20 Best Portfolio Designs: Look Through For Inspiration

Best portfolio designs are those that highlight the work of an individual or a firm such that people who come visiting the portfolio site are drawn in completely. The best portfolio websites are those that bring new and better work for the owner. Such portfolio sites are creative, fun, and always effective in attracting new employers.

Best portfolio designs are great resources of inspiration as well. If you are looking to improve your current portfolio page or are looking for creative ideas to use on a client’s site, great examples of portfolio design will give you the edge that you seek. That is why we decided to scout around and find some of the best portfolio designs available on the internet currently.

Since you are also, we believe you would love to check our earlier articles on Portfolio Design Websites That Showcase Your Work, 20 Creative Portfolio Design Examples and 20 Portfolio Design Samples For Creative Types.

In this article, we bring you 20 of the best portfolio designs in the business. Look through to find new ideas and loads of inspiration.

Harlo Interactive

The first thing you will notice about Harlo Interactive is its easy, yet catchy font. The large headline at the top of the homepage draws you in immediately. Then you go on to view their best work, and then some more work. A contact form sits at the bottom of each page alongside the firm’s contact details. The simple palette of grey, red and white gives this portfolio a fresh feel, pushing it into our list of best portfolio designs.

Harlo Interactive: simple online portfolio

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These Are Things

These Are Things is a unique example of portfolio design. The online portfolio homepage of Jen Adrion and Omar Noory’s design and illustration studio is a fine example of how design and illustration can be combined to great effect. The inner pages feature different layouts –the portfolio page features circular entries while the shop page has rectangular ones. This one easily ranks among the best portfolio designs on the web.

These Are Things: illustrated portfolio site

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Bethany Heck

This owner of this graphic design portfolio is not afraid to push the limits, to create a portfolio that is smart, effective and different. Bethany Heck’s portfolio website is almost magazine-like in its layout, with the Holy Heck logo on the left. We like how Heck puts the focus on her work and subtly adds in the links to the About and Contact pages on the left.

Bethany Heck's portfolio website

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Amber Tabone

While most other top portfolio sites feature a horizontal slider Amber Tabone takes a different route. Tabone’s portfolio homepage features a slim vertical slider going down the center of the page. Click on any of the entries and an image gallery window opens up on the right. Talk about keeping things simple! This is among the best portfolio sites on the web.

Amber Tabone's creative portfolio page

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Valentin Petroff

Valentin Petroff’s portfolio homepage informs us that Petroff is “a freelance graphic designer, who is trying to be PERFECT to the last pixel.” With a menu bar adorning the top of the page and a striking futuristic image taking the center spread, this is a stunning example of portfolio design. What we love even more though is how expertly Petroff has used different types and sizes of fonts to get the message across.

Valentin Petroff's personal portfolio website

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The folks over at NgenWorks have taken a basic portfolio design layout and given it a slant. That, along with their use of bold colors, strong lines and no extra fluff, ensures that the NgenWorks portfolio website stands a class apart from the rest. The homepage keeps it brief, providing only the basics and linking viewers to more detailed info on the inner pages. Great portfolio design? You bet!

NgenWorks: a colorful portfolio

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Kardo Ayoub

Kardo Ayoub’s portfolio site is fun. You get that right from the slider on the landing page, where the web and graphic designer says things like: “This is my factory”, “This is my farm” and “Damn you dyslexia”. But really, there is no question that the site is dedicated to Ayoub’s work. There is a showcase on the homepage as well as a more detailed one on the Work page. Social media buttons at the top and bottom of the pages ensure that Ayoub’s followers will increase.

Kardo Ayoub: portfolio design with humor

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Blink Lab

Blink Lab clearly likes to play with color. Its design portfolio is anything but shy. The color palette consists of bright oranges, blues, greens, yellows and reds – yet, the final effect does not jar. In this sense, Blink Lab’s portfolio design succeeds in drawing visitors, encouraging them to click through to the design studio’s best works, and maybe even throwing in a job offer.

Blink Lab: colorful portfolio website

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Web designers and developers could take a leaf out of Adaptd’s book. This brilliant portfolio site does not mess around with the layout too much. What we have is a simple, almost business-like portfolio layout. But what sets it apart is the use of color and fun elements. The white scribbles on the left are like bullet points for the web designer or developer – a way to show that Adaptd has ticked all the portfolio design boxes.

Adaptd portfolio: businesslike but creative

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Create Digital Media

Why does this portfolio website feature on our list of best portfolio designs? It is because the CreateDM website takes a very basic portfolio layout and breathes new life into it. The grey background coupled with black text and images may have made the portfolio design seem to sober, but the pops of color on the central slider makes all the difference.

CreateDM: smart portfolio design

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Carsonified ranks on this list of best portfolio designs for several reasons, among them, the quirky cuteness of their portfolio website homepage. Here are web developers who are happy to play with text, in order to prove that you do not need spectacular images to make a portfolio site pop. Little thought bubbles hold links to the pages that they deem important. It is simple, but very smart!

Carsonified's simple and effective portfolio

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The best portfolio sites take an idea and run with it. 13Creative’s website is rather like that. Jenn White Topliff from 13Creative has brought in the feel of an offline portfolio by setting her content within a spiral bound notebook. This online notebook shows off this creative professional’s works while also providing easy-to-reach links to her intro page, contact details and more. The project pages are image-rich and very effective in enchanting potential clients.

13Creative's spiralbound portfolio design

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Great portfolio websites do not have to be bright and colorful – certainly not all of the time. Duotone proves as much, for here is a website that sticks to grey, black and red, even with respect to most of its images. In terms of layout, this portfolio site has a minimalist style. This works to highlight the photography firm’s projects. We love how the thumbnails expand into large-size images that capture the viewer’s attention.

Duotone: an elegant portfolio website

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You may not usually expect a giraffe in a skyscraper, but the folks at iEstudio like to think out of the box. This may explain why their flash portfolio website counts itself among the best portfolio designs on the web. The whacky street setting lends itself well as a background against which the design studio can highlight its work. Easy access to the studio’s contact details brings the site more brownie points.

IE Studio's flash portfolio site

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Meg Hunt

That Meg Hunt is an illustrator is clearly visible from her portfolio website. We like how Hunt has kept the layout simple but added a twist in the form of semi-circular thumbnails. She realizes that her illustrations are best highlighted against a fuss-free background. We agree with her design decisions, which is why her portfolio website had to be highlighted among the best portfolio designs.

Meg Hunt's illustrator portfolio site

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Fat-Man Collective

The largely text-based homepage of Fat-Man Collective presents an interesting and new way to highlight the projects of this “bunch of Digital Creatives”. Place your cursor over a hyperlinked word and a thumbnail shows up; click, and a window opens up with more information. The USP of this wonderful design portfolio is the figure of the fat man on the top right – he appears to walk as you scroll down.

Fat-Man Collective's design portfolio

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Also is interactive and fun. Don’t get taken in by its seemingly simple landing page, because the folks over at Also are super-creative, and their website proves it. The four links – Work, About, Contact, News – all sit within the capital “O” of the Also. Click on any one and prepare to marvel as the scene changes. There is plenty of animation taking the visitor to Also’s information. Great fun, and one of the best portfolio designs we have seen.

Also: an interactive portfolio site

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Attack Of The Web

Attack of the Web’s Gary Davison keeps it simple on his portfolio website, but not before stunning you with a comic-style central image of himself attacking binary-spouting, computer-headed men. Links to the necessary pages are provided in clouds at the top of the page, but three of the four sections are present on the homepage itself. Only the blog link takes you to a different page.

Attack of the Web: a cool design portfolio

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This By Them

This by Them specializes in “handcrafted web sites & apps”. The layout is simple enough – thumbnails of the firm’s works adorn the center portion of their landing page. There are links to the various sections at the top of the page and an email address at the bottom. What sets it apart, however, is the cutesy green robot that shows up on all their pages. It makes This by Them at once fun and memorable.

This By Them: best portfolio design

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The best portfolio designs highlight the owner’s work. Fuzzco does this beautifully. The homepage is dominated by a central slider that shows off their work, and is so striking that you might even forget to scroll down. Below is still more work, a list of their clients and more. If you are looking for something specific, the menu bar at the top of the page should take you there.

Fuzzco: portfolio design done well

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