Every month we roundup the best new portfolios released in the previous four weeks. This month we’re looking back at the whole of 2019, and picking out 19 of our favorites from the last 12 months. There’s a mixture here of colorful and restrained, experimental and expected; the one thing they all have in common is an attention to details that creates an exceptional UX. Enjoy!
If you’re going to name your business WTF Studio, you need a suitably WTF site. Able Parris is a NY-based creative director who’s more than happy to slap you in the face with colour and motion. What we really loved about this site is that once you’ve scrolled past the anarchic introduction, it’s actually very safe, very clear. Attitude doesn’t have to mean sacrificing UX.
Stereo features smooth animation, a beautiful palette, and some really gorgeous type. What makes it stand out is the unusual navigation menu — it scrolls across the center of the screen like an old-style marquee. We also loved its sweeping animation as it transitions from state to state.
We weren’t just impressed with the portfolios of design agencies this year. Eva Garcia’s portfolio is a classic example of how to build a portfolio site. It’s brand-appropriate, intuitive to use, and lets the work come to the fore.
Nicky Tesla’s portfolio is one of the most original of 2019. It’s a spreadsheet; it doesn’t just look like a spreadsheet, it actually is one; it’s a publicly available spreadsheet on Google, with a domain attached. It’s not the most beautiful portfolio you’ll ever see, but it is daringly committed to its core concept.
Florian Wacker’s portfolio features absolutely beautiful typography. This site wowed us back at the start of the year, when minimalism was still de rigueur. As a pitch to design agencies that value good typography, this is almost faultless.
More minimalism from the start of 2019 in the form of Adam Brandon’s portfolio. His client list is fairly formidable, with Netflix, Apple, Nike, and Ford in there. The site sensibly takes a step back and lets the work promote itself.
Evoxlab is an unusual site for us, in that it has gone out of its way to mimic powerpoint slides, which is bordering on skeuomorphism. Well, kinda. It certainly feels like a slideshow. We’ve included it because it’s really committed to the concept, and in this case it works.
Plug & Play
The agency site for Plug & Play is one of the least challenging sites we’ve seen in 2019. In many ways it verges on cliché, but that’s all intentional, because this site is about a simplified user experience. What’s more we love the way it transitions from dark mode to light, as you scroll.
Athletics jumps right into fullscreen video case studies of work for clients like IBM. At that point, if you have the budget, you’re probably sold, but Athletics follows up with a grid of lower-profile, but equally exciting design work.
Revolve Studio’s site really stands out not because of the presentation-style user experience, but because it’s built in ASP.NET. It also stands out by not showing any work, which is an unusual approach that has been surprisingly popular over the last year.
Florian Monfrini’s portfolio is an expanded, full screen, collage approach. It fills the space well, and was one of the sites that adopted this approach long before it became fashionable.
We love the typography of Angle2. It’s another slideshow-style site, but it’s brought to life by the angles and skew of the typography. Despite the energetic feeling text, and the variety of designs — one per page — it always remains usable.
If 2019 was the year of a single effect, it was the year of rippling, liquid-style effects. One of the first we saw was Florent Biffi’s site, with huge, bold typography and a subtle rippling effect over the design.
We really loved the semi-brutalist approach of Bethany Heck’s portfolio. It’s just a collection of project titles, and in places the accompanying logos, that lead either to the site being referenced, or to an internal link with delightful typography.
Bold’s portfolio is a simple presentation with some exceptionally sophisticated details. We loved the way the border expands from the images as you scroll, creating the sense of zooming into a project. It’s a confident and understated portfolio that sells to big names, with big budgets.
Transatlantic Film Orchestra
The Transatlantic Film Orchestra make music for video. Its website opens with calm, dark, monochromatic visuals, and absolutely no auto-play audio, which is exactly the right approach. When we actually chose to play the audio, we loved the UI.
Nick Losacco’s site highlights a lot of different skills, not least his typeface design. The whole site relies heavily on bold typography and an acidic red background for its personality.
Versett’s portfolio is a clean, modern site, that leans towards a one-page approach without ever fully embracing it. It’s easy to scan if you’re a business comparing potential agencies, and we loved the “More+” menu option that herds you towards different options like product design, or launching a new company.