Portfolio Inspiration

Research Overview

Over the last few months I have been taking note of portfolios that stand out as strong examples of what I’d like to achieve. This post highlights some of the elements of these pages that do a great job of communicating the right message.

Automato (2016)

The bold minimalist landing page says more to me than a page pack eked with content. They show their quirks in the copy, while very clearly explaining who they are.

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Brian Wong Portfolio (Wong, 2015)

Brian Wong’s portfolio site is a great example of a site that takes on all of the learnings from my industry research. Wong is an interaction designer who interned at IDEO, one of my dream employers. If his work appealed to them, he is obviously doing something right.

The simple explanatory opening page is clean and clear. His personality comes across in his photograph, which matches the style of the website. He explains his projects through his process. This is something that I’d like to aim for in my portfolio.

Grant Leung Portfolio (Leung, 2015)

Grant Leung’s portfolio is another example that stood out to me with its clear messaging and simple layout. His focus on experience and skills mass the portfolio easy to read, and I quickly gets clear idea of what his strengths are as a designer. In thinking about my portfolio, I would like to keep Leung’s content curation in mind – he selects the very best of his work and the very best of his skills, to communicate a clear message.

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Vito Salvatore (Salvatore, 2016)

Salvatore’s portfolio is reflective of his wealth of experience in the design industry. Although I will not have the same depth of projects he has, his portfolio is aspirational for me. His title as an interactive art director is a role that I would love to strive for as I move through my career.

Salvatore’s approach is again, simple, clean and bold.  I particularly like how he broke down his skills into illustrated little icons; they reflect his personality as well as his skills in an elegant manor.

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Simon Pan (Pan, 2016)

Simon Pan’s website showcases only three case studies explaining his process in great depth. As a user of the site, I found myself reading much more than the other portfolios because of his selective curation of the content. The about me section is simple and to the point. While I think the process is a little too long for my work, I can see this approach lending itself well to my projects.

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We Ain’t Plastic & Melanie Daveid (Loesslein, 2015)

These portfolio are beautiful examples of style and usability in action. Both designed by Roland Loesslein, there is a considered curation of content that communicates who the designers are as well as their skill set. The simple icons paired with the typography pairings that draw the eye into the page, gives a professional and elegant look. While I won’t have the same ability or time to create the delightful little animations and page transitions, I will put the time into ensuring the fine details in my typography and layout are perfect. This high quality finish sets these portfolios apart.

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Insight Overview

The key findings of this research reflects the industry feedback and research that I have previously been working on. The strongest portfolios are curated; every single project is never showcased, it is a selection of the best work.

For me, simplicity wins. I find that the clearest messages are simple and to the point. It’s easy to add lots of content. It’s more difficult to refine the words until they are just right. However, there is a skill in this careful curation and refinement of content, and it is one that I want to showcase in my website.

Simplicity does not mean boring. Each of these sites have something very exciting about them. They draw me in. They are truly interesting to read through. Character can be communicated through a simple animation, or clever use of words, of little icons or illustrations.

As I move on to design my site this research, paired with my industry research and feedback, will stand as a strong foundation to build my ideas upon.


Automato (2016) Home. Shanghai: Automato. Available from: http://automato.farm [Accessed 08/04/2016].

Leung, G. (2015) Home. San Fransisco: Grant Leung. Available from: http://www.leungportfolio.com/solar.html [Accessed 03/04/2016].

Loesslein, R. (2015) We Ain’t Plastic. Berlin: Rowland Loesslein. Available from: http://weaintplastic.com [Accessed 03/03/2016].

Pan, S. (2016) Home. San Fransisco: Simon Pan. Available from: http://simonpan.com [Accessed 04/04/2016].

Salvatore, V. (2016) About Me. Vito Salvatore. Available from: http://www.vitosalvatore.com/aboutme/ [Accessed 03/03/2016].

Wong, B. (2015) Home. San Fransisco: Brain Wong. Available from: http://www.brianlwong.com [Accessed 06/04/2016].


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