20 Best New Portfolios, May 2019


Hello all, as Justin Timberlake once predicted, it is now May. Now that I’ve subjected you to the latest and greatest in boy band jokes from the ‘90s, let’s check out this month’s portfolios.

It should be noted that as I write this, I am working with Internet that I borrowed from my new neighbor (yes, I did ask) and the speed is fairly slow. That’s not a complaint; it’s a warning. It means I’m going to be a lot happier with portfolios that load fast and don’t make me wait behind a preloader…Just sayin’.

Note: I’m judging these sites by how good they look to me. If they’re creative and original, or classic but really well-done, it’s all good to me. Sometimes, UX and accessibility suffer. For example, many of these sites depend on JavaScript to display their content at all; this is a Bad Idea™, kids. If you find an idea you like and want to adapt to your own site, remember to implement it responsibly.

Up Late

Up Late is the one of the best neon-soaked portfolios I’ve come across, because it combines those bright and occasionally-flashing colors with considerable restraint in the rest of the design. The one-page portfolio is going to stick in your head for a while.

The only thing I might change would be to put a maximum width on the little bit of body text there is. At wider resolutions, it can get a bit harder to read.

Platform: WordPress

Raphael Aleixo

Raphael Aleixo’s one-pager is dark, clean, modern, and short, but still manages to make room for a full case study with each project. This is, in my personal opinion, one of the only acceptable ways to use modal screens.

The use of animation is sparing by today’s standards, but that just means the site loads and runs fast while still looking pretty. Extra bonus points all around!

Platform: Static Site

Artëm Tarasov

Artëm Tarasov’s portfolio is modernist and goes hard on the masonry layout. Beyond the home page, it’s all about those classic grid-style lines, and splashes of orange for emphasis. This sort of modernism may not be the most visually exciting of aesthetics, but it’s reliable.

Platform: Custom CMS (I think)

Rifat Najmi

Rifat Najmi has embraced a more classic form of minimalism, and plays into a sort of “design blog aesthetic” that’s all about the typography. Portfolio pieces are displayed like blog posts, which blends them in with the actual blog posts. That might sound a bit confusing, but it actually works rather well.

Just… what in the heck is a “certified design thinking practitioner”?

Platform: WordPress

Graphikconcept

Graphikconcept is a highly PowerPoint-style site, but it’s just that good-looking. The imagery, the geometric lines, the use of color to divide the website into visually distinct sections, I just like it. It’s the kind of graphic-design-heavy website that fourteen-year-old-me always wanted to make.

They made me wait behind a preloader, but it actually loaded pretty quickly. I’m going to give these guys a pass.

Platform: Static Site

Angle2

Angle2 is another presentation-style site, and it plays with angles a lot. You know, like in the name. It leans hard into the geometry, especially with the type, and it manages to look a little bit chaotic while remaining fairly usable.

It’s smooth, it’s pretty, and every page is different. No, let me rephrase that… I’m convinced that this is what happens when you give an art director coffee mixed with Red Bull to chase down their Adderall. They presumably designed this, then spent the rest of the week deep-cleaning their house. And I like it.

Platform: Static Site

Psychx86

Speaking of things fourteen-year-old-me would have loved, Psychx86 is totally what I would have named my studio, and possibly my character in any number of MMOs. In this case, it happens to be a snazzy portfolio that is clearly targeted at businesses who like a light touch of space imagery and lovely type.

Platform: Static Site

Contrast Visuals

Contrast Visuals is another portfolio site that leans hard into its name. It’s got black, white, and some video in an asymmetrical layout. It also has, in my opinion, the world’s best one-word navigation bar. It really is a case of less-is-more.

Is it weird that I actually kind of like the little clipart logo that you can chase around the page? I don’t think it’s weird.

Platform: WordPress

Branex

Branex stands out amongst other portfolio sites in its category by embracing color in a big way. And they’ve managed to use a bunch of gradients without overdoing it. And they do darn good-looking case studies.

Look, they’re doing a lot right. It’s like they hit that point in the design process where you think, “It’s good, but it just needs something more.”, and by God I think they found that something.

Platform: Static Site (I think)

Nicholas Jackson

Nicholas Jackson’s portfolio combines a sort of gritty artsy design with elegant minimalism, strong typography, and a great use of yellow. And we all know I’m a sucker for yellow in my web design.

The whole feel is almost like if National Geographic got a bit of a makeover. This especially holds true in the case studies. They’re laid out a bit like magazine articles.

Platform: Static Site

Alt Productions

Alt Productions’ site is interesting mostly for its navigation. Don’t get me wrong, I like the solid type and solid blues, but I really like the way what happens when you want to view a director’s work.

Well, you get to see their work, which is obvious, but when you’re done, you just scroll down and it takes you right back to the menu of directors. It’s simple, intuitive, and it saves clicks and mouse movement. The only potential downside is that users might get lost a couple of times before they get used to it.

Platform: Static Site

Aleksandr Yaremenko

Aleksandr Yaremenko’s portfolio brings us a touch of classic monochromatic elegance mixed with… emoji? I wouldn’t have thought of that, but the effect brings a touch of playfulness to an otherwise dead-simple experience.

Platform: Static Site

Kutia

Kutia is another one of those sites I wish I’d built when I was younger. Smooth gradients, super “techy” type, green Matrix filters on the imagery. Very junior designer me is in love!

Another thing I like is the call to action on the homer page. They encourage interaction by asking, “What can we help you with?”, and providing a number of potential responses. Sure, all roads lead to the contact page, but it helps customers get an idea of what this agency can do for them.

Platform: WordPress

Vincent Saïsset

Vincent Saïsset’s portfolio brings us some more lovely monochrome goodness, with thick type, and smooth animation that just feels right. It’s creative, it’s pretty, it’s good.

Platform: Custom CMS (Maybe)

Steven Hanley

Steven Hanley’s portfolio is made up of two things, pretty much: typography, and animation. Oh there’s imagery, but it takes a back seat to big words, and shifting color palettes until you actually click on a portfolio piece. All in all, it’s pleasant to look at and browse through. Can you ask for more?

Platform: Static Site

EVOXLAB

Now I know I talk about PowerPoint-style sites a bit, but EVOXLAB takes this concept to the next level. They went out of their way to make every section of their one-page portfolio look like an actual presentation slide. Thing is, for the way their content is set up… it really works.

Some of the text is a bit small in the “About Us” section, but otherwise, this design is kind of like a fun trip down memory lane, without all the Flashbacks. (Sorry.)

Platform: Static Site

Rumsey Taylor

Rumsey Taylor’s portfolio is interesting in that Rumsey’s featured work is linked to throughout paragraphs of regular copy text. It’s not the only portfolio to do this, but it does have its own twist on the formula. Go take a look.

Platform: Static Site

Grégoire Mielle

Grégoire Mielle’s portfolio is a semi-presentational site with some 3D graphics thrown into the mix. The fancy schmancy animation leads into a fairly standard but beautifully rendered minimalist layout.

The only thing I’d change would be to give the 3D graphics a little more contrast for those whose screens aren’t calibrated right.

Platform: Static Site

Chaptr

Chaptr is one of those portfolios that goes hard with the “default link blue”, or at least a very similar blue. While I’ve seen and featured a number of sites like that over the years, they still stand out because it seems like a lot of other designers are trying so hard to get away from that particular color.

In addition to loving the blue, I like how on various pages, scrolling will bring different elements into and out of focus, giving you one small chunk of content to digest at a time. It’s a simple effect, but it’s powerful.

Platform: WordPress

Iteo

Iteo presents us with a very business-friendly, yet still lovely aesthetic, with a focus on sans-serif type, and a lot of blue and orange thrown in to spice up the white backgrounds.

The whole thing just screams “modern”, but it’s still tasteful. In particular, I like the animated illustrations that are slightly reminiscent of blueprints. I also like that they add their own elements to the stock photos they use on their blog. It shows they put time and effort into everything they do.

Platform: Hugo

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