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Creative DesignerTop Tips

Top tips for creating a strong Creative Designer portfolio

4 minute read

A career in the digital sector is very exciting. It’s fast-paced, always changing, there’s plenty of opportunity to expand your skillset and it’s highly unlikely that our love of technology is going anywhere, making it a secure industry to get into. 

Creative Designers

One of the many roles within the digital sector is Creative Designer. These professionals are responsible for promoting a company through their design skills. They typically sit within the creative, corporate comms or marketing department and play an important role in helping organisations build their identity. 

The everyday tasks of a Creative Designer can vary hugely and include producing:

  • Artwork
  • Product packaging 
  • Websites
  • Videos
  • Offline marketing materials including brochures, leaflets, direct mail and exhibition stands
  • Logos
  • Adverts

If you’re looking to get into this role, you should check out our blog post with some tips to help you on your journey. Also, a good creative design portfolio is a must. This document highlights your work experience and skills and provides potential employers with examples of all your best work. 

You will be expected to have a portfolio when attending interviews. Without one, it’s impossible to stand out among the competition, so below are some top tips for creating a strong creative design portfolio.  

Look for inspiration

A great place to start is to look at creative design portfolio examples to get some inspiration. While your portfolio should be a reflection of who you are and the type of designer you are, looking at other people’s work can help when it comes to getting inspiration and knowing what to include. 

You may for example decide to go for a colourful compilation showcasing thumbnails of your best pieces. 

A picture containing application

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Image source: https://www.creativebloq.com/portfolios/examples-712368

Alternatively, you may prefer to showcase a piece you think will really help you stand out. Maybe it made it into a magazine or onto a popular website or was used by a big brand.

Graphical user interface

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Image source: https://www.creativebloq.com/inspiration/8-great-examples-of-graphic-design-portfolios

Showcase your best work

You don’t have to showcase every project you’ve ever done. Only include your best work and you’re sure to impress interviewers.

If you’re struggling to choose, think about which pieces make you feel proud and which have enjoyed the most success. It could be lots of social media likes, a popular video, an advertising campaign that performed particularly well or a banner ad that got lots of clicks. 

Backing up your work up with numbers will also really help you stand out from other applicants. Say you created a visual social media campaign for example. Include likes, shares, comments, clicks, impressions and conversions so you can prove your design skills get results. 

Tailor your portfolio

Just like you would tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for, you should also customise for the company you’re interviewing with through your work. If your interview is with an interior design company for example, show them examples of projects related to the industry.

As well as proving you have the relevant experience, it also helps a potential employer to see how you’d fit in with their brand.

If you don’t have any experience, why not draw up some examples of your own? This shows initiative, that you’re willing to learn and that you have the skills even if you don’t have the experience.

A chair sitting in front of a building

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Image source: https://schoolofsketching.com/blog-in-english/portfolio

Think about your audience

When you’re researching the company you’re interviewing at, pay close attention to the culture. You should be able to get an idea about this from their website and their social media pages. 

If it’s a fun, quirky organisation which encourages employees to express themselves (similar to the likes of Google and Facebook), you can be a bit daring with your portfolio. If it’s a more conservative business however, keep it as professional as possible. 

Include personal projects

Personal projects are a great way to demonstrate skills you haven’t been able to use in a professional capacity. It also shows a real passion for what you do if you’re happy to work on projects in your free time. 

Other benefits include:

  • It shows employers who you really are
  • You can show off different styles and techniques
  • You can diversify your portfolio
  • You can have as much fun with it as you like

Go online

While it’s common to show a creative design portfolio PDF at interviews, online versions are becoming increasingly popular. If you’re interviewing at a tech company for example, it’s a really good idea to have an online portfolio to showcase your digital skills. 

Many designers do this by creating a website for their work so they can include information about who they are, outline their experience and show their portfolio. The added benefit is that interviewers are free to browse in their own time and they can see what you work looks like in an online format. 

A picture containing road, person, court, ball

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Image source: https://www.creativebloq.com/portfolios/examples-712368

There are many creative design portfolio websites you can use to get started including Squarespace, Behance and Dribbble. And you might even think about registering your own domain to add a professional edge to you website.

Don’t forget to keep your creative design portfolio up to date. It shows you’re professional and can create stunning designs which help businesses achieve their goals. By thinking of your portfolio as a tool rather than a nice-to-have, you’re one step closer to wowing potential employers.

Feeling inspired? You can also take our quiz to find out what digital job roles best suit you and access free learning content at thisishow.uk