Your design portfolio is the one tool you will always have no matter what stage of your career you are in and this is why it is so important.

Being a graphic designer can be a very stressful but also very rewarding career path. Having the ability to work creatively, express your ideas visually, and help solve problems for clients and businesses has always sounded amazing to me. However, to achieve success as a graphic designer there are many elements to take into account but the one that sticks out in my mind is your design portfolio. In my 10 years of being a graphic designer working in full-time and freelance roles, I can attest that having a well-designed portfolio is the key to success. 

Having a solid, well-designed, and up-to-date design portfolio is important because it can lead to job opportunities with some of the most exciting companies in the world, connect you with high-quality clients, and provide with you pricing power when it comes to taking on new work.

As a graphic designer who has seen these results because of my design portfolio. I am going to tell you exactly why your design portfolio is important and why it can lead you down the path to success.

I now have companies like Meta reaching out to me instead of the other way around.

Better Job Opportunities

In the career of a graphic designer or any area in the design industry, getting a full-time role at a company can be very competitive. The world’s biggest companies like Apple, Google, and Meta are always looking for top talent and if you’re like me, you and many other designers would also love to work at these companies. The number of design portfolios that are sent to these companies per day is most likely astronomical but what if there was a way where you could get these companies to reach out to you instead? That is where your design portfolio comes in. While this may not happen immediately, my design portfolio over the years has gotten me to the point where I now have companies like Meta reaching out to me instead of the other way around. When you’re starting, your design portfolio is going to lead you to new and exciting job opportunities which over time will start to build your resume and experience. This experience is going to make you a better candidate for those big companies when they are looking to fill their open roles. Yes, unfortunately having a solid design portfolio today isn’t going to get Apple to recognize you tomorrow. Being a graphic designer is very much about the journey and it does take time but that is not to say that putting the effort in now will not pay off very soon in the future.   

Image of clients discussing a project

Higher Quality Clients

Putting the time and work into designing, updating, and maintaining your design portfolio can say a lot about who you are as a designer and service provider. Especially to potential clients that visit your design portfolio website. If you’re looking for some tips on how you can quickly create your design portfolio then check out our top 10 tips list here.  The quality and level of detail you put into your design portfolio will speak to clients who value that when they are looking for someone to work with. Your design portfolio can also act as a deterrent for clients that don’t have the budgets you are looking for when taking on new work. Which is a good thing, believe me. In addition to attracting these higher-quality clients, these clients will also have a network of other potential clients that they can refer you to, allowing you to continue the cycle of creating great work for great clients.

A well-designed portfolio is like wearing your favorite outfit, it can be like a body armor that makes you feel indestructible.
A hand holding hundred dollar bills

Pricing Power

Pricing power immediately came to mind when I thought of why your design portfolio is so important. The question of how you charge higher prices for your work always comes up in the design social mediasphere and while there isn’t just one answer, this is a great place to start. Putting the work into your design portfolio, I think, is the number one way to feel more confident in charging more for your work. While it can be hard to confidently say to a client that you charge upwards of $100 per hour or more than $3,000 for a website or project. Giving yourself the tools to approach that conversation more easily can help you feel more confident when you deliver that news to potential clients. A well-designed portfolio is like wearing your favorite outfit, it can be like a body armor that makes you feel indestructible.

Design Portfolio Tips

Looking for some tips to quickly build your design portfolio website? Check out the article I wrote with my 10 top tips, from the 10 years of experience I've gained as a graphic designer.

If you are just starting off in your graphic designer career and don't know where to start with building your design portfolio. Check out my article about building a design portfolio without any experience or clients. In this article I discuss the 8-steps I would take to build my portfolio website today if I didn't have any clients to begin with.

If you are a designer, illustrator, or photographer and looking to improve how you present and market yourself using your portfolio then consider signing up for a free portfolio review. You can use the big orange link below or you can sign up for one using this link here. During these reviews, we jump on a Zoom call and go over any questions you may have and put together a list of improvements you can make to start using your portfolio as a tool to get you your next job or client project. As always, if you have any questions you can leave a comment or message me on my TikTok and Instagram accounts. See you in the next article!