5 Strategies for Standout Portfolio Branding
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Define your unique design aesthetic
  2. Create a consistent brand image
  3. Showcase a wide range of skills
  4. Tell a compelling story with your projects
  5. Use social media to amplify your brand

In the visually competitive world of design, standing out is no easy feat. It's not just about having top-notch skills, but also about showcasing them in a way that resonates with your audience. More often than not, the secret lies in your portfolio, the key to unlock your dream job or project. But how do you craft a portfolio that not only displays your work but also embodies your unique brand? This blog walks you through five simple strategies to create a standout professional portfolio branding. Let's dive in!

Define your unique design aesthetic

First things first, your design aesthetic is a reflection of your personality. It's what sets you apart from the crowd, and is the backbone of your professional portfolio branding. This step is all about identifying your style, formulating it, and applying it consistently across your portfolio.

Identify Your Style

Understanding your style isn't about fitting into a mold. It's about recognizing what you're drawn to and what you're good at. You might be into minimalism, with a love for clean lines and subtle tones. Or perhaps, you're a fan of bold colors and intricate patterns. Spend some time exploring your past projects and take note of recurring elements. These could be your signature touches.

Formulate Your Aesthetic

Once you've identified your style, it's time to formulate your unique aesthetic. This is where you create a visual language for your brand. Think of it like creating a recipe— you've got your main ingredients (your style), now it's time to add those special seasonings that make your design uniquely yours. This could be a specific color palette, a preferred typeface, or even a trademark composition style.

Apply Your Aesthetic Consistently

This is where the rubber meets the road. Consistency is key in professional portfolio branding. Your unique design aesthetic should shine through in every piece of work you showcase. It's not just about making your portfolio look good, but also about showing potential clients or employers that you have a consistent and reliable style.

Remember, defining your unique design aesthetic isn’t about limiting your creativity, but rather, it's about providing a clear and consistent visual narrative that represents who you are as a designer. So, take the time to figure out what makes your design tick and let it be the beacon that guides your professional portfolio branding.

Create a consistent brand image

Once you've defined your unique design aesthetic, the next step in professional portfolio branding is to create a consistent brand image. This goes beyond just the look and feel of your portfolio. It encompasses everything from the tone of your content, the layout of your portfolio, to the way you present yourself online. Let's break this down:

Consistent Tone and Voice

Just like your visual aesthetic, the tone and voice of your content should remain consistent throughout your portfolio. If your design aesthetic is bold and vibrant, a casual and energetic tone might work best. On the other hand, if your design is more refined and sophisticated, a more formal tone might be a better fit. Always remember, your words should complement your work, not distract from it.

Consistent Layout

Your portfolio's layout is another place where consistency counts. If each page or section of your portfolio has a different layout, it can be distracting for the viewer. Instead, aim for a consistent layout that allows your work to shine. This could mean using the same grid structure, the same spacing, or even the same navigation style across all pages.

Consistent Online Presence

Your portfolio isn't the only place potential clients or employers will look to get a sense of your brand. Your online presence, including your social media profiles, should also reflect your brand image. Make sure your online persona aligns with the image you've crafted in your portfolio.

In the end, creating a consistent brand image is about making your brand recognizable and memorable. Whether it's through the tone of your content, the layout of your portfolio, or your online presence, consistency is key in professional portfolio branding. It not only makes your brand easy to identify but also builds trust with potential clients and employers.

Showcase a wide range of skills

Now that we have a consistent brand image, let's move onto the next strategy in professional portfolio branding: showcasing a wide range of skills. This strategy is all about showing potential clients or employers that you are a versatile designer who can handle a variety of projects. Let's dive into how you can do this:

Show Different Types of Work

One of the best ways to show a wide range of skills is to include different types of work in your portfolio. This could mean showing everything from logo designs to website mockups, from print ads to social media graphics. By showcasing a variety of work, you prove that you can adapt your design skills to different mediums, audiences, and goals.

Highlight Your Process

Another way to demonstrate a wide range of skills is to highlight your process. Don't just show the final result, show how you got there. Include sketches, wireframes, mood boards, or even design iterations to show that you can handle every step of the design process. This also gives potential clients or employers insight into how you approach and solve problems.

Include Side Projects

Finally, don't forget to include side projects in your portfolio. Not only do they show your passion for design, but they also can demonstrate skills that might not be apparent in your client or employer work. This could be anything from a personal branding project to a volunteer design job for a local non-profit.

Remember, showcasing a wide range of skills isn't about quantity—it's about quality. It's not about having the most projects in your portfolio, it's about having a diverse set of projects that demonstrate your versatility and expertise in professional portfolio branding. Each piece you choose to include should serve a purpose and help to paint a picture of who you are as a designer.

Tell a compelling story with your projects

Next up in professional portfolio branding, we'll focus on a strategy that's often overlooked but incredibly important—telling a compelling story with your projects. This is not just about showcasing the final product, but also taking viewers on a journey to understand the process you followed, the challenges you faced, and the solutions you developed. Here's how we can do this:

Explain the Challenge

Begin each project showcase by clearly explaining the challenge or problem that was presented. What was the issue your design needed to solve? Was it a brand identity that felt outdated or a website that wasn't user-friendly? Providing this context helps the viewer understand the purpose of your design and sets the stage for your solution.

Detail Your Approach

After outlining the problem, detail your approach to solving it. This is where you can highlight your design thinking and problem-solving skills. How did you approach the project? What steps did you take to understand and tackle the challenge? This could include things like market research, user interviews, competitor analysis, or brainstorming sessions.

Show the Solution

Now, it's time to reveal the solution—the design itself. But remember, it's not just about presenting the final product. Explain why you made certain design decisions and how they solved the initial problem. Did you choose specific colors to evoke certain emotions? Did you design a new logo to better represent the brand's values? This is your chance to really show off your design skills and strategic thinking.

Share the Impact

Finally, share the impact of your design. Did it lead to an increase in website traffic? Did it help improve the brand's image? Did it result in more sales or leads? Sharing this data helps to show the value of your work and makes your project story even more compelling.

By telling a compelling story with each project, you'll not only showcase your design work but also your critical thinking and problem-solving skills—key components of professional portfolio branding. This approach helps viewers connect with your work on a deeper level and understand the value you can bring to their projects.

Use social media to amplify your brand

Our final strategy for crafting a standout professional portfolio branding strategy is capitalizing on the power of social media. Social media platforms can serve as an extension of your portfolio, offering a unique way to show off your work, engage with your audience, and establish your personal brand. Let's dive into this topic:

Choose the Right Platforms

The first step is to choose the right social media platforms. Not all platforms serve the same purpose, and it's important to understand where your target audience spends their time. For designers, visual platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Behance are often great choices for showcasing work. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is perfect for networking and professional connections.

Share Your Work Consistently

Once you've picked your platforms, it's time to start sharing your work. Consistency is key here. Regularly posting your projects keeps your audience engaged and helps build your brand. This doesn't mean you need to post new work every day—just make sure to have a regular schedule that your audience can count on.

Engage with Your Audience

Social media is not just about broadcasting—it's also about engaging with your audience. Respond to comments, ask for feedback, and participate in discussions. This engagement helps build relationships and can even provide valuable insights for your future projects.

Show Behind-the-Scenes

Finally, don't be afraid to show behind-the-scenes. Share sketches, work-in-progress shots, and even failures. This not only helps your audience understand your process, it also makes you more relatable and authentic.

By using social media to amplify your brand, you can extend the reach of your professional portfolio branding efforts and connect with a larger audience. Remember, social media is a tool—use it to showcase your work, engage with your audience, and highlight your unique brand.

If you're looking to elevate your portfolio branding even further, don't miss Jasmine MacPhee's workshop, 'The Ultimate Role-Getting Portfolio Layout.' This workshop will guide you through the process of creating a standout portfolio layout that showcases your unique talents and helps you land the roles you've been dreaming of.