2020 is just taking off but the design world is already abuzz with hot trend predictions for the new decade — and no area gets more attention than portfolios. It’s the first opportunity to make employers drool (and hopefully score that high-paying new job).
Ultimately, the right portfolio is the one that showcases the unique work you love to do — and does it in a modern way that shows you’re on trend.
Create the Best Design Portfolio with the Right Design Trends
Your portfolio should tell the story of your career, highlighting your best and favorite work and showing your unique design style. It’s the sweet spot between an overwhelming jumble of pieces and a generic mix of projects that has the hiring team saying, “Thank you, next.”
2020 portfolio design trends can spark ideas that will draw attention from the widest audiences. But don’t just copy all of these trends. Incorporate the ones that best suit your professional design philosophy and vibe.
Creative UX: Design with the User in Mind
Every designer wants to improve the user experience. This year, we’re all UX Designers, and it shows in optimized navigation, responsive animations, grid-based layouts, shadow and lighting depth effects, and more. While it’s definitely not function over fashion, today’s best portfolios incorporate the experience of the end user into the final product.
Motion Design: Get Interactive
In case you’ve been under a rock for the last two years, motion design and gamification are hot right now. If you don’t have movement, you don’t have interest, at least according to online portfolio sites like Behance. You can think about this trend as simply: Videos: Hot. Stock photos: Not.
But there’s nothing simple about motion design interactivity. From image transitions to subliminal flashes, scrolling, and a general sense of fun, this year’s portfolio designs are anything but static.
Skeuomorphism: It’s Baaack!
UX and UI Designers will understand the concept of skeuomorphism because they use it frequently in their quests to create the perfect app. But Graphic Designers shouldn’t overlook this new trend. Skeuomorphism creates a 3-D effect on a 2-D surface to make the visual design resemble their real-world counterparts. So, a phone is a phone, graphically speaking. Perhaps we’re being too literal, but this trend has been around for decades. While flat design was in vogue for a while, that was probably just blowback from a skeuomorphism overdose. The trend is back — but we recommend moderation.
Storytelling: Pull Up a Chair, Grab a Cookie — But No Napping Allowed
Your compelling professional story has never been so hot. This year, creatives are upping the ante on their job searches by crafting portfolios that strut their stuff, tell their story, and catch your eye. Forget “About Me” descriptions — this is about pitching your audience with the graphical equivalent of a burpee.
Typography Wars: Serifs vs. Sans Serifs
Typography matters. Even a little decorative stroke at the foot of a letter can make a big difference in brand image. This year, typography is going bold, dropping the subtle serif brushstrokes, and standing out. It’s like typography suddenly won the cool kid award and now everyone wants to hang out with it. Geometrics, colors, maxi, swirls, or super thick, it seems like, this year, fonts and text are a creative art unto themselves. So, pay attention — it’s not just what you say but how it looks that will grab attention this year. But you already knew that.
White Space, Not Dead Space
It’s okay to calm your mind and your portfolio design with a little bit of white space this year. Sometimes, the absence of color can provide the perfect foil to all the interactivity and big fonts (after all, no one wants Times Square as a resume). We’re not talking semi transparency, which is also hot this year; we’re suggesting that white space is the opposite of dead space and you should use it to your advantage — but don’t take it too far. (I’m looking at you, minimalists.)
While these are some of the hottest graphic design trends for your portfolio build this year, you should also consider our best tip to get the attention of more employers and freelance clients. Are you ready?
Top Tip to Build a Design Portfolio That Demands Attention
What’s the number one tip to getting more creative work? It’s not just having the best design portfolio anymore. You have to know people. That’s where Artisan Talent can help. Our staffing firm has been building relationships with the top agencies and best employers, and we specialize in getting you hired. We can share feedback on your portfolio and help you put your best foot forward to land your next job. All you have to do is get in touch.