20 Inspiring Personal Portfolio Sites You Should Explore

Creating A PortfolioWhen it comes to working online there is one thing that’s more important than just about anything else — a beautiful portfolio site. Showing off the best examples of your work is a must when you’re trying to win clients online, and whether you are a designer, photographer, or writer, it is critical to have a central portfolio that can do just that.

It’s often tempting to throw up a free theme and get started quickly, but when it comes to creating a first impression, a solid portfolio is the key. Even if you’re new to the world of freelancing, you should consider how to create a portfolio site that not only shows your work but also appeals to your prospective clients.

Here is a list of 20 personal portfolios that will hopefully inspire you and give you ideas for your own portfolio site:


Please click on the image to visit these gorgeous portfolio websites.

Daniel Volpin

Daniel Volpin

Maurice Krijtenberg

Maurice Krijtenberg

Mike Precious

Mike Precious

Kevin Lucius

Kevin Lucius

Andrew Brandwood

Andrew Brandwood

Jason Julien

Jason Julien

Rich McNabb

Rich McNabb

Jeff Finley

Jeff Finley

Sawyer Hollenshead

Sawyer Hollenshead

Ximena Ruiz

Ximena Ruiz

Gincarlo Fajardo

Gincarlo Fajardo

Sebastian Nitu

Sebastian Nitu

Tim Potter

Tim Potter

Fred Maya

Fred Maya

Jack Herbert

Jack Herbert

Elliott Kember

Elliott Kember

Brad Colbow

Brad Colbow

Robert Dann

Robert Dann

Steve Mullen

Steve Mullen

Rick Davidson

Ricj Davidson

These are some of my favorite portfolio websites — what are some portfolio sites that inspire you? Feel free to link to any sites you find inspiring, and list your own portfolio site if you like as well.

Comments

  1. says

    A nice collection of portfolio sites! Thanks for sharing these. Plenty of inspiration to be had for sure!

    http://www.merkasylum.ca is another to bookmark. Not for the developer (it’s us, this is not a plug) but for the content. One artist, comic illustration, fine art and photography all in one. As his audience it grows it should have more and more inspiration for a wide range of creatives. We’re looking forward to watching it.

    It’ll be great to see what other portfolios people add to your list, and why :)

    Pam

  2. says

    These are some beautiful examples.

    I wonder if anyone has some examples for freelance writers though? I’ve been looking for inspiration for the redesign of my website and wouldn’t mind seeing what some others have done.

  3. Andy Marshall says

    OK – probably the most consistent theme I see running through Personal Portfolio sites these days is the opening line that goes something along the lines of:

    “Hi! My name is , and I’m a (web)designer…”

    can someone explain this to me? It seems so over used, it almost feels like some kinda web2.0 cliche.

    I really don’t mean any disrespect to those people out there with this opening intro, I’m honestly trying to understand it.

    If I was to hazard a guess on what it’s all about, I’m guessing it’s playing to the strengths of a personal freelancer, that they are an individual that can offer a very personal, friendly relationship with a client, and a personal welcome is a way to state that early on.
    It may also be a subtle nod to the name badges you get at conferences / self help / support groups – the “Hello my name is…” stickers you fill in and stick on your shirt.

    beyond that, I’m just not seeing it…

  4. says

    Thank you Andy. Thank you. I was beginning to think I was the only person alive who recognized what terrible copywriting this is. A big, prominent welcome message that looks to be cloned off a master copy and then edited slightly to fit. I’m starting to develop a twitch whenever I find a new site like this. (Warning: rant follows.)

    I’m guessing it’s playing to the strengths of a personal freelancer, that they are an individual that can offer a very personal, friendly relationship with a client, and a personal welcome is a way to state that early on.

    No doubt that is largely it. The irony is that by doing so, they succeed only in presenting themselves as bland and boring by using the most generic, overused intro possible. They might as well say, “I’m just another freelancer with nothing unique to offer.” Instead of seeing a personable introduction that draws me in, as was probably intended, I see, “Hi! My name is completely forgettable, and I do something which I mention here to sound different and interesting, even though it’s really kinda obvious.”

    I can think of at least three good reasons that this is poor copywriting: it’s a purple cow killer, it’s happy talk, and it’s self-centered instead of customer-centered. I’d say more, but I don’t want to see too crazy, do I now?

  5. Julian says

    I have to agree with Janine and Blair. I’d love to see some web developer (I intentionally used “developer” instead of “designer”), software dev., and writer portfolio sites.

  6. says

    An excellent range of portfolios here, demonstrating how to build some beautiful sites simply by using HTML, CSS and Flash. It’s always interesting to note designers various approaches to their portfolio site, all are indeed unique yet equally excellent.

    Looking at these examples there are some very inventive ideas, such as the portfolio with the game “snake” playing over the top, however I feel it is the traditional portfolio design that still works the best. I also have to agree with the comments regarding the over usage of “Hi I’m (insert name) and I’m a web designer” introduction. Personally I’ve seen this too many times to remember, and would certainly agree that this feels a cliché of Web 2.0.

    Aside from this minor point this is an excellent reference for web design in general, some innovative ideas and beautiful designs that should hopefully inspire some equally great sites!

  7. says

    It’s always great to see interesting ways in which designers display their portfolios online. It immediately sets a tone with the visiting client, which is why it’s so important to decide what it is you want to communicate. There seems to be a trend at the moment to make portfolio sites appear handmade, with the use of papers and textures – perhaps a rebellion against ‘the digital machine’ or perhaps simply a way to express personality and individuality. There are a wide range of techniques and approaches here, all valid and all very aesthetically pleasing – good choices.
    Interesting comments about the ‘Hello my name is…’ cliché which does seem to have flooded a lot of design portfolios over the last couple of years, I have to say I still quite like it when it’s in keeping with the rest of the site design; for example if it’s a visual graphic sticker-esque kind of site, but not when it’s just used for the sake of it. I think that’s an inevitability with any popular design trend though.

  8. says

    Hi, I think media has a big role among to knowing the cultures. And it is increasing day to day. I like your blog very much, it is very informative and very pretty. Great…. keep it up!!!!!!!

  9. says

    @ Andy Marshall and D Bnonn Tennant:

    I agree there are sooo many people doing this right now… I’m sure there are many people using more ‘creative’ methods of introducing them selves but I fully understand why it’s done and personally have no issue with it.

    One thing to take into account is that we (readers of blogs like this) all look at countless designer/illustrator profiles so the trend is apparent… however, if a client or at least a potential client is trying to find someone for a commission then the likely hood is that they will only check out three or four sites before deciding on who to contact. If they don’t find out what you do within 5 seconds then they will already be on the next entry in Google.

    Sometimes saying the most obvious thing in the shortest possible way (despite an obvious lack of creative copy wizardry) is the most effective solution to keeping them on your site… my only real gripe is when someone says it then fails to back it up with quality work… or, worse, the navigation makes it impossible to find anything.

    Clever = Good, Client = Gooder.

    Good post though and interesting comments… which are the best part.

    Less than sneaky plug time: My site is http://whyisbox.com if anyone fancies a look. ^_^

  10. says

    Some great portfolio designs here, I particularly like the Lucius portfolio with the yellowed paper and torn edges, I always appreciate that rustic look.

  11. says

    Julian, you said—

    One thing to take into account is that we (readers of blogs like this) all look at countless designer/illustrator profiles so the trend is apparent… however, if a client or at least a potential client is trying to find someone for a commission then the likely hood is that they will only check out three or four sites before deciding on who to contact.

    Maybe so. But I think you underestimate most prospective clients. If 35% of sites have this kind of text (going by the numbers on this article—seven in twenty), it’s a good bet that a prospect is going to see it more than once in their research, unless they’ve been referred. I certainly wouldn’t check only three or four places if I were looking for a particular service. When I was investigating CMSes, for instance, I investigated literally dozens of options. I can’t speak for other people, of course, but if I see a generic kind of header like this on some of the sites I’m investigating, while the others I’ve seen have something more unique, I’m inclined to prefer the unique options.

    There are also plenty of much better ways to draw a prospect into your site than telling them about you—in fact, I very much question that this “Hi, I’m blah blah” method does have any value in that regard at all. Given that it’s breaking at least three fundamental rules for writing effective copy which will lead to conversions, I’d tend to assume the opposite.

  12. says

    Some of those portfolio sites are really cool. I say this with honest intent, but Elliott Kember doesn’t really do anything in my eyes. It isn’t very creative, in my view. To its credit you can peel back the page and see the code, but what is all the snake about? I think the snake spoils the positive aspects of the site.

    Again, I am sure that Elliott Kember is a nice person and is an excellent freelancers. I can even see how Elliott Kember tried to be revolutionary, perhaps, step out of the box. In my opinion, however, it wasn’t done in a clever way.

    Hope I didn’t offend.

  13. Mark says

    I’m working on my portfolio site as I write this and I’m really questioning all this fancy design. Is most of it impressive and beautiful? Yes. Does it make me drool over people’s photoshop skills? Yes. Is it what a client probably wants? I’m not sure. I do mostly non-profit and small business websites and what they want is simple, clean, functional sites. Do these portfolios connect with people that want a simple site?

  14. says

    Photoshop could be an obsession. These featured websites are amazing only limited by your imagination and are quite professional looking. So many ideas and so much to do.

  15. Cindy says

    I’ve been looking for a company to design a website for my sewing business. I came across http://www.249designs.com. I called them and was really impressed with how thorough and responsive the staff was to all my questions. They basically give you a liaison that assists you throughout the whole project so you don’t have to contact different departments. I’m anxious to get started with them and finally get my business online. Has anyone else had any experiences with them? Thanks!

  16. says

    Thanks for putting up this inspiring post! I took your advice and started an online portfolio. It is nothing compared to the graphically-beautiful examples above, but I feel like it’s a start. Anybody care to review it for me? Since it’s so new, your comments are as welcome as worms to baby birds. In fact, that’s kind of what i look like when i get a nice comment — like a flapping fledgling, overly excited… http://www.nicolevulcan.com

  17. says

    I create custom designs for websites, interfaces and
    webapps based on your requirements & preferences. I’m
    experienced in print and identity design too.

  18. says

    You’ve done a great job by posting such a valuable information. I’m excited about the 20 inspiring personal portfolio sites you should explore and found them very useful. I think I’ve got the secrete to create an effective portfolio.

  19. says

    It is an exciting information for any enthusiastic person who wants to have an inspiring personal portfolio. I think it is very beneficial for a new freelancer who wants effective portfolios. I’ve enjoyed watching the beautiful sample portfolio. Moreover it a useful tutorial.

  20. says

    A good personal portfolio is a must for every one who aspires to be successful in the online business or work. The post is an excellent source of inspiration in this regard. I’ve enjoyed reading the interesting post.

  21. says

    There is little doubt about the importance of a good personal portfolio. It is the key to success for every freelancer. I appreciate your excellent work in this regard. keep posting.

  22. says

    Before visiting your post, I’ve been doing on trial and error method. But, your post has made me wise and smart. My approach and thinking has changed and I started looking for inspiring personal portfolio sites. thanks.

  23. says

    Every one wants to sell the best of self. In this regard, the information is very inspiring. As the world is a stage of ideas, an effective, unique and different personal portfolio works greatly in one’s favour. It is very resourceful post.

  24. says

    In the present job scenario, we cannot imagine without an effective personal portfolio. You need to present or articulate yourself very cunningly and forcefully to be relevant and compete in the job market. In view of these facts, one would certainly be benefited by these inspiring personal portfolio sites.

  25. says

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  26. says

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  27. says

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  28. says

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  29. Razibul Hassan says

    some example of really neat, simple and well-designed portfolio. These designs can be inspiring for you if you are planning to have your own online-portfolio.

  30. says

    Thanks a lot for sharing the nice info in this website. I had really like it very much for using the nice services in this blog. Thanks a lot for sharing the nice info in this blog.

  31. says

    Such a attractive way to introduce you expertise through online portfolio. Your portfolio is your face to clients keep it more informative and attractive to get even more attractive business offers.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] – 12 Tips for Creating a Great Portfolio Site – Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click? – 20 Inspiring Personal Portfolio Sites You Should Explore – How Simplicity Can Help Creativity, [...]

  2. [...] Inspiring Portfolio Sites helped in that now I know what I don’t want to do. I think I want something simple but that showcases… well, ME. A little quirky, somewhat organized, clean lines with a few sharp edges. I’ll hopefully start posting mockups in the near future. Or today. Maybe a mockup can be a today sort of goal. Bookmark It Hide Sites $$('div.d19').each( function(e) { e.visualEffect('slide_up',{duration:0.5}) }); This entry was posted in design, portfolio. Bookmark the permalink. ← Conundrum [...]

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