The best new portfolio sites, December 2015
Nothing sells design work quite like a good portfolio. Whether you contact your clients in person, over the Internet, pitch to them, or what-have-you, they’ll want to see your existing work.
Andrea Pilutti is a designer based out of Italy and Switzerland. On top of his apparent ability to teleport, his portfolio makes use of HTML5 background video, and smooth animations.
That slows down the smooth scrolling a bit, but it’s pretty enough that I don’t care too much.
Mikha Makhoul’s portfolio conforms to the now-classic full-screen-section format, but his typography is beautiful. Each project is presented elegantly, so flip through all his work.
Stepping away from the pseudo-PowerPoint style we see all the time, Julien Renvoyé shows off his work with a simple single column full of screenshots. It’s all spiced up with excellent typography and the sensible use of animation.
Bryn Taylor made a bold choice by using daring, and dare I say, glaring colors all over his site. If you’re not immediately blinded, there’s a certain genius to his method. I certainly won’t be forgetting his portfolio anytime soon. And neither will my retinas.
I should also mention that this is actually a great way to cater to visually impaired users.
I’ll never be a fan of sites that need pre-loaders. That said, StudioBrave has implemented an excellent asymmetrical design. Plus, they use a monospace typeface, and they make it look good. That’s not easy.
Co Partnership is a great argument for simplicity. No gimmicks, no tricks. They just put their branding work in front of you, and let you form your own opinions. It doesn’t hurt that their work is pretty great.
Striking a balance between tasteful white space and using all available space, Big Fan shows us how to take advantage of huge monitors. I mean sure, it looks just as great on my phone, but I love how they didn’t shy away from the higher resolutions with the typical centered column.
It’s not often that I get to say that a website’s layout is what made it stand out to me, but the guys at No Divide have accomplished that. Sure, the basic layout concepts and patterns aren’t new, but the execution is flawless.
Bold colors, a big layout, a lot of dots, a weird eye thing that blinks at you, Garbett Design has it all! And despite the inherent oddness of its modern art-inspired design, it’s a usable, smooth experience.
Pillar Studio is what happens when you take classic layout patterns and design conventions and just do everything right. It’s a website that should be boring, but isn’t because because they made classic elements look good.
Plus, they made default-link-blue look good as a color scheme. How many people can say that?
Sam Dallyn’s portfolio is an example of minimalism taken to great lengths, if not to the extreme. Potential navigation issues aside, it’s just plain pretty.
Jordan Egstad’s one-page portfolio site is an oddity in that it looks both professional and oddly personal. That personal touch mostly comes from the huge hero shot of Jordan working at home alone, and yet it just seems to fit.
Viljami Salminen takes an odd approach to the portfolio but throwing you head-first into his blog. Mind you, if you take the time to read what he has to say, this quickly proves to be a good idea. The man knows what he’s talking about, and he says it with exquisite typography.
Actually clicking your way over to the portfolio section of the site is just icing on the cake by that point.
Julien Bailly’s “PopUpFolio” is unique in that it only shows his latest project. However, that latest project is featured in detail, telling the story of how it came to be. It’s a rather extreme definition of quality over quantity, but it seems to work for him.
Kyle Mac keeps it simple by just giving you the relevant information right off the bat (including contact info). Wanna see his work? Scroll down. Wanna see more of it? Keep scrolling. It’s as simple an experience as anyone could ask for.
Okay, let’s be honest with ourselves. Few people will be able to pull off a portfolio like Clara Tudela’s. There’s little information about each project. Just screenshots (or illustrations from the project), the title, and an external link. But then, she works at Google. She can get away with that.
Important Looking Pirates
Being a visual effects and animation studio, video is important to the Important Looking Pirates. Projects are showcased with a combination of background videos, and manually animated thumbnails.
This is more bandwidth-efficient for mobile users, because on a phone, nothing’s animated. One might assume that they just load in one frame for the thumbnail on mobile devices, making this an interesting and bandwidth-efficient technique.
Deux Huit Huit
Deux Huit Huit would be a well-designed, though generally unremarkable website except for their creative application of performance-friendly animations.
Listen closely, because I’ll probably never say anything like this again: they have a four-second splash animation (which probably serves as a very short preloader) that I don’t hate, and they actually managed to make a text marquee look good.
Yeah, never saying that again, probably.
Nothing too special to say about Tundra. They hid their navigation away unnecessarily, and haven’t gone too far outside the box. Still, it’s very pretty, and the animations work smoothly on my first-generation Moto G smartphone.
A lot could be learned from their technical proficiency, if nothing else.
I’m generally a fan of static, minimally-animated interfaces for websites because of potential performance and UX issues. It’s websites like Fanny Myon’s that give me hope for the future of more dynamic interfaces.
See? They don’t have to be slow. Still wouldn’t want this kind of interface for a blog or knowledge base though.
By Association Only
Good concept, excellent execution, pretty, and fast. By Association Only pretty much has it all. It sometimes feels more like an old Flash presentation than a website, but they’ve done it without sacrificing usability. I can get behind that.
Ariel Beninca went all out with minimalism, excellent typography, asymmetrical design, and animation. The whole thing just screams “fancy”, and it works.
Admir is an award-winning designer with brands like Google and Apple in his resumé. (He should hit up Microsoft and get the trifecta). As you might expect, his website is beautiful, often looking more like a magazine layout, or a work of art than a simple portfolio. Even so, it’s easy to find your way around, and that’s what counts.
Background animations, dead-simple copy, case studies that read (and look) like presentations. It’s hard to get that right, but Fantasy does it well.
Derek Boateng’s website is interesting in that all of his work projects are represented with illustrations, rather than screenshots. He’s an art director, so relying on symbolism to convey each project’s purpose is just one more way to showcase his talent.