9 online portfolio tools for artists and designers

April 21, 200812 Comments
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I was recently asked by a designer friend of mine if I knew of any good resources for publishing graphic design work online. The friend in question – (hi Jules – ta for the blog post inspiration) comes from a traditional print background, and not wanting to spend loads of time messing around creating a webpage in Dreamweaver or similar, I decided to come up with a list of good places online where graphic designers can get additional exposure for web, print and traditional art. Fortunately a number of excellent web applications exist which require little or no technical expertise to get your work up on the web, with a good personalised URL. Enjoy.

Voodoo Chilli

Voodoo Chilli

Voodoo Chilli leads with very much with an “artist” slant, as in the traditional sense of the word, but has enough categories for web and print designers to feel at home too. Other users can view your portfolio, leave comments on your work, and as well as that you can.

  • Upload 7 images for free
  • Enter image of the month competitions
  • Leave / Receive comments
  • Chat on the forum
  • Upload a biography/resume
  • Add images to your favorites
  • Promote yourself on the newsletter
  • View statistics about your artwork

Final Crit.

Finalcrit.com

Final Crits’ main engine is a Flash based viewer – with the basic logic that users signin, upload their work and it gets transformed wonderfully via a small flash viewer, with multiple galleries for different sections. If you have hosting of your own, slideshowpro.net provide a super wee tool for doing pretty much the same thing, however the beauty of final crit lies in its ease of use. There are quite a few architecture type people on finalcrit showcasing work, so if Architecture is your bag, I’d recommend it. However the community is relatively young..so the exposure isn’t just tops as yet. Still the interface and implementation are nice enough to be worthy of a mention.

Carbonmade

Carbonmade

Carbonmade is the main contender in all of the portfolio tools reviewed so far. With an audience of staggering proportions Carbonmade is used by over 42,500 designers and artists worldwide. The design is very web 2.0 -(with an awesome colour scheme – it simply had to be mentioned). As well as free image hosting the site provides:

  • An easy way to display and manage your portfolio online
  • A clean canvas to show off your work
  • Instant updating with no HTML experience necessary
  • A set of easy to use management tools

For those geeks out there that care, they have went for a nice javascript solution for the porfolios – a pimped up lightbox of sorts. You do get a custom friendly URL which is important too – a subdomain in the format of http://username.carbonmade.com, which makes marketing your URL that bit easier – that said be careful with subdomains – better perhaps to register a domain of your choice – and cloak it with frames to point to carbonmade.

Figdig

http://figdig.com/

Figdig’s claim to fame is that you can view artwork in high definition – 1224 x 792 high definition portfolio samples to be exact, which is pretty awesome considering the size that artwork like that can take on a hard disk. You can signup create a portfolio and start uploading pretty much straight away. FigDig’s profile page is your chance to share the things that inspire you every day, think of it like a twitter sort of account, where other designers can see your moods etc. If you have loads of high res artwork or PDF’s FigDig is your site.

Shadowness

shadowness.com

Shadowness is quite simply stunning. The site itself feel true polished, they really have excelled with their own design. If you consider yourself to be a true digital artist, and have ever created something from scratch with photoshop, get yourself over here to marvel at some of the top digital artists and photographers on the web today. If for nothing else, for inspiration. If you do decide to signup and join the community you’ll have your own little corner of the web, where you know you are in the company of some extremely talented people.

DeviantArt

deviantart.com

DeviantArt has been around for quite some time. As my gran would say – “It’s as old as the hills” – still, its an established site, with a community of over it boasts as being the largest art community in the world. Here are some crazy deviantart statistics.

  • 4.5 million registered users
  • 14 million+ monthly global unique visitors
  • 70,000+ new deviations uploaded daily

With figures like that, you’d be crazy not to find out what the fuss was all about. I wouldn’t suggest DeviantArt so much for being a good portfolio host, more so if you are a digital artist looking to collaborate, and get your stuff noticed, those figures cant be ignored for exposure. Its also a wicked place to bag yourself some decent desktop wallpaper as well.

Coroflot

Coroflot.com

Coroflot boasts over 88 thousand designer portfolios in its network. The site homepage is split between two different options job postings and the portfolios. The portfolio section is broken down into a number of different disciplines, so your work should fit into any one of the multiple categories.

As far as the presentation of your portfolio goes, there isn’t really alot here to write home about, basic HTML and images to showcase your work – which has its benefits, including increased search engine exposure compared to the flash based solutions. That said, there’d plenty of room to shout about what you do, and how you do it, with an about me page, and an email link. Overall the site does what it says on the tin, and is worth checking out.

Viewbook

Viewbook.com

Viewbook, is a tool aimed at designers who want minimal effort for maximum impact. The system really allows work to speak for itself, where you can choose to show high res photos (with dragging for those images that dont fit on screen) or show a webpage format with navigation. The system also has built in embedding functions, enabling you to add your viewbook presentation to your blog, or existing webpage easily. The web editor system also supports multiple web pages where you can drag and drop the presentations you’ve created with viewbook into the page. The final created site stays on Viewbooks site, but again is a subdomain which would be easily cloaked as discussed earlier. They offer a free basic account, complete with 100 images and most of the Viewbook features, but if you need more capacity you have to get the cheque book out.

Behance Network

Behance.net

The Behance Network allows you tobuild a dynamic, multimedia portfolio of your latest projects, open to all behance or shared selectively with whom you choose. The network feels very much like a design community, rather than just a place to post your work, and if that appeals to you – you wont go far wrong. There are many options for colloboration, commenting and general socialising around the site, and the community is both a vibrant and talented one.

Feel free to drop me any you guys use.

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About the Author ()

Paul is a regular 30 year old web bloke / programmer with a penchant for online marketing. This blog is a personal outlet, with an eclectic mix of articles.

Comments (12)

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  1. Leighton Smith says:

    Well, after looking at every one of these sites I have come to the conclusion that the by far best looking and easiest and overall best seems to be CARBONMADE.COM. The only problem is the free one has HUGE limits so I eliminated that. But, now, which is better of the others :::
    ~~~~~~~
    COROFLOT.COM or BEHANCE.NET ???
    ~~~~~~~
    They are both very high on ALEXA’s traffic ranking. That was how I narrowed down to the 3 mentioned in this post. But I need help in decided from Coroflot and Behance.

  2. Hi there! Harry here, one of the founders of Voodoochilli.net. I must say this is a good writeup of some good portfolio sites. I would suggest that artists looking for a place to put their work consider all of the options and think about both which suits their work most, and also what they are looking for in a portfolio service. A huge site like Deviant Art has lots going for it, and in comparison a site like Voodoochilli with its puny 7,000 or so members (at time of writing) might not seem to have much to offer. However I would point out that biggest doesn’t always mean best. The smaller sites mentioned above offer a more personal approach and you are more likely to have a direct impact on the development of a site, as well as directed exposure – You are afterall competing with less people to be noticed.

    If you are not interested in any of that stuff and just want to show your work off, then why not sign up for all the free ones and gain maximum exposure. You can cross link between sites and share traffic between them. If you don’t like any you can always close your accounts.

    Also to reply to the poster above, I would not judge a site by it alexa rating alone, not only is it inaccurate and can be fixed, but traffic shared between millions of members compared to thousands could actually mean less exposure for your work. I would’t be able to choose between the two you mentioned, I haven’t used either site before but I have heard some good things about Behance.

    Finally, for some artists it might be worth setting up your own site, either instead of a portfolio service or in addition to it. If you can’t afford to, or don’t have the time and skills to build an entire site, why not think about getting a blogger account or just show your work on Flikr?

    Anyway, thats my 2 pence worth, thanks again for the post.

  3. Russ says:

    Thanks for the post. I found it while searching for free online portfolio viewers. This proved to be a very helpful on-stop shop for me. Very helpful!

  4. Jgirl says:

    I have a question about copy writing. I know how easy it is for someone to cut and paste. Any suggestions on how to keep your work your own?

  5. Mike says:

    Well you can use websites that are flash based (eg.Carbonmade)
    so that other people can’t just right-click and copy your image.Another good way is to add watermark to your works:)

  6. Jackson says:

    I use http://shownd.com

    It’s a relative newcomer (I think it came out this year, 2009), but the free account gives you quite a bit of space and the paid account is super cheap. Then there’s the Flickr set importing and the external embedding. I used to use Carbonmade and wanted external embedding which they don’t offer, then I found Shown’d and happily use the script to embed my portfolio in my blog.

  7. oxidizzy says:

    I use 2 of them for my personal gallery. http://www.oxidizzy.com
    DeviantArt and Behance.

    DeviantArt I use to post most of my personal and experimental project, and Behance is much better for me to show my commercil and professional project.

  8. wout says:

    Brand new and also suitable for this list is Paspartout (http://paspartout.com). It’s free, highly customizable and becoming very popular very quickly! So check it out as well…

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