Is it possible to create a graphic design portfolio for free? Or does this decrease your chance of being hired ?


  • I agree with @Vikki Ross go with @Richard Depesando advice.

    The comments from Luke doesn't make sense, plus you wouldn’t want take advice from someone who has no experience. He isn’t even featured on The Dots.
  • Yes, you can create one right here, and no, it shouldn’t decrease your chances of being hired.
    If it opens up a conversation, then a free delivery platform doesn’t devalue the content.
    It’s very likely that whoever’s hiring will ask for a portfolio link.
    Once they’ve clicked through, you’ve got an opportunity to grab their attention.
    It’s then up to you to keep them engaged and show them how you add value.
    Test and learn, try new approaches, you can afford to.
  • I’d go with Richard’s advice here but Nikky Lyle may also be able to offer some insights for you
  • Reading this again I think what Lina might mean by 'free' is the plarform of service she uses to create a site - meaning the difference between a custom site created bespoke or a commercial service (Wix/Square Space etc) or via Adobe (Behance/Portfolio). I think anyone can create a powerful online presence with their own work, well presented and explained - on any platform they chose. Just focus on how you want peole to 'read' your work and look for the digital environment that suits you best. I see a lot of UI/UX candidates using Medium and the written word to find exposure - it all depends on you.
  • Depends on your objective really what your using a portfolio for?, is it to be hired or to attract clients, business or futher into freelanced by an agency or studio.

    A website“domain” for portfolio is standard but it’s not a MUST to have. Depends on your business model of going into a career in Design, if you’re freelance for example approach clients/agencies then you’ll need a website as this gives a client or brand confidence that you behave like a business, website also allows you give detail overview of your projects “insights”.

    If you’re objective is to get hired then you can just use an Instagram or Behance, Adobe do a something similar with Behance to showcase your work like a website.

    When applying for jobs example from “IfYouCould” where you’re emailing you’ll attach a PDF CV/portfolio(under 5mb). And include you social link where you’re online portfolio is hosted.

    Ideally I tend to stick to a PDF for applying to jobs and introducing a website in the coverletter and in the PDF.

    For reasons:
    Even though showing a portfolio on Instagram/Behance is about looking at your work. Putting together a PDF shows that you understand InDesign and have editorial skills to put together content in a bespoke layout. Most importantly slef brand.

    Same goes for a website you can be bespoke with it, creating your own layout and grid system.

    As with social media you’re governed by 1x1 ratio grid layout that could reduce your works quality not cropping into printed textures “details”.

    Another factor is you want as much focus time on yourself between the person(s) hiring you. If you directed a person(s) to your website or PDF portfolio focus time would be greater vs showing your portfolio social media paltform such as Behance. Also if you directed someone to your Behance what’s to stop clicking on another users portfolio beats the objective.

    Increase your chances of being hired is about investing in your portfolio, by that I mean custom mockups (far too much I see and has been reported of same mockups being used). Photography if your work is made tangible photograph it.

    Links and people to give insight to portfolios:
    @Nikky Lyle check to any online events for portfolios/portfolio reviews

    Website builder try

    *Think the old cargo is still free it wont be a domain it’ll be cargo/yourname
    beware it’s not mobile optimised unless you know your way around coding.

    I do have more portfolio advice links seem to have been 404
  • It depends.

    If you mean hired for a job, then yes, a Behance can carry you through, or better a dedicated portfolio file (PDF) supported by a Behance, or even a The Dots!

    If you mean freelance, then it might be more difficult just in terms of discovery. Design doesn't have a meaningful directory like illustration, so a website becomes significantly more important for having your own dedicated space online.

    Either way, you're going to want to be looking at getting your own website at some point, if only to develop your own brand and demonstrate you can do that. But, when it comes to being hired in studio you should not be disadvantaged by not having access to a specific, domained website.
  • A lot of Illustrators work well with a work focussed instagram account, and usually have representitive work on their agents site - combined with personal social media - that seems to work well. For graphic designers, most will have their own standalone website, this could be Adobe Portfolio (works for me) and/or Behance (doesn't work for me - too inward facing). Additionally if they use job platforms there may upload mini folio assets - such as on here - that they can direct clients/leads to. You don't 'need' a website, but it's a useful discipline. You could survive/thrive using Instagram - but that needs really carefull nurturing. How you present youself 1-2-1 with potential clients matters more. I send out a mini PDF folio tailored to the job.
  • @Luke Freeman yes and/or portfolio websites like Behance
  • @Luke Freeman I'm curious if I need portfolio on web if I am applying for a job. I have porfolio only on Behance and Instagram.

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