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We’ve seen some incredible websites in 2022. There have been more than the usual number of sites with a political mission, and plenty that made us want to travel. The big design trends were brutalism, huge typography, and bold positive color. We’re looking forward to what the web will bring in 2023, but in the meantime, take a look back at the best 50 websites of 2022. Enjoy!

Justice Reskill

Justice Reskill used bright colors and positive, uplifting artwork to create a supportive platform for people who’ve been through the justice system.

Pienso

Bold type and plenty of on-scroll animation made this site for Pienso stand out back in January.

Gazelle No.1

The promotional site for Gazelle No.1 used innovative scroll-activated video to sell the electric bike.

Mekanism

Mekanism’s site was the first agency redesign to impress us in 2022. Super-polished then, super-polished now.

Redbrick

Redbrick was well ahead of the trend for brutalism with a twist when it released this site promoting its coffee.

SOS Foods

Ethical and sustainable goods were top of the sales charts in 2022, and SOS Foods did a great job capitalizing on the style.

Hartzler Dairy

Hartzler Dairy embraced its mid-20th-century branding with a nostalgia-infused site.

Engineered Floors

Even in 2022, designers are still paying mobile short shrift, but this site for Engineered Floors is excellent on mobile.

Emi Ozaki

We loved the quirkiness of Emi Ozaki’s phone-style interface for her portfolio back in February.

I Killed A Cactus

I Killed A Cactus is a beautiful 3D site designed to help people care for houseplants.

Aris Hotel

We were tempted in the direction of Crete by this stunning luxury site for Aris Hotel on the island.

Milton Textiles

Milton Textiles is a big, bold site for a product that is usually an afterthought in the interior design world.

MAAP

The site for MAAP is predictably excellent, modern, and efficient. It encapsulated the apparel brand’s values perfectly.

Garden Eight

The promotional site for Garden Eight, a digital design studio in Tokyo and Copenhagen, was suitably standout eccentric.

Circus Shanghai

Circus Shanghai used a mid-century illustration style to reference the solar system and the Chinese flag.

Normand

Normand took the bold decision to step away from the typical law firm design strategy.

SND

Designing a site for UI sound kits is challenging, but SND pulled it off perfectly with this minimal site.

Polybion

We saw lots of brutalism in 2022, and Polybion’s site was a standout example of how to make the trend work.

neueMeta

Bold block coloring added depth and interest to this portfolio site for design studio neueMeta.

Dumpling Delivery

OK, we confess we spent waaay too much time playing this dumpling delivery game from Mailchimp back in May.

Nowhere Bakery

Nowhere Bakery succeeded in making vegan, paleo, gluten-free cookies seem appealing.

Triniti

We were mesmerized by the perpetual motion video for the pan-Baltic law firm Triniti.

Kim Kniepp

Kim Kniepp’s site impressed us with interconnected navigation and a superbly coded masonry grid.

Feed The 300

Feed The 300 is one of dozens of great sites to combat Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In this case, it was aimed at feeding zoo animals.

Icons By Menu

Icons By Menu is a stunning minimalist site that is a pleasure to browse.

Museum Of Pink Art

The Museum of Pink Art is an immersive experience celebrating the color pink. It was easy to lose hours wandering around.

BelArosa Chalet

2022 was the year of illustrations, and BelArosa Chalet’s site used them to significant effect to sell a venue still under construction.

WTFFF

Online sexual abuse and harassment are particularly appalling when directed at young people. WTFFF tackled the issue sensitively.

Pretty Damn Quick

Logistics aren’t the most engaging topic, but this friendly, illustrated site for Pretty Damn Quick grabbed us immediately.

Norwegian Soda Co.

This site for the Norwegian Soda Co. uses beautiful photography to create an engaging one-page site.

Fornasetti Profumi

Fornasetti Profumi wowed us with its long-form videos used to emphasize stillness and calm.

Laesk Kombucha

We were convinced this site for Laesk Kombucha had been produced by Wes Anderson.

Cased In Time

Single-product sites are often underwhelming, but this excellent ecommerce site bucks that trend.

DS & Durga

Eschewing the well-trod approach of flowers and pretty models, this perfume site for DS & Durga fully embraces the brutalist trend.

Daniel Spatzek

We loved the way Daniel Spatzek’s portfolio site broke all the rules and still managed to be informative and engaging.

Aro

Aro kept minimalism alive with a simple site that exudes luxury while selling a simple concept.

Think Packaging

Think Packaging took a case study approach to present its products, and it worked really well.

Steffie de Leeuw

Giant typography intertwined with botanical illustrations created a memorable site for Steffie de Leeuw.

Anna Jóna

The prelaunch teaser site for the Ana Jóna café and cinema was elegant and modern and had us eyeing a long weekend in Reykjavik.

Das Salz

More wanderlust courtesy of the fresh, enticing site for the Das Salz hotel and café.

Jono Pandolfi

This simple-to-use site for US tableware and cookware brand Jono Pandolfi sold us on hand-made ceramics.

LolaVie

We still can’t get over the fact that it took until 2022 for Jennifer Aniston to produce a haircare range.

Nathan Riley

Another big trend in 2022 was masonry-style sites, and this portfolio for Nathan Riley was one of our favorites.

Capsul’in Pro

With the excellent application of animation and careful use of color, this site for Capsul’in Pro transformed coffee pods into luxury items.

Seen

Seen is an essential site that explores themes of prejudice and racism in creative fields. It’s a strong approach to a difficult subject.

Glasfurd & Walker

Glasfurd and Walker’s superb portfolio site sets itself apart by over-extending the viewport. It’s a highly original idea.

The Other Side Of Truth

The Other Side of Truth is the standout site of 2022. It used the web expertly to present two interpretations of the facts surrounding the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Bannach

Back in October, we fell in love with the pixel-block animation loading for the Bannach furniture brand.

Karina Sirqueira

Karina Sirqueira’s portfolio was a joy to browse through. The morphing shapes imposed simplicity on a series of beautifully presented case studies.

Joshua’s World

We were amazed by Joshua’s World, a little island that can be titled and rotated to power the little cyclist along his career.

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As we head into the final month of 2022, plenty of new ideas and website design trends are still emerging. The evolution throughout the year has been exciting and designed to help website designers and developers create greater engagement and interactivity while pushing the envelope. These trends are no exception.

Here’s what’s trending in design this month.

1. Video Game Inspiration

That space where reality and virtual reality merge is popular for website design. Trending are design elements and themes with a pseudo-video game style that looks interactive, somewhat real, and much imagined.

These websites can have a variety of looks and themes but have a few key elements in common:

  • Plenty of animation
  • Interactive elements, real or perceived
  • Fast motion that puts the user in the scene
  • ”Unreal elements” such as the bat-skull for Mythical Games
  • Dark color schemes
  • Often lack traditional navigation or calls to action so that the “game” is the whole screen
  • Leading text or design elements to help you move through interactions

Each of these examples takes a similar but different approach with their video-game-inspired design styles.

Adidas uses a three-dimensional trio of people in flight to get you interested in jobs at their animation studio. The point of view makes you feel part of the action, but traditional design elements, such as navigation, help you know what to do next.

Mutant Stand looks like an old-school video game and moves between a home screen with navigational elements to more of an in-game experience. The motion creates an interactive feel even before you dive into the design.

Mythical Games is an actual gaming website design, so you would expect video game inspiration here. Interestingly, this site takes the most subtle approach, although the design elements of fantasy are strong here.

2. Difficult Typography

Sometimes website design trends can be tough to explain. That’s the case with this one, where designers are experimenting with very difficult typography styles. What’s difficult about the text in these projects is readability.

Difficult typography is somewhat subjective but is emphasized by designs that have a lot of words. The reading challenge extends to mobile design, particularly when these fonts are smaller and can present even greater readability issues.

There are a lot of different styles and combinations of typefaces that can cause readability challenges. Some of the most common for website design include:

  • Condensed or thin typefaces
  • Unusual character styles or strokes
  • Modern or thick serifs
  • Old world styles
  • Scripts or cursive styles

All of this, though, is somewhat in the eye of the beholder. While these examples all present some reading challenges, the designs are still interesting and visually sound. Whether to make these font choices is a personal choice, but you should pay attention to your audience base and website analytics to make sure it works for you.

Here’s where you probably see a lot of this trend outside of website design. Pay attention to the typefaces used for World Cup broadcasts. Difficult typefaces are paired for all on-screen text elements.

Kakeru Yagou uses an interesting modern serif with a bit of a tilted style. As a logotype, the typography works pretty well. It is when there’s a lot to read that the challenge comes into play.

Abymes Numerique uses a condensed typeface in an all-caps style. Either of these options alone might create less of a readability concern than when paired.

Think Dance uses an incredibly interesting but difficult typeface for the two keywords on its website. They do an excellent job by using only two words and pairing them with easy-to-read options everywhere else. But it still takes a minute to think about and comprehend the words, so you can argue the effectiveness of the font choice.

3. Avatars

Already popular on social media platforms such as Snapchat and Facebook, avatars are having a pretty big moment in website design as well. The big difference is that website avatars aren’t just cartoon heads, they can include full-body designs and animated effects.

Avatars can have an extremely personal look and feel, such as when they are used for portfolio websites or be more character-oriented. Both are an excellent way to use faces and incorporate somewhat of a personal element when you don’t have the right photography for the job or want a greater element of whimsy in the design.

Simona Nikolova uses an oversized avatar for her portfolio site. She pairs it with her name to create a connection with users, and the style shows her creativity as well. An avatar is a good way to “show yourself” in a portfolio without the privacy concerns that might come with an actual photo.

Byte Trading uses “Lego-style” avatars to get you interested enough to “enter” the website. Each avatar moves and changes clothing to get you ready to enter the website for the crypto marketplace. Avatars are a popular option for crypto and NFT websites.

Pomelo Paradigm uses three-dimensional avatars to create scenes throughout its website. These created characters help explain what the company does and interactions people should have with the design. They have very human looks, and you almost don’t miss that they aren’t actual photographs.

Conclusion

As we head into a new year, what website design trends are you most excited for? Do you plan to try new things with projects in the new year? Hopefully, these trends give you some ideas and jumpstart that inspiration heading into 2023.

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Every month we put together this collection of the best new websites we’ve seen appear on the web in the previous four weeks.

In this month’s collection, you’ll find lots of daring interactions, some inventive portfolio sites, florescent yellow colors, and even some old-school mouse trails. Enjoy!

Joshua’s World

Joshua’s World is a fantastic animated site. Grab and drag to tilt and rotate the island and watch the little cyclist power past important links to milestones in his creative career.

Vana

Vana is a new service aiming to help you take control of your data. Its site is modern and lively and uses some great retro-illustrations to bring its features to life.

Velocity Nitro 2

This slick site has some incredible 3D renders for the Puma Velocity Nitro 2 running shoe. The scrollable animation guides you through each feature in a thrillingly engaging fashion.

Norwegian Soda Co.

The Norwegian Soda Co. uses beautifully shot photographs to capture the zest of its products. It’s an excellent example of how a one-page site can be rich and engaging.

Anytype

Anytype is a collaborative platform pitching itself to creative thinkers. It uses a lovely gradient animation to create a sense of power and technological evolution.

Dash

Dash claims to be almost the best tech company, and its modest site does a great job of expelling the tedium from HR. Plus, it has an old-school mouse trail!

Sileon

Sileon is a site packed with clever details. For example, the hover effect on text links is pleasingly minimal, and the photography shot through distortion is a simple but effective technique.

Karina Sirqueira

Karina Sirqueira’s portfolio is a joy to browse through. The morphing shapes add interest to a collection of case studies that are engaging and beautifully presented.

Hotel Santa Caterina

This beautiful website for the Hotel Santa Caterina on the Amalfi Coast captures the light and wonder of the region with a muted color palette and stunning photography.

La Lulu

La Lulu is a Columbian-American singer, dancer, and musician. Her site uses color to disrupt a fairly standard layout and infuse it with amazonian, psychotropic, South American vibes.

International Magic

International Magic is a design agency that boasts some impressive clients, from Maison Margiela to Nike. Its scroll-to-browse portfolio is a masterful example of selling design.

OAD

OAD uses color expertly to convey contrasting temperatures. At this time of year, who doesn’t want a pullover crafted to withstand the Norwegian weather?

También

También is a creative agency specializing in organizations that positively impact the world. Its scrolling collage of client projects is one of the best examples of this type of portfolio.

Dragonfly

If you were designing a website to be used in a 90s film about the internet, you’d create Dragonfly’s site. It’s packed with glitches, code references, and awesome pixelated imagery.

Elva

There’s a lot of distortion entering the design lexicon at the moment, and one of the best examples is Elva’s portfolio site, which uses it to enliven its black-and-white site.

Sussex Taps

Sussex Taps uses multiple full-screen video clips to sell its carbon-neutral tapware range, but it’s the horizontal scrolling product videos that really make this site stand out.

Angello Torres

Angello Torres’ portfolio is packed with daring typography that breaks pretty much all the rules and yet still manages to work somehow to convey energy and creativity.

Repeat

Repeat is an excellent service for upselling customers with repeat orders. It uses simple illustrations to represent generic products with an attention-grabbing yellow for interactions.

High Five Strategies

High Five Strategies eschew the formality of most business pitches to deliver a positive message with bold colors and typography that makes you feel ready to move forward.

Delight

Delight Snowparks employs a questionable lilac color, but its fantastic imagery and video framing more than makes up for that. Plus, there’s another super-old-school mouse trail!

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Color and depth are key themes this month as we look at what design trends are happening across websites. Red is the primary color of choice, and you can see it almost everywhere; the new thing is that it’s being used in backgrounds and as more than an accent color. Additionally, 3D elements and depth of field are making significant impressions.

Here’s what’s trending in design this month.

1. Red Backgrounds

Red is the color of power, passion, and attention, but until recently, it wasn’t the go-to choice for website backgrounds. Now trending is red as a background color.

These designs are bold and in-your-face with bright color, an almost brash feel in some cases, and a lot of impact.

But it works.

In the projects below, red is a powerful tool to help convey the message of the website design. The color demands that you engage with the design to see what’s happening and the content therein, and in the case of Pentel, it’s part of the brand color.

Arze uses a bold red background with a smaller inset of contrasting color to show items on the site. It’s an interesting and quite bold choice. The red background carries through the scroll as well. This is a use of color that verges on off-putting but still gets the point across and helps show products thanks to a lot of contrast.

Russia Invaded Ukraine is a perfect use of red as a color that invokes feelings of passion with content to explain the conflict. Red can be a charged color; here, that’s precisely the intent.

Pentel uses a red background that’s a little softer than the previous examples. Here, red is a brand color, and they use the background to help draw attention to items and elements on the site. The red carries below the scroll as well to keep the theme moving.

 

 

2. 3D Icons and Graphics

Three-dimensional elements seem to keep ebbing and flowing with designers. We see a lot of 3D in projects, and then it seems to vanish again. It’s like we haven’t really figured out how to use it well or in a way that works with the content of various designs.

Admittedly, 3D icons, graphics, and illustrations can be difficult to create and use. Often they look a bit light and don’t go with all kinds of content. Therefore, they don’t get used that often.

Each of these projects takes a different approach:
Admilk goes all in with a series of 3D animations featuring the brand name. They are fun, light, and a bit unexpected. The graphics include objects that look like balloons, milk and cereal, and grass with flowers. (Click through to see each one.)

Refokus uses three-dimensional objects that move on a scroll to create directional flow and visual interest in a space where there’s not much else in terms of art. The objects stick with the aesthetic on the scroll and create an interesting element that carries you through the design without overwhelming you with tricks.

Junni is one of those website designs that goes all in with 3D. This illustrated bubble style of graphics is beginning to be a 3D trend in itself as a style that’s being used more and more with icons and even emojis. It has a light feel, and the animation almost makes it seem silly and somewhat childish.

 

 

3. Long Focal Depth

It’s been a while since a true photography or videography trend made this roundup, but there are so many instance of this image/video style in projects it can’t be ignored. Long focal depth is almost everywhere, from travel sites to architecture to e-commerce.

Long focal depth or depth of field allows the image to show a lot of space in an image in a way that’s sharp and viewable. Depth of field, in photography terms, is the distance between the closest and farthest objects in an image that are acceptably sharp.

In this trend, each website features a strong image with plenty of depth of field. The image can be still or moving, and the image is the thing that really draws you into the design.

What’s great about this trend is that you can see a lot of a scene and even feel like you are part of it. It’s an engaging visual concept that can work for a variety of purposes.

Interest Media uses a video reel that slowly zooms even further out. The image is lovely, and with the text overlay is easy to read and understand. It almost feels like you are walking backward on the bridge in the video.

Bloomingdales uses an immersive video with plenty of depth and virtual reality elements to create an immersive shopping experience. It makes you feel like you are in the store via the website and encourages shopping. It’s a fun way for the retailer to showcase its 150th anniversary.

 

Arredamento Design uses a photo with a wide focal area to provide interior design inspiration. Note the crisp lines and ease of which you find yourself engaging with the image, or even imagining a room like the one pictured. The effect used in the design, with a zoom on scroll, pulls the user into the image even more. Depth here keeps the motion and zoom from being too much and almost allows you to see more and feel even closer to objects that are further away in the image.

 

 

Conclusion

There are two trends here that tend to cross over into one another: The color red is everywhere and having a major emergence this fall as a dominant hue and depth, and three-dimensional focus is everywhere.

Both are highly usable design elements that can be incorporated easily, making them even more likely to continue to gain prominence in projects.

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Whether you’ve worked with a few WordPress themes to design websites or worked with many of them, you’ll no doubt agree that plenty of WordPress themes that are visually gorgeous on the front end can be terribly unattractive and extremely awkward to use on the backend. 

Working with a WordPress theme can sometimes be difficult, but it can be different.

Want proof? Look no further than with BeTheme. 

BeTheme, with 260,000+ sales and counting and a 4.83-star user rating, is one of the top 5 best-selling WordPress themes of all time.

In this article, we’ll show you one of the many reasons why this is the case by focusing on how BeTheme’s backend is designed to make web design tasks more manageable.

Enhance your workflow experience with a WordPress theme backend that won’t stress you out 

Once you install BeTheme, you’ll almost immediately notice it’s different. Instead of a drab and often unintuitive WordPress backend, you’ll suddenly be confronted with a clean, well-organized dashboard and toolset.

You haven’t actually lost anything. WordPress, with its impressive assortment of content management tools, is still there. Be’s backend is a visually appealing space in which you will take pleasure to work.

If only the rest of WordPress could follow suit.

If you haven’t worked with BeTheme recently (or at all), why not let us walk you through several of its most helpful backend features.

Starting with:

1. Dashboard Design

BeTheme’s dashboard is conveniently located directly beneath the main WordPress Dashboard link. So you won’t waste time sifting through the sidebar trying to find your theme’s settings, and everything displayed in the dashboard is designed to help you get the most out of your WordPress theme. 

Clicking on the BeTheme or the Dashboard link gives you immediate access to the following: 

  • Theme registration information
  • BeTheme’s step-by-step website creator
  • A Navigation bar that directs you to BeTheme’s frequently used tools
  • Plugin status and updates and new features announcements
  • The latest additions to BeTheme’s ever-growing library of pre-built websites
  • Beloved BeTheme integrations

It takes a minute to fully appreciate how helpful this dashboard will be. 

BeTheme

2. Dark/Light Mode

Research on dark mode benefits is inconclusive. But since so many people seem to like it, it is offered as an option in many popular apps and devices.

Dark mode users will tell you that they experience less eye strain, they sleep better, and their device’s batteries last longer than is the case with light mode.

BeTheme’s backend offers a dark mode option, and you are encouraged to try it.

If you feel it beneficial, so much the better, and you needn’t concern yourself with what the research indicated, or didn’t indicate.

BeTheme

3. Step-by-Step Website Creator

When you first install a WordPress theme, it’s not uncommon to spend some time trying to figure out what to do next. The theme’s advertisements may highlight a selection of impressive demos, but where are they more exactly?

Of course, you’ll eventually find them, but is whatever difficulty you may have encountered necessary?

BeTheme removes that impediment. 

You will notice the Setup Wizard under BeTheme (and in the dashboard as well.) Click on the wizard, and with its step-by-step website, you can: 

  • Give your website a name.
  • Select the page builder you want to work with and choose your preferred editing mode.
  • Pick an ideal pre-built website based on your new website’s industry or niche.
  • Easily replace existing content with your own.

The entire process of loading your brand-new site and page builder into WordPress takes a minute (or more like 30 seconds once you are used to it).

BeTheme

4. Pre-Built Site Previews

With BeTheme, you can choose from more than 650 pre-built websites. New ones are being added as we speak, and they’re delightfully easy to find. Just look under the dashboard’s Websites link or Pre-built Websites in BeTheme’s sidebar menu, and there they are!

You’ll be familiarized with the available design aids and options in no time, and you’ll find it easy to incorporate the latest design trends into your websites. BeTheme has even placed previews of its newest pre-built websites in your dashboard to help you along.

You may choose one of the latest pre-built websites to work with, or you might find one or more others you particularly like. Pre-built sites you do not plan to work with can still be sources of inspiration.

Whatever your choices, you’ll find it easy to incorporate the latest trends into website designs.

BeTheme

5. Plugin Manager

BeTheme’s Plugins area differs from what you see in the WordPress plugins area. You’ll find several of these differences to be particularly helpful in that BeTheme’s plugins manager enables you to: 

  • View the active plugins you’ve installed.
  • Update plugins when necessary.
  • Install and activate plugins only when it’s required.

The last item is essential in that plugins do not appear in the WordPress plugin manager until you have installed them. Not having to install plugins you will not need will help keep your website operating at a high level of performance.

BeTheme

6. BeTheme Support

WordPress is a powerful content management system and an extremely popular one. It may, in fact, be the most powerful and popular system of its type.

WordPress is also community-driven to a considerable extent, which can sometimes create user inconvenience. As a user, you might sometimes have to dig to find answers to your questions or get help when needed.

You don’t have to experience that inconvenience to get support from BeTheme.

To gain access to BeTheme’s support center, you need go no further than BeTheme’s sidebar or dashboard to access self-support options or open a ticket for direct assistance.

BeTheme

7. Theme Options

Plenty of well-known WordPress themes have theme settings customization capabilities. With BeTheme, it’s easy to set brand colors, choose custom fonts, and establish global layouts. The same holds for configuring responsiveness, performance, and accessibility, all of which are essential for optimizing UX and search engine functionalities.

The problem with most theme options is that they can only be modified from the main WordPress dashboard. So if, while designing on a page, you suddenly realize a portion of its design hasn’t been configured correctly, or you’re dissatisfied with any design segment, you’ll have to save your changes and go to your theme’s backend to make the necessary fixes.

From the BeTheme dashboard inside the BeBuilder BeTheme, you can modify your Theme Options without having to interrupt your workflow.

BeTheme

8. White-Label Mode

A final feature of the BeTheme WordPress theme’s backend you should become familiar with is BeCustom. This critical feature is located under BeTheme in the sidebar.

BeCustom enables you to access some white-label regions in BeTheme. 

  You can use BeCustom to:

  • Substitute Be’s branding with your business’s branding to reinforce your name with your clients.
  • Disable any features your clients have no use for and deny access to any features you do not want them to modify while at the same time making the WordPress theme’s backend easier to work with.
  • Create an extra user-friendly and secure WordPress login.
  • Customize the dashboard’s “Welcome” message.

BeTheme

Make Your WordPress Design Projects Simple to Handle With BeTheme

Is there anything BeTheme doesn’t do?

Most likely, but nothing that would adversely impact your design effort.

This multipurpose WordPress theme’s hundreds of pre-built websites will help you get virtually any website project off to a rapid start and headed in the right direction.

BeTheme features the fastest and most powerful page builder for WordPress.

You will have total control over every feature and facet of your website’s UI.

In short, BeTheme offers the finest way to manage any web design project within WordPress.

 

[- This is a sponsored post on behalf of BeTheme -]

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A design portfolio is an excellent way to demonstrate your skills as a freelancer. As a web designer, you compete with millions of other web designers. Therefore, you must have a strong portfolio to land a high-paying web designing job in such a competitive space. A strong portfolio sets you apart from others. Having no clients, however, can make it challenging to get your portfolio noticed and build up any momentum.

People typically build portfolios from projects they do for clients. Hence, it seems unlikely for a new web designer without clients to have a strong portfolio. However, it’s attainable. You can build a design portfolio with no clients, and you’ll find out how in this post.

What Makes A Good Design Portfolio?

A good portfolio should display your best work, as most clients want to see your best. However, your best work may not be client work. In addition, what’s more, important than displaying your best work is showing your versatility.

Being a versatile web designer will land you more jobs than being an expert in just one type of web design. Notably, you don’t need to have many clients to be versatile in web design. Instead, you become versatile by taking on different projects.

A good design portfolio should include professional recommendations. Testimonials from previous clients are valuable here, but anyone can recommend you. It could be a web designer friend, collaborator, or even your tutor.

Furthermore, a good portfolio should feature non-client work; even if you have thousands of past clients, featuring personal projects is still ideal. It shows your growth as a web designer isn’t limited to what clients ask you to do.

Many other factors constitute a good portfolio, but these points are the most important regarding showing your skill. You can build a portfolio that includes them even if you have no clients.

How To Build A Design Portfolio With Zero Clients

You can try all or some of these methods to build a design portfolio if you have no clients.

1. Take On Design Challenges

A simple way to build a strong web design portfolio is by competing in challenges. It’s helpful whether you have clients or not.

Winning a design challenge is like finishing at the top of the class. It demonstrates that you’re the best web designer in the room and the type of web designer clients want to hire. Generally, taking on design challenges will help sharpen your skills.

You can partake in competitions arranged by renowned web design communities. You can find such competitions on websites like 99designs and Design Crowd. More often than not, winning a web design challenge will land you a job.

2. Carry Out Personal Projects

Carrying out personal projects is similar to competing in challenges. However, in this case, you’re challenging yourself.

Have you ever had a unique idea for a website? Don’t wait until a client asks you to build such a website. Instead, you can begin the project on your own. Then, if you succeed, you can proudly display the project in your portfolio.

When you get clients, you wouldn’t need to convince them that you can handle such tasks; the personal project is a testament to it.

You can carry out as many personal projects as you envisage, no matter how simple or complex. Furthermore, you don’t always have to complete them. Even failed personal projects can be part of your portfolio.

3. Clone Websites

When most clients contact you, they’ll want you to create a website similar to some existing website. You can give yourself a head start by cloning some popular websites and featuring the projects in a portfolio.

Your ability to build a replica of a professional website from scratch shows expertise. In addition, you most likely won’t get a 100% match with the original version. Your version may have improvements that subsequent clients would appreciate.

Furthermore, some website designers specialize in cloning. Suppose you plan to provide such services to clients. In that case, displaying your previously cloned website projects is all you need to create a strong portfolio.

4. Create Websites for Family and Friends

Your family and friends are potential clients. Hence, you can offer to build websites for them, even if it is for free. Afterward, you should include the work in your portfolio.

If your friend or relative has an offline business, for example, you could offer to build a website to give them an online presence.

Even if they eventually don’t use the website, you can include it as a demo project in your portfolio.

5. Get Inspiration From Others

You’re not the only web designer with no clients who wants to build a strong portfolio. Therefore, you can draw inspiration from others.

Dribbble, the social networking platform for designers, is among the best options you have. Dribbble allows you to find thousands of new and veteran web designers with varying portfolios.

You can scan the portfolios, examine the content, and try to replicate what you can in yours. Furthermore, you can even build a portfolio directly on Dribbble.

Bottom Line

Not having clients shouldn’t discourage you as a new web designer. You can still build a strong design portfolio with the methods discussed in this article.

After creating your portfolio, you can then use it to secure jobs. Subsequently, you can update the portfolio with your best client work.

 

Featured image by storyset on Freepik.

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Each month we publish this roundup of the best new fonts for designers to help you find new ways of packing personality into your designs.

In October’s edition, you’ll find a number of revivals and a ton of vintage inspiration, all wrapped up with a modern twist. After years of geometric sans-serifs, a few decorative flourishes are more than welcome. Enjoy!

The Future

The Future and its accompanying monospace The Future Mono is a homage to the classic Futura. The Future is a great revision of classic forms, and The Future Mono is a blend of Western Modernism and Japanese typographic styles.

Rapidissima

Rapida and Rapidissima began as part of a master’s course at the Royal Academy of Art in Den Haag. While Rapida is a careful, usable serif with lots of thoughtful details, Rapidissima is a visually exciting exploration of speed.

Aiglon

Aiglon is a pseudo-geometrics sans-serif with beautiful proportions. It draws inspiration from 20th-century architectural lettering. It’s a tremendous alternative to Gotham for those looking for a more European aesthetic.

Raskal Oner Write

Raskal Oner Write is a script font for designers that don’t want a script font. All of the classic feel of handwritten letters is here, but the construction is entirely original. Contextual alternatives combine to create the visual look of lettering.

Grostino

Grostino is an elegant display typeface. The enormous contrast in width between its rounded glyphs and its square glyphs adds enormous personality. It’s ideal for branding projects that need to evoke classicism.

Figtree

Figtree is a highly usable sans-serif packed with practical features, including fractions, monospaced numbers, and scientific inferiors. It’s both minimal and friendly, making it an ideal choice for corporate design systems. It’s free to download.

Gills & Co

Gills & Co is a modern serif that draws inspiration from Art Nouveau to create beautiful finials and ligatures. It works really well as a logotype and for packaging.

Catalog

Catalog is a sturdy, easy-to-use serif with thick slab serifs. It has a simplified shape and is easily readable on lower-resolution screens. It features an unusual lowercase g, which adds visual interest to passages of text.

Kreol Display

Kreol Display is a didone typeface with some interesting details that raise it above similar designs. The lowercase ‘a’ and the uppercase ‘R’ are particularly pleasing.

Gwen

Gwen is a typeface family that includes a highly characteristic display face and a more subtle text face. There are seven different weights, and it is available as a variable font.

Benogi

Benogi is a display font run through with wave-like forms. The ’70s aesthetic is continued in the proportion of the glyphs. It’s a great option for health and beauty product branding.

Marcin Antique

Marcin Antique is inspired by early French grotesque typefaces. It has just been reissued with new widths, additional weights, and redrawn italics, making it an even more usable sans-serif.

VVDS The Dickens Tale

It’s horrifying to say it, but yes, the holiday season is just weeks away. If you’re preparing marketing material with a heritage feel, then check out The Dickens Tale, it’s as classic as candy canes and Peanuts reruns.

Povetarac Sans

Povetarac Sans is a workhorse of a sans-serif that performs well as both display and running text. Inspired by vintage designs, it comes with six weights and supports fractions.

Blothe

Blothe is a fabulously chunky display face that is drawn wide, thick, and rounded. Use it at huge sizes to make the most of its weighty presence.

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