For a graphic designer, creating an appealing portfolio is the most important thing when looking for job, whether if it’s an interview or a freelance job. It’s not usual to see an employer asking for your college or high school degree, and certainly they will not be wasting time reading a c.v before taking a glance at the portfolio. Choosing a graphic designer works different than choosing people from other careers, the first thing that counts is the portfolio and only if this one is good enough, then the employer will proceed with the revision of the resume.
There are different ways for presenting a portfolio, I personally prefer physic, printed portfolio, because they establish a closer relation with the person that has it on his hands, however in the modern world you must have an online portfolio to get to be known by people from all over the world.
Web portfolio, best options
There are currently several ways of showcasing our work online. For me the best option is having your own website with your custom design that makes it standout from the rest and can be easily updated (there’s no reason in having a gorgeous site if you cannot update it with ease), nevertheless if you’re not skillful with web design and you don’t want to complicate yourself configuring a hosting and other aspects, here are some clever solutions that you can work with:
Show your work on Behance
I personally think that Behance is the most professional website to showcase your work. On this site you can find the best of the best in different design areas. If you’re not much of a web designer and you’re not interested in buying a domain, then signing up on Behance (preferably a premium selfhosted account) is the best solution for uploading your portfolio. Having a personal domain makes your portfolio look more professional and with your personal URL you can guarantee that your clients will land in your portfolio instead of heading towards other portfolios within the network (the same thing happens in Flickr, Coroflot, DeviantArt, etc.)
Create a portfolio in Coroflot
In my personal experience, Coroflot is the online community that has given me the best results as it’s through this network that I have received the more number of business proposals. On this site your work will not only be shown to other designers but also to potential clients and employers that are daily looking for new talents to develop their projects and / or incorporate them as part of their teams. Coroflot is one site that you cannot miss, even if you have portfolios in other websites.
Signup for a Tumblr account
I have to admit that I explored Tumblr for the first time very recently (a little more than a month ago) and it absolutely astonished me with all the facilities that it offers to help you publish your portfolio quickly and effectively, while keeping it personal and unmixed with the portfolios of other designers. If you have no clue about code, then here you can choose a template with ease and start uploading your work right away, besides, you can link your Tumblr page with your own dominion. And for those who love coding, well, Tumblr gives you the option of modifying the template’s HTML (that’s why you can see so many astounding websites that look practically outside of Tumblr) at your will. Tumblr is definitely one of the best options nowadays.
Sign up for a Flickr or DeviantArt account
Flickr and DeviantArt are two great communities to expose your work and get yourself known by other people with the same interests, besides it’s a way of feeding your ego because you will never receive a bad comment, the worst thing that someone can write in your profile is “Excellent work as usual!”.
I personally think that WordPress is the best CMS around, is easy to configure and put on wheels in a few minutes, however a WordPress site throws an URL of the style http://mishes.wordpress.com, which is something unlikely professional to share with your contacts. With a Blogger portfolio, besides of the blogspot.com address, you will have less configuration features and the design restrictions will make your portfolio look unprofessional.
There’s something about Carbonmade that has always grabbed my attention, the problem is that I haven’t figured out what it is. Nonsenses, the charm about Carbonmade is that it grants a good configuration level regarding the site design, it does not have as many restrictions as other platforms (though I still don’t like the carbonmade.com address). It’s viable that two Carbonmade portfolios look completely different from each other, which is something that will never happen in Flickr, Coroflot or a free Behance account. It’s not easy finding a free service with this level of functionality.
DesignRelated is another great community to upload your portfolio, though I consider that this site is more focused in becoming a social network than showcasing people’s work and becoming a talent cabinet. On his personal site, the designer does not have enough relevance as the one he receives in other sites because the site prefers giving attention to the social aspects of the community.
These are just some of the dozens of options available, we’re sure that there are many other great places out there, both free and paid, so it’s best if you explore and parse the pros and contras in every site.
What’s been your experience with online portfolios?, in which website are you currently registered?, tell us your opinion and leave us a comment at the end of this post or in our Facebook or Twitter pages.