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5 Excellent Portfolios and Why They Work


A great portfolio is your personal hall of fame. It features your best work in a stunning package that is easy to access and understand, inviting potential employers to notice your application. We looked back at some of the most notable Webby Winners and Nominees in our Self-Promotion/Portfolio category and point out what made their portfolios outstanding.

Bell Brothers, Nominee, 2015

Not just brothers, the Bell twins’ site for their game and design studio work grabbed our attention for its understated but intriguing interface and humor. Describing their portfolio as a “conversation,” allows the Bell brothers to underscore what makes their work unique without sounding cocky.

Why It’s Noteworthy

  • Clean interface
  • Easy to navigate

Robby Leonardi's Interactive Resume, Nominee, 2014

As the name suggests, this 2014 Webby nominee plays, er, reads more like a videogame than a resume. And that’s what keeps visitors to Robby Leonardi’s page interested: using a simple scroll-through function, he vibrantly shows us his skills in design, illustration, code, and animation as well as his personal tastes and hobbies in a lively manner. In a witty move, you “win” the game by making it to contact page. Go Robby.

Why It’s Noteworthy

  • Directly illustrates skills and talents in a way that speaks to an Internet audience
  • His extensive portfolio is readily digestible via the scroll-through function 

The Work of Robert Jaso, Winner, 2012

In the Internet Age, good work still needs a home, an introduction of sorts, for potential employers or consumers to preview. So, for Robert Jaso, the storied photographer and 2012 Webby Winner, his page stands as a testament to the art of displaying your art online. This is particularly true if digital isn’t your primary medium--knowing how to augment your craft in a succinct and catchy manner will help draw a larger audience to your work.

Why It’s Noteworthy

  • Portfolio highlights are prominently displayed or navigable towards
  • Projects are accessible and clearly delineated 

Summit Projects, Winner, 2011

This work of minimalist wonder is not for the faint of heart. The picture Summit uses as the backdrop to their page has to speak 1,000 words, otherwise, visitors to the site will be lost or turned off. This 2011 Webby winner is a testament to laidback cool and confidence. Only the pertinent details are publicly available, but if you know Summit’s work in UI/UX design, then you are probably dialing them up for your next project, right now.

Why It’s Noteworthy

  • Nothing to hide--all the necessary details are prominently displayed
  • Speaks to a sense of self-possession that is mysterious and alluring, like Mt. Hood

Male Copywriter, Winner, 2010

Last, is this humorous and hard-to-forget piece of work. Lawson Clarke, the hyper-stylized copywriter has dressed his portfolio up in a ‘70s-themed aesthetic, but the content itself is pure 21st Century. The rule of less-is-more does well here, where visitors to Clarke’s page can see his work first-hand in an entertaining fashion. His off-brand layout makes for a strong impression on employers who want to see the personality behind the words.

Why It’s Noteworthy

  • Content of portfolio is not sacrificed at the expense of style or interface
  • Sells himself as not-your-average copywriter by demonstrating his body of work, so to speak.

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