CRUXCRUX takes home the award for commitment to a concept. They work a lot with video, so they went and applied the timeline concept to the navigation on their one-pager. We’ve seen this once before in a previous portfolio article, but CRUX takes a less minimalist approach to the concept.
Fons HickmannFons Hickmann’s portfolio is a shiny new example of what I’m calling the “Brutal Powerpoint” style of design. (W000! My first made-up trend name of 2018 has just happened, people! And no one has told me to stop yet.) It’s all about mixing elements of minimalism, brutalism, and presentation-style sites to create something that feels like it was torn from two completely different design manuals.
Ben MingoBen Mingo’s portfolio is classically minimalist, spiced up with animation. It’s on this list primarily because its layout and typographical elements are just that lovely. My only peeve would be that I can’t use my scroll wheel on the home page. Drag-to-navigate is a normal interaction on mobile, but it seems clunky and inefficient on the desktop.
ZeroZero uses a moderately stylized form of minimalism for its agency site. That balance between style and classic minimalism results in a site that is easy enough to navigate, but is still loaded with personality and potential.
AdoratorioAdoratorio is a slick-yet-simple example of minimalism gone animated. It’s clean, it’s pretty. I’m actually kind of impressed by the way they implemented that slideshow on the home page. I’m still not sure slideshows are the best thing ever, but I like the way this one was done.
The Glyph StudioThe Glyph Studio uses a highly presentational design. Considering one of their clients is Wix, I’m assuming that’s what they were going for. While highly animated, everything is tasteful and, dare I say, elegant. They obviously had an art director working on their case studies.
Gabe AbadillaI’d just like to give credit to Gabe Abadilla for embracing the inevitable nickname/meme and buying "gabadilla.com". He’s a good sport. He’s also got a lovely one-page portfolio. It’s nothing too experimental, or out of the ordinary. It just looks good and works better. I would define the design aesthetic as aggressively pleasant, more than anything else.
Jake StangelJake Stangel combines pastels, minimalism, and background video to create a simple experience that just gets the point across. I do feel some of the text could use a bit more contrast, but the presentation of the imagery stands out more than enough to make up for it.
Ben WegscheiderThis one is on the list just for the “odd” factor. From the get-go, this portfolio hits you with animated effects straight out of that old ’70s sci-fi movie you have on VHS. And it doesn’t really stop. To counter the somewhat distracting animation, the rest of the site is dead simple, with large typography that mostly stays readable, even over everything else that’s going on.
WibicomWibicom’s presentation-style portfolio is pretty standard, as these things go. I do find it interested that scrolling down on the home page takes you straight to the navigation menu. No intro content, no frills beyond a bit of background animation. They just throw you straight into the browsing. The trend continues throughout the site, as they seem to depend more on their imagery to do the talking.
SympoziumSympozium is a French design agency with a lovely site that looks classically professional while incorporating a couple more modern trends like asymmetry. It’s clear that every page has a bit of art direction to it, which is mostly evident in the layout.
RoundRound uses a style of minimalism that almost feels like the old days, now. It brings back the simple grid, the thick lines and almost thicker type. It also splits the navigation in an interesting way. The actual portfolio part of the site is organized as an almost separate entity, and browsing that part of the site will display portfolio-specific navigation. Head to the part of the site that tells you all about the studio, and the main palette changes, along with the primary navigation. The experiences are similar enough that the transition doesn’t feel too jarring; but they clearly design the portfolio experience to focus on browsing through their work, and the rest for the user who’s ready to get serious.
Tao TajimaTao Tajima is a filmmaker, and his website features his work by pretty much constantly being in motion. Animation and background video (as well as embedded video) are pretty heavily featured.
IPG MediabrandsIt’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a site that was as corporate-sounding as IPG Mediabrands. Their site is (who could have possibly guessed?) very visually corporate as well. It’s like the bank brochures I read as a child — while waiting for the adults to get done with the bank stuff already — grew up and turned into websites. And none of that is criticism. Take one look at their list of clients, and you’ll get why they went with the corporate look. Plus, they use yellow really well.
ContempleContemple went as wild with their design and animation as they did with their URL. And hey, if you’re going to make your site look like an advanced PowerPoint, why not go all out? There’s a lot of animation, but it’s pretty good animation.
Pierre GeorgesPierre Georges’ portfolio won’t blow any minds with weirdness. It’s just a clean, pleasant portfolio with big text, and much bigger images. Enjoy.
Jessica ChabotJessica Chabot’s portfolio takes a dead-simple, and makes it stand out with a few simple flourishes. That white space at the right, the white space in general. The site feels “feature-complete”, even with a bare minimum of content. I’m not sure about that disappearing logotype, but hey. Can’t win ’em all.
Brad GeigerBrad Geiger’s portfolio is an example of how post-minimalism is starting to trend back toward classic minimalism. We’ve got the now-familiar asymmetrical and staggered layout combined with the thick sans type and monochromatic tendencies of yesteryear. Well, they do say life is about achieving balance. I think this site pulls it off.
BibliothèqueBibliothèque brings us a pretty-if-simple portfolio built around masonry layouts. Given this central concept, it’s pretty much all images. Just one giant image gallery, and some contact info. And it works.
Ezequiel Bruni is a web/UX designer, blogger, and aspiring photographer living in Mexico. When he’s not up to his finely-chiselled ears in wire-frames and front-end code, or ranting about the same, he indulges in beer, pizza, fantasy novels, and stand-up comedy.