Graphic design portfolios are an essential tool for designers to showcase work and convince clients to hire them. Even in a social media age with platforms like Behance, Dribbble and Instagram available, a portfolio website serves as a central hub to collate your best work, show off your achievements and skills, and provide a directory for visitors to contact you.
The portfolio websites of famous graphic designers are a great source of inspiration for anyone looking to make their own. You might not be a legendary designer yourself (yet), but a well put together graphic design portfolio can help you land your next design job and get you one step closer to that legendary status.
In this article, we’ll walk you through some inspiring graphic design portfolio examples from some of the most famous designers. The websites themselves are often as innovative and beautifully designed as the designers’ most famous work, and they serve to remind visitors of their legendary careers.
Here are some of the best graphic designer portfolios on the web right now:
Only a founding partner of Pentagram, international lecturer, N.Y. Art Directors Hall of Famer, Lifetime Achievement Award-winner, co- designer of Beatlemania and author of twenty books on design could get away with such a simple, humorous portfolio website. He is both stating his long list of achievements while cheekily dismissing them, giving visitors the impression of a confident designer who doesn’t like to (or need to) brag.
The same sense of humor is present in all the design work featured on the site, and the site itself is fun to explore. Even Bob Gill’s website URL gives a nod to his infamous sarcasm: bobgilletc. Like a good book, the first page compels you to read on, curious to know more about the man behind the words.
David Shrigley’s humorous and often dark illustrations have gained him cult status worldwide. His iconic artwork is integrated seamlessly into his portfolio website through its white background and handwritten headers and titles. His portfolio is easy to navigate and uncomplicated, giving his work all the attention.
Milton Glaser’s portfolio website beautifully showcases this living legend’s vast body of work with a clean, airy interface.
Most famous for his poster designs and the iconic I heart NY logo, Milton Glaser and his multi-disciplinary design studio continue to produce outstanding work to this day.
His sophisticated portfolio website is definitely fit for a legend and industry leader, giving significant screen real estate to his widely-referenced quotes.
Indiana-based up-and-comer Aaron Lowell Denton started off only a few years ago designing Glaser-inspired gig posters for his own band. Bigger and bigger bands soon turned to him to create collectable, often screen printed posters. His designer portfolio is laid out modestly into a grid format splitting his portfolio of poster designs into threes, giving his strikingly rich posters the space they deserve.
Leif Podhajsky is another favorite within the indie music scene, famous for his psychedelic album artwork for Tame Impala, The Horrors and Foals. The over-saturated, colorful work samples he has chosen to feature really pop against the portfolio’s black background.
London based Caterina Bianchini is making global waves in the graphic design scene. Originally gaining fame for her night club posters, Caterina now has an enviably huge catalogue of clients including Reebok, Levi’s and Yoko Ono.
Caterina’s designer portfolio arranges her design pieces in a centered alignment, echoing the infinite scroll of social media her millennial fans are so accustomed to. Links to her ‘About’ and ‘Contact’ pages are laid out vertically, reminiscent of a motif she often uses in her poster designs.
Multi award-winning French photographer Marvin Leuvrey is notable for his editorial imagery for fashion power houses Virgil Abloh, Hermès and Kenzo. To reinforce this, Marvin Leuvrey has laid out his portfolio website in a sleek magazine style, and he uses a clever interactive collage on his homepage to display his work. As you move your cursor around his overview page a new photo pops up, making it feel like a new piece of collage art is created with every swoosh.
8. Kaye Blegvad
Prolific illustrator turned jewelry designer Kaye Blegvad makes a point of showcasing the variety of her work. Her selections range from static illustrations to photographed craftwork to small animations, making sure you will never get bored as you scroll through her charming portfolio. A messily hand-drawn logo at the header of her portfolio website also makes for a nice personal touch.
9. Robbie Simon
Another wave maker in the indie music scene is LA based Robbie Simon. Working for bands such as the Allah Las and Kevin Morby, his work spans a variety of record, poster and logo designs. His scribbled logo adds a free-and-easy ambience to an otherwise modern and minimal portfolio interface.
10. Nathan Taylor
Up-and-coming designer/developer Nathan Taylor is the brains behind the Alleycon and Rogue websites. His interactive designer portfolio is seriously fun to peruse. Almost everything you hover over is bursting with energy and comes alive through unique animations. The dynamic navigation to perfectly illustrate his skill as an interactive designer in addition to the actual work samples, as well as his beautiful use of color.
11. Thomas Pregiato
Currently the Art Director at NIKE NYC, Thomas Pregiato uses a strong black background and a split screen layout in his graphic designer portfolio. This style gives each image significant real estate while demonstrating the extreme versatility of his art direction projects.
12. Jean Jullien
French illustration giant Jean Jullien has opted for a minimalistic grey portfolio to let his colorful work do the talking. His portfolio images are split into various sizes to demonstrate his broad variety of work from ceramics to installations.
13. Marian Bantjes
Marian Bantjes’ portfolio website uses her famous hand-lettering, patterns and illustrations to showcase her most high profile projects and clients, as well as persuade visitors to buy her book and her art prints.
She also cleverly uses cropped preview thumbnails which allow her to fit more images onto her website while also enticing the viewer to click through to the full image and learn about each project in detail.
14. Created by Gabe
Multi-disciplinary graphic artist Gabe has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in the world including Google, Nike, Adidas and Red Bull. Created by Gabe’s portfolio interface cleverly integrates his diverse body of work with a stylish, animated GIF. Each click of the navigation bar transforms the site into a long, colorful doc, taking visitors where they need to go while showing off his enviable design skills.
15. Kate Moross
Highly sought after, London-based graphic designer Kate Moross is famous for their playful hand rendered type and colorful designs, used on brand giants Cadbury’s, Nike and even the Spice Girls. Such a colorful and striking body of work doesn’t need a loud portfolio background, but uses a fun yellow navigation toolbar that matches their style of designs. They incorporate photos of themselves in action, designing and painting, which gives you more of a sense of their personality.
16. Jessica Hische
Illustrator, letterer and typeface designer Jessica Hische is well regarded for her “Should I work for free?” infographic and gorgeous typeface design for the film Moonrise Kingdom. Her website makes a point of showcasing her enviable client work along with lots of amazing resources for new graphic designers.
Because Jessica Hische is a lettering artist, her portfolio website features multiple hierarchies of type. There are also subtle hints at her personal love of literature and book design, including the ribbon marker logo and the drop cap in one of the first paragraphs.
17. Alan Fletcher
Also a co-founder of Pentagram, Alan Fletcher has been named “the most highly regarded graphic designer of his generation” by the Daily Telegraph in his obituary in 2006. His portfolio website heavily features his workspace with a small selection of his designs subtly integrated into the background. This approach conveys a sense of calm and quiet while emphasizing the joy he takes in his day-to-day work ahead of the end result.
18. Annie Atkins
Annie Atkins arguably has one of the coolest jobs in the industry. Designing graphic props for Wes Anderson films such as Grand Budapest Hotel and Isle of Dogs, she creates beautiful, highly detailed and often miniature props for films. Her portfolio website takes a personal approach, starting with a photo of the artist and launching into an interview. As she shares her thoughts on the brilliance of her job, her warm and conversational tone invites visitors into her magical world. Her book Fake Love Letters, Forged Telegrams and Prison Escape Maps is out February 2020 and promises to let you in on even more of her secrets.
19. Ping Zhu
New Yorker Ping Zhu’s beautiful expressive paintings can often be spotted in The New York Times. Her designer website is laid out methodically into a widescreen grid forma, with each painting sitting confidently on the page as if you are flicking through her sketchbook.
20. Vashti Harrison
New York Times bestselling author-illustrator Vashti Harrison incorporates her illustrations and type design to demonstrate her style, giving you a clear idea of what she’s about from first glance. Notable for her children’s book Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History, she cleverly brings some of her characters into her portfolio on the homepage and headers.
All famous graphic designer portfolios start somewhere
The best graphic designer websites reflect the designer and their work. If you are an interactive UI designer, your website is a great opportunity to use your portfolio interface design to show off your design skills. If you are more of an expressive illustrator, a simple and modern graphic designer portfolio is a great exhibition space to let your work do the talking.
Many of these portfolio websites assume that visitors already know who this famous designer is and use more innovative designs as a result. But don’t let that scare you! Even if you are not a famous designer yet, the designs you’ve spent so much time crafting deserve a portfolio that’s just as impressive.
This article was originally written by Rebecca Creger and published in 2014. It has been updated with new examples and information.