corporate sites for example.

Potential clients may appreciate some creativity in the design of the portfolio site, so this can be an excellent approach to make a site stand out.

Showcase the Best Work of the Designer

The portfolio site should not showcase every project the designer or agency has ever completed. Instead, it should showcase only the best work. Don’t let your best work get drowned out by a lot of other projects that don’t demonstrate your potential and ability.


As a designer you are working for the client, and there will be times when you may not agree with the decisions and choices made by clients. The result could be something that you’re not particularly proud of, but it is what the client wants. Make sure that the items you showcase in your portfolio only include the work that you are truly proud of.

Information on Services Offered

Ideally, your portfolio site should also provide some details about the types of services that you offer. There are all kinds of different designers out there, and some potential clients may want to know more about what you offer before contacting you.

Most portfolio sites include a “Services” page, or something similar where the descriptions of different services are provided. However you decide to do it, be sure that potential clients are able to get an accurate idea of what you have to offer by quickly browsing your site.

Easy Contact Information

The main purpose of the portfolio website is to get inquiries from potential clients, so of course it should be easy for website visitors to contact you. Typically this is done with a contact form that can be completed right on the page. Some designers and agencies choose to also list a phone number and mailing address, but at the very least you should have a contact form or email address. This information and/or form can often be found on a “Contact” page, but sometimes it is just included as part of the “About” page.

Able to Be Found

In order for a portfolio site to be effective it will need to get the necessary exposure. If it is not seen by the right audience it cannot be effective at generating new business. There are a number of different ways that you can get exposure for a portfolio site, including being showcased in galleries like CSS Mania, social media sharing, blogging, and paid advertising.  Maintaining a blog at the portfolio site will require some extra work, but it can be a great way to get traffic and to reach potential clients.

Showcase of Design Portfolio Websites

Now that we have taken a look at some of the specifics of what makes a portfolio site successful, lets look at some examples.

Flavor

Flavor

Why it works:

  • Some interesting scrolling effects give a memorable user experience.
  • The colors are bright without being too intense.
  • Contact information is easy to find.

Box Clever

Box Clever

Why it works:

  • The blue and white color scheme is somewhat simple, but very pleasing.
  • The icons add a nice visual touch, and also help to show the types of services that they offer.
  • Bio, portfolio items, and contact information are easy to find through the navigation menu.
  • The responsive design looks great regardless of the screen’s width.

Active Media

Active Media

Why it works:

  • The color scheme is appealing and it also stands out.
  • Interesting illustrations are featured throughout the site.
  • The design and layout is responsive, so the site looks great on any device.
  • The services are clearly described and the “Services” page is included in the main navigation.
  • Contact information included address, email, and phone number are easy to find.

84colors

84colors

Why it works:

  • The design incorporates illustration and textures to create a very attractive look.
  • The “Portfolio” page showcases several excellent projects, as well as details about specific services that were provided to each client.
  • Contact information including an email address, contact form, and Skype handle are easily found. Links are also provided to social media profiles.

Pod1

Pod1

Why it works:

  • Pod1’s focus on e-commerce is very clear. For visitors who are looking to have an e-commerce site designed/developed it is encouraging to know that the agency specializes in this type of project.
  • The homepage slide showcases photos and graphics from certain client projects, with links to more detailed information about each project.
  • The portfolio includes many different work samples, but they are organized by category so potential clients can easily find the samples that are most relevant to them.

Tilted Square

Tilted Square

Why it works:

  • This clean and somewhat minimal design looks great and keeps the portfolio items as the focus.
  • All of the necessary information can be easily found through the main navigational items like “Portfolio”, “About”, and “Services”. The “Get in Touch” link also stands out.
  • The design and layout are responsive, providing an excellent user experience on any device.

2nd Floor

2nd Floor

Why it works:

  • The top of the homepage tells visitors exactly what services 2nd Floor offers.
  • A sticky navigation menu keeps the most important links easy to access as you scroll down the page.
  • The design and layout is responsive and mobile friendly.
  • The portfolio shows a good selection of past projects without including too many (currently there are 14 items shown).

BrightByte

BrightByte

Why it works:

  • This site has an attractive design that features a large blurred photo background, plenty of white space, a sticky and a sticky header.
  • The portfolio gets plenty of attention with the red “See Our Work” button on the homepage.
  • Services offered, bio information, and contact information are all easy to find from the primary navigation menu.
  • The responsive layout adapts well to screens of various sizes.

Nic Stauber

Nic Stauber

  • The header of this portfolio site is pretty unique and helps it to stand out from other portfolios.
  • The work takes center stage and is really the only focus of the site.
  • Although not much information is provided about the services offered, they are listed in the header and the portfolio can be sorted by the type of project.

Made by Vadim

Made by Vadim

Why it works:

  • The illustration stands out immediately when visiting this site.
  • The portfolio is sorted by different types of projects (websites, interfaces, logos & icons.
  • Contact information can be easily found through the main navigation.

Killit Creative

Killit Creative

Why it works:

  • The full-screen background image gives the site a new look. Aside from this image there is very little to the design other than a simple navigation menu and thumbnails from portfolio items.
  • The design and layout keeps focus on the portfolio items. When you click on a thumbnail it opens a larger image.
  • Contact information is included at the bottom of the screen, although I find it to be difficult to see the whit text on the background photo.

Alee Foroughi

Alee Foroughi

Why it works:

  • The scrolling effects are the element that stands out the most. The “Scroll Down” and arrow on the homepage make it clear to visitors what they should do.
  • The blurred background photo and the images throughout the page all work well with the design.
  • Bio and contact information are easily found when scrolling down.

DSGN.CO

DSGN.CO

Why it works:

  • This is a very clean and simple design that showcases the work well.
  • The homepage provides a brief introduction to the company on top of the blurred background, and lower on the page the portfolio samples are displayed.
  • Bio and contact information can be found in the main navigation.
  • The design is responsive and adapts to any screen width.

Chanified

Chanified

Why it works:

  • This dark, illustrated design is very memorable and distinct.
  • The designer bio and portfolio items are easy to find through the main navigation.
  • Links to social media profiles are also easy to find in the site header.

Spry

Spry

Why it works:

  • The homepage video helps this site to stand out from other portfolios.
  • Instead of simply displaying work samples, they provide case studies with more details on each client project.
  • Contact information is easy to find.
  • The design is responsive.

Block

Block

Why it works:

  • The bold colors really set this design apart.
  • Interesting illustrations and effects fill this website and make it unique.
  • Service listings and contact information are easy to find.
  • The responsive design provides a user-friendly experience.

Rafal Tomal

Rafal Tomal

Why it works:

  • The illustrated pattern on the dark background gives this site a memorable look without being too overpowering.
  • Bio information, work samples, and contact information can all be easily found through the navigation menu.
  • This site’s layout is responsive.

Alchemy

Alchemy

Why it works:

  • The original illustrations on this site make it very unique.
  • The sticky header makes navigation easy.
  • Contact information is easy to find thanks to the “Let’s Talk” link in the navigation menu.

DrawHistory

DrawHistory

Why it works:

  • Bio information and portfolio items are easy to find through the main navigation.
  • The “Supported Causes” page showcases several non-profit organizations that the company supports. This isn’t something that you’ll see on most portfolio sites, but it can help potential clients to look favorably on the company.
  • The responsive design makes it easy to navigate on any device.

Two24 Studios

Two24 Studios

Why it works:

  • The illustrated background is one of the first things you’ll notice when visiting this site.
  • The navigation is simple and key items are easy to find.
  • The responsive layout adapts well to various screen sizes.

Littlelines

Littlelines

Why it works:

  • The photos, graphics, and illustrations used throughout the site look great.
  • The sticky header helps to make navigation easier.
  • Bio, portfolio items, and service details can be easily found.
  • The “Start a Project” link provides a clear way for visitors to contact the company.

Octopus Creative

Octopus Creative

Why it works:

  • This layout is pretty clean with a lot of white space.
  • Case studies are provided to give detailed information about some client projects.
  • Contact information is easy to find.
  • The design is responsive.

Worry Free Labs

Worry Free Labs

Why it works:

  •  Bright colors are one of the distinguishing features of this design.
  • Services offered, work samples, and bio are easy to find.
  • The responsive design looks great on any device.

Build in Amsterdam

Build in Amsterdam

Why it works:

  •  This site uses an interesting design and layout that is rather unique.
  • Scrolling through the portfolio items using the up and down arrows proves to be a pleasant way to view the work samples.
  • Contact information is easy to find.

Grain & Mortar

Grain & Mortar

 Why it works:

  • The large photo of the team adds a personal touch to the homepage.
  • Beautiful icons and illustrations are used throughout the site.
  • The site is easy to navigate.
  • This responsive design looks equally great on desktops, tablets, and smartphones.

Knormal

Knormal

Why it works:

  • The bold blue color really stands out.
  • Work samples, profile, and contact information are easy to find through the navigation menu.
  • The responsive design makes the site user friendly on any device.

Which of these sites do you like the best? Are there other portfolio sites that you think are excellent examples? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

For more design inspiration please see:

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49 Responses

Comments are now closed on this post.

  • Keith, April 14, 2010

    Nice little roundup, I like ‘em!

  • Gonzo the Great, April 15, 2010

    Nice collection, glad to see even some Dutch Designers! Just published my online portfolio 2 weeks ago, maybe an item for in your next round-up? ;-P

    http://www.gonzographic.com ~ will appreciate your feedback, very much indeed!

    Thanks for sharing, Cheers & Ciao …

  • registry checker, April 15, 2010

    These are some good looking websites. I look forward to the company to create designs such as these for me.

  • Anything Graphic, April 15, 2010

    Nice collection you got here. Inspiring for sure!

  • Fede, April 15, 2010

    Great works!

  • createdbychris, April 15, 2010

    Very colorful collection, a true inspiration for every designer out there.

  • MuslimahBordir.com, April 15, 2010

    i like this portofolio,,,,is very talent

  • Syed Balkhi, April 15, 2010

    Excellent collection.

    Here is another one for you to consider for future collections: http://www.uzzz.net

  • Frog, April 15, 2010

    Great roundup of portfolio designs. Now for those looking for a portfolio design that runs on WordPress, has a kickass design and is free they should checkout FolioGrid from frogsthemes.com.

  • Steven Finch, April 15, 2010

    There are some great designs here. I really like lists like this, but what is the real point of them?

  • Linh Pham, April 15, 2010

    Great collection!

  • aledesign.it, April 15, 2010

    Really nice. I see some good examples! 84Colors is my preferite!

  • Andy Simpson, April 15, 2010

    Thanks very much for including my site (5th on the list… as creative design)! Really great to be amongst some beautiful looking sites :-)

  • Wild Animal Gifts, April 17, 2010

    Many of them have a distinct “wordpress” look to them. I really like Buffalo though.

  • Blog Directory, April 18, 2010

    Awesome work, very nice set of design here. I love getting inspiration from your posts.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Josh, April 18, 2010

    Excellent roundup of outstanding design. This list will keep me busy/envious for a while.

    Thanks again,
    – Josh

  • HighSol, April 19, 2010

    Thank you =) That was very excellent post :)

  • BebopDesigner, April 19, 2010

    Amazing stuff! I really need a redo. Thanks for sharing

  • Lena Tailor | DT, April 19, 2010

    Appreciate your efforts in putting this together.
    As fan of minimal web design i love “Kenny Meyers”.

    Cheers

  • Chris, April 20, 2010

    This is a great list! Here’s a site we’re particularly proud of: http://www.curiouscommunications.com

    Chris

  • Warren Smith, April 21, 2010

    A great collection of portfolios, the simpler the better for a portfolio site

  • Selvam, April 25, 2010

    nice collection inspirational

  • Graphic Design Money, April 26, 2010

    I really like the Astro Studios and Seventy7 ones. I might have to borrow some of those concepts to reinvent my own webfolio!

    Kudos!

  • yunussvrr, May 2, 2010

    A great collection of portfolios, the simpler the better for a portfolio site

  • website design bristol, May 2, 2010

    great collection, important to get the tone of voice right for these types of sites

  • What a Nice, Beautiful, Wonderful, Marvelous collection. Before very long time I find this type of collection. But at that time I didn’t get but now I get it. It is very much useful for me.

    Thank a Lot.

  • Maynard, May 12, 2010

    Another great use of CSS and Horizontal Design, plus great Photography

    http://www.rockmetommyboy.com.ar

  • Andreas Ovefelt, May 20, 2010

    Thanks a lot for including my site among these beautiful designs

  • 11en1, June 8, 2010

    Check out mine http://www.jordywouters.nl

  • nikos lianeris, July 26, 2010

    Great article and all of the methods you are describing are valuable!Who ever wants can take a look at my portfolio.I’ll be glad to read your comments! :)

  • Chris, November 1, 2010

    Great list of portfolios. Definitely some inspiration to be had from these sites. My portfolio can be found at http://ryan-designs.net. Nothing as amazing as these sites posted however I am pleased with the way it looks.

  • Tahmid, November 23, 2010

    Lovely work ! I just love this collection, thanks.

  • jay pick, November 24, 2010

    The Church of London and Jen Germann are my favourite designs. Saying that, its a pretty decent collection of sites, nice one.

  • web design hull, January 25, 2011

    Really nice collection, 84Colors is my favourite, thanks for posting.

  • Website Design Essex, January 27, 2011

    Some nice designs!

    84Colors is my favourite, inspirational design.

  • creative webmaster, February 9, 2011

    wow, this designs are sleek and excellent, it’s really inspiring… thks for sharing,

  • TemplatesRule.com, March 7, 2011

    84colours website is the best among all. although not a single website looks average.

  • ululf01, February 18, 2013

    I need it . thanks you so much

  • Jacobus, May 9, 2013

    This is a neat collection. Personally I like the ones of Giblette Design and Green Tent the best, but there are more which are really cool. Today I ran into a new design which I really like as well called My Folio. If you have the time, check it out. It is on Themeforest (not my design by the way, just love it).

  • work at home, June 17, 2013

    You’re actually a excellent webmaster. The site loading velocity is incredible. It seems that you are doing any distinctive trick. Moreover, The contents are masterwork. you’ve done a wonderful activity in this subject!