Squarespace is without a doubt a go-to platform for Graphic Designers looking to showcase their work. Below you’ll find a number of Squarespace Graphic Design Portfolio examples you can use as a reference when building your own. Further down you’ll find tips from industry experts on preparing your portfolio and a a list of our favorite Squarespace templates for that matter.
Some Tips On Getting Your Squarespace Graphic Design Portfolio Right
As you can tell after viewing the different examples above, Squarespace templates are not that different from one another when it comes to design portfolios. There’s usually a project grid that features your different projects on two or more columns, a project detail page, and an “about” and/or contact page. The truth is, that is all you really need. What does differentiate one portfolio to the other is dictated by its content and the use of space.
Tip #1: Work on making your portfolio images the best they can be
As hinted above, your Squarespace graphic design portfolio is only as good as its content. For every project you are displaying on your site, make sure to have:
- high quality imagery
- A good balance between full-width imagery and smaller images that are spread over two columns or more.
- Great Thumbnails on your project page (homepage).
Jevons’ Design Co is a great example of how to go about detailing a design project on a portfolio site. Not only does he make an excellent use of the space, he also includes gif images to add some animation to some of these projects.
Tip #2: Optimize Your Images for Web
Image file-size is as important as the beauty of your design portfolio. If you have the best designs in the world but a site speed that is terrible, people might lose patience when going through your book. That said, before you upload your images, make sure to optimize them. You want to try to have your max file size be around 300 to 500kb. Nothing over 1Mb!
In order to achieve that, keep your longest edge at a maximum of 2000px. After you do that, compress your image with a good compression tool. I like to use the Upic app to compress images for web use. It does a great job of preserving the quality of the image while downsizing the file size.
Tip #3: Don’t Write Too Much… Unless You Are a Copywriter
It’s great to write a little something about a given project, but don’t overdo it. The person that will look at your portfolio likely doesn’t have much time to look at it, so they’ll go right pass those texts. Keep it simple and succinct.
Tip #4: Pick a Squarespace Portfolio Template That Serves Your Needs
Of all the Portfolio templates Squarespace has to offer, only a select few work well for Graphic Designers in my opinion. Below are some of our favorite ones out there:
Kester – This one is my personal favorite. The project thumbnails are substantial enough and the project details page look great.
Nolan – This one looks great as well, and is more story oriented than the previous template. Probably a better choice for agencies or design studios who need more verbiage on their site.
Utica – I like the two column approach on texts as well as the white space in this one. Very minimalistic and clean UI. It works well for achitecture as you can see on the demo site, but will also work for graphic design portfolios.
Novo – My second favorite template, Novo’s image grid is perfect to display your different projects. Jevons Design Co (first design portfolio showcased on this post) uses this template and makes great use of it.
Cami – This one has a different layout than the traditional grid layout, making it a bit more unexpected. One thing I don’t like from this template is the lack of full-width layouts.
Matsuya – This templates’ masonry grid works well for people that have a lot of pieces that are self-standing (pieces that only have one artwork vs a project with multiple pieces). That said, it works particularly well for illustrators.
In this post I outline what works in design portfolios on different platforms.
Tip #5: Use Gifs to give your portfolio some extra “Umph”
Motion adds life to anything really. It’s no different for your graphic design portfolio. Sam Soulek as well as Lindsey Wright (Showcased above) use gifs sparingly on their thumbnails. While they’re great to have, they can also be really heavy. So be careful when adding those.