A student portfolio website serves many purposes for undergraduate and graduate students in design. For one, it’s a fantastic way to showcase work as they apply for internships, advanced learning opportunities, or part time jobs while in school. It’s also useful for tracking improvements and new skills, especially when lining up similar projects and comparing them side by side to visualize growth. It also doubles as a way to build a personal brand, so they can best tell the world their story, their perspective, and why someone might want to work with them.
No matter its end purpose, a student portfolio website serves an important role as a designer continues to learn, practice, and grow. But portfolio ideas don’t always come easy, even when you’re dealing with the subject you know best: yourself. These student portfolio website examples can set you in the right direction and help you decide how you want to show your talents to the world.
Stuck on ideas? These 11 examples will show you that a student portfolio can be as polished and professional as that of any full-time designer.
Ramya Anand’s portfolio gets right to the point. At the top of the page, Ramya includes a brief bio that covers their experience both as an engineer and in marketing, and how those two skills can help a potential client or employer. Then, it transitions right into work samples, alongside which Ramya details the work that was done and what type of work was completed. Click on any example, and more information about the project appears. The visuals here come first, followed by the details.
On this student portfolio website, Aisha Amer hones in on work samples first and foremost. They’re organized and easy to find, so those interested in viewing a particular type of work can scroll right to that section. Aisha’s bio is short and to the point, spending time discussing the advantages their background can bring to the team instead of detailing specific skills. To quickly get in touch, visitors can click the email or LinkedIn icons.
An eye-catching animation catches the eye once you load Anu Manohar’s portfolio. Right off the bat, visitors get a sense of her work and style. Anu organizes her portfolio into two distinct parts: Work, which showcases samples and her role in creating those samples, and Play, where she places projects she completed to flex her creative muscles. Her About Page also highlights professional recognition she’s achieved. A handy up arrow at the bottom of Anu’s portfolio brings you to the top of the site, so you can easily find your way again after getting lost in her bold designs.
Lauren Sheldon’s online portfolio gives you two clear choices on the home page: to view her portfolio and to get in touch with her. With those calls to action in place, she brings the visitor’s focus right to the steps she wants them to take. The portfolio allows the images to speak for themselves, inviting viewers to hover over each one and get a glimpse into the how and why behind each project once they click. The URL, too, is quite direct, leaving no ambiguity as to where the visitor has landed.
Utilizing the Adobe creative suite’s portfolio tools, Matthew Buttafuoco presents more than two dozen projects, ranging from 3D animation to vintage-inspired illustrations. Clicking on each project opens up more details that users can peruse to get a glimpse into the creative process. For quick navigation, the left-hand side of the page prioritizes two of Matthew’s specialties: 2D animation and 3D animation. And right below that are multiple ways to contact him on various platforms.
Illustrator Vernon Shipway puts his samples front and center on the home page. Each is displayed in a straightforward manner, with no additional context — the art speaks for itself. There’s a mix of illustrations shown, including book covers, zines, and drawings, so visitors can get a full sense of Vernon’s capabilities. Similar to Matthew’s portfolio, Vernon’s includes a separate link for zines, underscoring his interest and experience in this particular art form.
Cameron Galley’s online portfolio is a showcase of multiple projects, stylized to represent his unique take on design. All the material in his portfolio is presented in a larger format, with explanations in smaller text that doesn’t detract from the visuals. Visitors can click on whatever speaks to them, or they can scroll through the whole portfolio with the “next” button in the lower right corner. Cameron’s bio — found by clicking the “i” icon in the lower left-hand corner — describes what inspires him as well as his professional experience.
The hero image on Kelly He’s online portfolio invites you to scroll through a handful of examples, each of which shows a different artistic style. The architectural student and interdisciplinary designer divides her portfolio into two parts, a work section and a fine arts section, to direct visitors to the work that interests them. On both pages, visitors will find a well-organized layout filled with examples and intricate details that outline her process. In her bio, Kelly links to a .pdf file of her portfolio as well.
Ali Vedad Yüner cuts right to the chase on their online portfolio home page, with one line of text, their email address, and a link to their portfolio. A photo of each work example fills the screen — visitors hover over the photo to see a title and year. This way, they can view the work unencumbered, and get more detail if they choose by clicking on it.
Eva Zaharakos’s portfolio clearly communicates her message to the reader. The main page balances her work samples — click on any of them for more details about the project in question — with her professional experience. Her examples take up the top of the site, while the text occupies the bottom of the home page.
Eva uses her bio to explore both her professional interests and personal passions, giving visitors a glimpse into where she comes from and how that shapes her approach to design. For more information, Eva links to a .pdf file of her resume and her social media profiles.
Fred Pastrana’s portfolio is big and bold. Kicking off with a colorful illustration of himself, readers continue scrolling to see evenly-stacked rows of portfolio samples, including case studies, concepts, and examples produced for competitions. Click on any example, and you’ll see lots of detail that describes precisely how Fred’s creative process unfolds, from the creative brief to his design process to observations made while creating the final product. That kind of detail can illustrate to any viewer how Fred works and if his approach is a good fit for their needs.
The goal of your online student portfolio is twofold: to showcase your best work and to demonstrate your growth. Include samples that highlight both to help reviewers get a full picture of your capabilities and specialties. Alongside each example, you may want to consider including a description that talks about the assignment, including what its goals were, what your thought process was, and how you accomplished the task. If you mastered a particular technique or tool to achieve the end result, mention those tools here, too.
Here’s a handy checklist you can review when building your portfolio:
- Samples of your best work
- A brief description of the work
- Your contact information
- A brief bio, including a photo of yourself
- Information about your skills and capabilities
- A resume or CV, if applicable
Students generally have a few options when it comes time to build a portfolio website. Two of those options are great for students with no experience designing websites: an online portfolio builder and a website builder. An online portfolio builder gets the job done, allowing students to add their best work and some basic information about themselves. But a website builder like Namecheap Site Maker opens up more possibilities, with full customization, easy drag-and-drop tools, and the ability to add other web pages that a portfolio builder may not support.
Take the time to regularly review the material in your student portfolio — think once a semester, at least. As your assignments help you grow and new challenges push your abilities, you can add the best and brightest of that new work to your online portfolio. If you’ve improved your skills, you can also replace older assignments that don’t show off your skills as well. And once you’ve graduated and it’s time to enter the job market, give it one more thorough review to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward for any career opportunities.
Thankfully, you don’t need coding skills or a hired professional to create your own student portfolio website. With website builders like Namecheap Site Maker, you’ll have all the tools you need to create a fully customized site that reflects who you are. Starting from a template or with a blank slate, you can choose the colors and fonts that illustrate your personality while displaying your best work in a way that lets your samples shine. The whole process takes minutes. And thanks to an affordable all-in-one package, everything you need to launch your portfolio is included for under $4 per month. Try a 14-day trial of Namecheap Site Maker to get started today.