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Tricks of the Trade: Great Portfolio Design (Part 1)

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Tricks of the Trade: Great Portfolio Design

This week we bring you a look at the various techniques used by designers in building a respectable and creative portfolio. In Part 1 (of 2) we take a look at the use of Big, Informative Headlines and Illustrations.

Check back soon for Part 2!

Big, Informative Headlines

Many designers choose to display a large textual heading on their portfolio’s homepage. This headline often introduces the individual (if it’s a freelancer) or company, as well as summing up what they provide. Additionally many designers display a quirky or creative message in order to set themselves apart from the competition.

Typically a headline will contain:

- The designer or company’s name
- Where they are from (optional)
- Services provided (e.g.: ‘I design websites’)
- A creative or unusual message (optional)
- A welcome message

Below are 20 examples of creatively placed headline messages in portfolio designs:


Designers often use bold and colorful illustrations in order to liven up their portfolios. Illustrations can range from deliberately child-like sketches, to incredibly detailed works of art, that take many pain-staking hours of labour to produce.

Here are some examples of great illustrations in portfolio designs:

To Be Continued…

More great techniques used by portfolio designers will be looked at in part 2 of this post.

What Do You Think Makes a Great Portfolio?

I would love to know what you think makes a great portfolio design, feel free to share your own.

Leave a comment to this post with your ideas on color, form, content, or anything else that you feel helps make a portfolio visually stunning.

About the Author:

Tom is the founder of PSDFAN. He loves writing tutorials, learning more about design and interacting with the community. On a more interesting note he can also play guitar hero drunk with his teeth.

Leave a comment


  1. Pro-Designer says:

    Nice list tom..thx
    looking back for part 2..

  2. Tom says:

    Thanks Pro-Designer! Part 2 is coming in the next few days :)

  3. Vamshi says:

    Very nice collection, thank you for sharing.

  4. Federica Cau says:

    Thank you so much, is such an honor to be listed in a great list like this :)

  5. Great list and I could use some of these for inspiration to help me put my portfolio site together when I get some spare time to work on it.

  6. Thanks for featuring my site amongst all those amazing designers! Happy days :)

  7. Joel Delane says:

    thanks for the feature mate ! awesome list :)

  8. Kim Burgess says:

    Nice collection. Cheers for the inclusion.

  9. Rob Bowen says:

    I am totally with you on the large print & headlines. Though, some of the illustrations may be too busy, in my opinion, and may take away from the work being featured. (even tho technically, it would also be highlighting the person’s skillz.)

  10. simong says:

    Wow, thanks for featuring my site! I’m honored to be with all these awesome designers.

  11. Ben Sky says:

    Great collection, very inspirational.. Thanks for the feature too!

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