As a precursor to designing the showcase interface and portfolio we have had to research portfolio websites. I looked at a range of sites from designers and firms specialising in websites through to illustrators and photographers. There is a diverse choice of design styles and the amount of information included varies from site to site. However there are things in common across the choice and the one thing that stands out are the links to external community sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. There is also a preference on many sites to include blogs as well. All the websites were of a high standard – contemporary, often very beautiful with a good use of fonts and high impact imagery and graphics. They were visually interesting and inviting to look around and investigate. Navigation for the most part was logical and easy.
I enjoyed the following websites:
Abstraktion – website for humans
This is a dramatic website with a restrained colour palette – white text on a black ground with red acting as an accent colour.
The font is a modern looking sans serif.
The pages have a gridlike feel; they are divided into three columns and information spread across them either in single our double columns and occasionally across the whole width of the page.
The information is broken into bite sized chunks divided by delicate white lines so it is easy to differentiate between sections of information and navigate between them.
The home page has a friendly but firm introduction and has an enticing section that sets out how many people visit the websites they have designed each year and the revenue this has generated.
The portfolio page lays out the different sites the company has developed in a clean efficient way and also outlines the key industries the company has worked for.
This site has a blog page to which visitors can add comments.
This is an attractive, highly colourful site which has a letterpress quality to the type and a printed quality to the graphics.
It states it’s case very clearly with a large quote “go ahead, put your business online, we make it easy…very easy”
Underneath this are three large navigable boxes outlined the three main areas of services – web design, web development and Search engine optimisation.
Underneath this is featured work which when clicks links to a page containing a portfolio of work which has actual links to the websites the firm has designed.
Important information about the firm is situated in a nav bar in the header and footer.
The site also explains the design process used for the project so the potential client will know what to expect.
Prices are also stated across the site with a description of what you will get for your money which is helpful.
This was one site that did not have community site feeds or a blog.
This is my favorite website portfolio It is quirky, fresh and interesting. It has a playful quality to it.
Rather than being centred the design is offset to the right of the page.
The background is a plain muted grey, the font a modern soft, rounded sans serif and there is a generous use of white space give the site a light airy feel.
The home page consists of colourful seemingly random phrases, when you scroll over these phrases, the one your mouse is hovering over stays coloured while the rest become grey. When you click on the coloured phrase a relevant blog is revealed underneath.
The navigation bar in the header is subtle but obvious due to the amount of white space employed.
The ‘work’ page has a lovely spread of large images with a small caption by the same explaining the work. These are laid out in a single column and can be navigated to in the same manner as the homepage in that you click on phrases that scroll down to the relevant imagery.
On the ‘about’ page there are links to sites such as flickr, twiiter and linkedin
This is a friendly blog based site with quirky graphics and display fonts with a retro feel in soft colours.
There are links to Twitter, Facebook, Dribbble (a show and tell site for creatives (yuk- I hate that word)), tumblr (a microblogging platform that allows users to post text, images, videos, links, quotes and audio).
The navigation bar links to sections that clearly explain about Dawghouse and the designer behind it.
The ‘work’ page contains lots of images of work – sites designed etc but is let down by the fact there are no links to the websites.
The footer contains more places as to where the designer can be found online.
Another beautifully laid out site – restrained, clean and minimal – white background with grey and red sans serif text.
This company design printed materials and create identities as well as designing websites and this is reflected in the portfolio which forms the home page.
The navigation bar is discreet and there are links to Twitter and a blog. Essential information is contained in the footer. It is a satisfying and pleasurable site to navigate around and the company designs for a range of interesting and unusual clients.
Photography Portfolio sites
Cory Arnold is photographer and Alaskan commercial fisherman. His portfolio site is bold and striking – the images are given plenty of space to tell their stories. There is an animated element to it that is flash driven and the red and off white colour palette works well.
You can select different projects to view from a navigation bar situated on the left of the page. Each project appears as a spread of scattered images that become ‘activated’ as the viewer scrolls over them – when hovered over the image turns red and when you click on it it opens into a large image of the photo. You can then click through the rest of the images in a more standard image display (slider?) format.
The site also contains a link to a blog which has Twitter, Facebook and Flickr links
Brent Stirton is a photojournalist with an amazing array of photographs from around the world that are divided into projects
The website lets the images talk for themselves using a simple image slider that can be controlled either by clicking on individual images using a simple numbering system or set up as a slide show.
The images are set against a black background with a discreet header consisting of the photographer’s name and contact details plus a simple navigation bar on the top right of the page. The site does not have lings to blogs or Facebook or Twitter etc.. I don’t think this would be appropriate for this website as in a way it would take away from the gravitas of the images.
his bio page says it all – he is a senior staff photographer for Getty Images the largest photographic agency in the world and there is a separate contact page with essential details.
Website for Tom Hoops. These photographs are commercial/fashion in nature (though there is a personal project section) – with a high impact factor. Again the images are enhanced by being shown off against a black background.
Navigation details are on the left which have a java scripted animated element to them.
The images are held in a jquery image slider with horizontal scrolling.
There is a link to a blog
This is an immaculately designed portfolio site presenting the work of American photographer Jill Greenberg who specialises in stylized fashion, celebrity and advertising images.
It is a very clean minimal site set against a white background. The header and navigation bar are unobtrusive – the images are given lots of space and have a high impact factor.
The site is divided into seven pages – showcasing the range of her work – from fine art projects, through to commissioned work in all areas from advertising , magazine covers, portraiture etc and video commissions. She has a page dedicated to a very impressive client list – with links to images she has taken of them.
The overall impression is of quiet confidence and authority.
There are links to Twitter and Facebook.
This is a friendly, approachable and appealing website – which for once uses a serif font – which gives it a picture book feel.
The home page has high impact – with a large hero image of one of Nate Williams’s illustrations.
Apart from the illustrators name – there is no traditional header – there is a main navigation bar instead with a secondary navigation bar below the image.
Work is presented in a gridlike fashion. When an image is clicked it opens into a larger image which then allows you to navigate to a more in-depth look at the project. Other projects from the portfolio can be navigated to from this link or you can click to return to the portfolio page if the viewer wants to control what image they want to look at.
The site also has a link to an online shop (etzy) where you can buy the illustrators work
He has a news page – which acts as a blog (the links are the same as the portfolio page)
There are Twitter, Facebook and Flickr links
Other sites I liked by illustrators were picture systems,