Thanks to the internet, age or location aren’t so important for a graphic designer anymore. In fact, most creatives don’t mention their age in their creative portfolio, and work with clients far from their home town. So it’s always a delight when you’re blown away by someone’s work and realize they’re fresh out of school.
As the co-founder of Semplice, a portfolio system for designers, I see design portfolios and new design talent every day. Below are just a few of my favorite portfolios from exciting new designers — some are self-taught, some still working toward their degree, others a few years into their design careers.
01. Aaron Covrett
Don’t miss the Playground section of Aaron Covrett’s website
Aaron Covrett graduated from college in 2017 with two years of intern experience at Stink Studios (then Stinkdigital) and Wynalda Packaging already under his belt. But I suspect Covrett’s talent far predates his formal education. The attention to detail and level of skill apparent in his work is just ridiculous, and this minimalistic portfolio sets it up beautifully.
02. Evie Bauland
Evie Bauland’s case studies provide just the right amount of information
Evie Bauland is in her fourth year of studies, and her portfolio includes both school and real-world projects. What I most appreciate about this portfolio is Bauland’s highly customised case studies. She uses unique layouts and colours for each project, to complement the work, and her case study content is concise and easy to scan. The site feels intentional the whole way through.
03. Viggo Blomqvist
Viggo Blomqvist’s site is full of informative videos and visuals
Viggo Blomqvist may have yet to graduate, but he already has an impressive portfolio of sleek product designs. He takes us behind the scenes of these projects with sketches, videos and renderings that show his process. I’d encourage this approach for all designers. Companies want to see how you work and approach problems as a designer. While process talk can easily get long and boring, Blomqvist keeps things brief and highly visual.
04. Ana Realmuto
Ana Realmuto’s About page hits all the right notes
Ana Realmuto’s portfolio features branding, web design and social media content for clients like Jameson Whiskey and Wristology Watches. But my favourite part is her About page with its hilarious baby photos — a unique and memorable personal touch. (To be clear, Ana graduated from college in 2015 and is older than these baby photos portray.) About pages can make or break a portfolio, and Realmuto’s page hits all the right points.
05. Jakub Had
Jackub Had has packed a lot of great work into a few short years
At 20 years old, Jakub Had has more experience than a lot of designers that are many years his senior. His portfolio features print, product and UI projects for clients like Budweiser, Charles IV app and Swissionare.
I only wish it included case studies detailing his project stories, as case studies are crucial to understanding who a designer is and how they think (see how to put together the perfect case study here). But it is clear from Had’s portfolio that he believes simplicity is key.
06. Lucas Berghoef
An unsolicited redesign for FKA Twigs shows off Berghoef’s skills
Lucas Berghoef’s portfolio features a carefully selected range of projects, each designed like a magazine spread with artistic layouts and full-screen images. As a 2018 college graduate, it’s fitting for Berghoef to share a class project or two, like his unsolicited visual identity for artist FKA Twigs. This project is polished and detailed enough to feel like client work, showing what Berghoef can do given full creative freedom.
Unsolicited designs are a great way to showcase your skill as a young designer, however I recommend against including more than one or two. Berghoef’s portfolio strikes the perfect balance. For more tips for brand new designers, take a look at our article on how to start building up your design portfolio.
07. Liz Wells
Liz Wells’ case studies are exemplary
Liz Wells graduated with a design degree in 2015. Between then and now, her work’s been recognized by The Webbys, Awwwards, FWA, Communication Arts, Cannes Lions, The One Show’s Young Gun awards and D&AD, to name a few.
Wells’ portfolio case studies are exemplary, especially given the added challenge of showcasing her conceptual user experience work. Each case study uses video, photos, notes and sketches to bring projects for clients like Google, Spotify and VICELAND to life.
08. Jason Yuan
Jason Yuan’s custom grid helps his work shine
Jason Yuan is a graphic and UX designer pursuing a BFA at RISD. He received attention across the internet for his unsolicited Apple Music redesign after the company rejected him for an internship. Interestingly enough, his portfolio now boasts a 2018 internship at Apple. A lovely custom grid showcases his personal and professional work, including a poster design page I’ve browsed more than once.
Katja Mueller’s folio is clean and streamlined
Katja Mueller’s portfolio leads with a simple project grid showcasing her work with clean layouts and large visuals. Since receiving her design degree in 2015, Mueller’s created work for clients like adidas, Saatchi & Saatchi and Victoria Beckham.