All graphic designers need a web presence. But for emerging designers, the idea of creating a Web site from scratch, or finding the right person to create it can be a daunting task.
All four of these sites provide free web space for displaying images and have online communities dedicated to networking and building relationships with other artists around the world.
Online Portfolio With Networking Abilities
Coroflot.com is half portfolio showcases and half job board. As a member, designers can receive job alerts for postings that match their expertise. The site offers unlimited file uploads with the ability to split the work into different project sets. These sets can be private (accessed only by a specific url) or public (for anyone to search for and browse).
The site offers traffic reports to see which pieces of work are getting the most views and allows for companies and individuals who are posting jobs to contact you through the site.
Multimedia Site Offering Video Uploads
Carbonmade.com allows for 35 images that are split into 5 projects. The site also offers flash and video uploads. Each image allows for a project web address where any external components to the work can be opened in a separate window. This is useful if the image was part of a larger design on a Web site or part of another publication.
Using a flash interface to display the images, the site provides a clean look that keeps the designers images and video the main focus of the portfolio.
Web Site Containing Large Samples
FigDig.com offers HD portfolio samples that can be uploaded and viewed at 1224 x 792 and allows a maximum of 8 portfolio samples. The site also hold Hall of Fame contests for the top portfolios. Each member can create a profile page with the ability to upload the profile as a PDF.
Included in the membership are page ratings to see how each designer’s portfolio holds up against the rest.
Online Community Created by Artists for Artists
voodooChilli.net is an online community created and maintained by artists. The site allows for seven image uploads with opportunities to add more images by trading in chilli points. These points are accumulated by participating regularly on the site, i.e. updating images frequently, writing in the online forums or voting during contests.
All members on the site can help with tech support by writing tutorials and each month voodooChilli hosts an image of the month contest where members vote for the best image. The winner is featured on the homepage.
Utilizing Online Portfolios
Although most designers eventually make the switch from a free site to a custom site, getting images onto the Internet as soon as possible will maximize exposure and help build a budding designers network.
Many designers maintain works on a personal site geared toward promotion of services and and direct work with clients and on a free networking site to keep a dialogue open with other artists across the globe.