As a graphic designer and creative, your portfolio is the most useful tool.
A portfolio book can help you attract new clients or find your dream job. So it’s worth putting some effort into getting it into the best shape.
As a graphic designer myself, I have a lot of experience with putting together a great portfolio. I will share my experience and show you the best tools to create the perfect portfolio.
Depending on your purpose, there are two main types of portfolios. You could go for a Hardcover Portfolio Book., or an online portfolio.
The alternative is creating an Online Portfolio to showcase your work.
I’ll cover both options in detail in this guide. We’ll dive deep into the benefits of an online portfolio book vs. print portfolio books.
As you can see, there are many different options when it comes to your portfolio book. The choices can be overwhelming and confusing.
I want you to feel confident in creating a portfolio book for yourself! I’ll break down all the options for you!
There’s something for every budget, whether you want a physical or digital portfolio.
Hardcover Portfolio Book
The choice of how to make your printed portfolio depends on your time and budget.
If you have more time and energy to devote to this project, you can make a DIY portfolio book.
This route is also the cheaper option. Plus, there are no limits to the design of your creative portfolio book if you make it from scratch.
The other option is to use one of the exciting printing companies that are popping up now. These websites allow you to make a portfolio book online.
Then, you can use their online portfolio printing service to print a hard copy of your work and your creations.
Let’s dig into the details and compare these two options!
If you opt for a DIY portfolio, Chriselsasser from Instructable did a good job with his mini-guide to make a DIY hardcover portfolio book. You will be able to create your portfolio yourself step by step.
You can also find more useful advice in this video by Sea Lemon.
These portfolio books have acid-free, archival grade paper to protect your artwork.
Plus, each page has top-loading clear sheets. This feature ensures that your designs look their best without getting damaged.
You can fill these books with photos, illustrations, paintings, or sketches. They’re suitable for any design up to 8.5 x 11 inches.
Portfolio Printing – Professional Online Printers
With that in mind, here are three truly great online printers. They all provide premium quality projects at affordable prices. Plus, they deliver within a reasonable time.
Portfolio Printing – Professional Online Printers
Opting for a professional Online printer to print your portfolio book is the best strategy. But choosing an online printer is not an easy task. There are so many choices. With that in mind, here are three truly great online printers, who provide premium quality projects at affordable prices, often within a reasonable pace of time.
Blurb is an excellent website that makes it very easy to design and print your portfolio book.
If you’ve been stuck on how to make a creative portfolio, Blurb is your best bet!
You can use its stylish templates to make your book look eye-catching.
There are many different formats to choose from, so you can select the type that fits your content.
It’s possible to create a portfolio design book, photography book, or an art portfolio.
Maybe you’ve been wondering how to make a portfolio in InDesign. Then, you’ll be glad to hear that you can use InDesign and Blurb together, with the help of Blurb’s Adobe InDesign plug-in.
Put together a gorgeous portfolio full of your images and designs. Then, let Blurb handle the printing for you. It’s a speedy, seamless, and stress-free process!
You can even send off a swatch kit to test out the different types of papers. With Blurb, it’s easy to create a portfolio presentation book that looks premium quality.
If you’re looking for a printing service that’s reliable and fast, go with Moo. This company can produce all sorts of accessories, stickers, business cards, and more.
Moo guarantees super speedy delivery. They also go out of their way to ensure customer satisfaction. You can be sure that your portfolio book will look superb if you order from Moo.
Their paper feels lovely and thick in hand, and the printed colors are bright and vibrant. You can even enlist their design service if you need some help with your portfolio.
Prestophoto is well known for producing premium photo books. These books can also double up as a fancy design portfolio too!
With Prestophoto, you can select every detail to create your ideal portfolio. There are over 100 different sizes to choose from. Plus, you can pick the paper, binding, and more.
Prestophoto is helpful if you’re looking for graphic design portfolio book examples. You’ll find plenty of inspiration on the website!
They also have portfolios suitable for fine art and photography. Whatever type of creative work you do, Prestophoto can showcase it for you.
You can use the handy Online Designer tool to create your portfolio from scratch. But if you’ve designed your portfolio using InDesign or Lightroom, you can also upload it easily.
This feature provides you with all the control and flexibility you need. That way, there are no limits on your creativity and the ultimate design of your portfolio.
If you decide to go with Prestophoto, make sure to take advantage of their free paper sample kits. Then, you can compare the papers and make an educated decision!
The Prestophoto customer support is also superb. That makes the experience smooth and stress-free from beginning to end.
And thanks to their wide range of products and options, you can create a portfolio that fits your budget.
An online portfolio offers more flexibility. The hint is in the name – your online portfolio will be hosted on the web, and you won’t have a hard copy.
But the benefit of a digital portfolio is the ease of sharing and showcasing your work.
Online presence is more important than ever. A digital portfolio will increase your visibility and presence.
It’s quick, simple, and straightforward to share your portfolio with potential clients. You just send them the link to view your creations in real-time.
Plus, you can reach a broader market online. You don’t need to meet someone face to face to show off your work and score a contract!
Don’t worry if you’re not sure how to make an online portfolio. It’s never been easier. You can set up a website in minutes, with no coding knowledge necessary!
Tons of online websites claim to help create unique and professional online portfolios. But that makes it difficult to decide which one of them would be the best choice.
Here is a list of free and (paid) online sites to create your eye-catching portfolio. I’ll share a bit about the pros and cons to help you decide which service to go for.
1. Behance (Free)
It also doubles up as a social network for creatives. The benefit of this feature is that you can make connections with other people in your industry.
When you sign up for Behance, you can choose between the free or paid plans on this website.
It’s possible to use this website without paying a dollar. But it’s worth noting that the features of the free plan are fairly limited. It’s still suitable for anyone just starting out, though.
As soon as you sign up, you can start uploading samples of your work. You’ll also have the option of adding further text information and links.
Plus, you can select different fonts and colors to make your portfolio your own.
Behance is an excellent option for any beginner or amateur artist or designer. If you want to create a free online portfolio, this is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get started.
2. WordPress (Free)
In fact, 38% of all websites are actually hosted on WordPress. So, they must be doing something right!
WordPress.com has a free plan that you can use to host your portfolio. You can build your website using ready-made, free templates that are simple and easy.
But there is limited customizability on the free plan. You won’t be able to adapt the website to your needs as much as with Wix.
The free plan includes up to 3 GB of storage space. You also won’t need to worry about security backing up your website.
But if you hope to monetize your site or access advanced features, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan.
Otherwise for the more experienced, you have the option of hosting the WordPress CMS on your own dedicated or shared server via FTP, with your own domain name.
But this advanced solution requires a lot of work and investment.
Please refer to my article on blogging for artists, where I show you how to start your art blog from A to Z.
There are lots of hosting companies out there, but one hosting provider stand out. Bluehost. is a well-known, popular host that offers fantastic customer service and features.
You will find exclusive tips on how to create professional blogs and websites:
3. Dribbble (Free)
Dribbble is designed specifically for creative professionals. This website is all about showcasing your best work. As a bonus, you can even look for jobs and freelance projects.
It’s also a thriving community for designers and visual artists. You can connect with other people in the industry and network. Plus, you can use it for inspiration.
If you’re looking for photography portfolio book ideas, head over to Dribbble!
You can upload your images, although there’s a limit of how many you can add each month.
Another great feature is that you can add a note with further information about the design or your process. That provides context and can make people curious to see more from you!
While Dribbble is free to use, it’s not so easy to gain traction among all the competition. If you want to get more people discovering your work on Dribbble, you’ll need to put some work into it.
But if you plan only to link to Dribbble from your website or social media, you don’t need to worry about that.
The Wrap Up
A professional portfolio for your design projects is a creative way to show your work.
An online portfolio can be more innovative and flexible than a hardcover portfolio book. The former allows you to share your work around the world for minimal cost.
But sometimes you also need a hardcover portfolio to hold it in your hands and feel it!
Now you know the best options for creative portfolio books, both DIY and printed.
Do you have an online portfolio? Share it with us below! Or upload some photos of your graphic design portfolio book – I’d love to see!
I’d love to hear what you think about this post in the comment section below!