Adam Hartwig: http://www.adamhartwig.co.uk
Adam Hartwig creates a beautifully interactive, yet clean portfolio site. His bold colours manage to feel unobtrusive whilst being bright and attentive. Everything you rollover is interactive and changes colour or texture in this playful, animated style.
He displays his skills creatively with this orbital design. Hovering over each planet displays a skill he has.
His about me section invites you to explore his brain via an outline that morphs and changes and informs you as you delve into his head – literally.
Alexander Rochet: http://www.alexandrerochet.com/project/givenchy-15
Alexander’s style is less playful and more serious, but still maintains a sense of breaking from the norm with his avant-garde style.
Blueprint style borders animate in with fading and drawing styles. These faint guides artistically overlap the projects.
It reflects the avant grade and quite trendy big companies his work has. Pastel black/grey colours leave us feeling dreamlike and give a premium feel to him as a designer and his work.
Titles of projects scatter and this somehow gives a sense of exclusivity; we already know what we’re looking at, so we don’t need it spelled out for us. He plays with this and spreads the lettering creatively to add to his existing elite aesthetic.
Bert presents bold designs that echo a neon lit night.
Image driven projects speak for themselves, often relying only on a white logo and a bold background image of each project that fills a row, with minimal buttons overlaying.
Creative paint streak loading screen – Bold, interesting, to the point, doesn’t give you more information than you need
The front page’s video background intrigues us with its 80’s style grain/VHS style meeting with an anime mixed with Blade Runner retro futuristic feel.
Yet in this busy intro 4 nice clean white icons depicting his 4 style, influences and personality indicators over the top, and some text in a typeface that stays constant throughout, ground us in the chaos.
However some of the downsides of overcomplicating each page can be issues such as loading times on slower internet connections and a general feeling of the page being too busy. A simple layout seems to be the way forward, but the trick is not to make it too boring or formulaic that it feels like every other wordpress portfolio website out there.
It seems the best websites for portfolio design specifically have a consistent theme that you are able to play with but keep looking fresh. Inject just the right amount of personality into the layout and content, keep it focused ON the content and keep it consistent within itself.
In my oh so humble opinion, websites need to be:
- Functional: This means all links need to work, everything must serve a purpose and everything should load within a reasonable time, any bugs need figuring out and any changes need to be tested until they work in the same way as everything else.
- Ergonomic: Websites need to be easy to navigate. This is in the interest of both the owner of the website and anyone hoping to look at it. The owner is usually advertising something and hoping people will stick around to look at it/engage with it. If it works, it should look like it works. If it’s “coming soon” it should either not be there or look totally different and inaccessible.
- Informative: There’s no use having an easy to navigate website if you have no idea what you’re looking at. It can be very easy as a creator to overlook simple labelling and descriptions of projects that you might be very familiar with, but others may initially be confused. Even projects that speak for themselves can suffer from being represented badly; besides this is a full image we’re trying to bring across.
- Concise: A busy website is often worse than a vague one. Bombarding the viewer with information can often be very negative and alienate them from your work. The whole idea of a portfolio site is to be able to breeze in, get a brief overview of a designer, see some previous works and figure out, fairly quickly, if you enjoy their style.
- Representative of the person/company/owner (ie. brand consistent): It needs to reflect the style, ideology and feel of the owner of whichever site you’re on.
Websites can be:
- Innovative: Sifting through designers can be fairly laborious when all the pages are tidy, clean, ergonomic, functional.. but completely boring. Injecting some personality into a portfolio can make it memorable and even showcase some of your skills as a designer etc.
- Fun: Building on this innovation, why not make your website fun, or even funny. Just anything that makes your portfolio memorable, accessible and sharp.
- Interactive: Interactive elements can add to this unique edge.
However with these styles you have to be mindful not to become too self indulgent. It’s far too easy. I did it way too much.