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Tricks of the Trade: Great Portfolio Design (Part 2)

Part 1 of 2

If you didn’t catch the first installment of this post series please check it out:

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

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 2 (of 2) we take a look at the use of Textured Backgrounds and White Space.

Textured Backgrounds

Designers are masters of subtlety. They often integrate textures into the backgrounds of their designs, but do so subtly and stylishly. Textures never seem to overwhelm the overall design, but merely enhance it.

The following 20 examples show how these great designers have integrated textures into their background designs:

White Space

White space is one of the keys to great design, so as you’d imagine design portfolios exhibit some of the best uses of white space out there!

Remember: White space is not literally white space in the design, but the space between the various elements of the design. Poor designs feel crowded and claustrophobic, whereas the best designs feel roomy and elegant.

The following 20 examples show great uses of white space to accentuate great designs:

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. I think whats makes a really nice portfolio is a portfolio with a great background, great font and pixel perfect design. Great article Tom.

  2. Tom says:

    Thanks for commenting Marcell, I’m really glad that you enjoyed the post. I totally agree with your points, although the difficult part is coming up with a design that encapsulates all of those things!

  3. iMatt says:

    OMFG! Just cant believe it that my portfolio is displayed here! How awesome is this??

  4. Rob Bowen says:

    Awesome post, Tom! I missed the first one, but am on my way to remedy that right now. I may be partial, but I like portfolio’s with fluid movement and style. Very simple, so most of the focus goes to the work it contains.

  5. Great article! I think what makes a really great portfolio is; great use of colour, subtle elements to make a bigger impact on the design, well chosen fonts to complement theme and colour, content spacing and a focus on the portfolio work that transpires into the user wanting to view the entire website. Appropriate use of new technologies is also nice to see.

  6. Atul Thanvi says:

    Thanks for including my website.

    Nice collection.

  7. Tom says:

    iMatt: Your design was actually one of my favorites, really nice work mate!

    Rob: Thanks a lot :) , your posts have been great lately as usual. I’m partial to simplicity too, there’s nothing worse than an overcrowded design.

    Damian: I agree, a key factor of great design is drawing the user into the other pages of the website. Your comments about color and spacing are also very true.

    Atul: No problem, I’m a big fan of your design also!

  8. bahur78 says:

    Big THX for adding my website.

  9. Another great collection of portfolio designs. These designs all look really good with the subtle use of background textures to compliment the overall design. Thanks for posting these.

  10. Tom says:

    Bahur: No problem at all :)

    Oliver: Thanks! I’m glad that you enjoyed the post.

  11. Aaron Moody says:

    Wow thanks for featuring my portfolio ( in this great list, i love texture! All of these are amazing portfolios.


  12. James Qu says:

    great collection! thanks for putting those wonderful sites together!

  13. Oscar Barber says:

    Thanks so much for list my site!! I’m glad of been featured here! ;)

    Keep in touch!

  14. Danstyled says:

    Cheers for the feature.

  15. This is agreat collection. I am in awe of the skill of designers and not afraid to admit my jealousy over their ability to create gorgeous designs effortlessly. I do agree – it’s the subtlety of an effect that makes all the difference.


  16. Mahmoud Omar says:

    Thanks for featuring my portfolio along with some great ones, I’m honored :)

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