Tips for Creating A Stand Out Graphic Design Portfolio

If you’re a visual artist, you know how important a portfolio can be in regards to your career success. To land your dream job, you want to compile a collection of your best work to show potential employers. In order to stand out from the crowd, you want to make sure you create a top-notch graphic design portfolio.

Graphic Design Portfolio Tips

What to Include in Your Graphic Design Portfolio:

  •  Who you are. When an employer is looking to make a hire, they aren’t just looking at your capabilities. They want to know who you are as an overall person. Include a captivating bio that showcases your personality. Consider including an anecdote regarding how you came to love graphic design or videography.
  •  What you do. You want to be very clear about what exactly it is you do. Include your title and relevant skills. You do not want to mislead potential clients or employers regarding your skills. The clearer you are about what services you offer, the less time you’ll have to spend declining clients that are looking for something you don’t offer.
  •  Examples of your work. You’ll want to include examples of your work that positively reflect your abilities. DO NOT include work just to include work. If you’re not proud of a piece of work, you certainly do not have to include it. Consider quality over quantity in this case. If you offer a variety of services, include forms of each type of work. Make sure that each piece of work flows well together. You don’t want it to look like each project was done by someone completely different.
  •  Contact information. Include easy to see contact info, such as your email and telephone number. No one wants to jump through hoops to contact someone, so make sure you include these key pieces of information in an easy to spot area.

Types of Graphic Design Portfolios

Website Portfolio:

One of the most commonly used types of portfolios these days is an online website. An online portfolio is a great option for creatives in the fields of writing, graphic design, web design, videography etc.


  •  Easily sharable. All you have to do is send out a link via email or social media to share a portfolio site.
  •  Variety. A portfolio website allows you to showcase a variety of work. Showcase your web designing skills by incorporating video and sound on your website. Videvo has an extensive collection of free stock videos and sounds to suit every need.
  •  Interactive. A portfolio website allows potential clients and employers to interact with your design work in a way that a print portfolio would not.


  •  Time-consuming. Creating a website portfolio can take up a lot of time if you don’t have the technical knowledge.
  •  Technical difficulties. As with all technology, you risk running into errors such as your website looking or running differently across platforms and computers. A website may not translate well from a desktop to a mobile device, so you have to consider mobile friendly designs when you’re developing your website portfolio.
  •  Expensive investment. You’ll want a high quality portfolio regardless of the type you go with. With a website, you will want to invest in a domain name as well as monthly web hosting service, both of which can add up.  

PDF Portfolio:

A PDF portfolio provides more options in terms of showcasing your work in various formats. A PDF portfolio can be created in Acrobat using layouts from design software such as Adobe Photoshop or InDesign. A PDF portfolio allows you to combine multiple files into a master PDF. It can also be printed out for a physical portfolio.


  •  Easily sharable. Like a website link, a PDF can easily be shared via email.
  •  Layout Control. A PDF provides control over layout, allowing you to rest assured there won’t be any formatting issues across platforms.
  •  Print Friendly. Consistently print out your PDF to create a brochure for a physical portfolio.
  •  Cost Effective. Unless you decide to print your PDF into a physical product, a PDF portfolio won’t cost you any money to make.


  •  Compatibility. The PDF portfolio will only work if the recipient has the necessary software to download and open the file.
  •  Limited showcasing abilities. A PDF portfolio will only showcase certain types of design. Unfortunately, it is not the optimal choice for web design or videography.

Print Portfolio:

If you specialize in design or illustration, you have the option to showcase your work in the classic style of a printed portfolio book.


  •  Optimal format. Showcase your work in its final format.
  •  Doesn’t require technology. A printed portfolio book is easy to transport and does not rely on technology. If you have multiple copies, you can even leave them with potential clients and employers to keep yourself in front of mind.


  •  Limited shareability. A portfolio book must be delivered in person or via mail. If you have limited copies and leave one with a potential client or employer, you could be left without a portfolio yourself.

Ultimately, the type of graphic design portfolio you choose depends on your budget, the time you are able to invest in it and the type of work you need to showcase.

If you are creating a new portfolio, or simply updating an existing one, make sure you consult this guide to ensure you don’t miss crucial components. If you decide on a print portfolio, we recommend going with a printer who can provide you with various print style options.