Graphic designer portfolios are an essential tool for anyone needing to showcase their work, list their qualifications and convince clients to hire their services. The portfolio websites of famous graphic designers are a great source of inspiration for web design.
In this article we’ll take you through some inspiring examples. The designs themselves are often as innovative and inspiring as the designers’ most famous work, and serve to remind visitors of their legendary careers.
Milton Glaser’s portfolio website beautifully showcases this living legend’s vast body of work with a clean, airy interface and features some of his widely-referenced quotes.
Glaser and his multi-disciplinary design studio continue to produce outstanding work to this day, and this beautiful web design alone is a compelling case to click that contact button.
2. Bob Gill
Only a founding partner of Pentagram, international lecturer, N.Y. Art Directors Hall of Famer, Lifetime Achievement Award-winner, co- designer of Beatlemania and author of twenty books on design could get away with such a simple, humorous portfolio website.
The same sense of humor is present in all the design work featured on the site, and the site itself is fun to explore.
3. David Carson
Carson’s famous “grunge” aesthetic is immediately recognizable in his portfolio website, which unlike most websites, uses horizontal scrolling. Visitors have to click on the bracket symbols or use the arrow keys to explore the website, which is has an infinite supply of striking design work for famous and no so famous clients alike.
Formerly the head designer at Twitter, Joshua Brewer’s responsive portfolio website is an impressive example of the wonders he can do for businesses’ online presences without needing to showcase any other work.
It doesn’t get any more clean and simple than design legend Alan Fletcher’s portfolio website. Also a co-founder of Pentagram, Fletcher has been named “the most highly regarded graphic designer of his generation” by the Daily Telegraph in his obituary in 2006.
6. Chip Kidd
One of the most famous book cover designers today, Chip Kidd’s portfolio website surprises and delights any visitors with a non-formulaic web design, loads of inspiring interviews and insights from the man himself in weekly blog posts.
Marian Bantjes’ portfolio website uses her famous hand-lettering, pattern design and illustrations to showcase her most high profile projects and clients, as well as persuade visitors to buy her book and her art prints.
8. Susan Kare
She’s famous for designing the original Macintosh icons, and hundreds of user interface graphics since then. Her work speaks for itself, and they make a fitting background for this famous icon designer’s portfolio website.
9. Ed Fella
Ed Fella’s portfolio website appears to be made of paper instead of digital pixels, which results in a refreshing and tactile website that showcases his famous hand-drawn typography and designs.
10. Herbert Matter
While it’s a bit unusual to use a splash/intro page on a portfolio website, it’s appropriate for celebrating the life and work of the late designer Herbert Matter, whose name is known to anyone who has ever taken a design history class. This photographer and designer is known for pioneering the use of the photomontage and his iconic modernist posters for the Swiss tourist office in the 1930’s.
11. George Lois
Designer and adman George Lois’s website makes good use of the praise and accolades he’s received over the years, reminding us of his legendary status in the design and advertising world.
The web design itself speaks to his advertising background with a bold design, a tag line of sorts and a prominent Don Draper-esque picture of the man himself.
12. Kate Moross
A rising star in the design world, Kate Moross is a much sought-after illustrator and designer who has done high profile work for big brands like American Express, Topshop and Nike and bands like Disclosure and Simian Mobile Disco.
She’s known for her colorful illustrations, the spirit of which is reflected in her portfolio website.
13. Kelli Anderson
Artist, designer and TED speaker, Kelli Andersen’s portfolio website uses graphics to create a sense of texture and depth.
14. Jessica Hische
This illustrator, letterer and typeface designer’s name has been in the news a lot lately with her widely circulated “Should I work for free?” infographic and gorgeous typeface design for the film Moonrise Kingdom. Her portfolio website showcases her enviable client work and provides lots of amazing resources for new graphic designers.
The “Thoughts” section contains a lot of helpful tips for designers and the “Resources” section contains a lot of great resources for budding letterers plus a link to her well-reviewed online skillshare class.
A lot of these portfolio websites assume that visitors already know who this famous designer is, and as a result use more innovative designs that you wouldn’t see on a lot of other portfolio websites. They’re probably not using Wix or WordPress to create these, and seek to create custom websites that are as distinctive as their most famous work.