Web Services Offering Simple Ways to Display Work to Clients
Outside of the Design sphere, many people have a slightly skewed view of Graphic Designers and believe that all Designers can undertake all types of design projects.
While it maybe the case that some Graphic Designers do extend their services into other complementary areas, a Graphic Designer is specifically involved in aesthetic design for different media. They are concerned with how a piece will look, though this should be informed by an understanding of how the piece will function in normal and, perhaps, abnormal use.
This means that there are many Graphic Designers who need to display their portfolio to potential clients, but do not have the skill set to take advantage of the web for this purpose, as they do not have the basic skills necessary to build an online portfolio.
Obviously a Designer could employ a specialist to undertake the work for them. There are however a range of web services that can offer simple and easy to use solutions to allow Graphic Designers to acquire an online presence to show their work.
Online Portfolio Services
Typing online portfolio services into a search engine will return a range of web services that offer easy tools for building a portfolio and bigblackbag.com is an example of such a site.
This is promoted as being suitable for all types of creatives, not just Graphic Designers, and prides itself on being suitable for beginners by using a customizable template system to give a solid foundation that Designers can tweak and adapt to produce a look that fits in with their existing promotional materials.
Like some other online portfolio sites, Big Black Bag also push the fact that their customer sites are not built using Flash, as this has traditionally been difficult for search engines to index, and this may be an attractive sales point for many users.
Another hosted option for Graphic Designers to consider is Cargo Collective, which offers users web space within their network, with the option to use a dedicated URL if desired.
These sites are very focused on design and again there is an easy to use system to allow Designers to set up and run a portfolio site. There is an option for those with an understanding of CSS to personalise their site.
Self-Hosting a Portfolio
For the slightly more adventurous, there is also the option of downloading a system and hosting this on the Designer’s own web space. One example of this is indexhibit, which is donationware and while the install process is relatively straightforward, there is an option to pay to have the software installed, so this would be a suitable option for someone with no web building skills.
This may be a good option for a Graphic Designer who wishes to exercise greater control over their work or who is interested in extending their skills and having an introduction to working on the web.
With a wide range of web services available, there is no excuse for a Designer to not take advantage of the power of the internet to display a portfolio of their work to prospective clients.