How to build out a more compelling design portfolio – from 99designs

As 99designs works to connect more clients to specific designers that match their needs, the need for a compelling portfolio on the site has increased substantially. Consideration for consistency, mockup style and color are just a few of the things to keep an eye on.

In this article, we will cover eight ways to better showcase your designs. While we’ll focus specifically on your 99designs profile, these tips are easily applicable to any portfolio you create.

1. Consistent sizing of designs

Profile: artsigma

The aspect of artsigma’s portfolio that is most breath-taking is the fact that his presentations are so consistent, which is large part due to the consistent sizing of each logo. This high attention to detail and consistency grabs the viewer’s attention and lets them know that artsigma is serious about what he does.

2. Group designs of similar sensibility

Profile: Llwellyn

Part of what works so well about Llwellyn’s profile is that all of the designs have a similar aesthetic of feeling distressed, reworked, intense, and serious. The grouping of these similarly felt designs culminates into a full and powerful presentation.

3. Get your mockups together

Profile: Martin Lupus

Similar to artsigma’s consistency in logo sizing, Martin Lupus has incredible consistency in his use of mockups. They all use similar lighting, drop shadows, and sensibility. This brings a level of professionally and intention to the work which clients will respond to.

4. Nothing but the work


Profile: MircoAndricDesign™

Whereas some portfolios contain many iterations and mockups of a design, MircoAndricDesign brings the viewer right into his work by acknowledging thumbnails as “windows” into his 3 dimensional worlds. In certain realms of design, such as 3d, this is a great choice for presentation, especially in the 99designs portfolio format.

5. Showcase your range

Profile: Illustreishon

If you are a designer like Illustreishon who that spans many sensabilities of design it is important to show that in your portfolio. Illustreishon spans serious, friendly, athletic, sexy, and dramatic while staying locked within his unique style.

6. Keep it simple and organized

Profile: Smashingbug

Designers working in Power Point have an added difficulty in that a single design is actually many designs in one project. For that reason sometimes it is best to keep things organized and simple. Smashingbug for example simple places all of the slides together on a white background.

7. Choosing designs of a concise color pallette

Profile: Widakk

Another success in consistency is Widakk, who has a very specific taste in color – a taste which comes through strong in their design choices within their portfolio. This color selection presents Widakk as a designer with a strong sense of self.


Different types of portfolios demand different types of presentations. A good starting point is to think about what format your design work is in, how that is presented well by other designers, then to think about your unique traits and styles and how to express that in a concise way. Hopefully the result will be compelling and attractive to clients!

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