I’ve been looking at various online portfolios, as this is one of the outcomes required for this unit and it’s good sense to have a portfolio of your best work that is easily accessible to potential clients/ customers 🙂 i’ve read some articles about what makes a good portfolio website, and what i can determine as some of the most important features for a good online portfolio are:
- Logo – this is not necessarily meaning a logo like pepsi or O2, but its about defining yourself as a brand, and defining what you do as an illustrator. I think i may find it hard to create a logo because my style of work is constantly changing and varies, once i become more established in my work it may be easier to create a logo that will represent me as a creator. A logo makes you recognizable, also your logo should also link to your homepage as this is a common convention that users expect online.
- Tagline- now people have seen your logo, they will want to know what it is you do and why they need your services. This should be kept short and snappy, and perhaps witty? so that it is memorable? Ive seen in a few articles that taglines should say, what you are e.g. designer, illustrator. What you do e.g. commercial, editorial, book illustration. Where you are from- because location could affect what clients you get as some may want to meet in person regularly during projects and finally whether you are freelance, or work for a studio and if you are looking for work. below is an example of a tagline i found online:
i think this one is quite informal, but maybe that is more popular with creative workers because you seem more approachable?
- Portfolio- the whole point of this site is to advertise your work to potential clients and customers, so your portfolio should contain high quality images ( i would prefer them to be of a quality that cannot be taken and reproduced easily in high quality though, so this is something to think about when contemplating the size of the images i use) . I think a portfolio should be catagorized also, into what types of work you do or particular projects, a bit like illustrator and graphic designer Sam Pierpoints website because this is easier to navigate and you can find work in the right genre easily. I’ve also found in articles that not just finished work is appreciated, you can upload progress images to your portfolio for others to see how you develop work and feel more involved in your creative process.
- Services- The tagline explains briefly what you do, but you can go into more detail and say what specific services you offer or even pricing or an online form to fill in asking for a quote which may be useful.
- About Me- put a face to the work, this makes potential clients feel like they can approach you more easily because they feel as though they are more informed about you as a person as well as a creative. Its about allowing users and customers to build a bond with you as a person and feel they can trust you, also its a good place to show off your accreditation and awards 🙂
- Contact- MOST IMPORTANT- this is how your portfolio website becomes more than an online gallery, it becomes a way of drumming up new work via quick and simple communication. You can add phone numbers and email addresses and the best way i think is an online form to fill in that goes directly to your email, i know i’m more inclined to ask questions if i can do it there and then on the webpage as opposed to having to go through the rigmarole of loading up my emails ( especially if your email link puts you into outlook express which is nothing but a pain).
- Blog- SOCIAL MEDIA- A blog is an excellent idea because it stops your website from laying static, websites aren’t visited as often as blogs because blogs are updated regularly and its not all pristine finished work. Also blogs have a fan base and a following that you can build and interact with your peers on a more informal level that seems more friendly, also you can receive valuable feedback and comments on your work from users and fans that will help you grow as an illustrator and grow your business. I am unsure which platform to use for a blog, i like wordpress but feel it does not get as much attention, especially from the youth generation as tumblr does. I would be careful when using my images on blogs though and use lower quality images to avoid plagiarism.
- USE SOCIAL MEDIA!!!! this is the biggest tip i found online, social media is where its at, its informal and instant and it spans the genres, so its important to promote yourself using all the available platforms. I personally don’t like twitter, but if it were to help me find work then its worth learning to use!