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Submit Saturdays: Web Design Tips

Welcome to Submit Saturdays, a year long series of articles in partnership with Squarespace. As a creative, your website is the shop window to your work and your approach. If you’re a designer, people want to see that you can think about design; and here are some simple things to consider when developing a portfolio and where to look on the web for inspiration.

Across Submit Saturdays we have featured a number of creatives who use the platform to showcase their work effectively. Following on from last month’s advice column, where Squarespace’s design team offered advice on site design, we have asked the featured creatives (and some who will be featured soon) what, for them, makes a great website and where they look for inspiration outside the creative world. Here they offer their thoughts on portfolio design, social media and where excellent site design and great information lives on the internet.

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Kerry Hyndman’s website created with Squarespace’s Avenue template.

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Richard and Jolyon’s website created with Squarespace’s Flatiron template.

Kerry Hyndman – Illustrator
“I really like portfolio sites that give you a nice broad overview or that person’s work. It’s nice to be able to scroll through and see lots of different project examples all on one page and get a feel for that illustrator’s style without having to click through lots of pages. Carson Ellis and Eleni Kalorkoti have really nice examples of this kind of site. I listen to a lot of podcasts and audio stories while I work and regularly go to the This American Life site. They have a great feature on their site with a story globe that makes it really easy to listen to audio stories based on a location, this is great for when I’m working on a map of a certain area or planning a trip abroad.”

Richard and Jolyon – 4 Creative
“We like simple websites that you don’t have to faff about with. For example: The Beautiful Meme. The website itself is nothing flashy, but it lets the work stand out and grab you by the balls. Our go-to website when we can’t be arsed to do work is HUH Magazine. It keeps us up to date with all the hipster bullshit that we can’t get enough of.”

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Jacob Burge’s website created with Squarespace’s Wells template.

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Pouya Ahmadi’s website

Jacob Burge – Photographer
“A great website for me is easy to navigate and lets the content take centre stage. For me I don’t like going through multiple pages to get to the main content. Check Cafe Royal Books for a simple and focused page. Outside of websites linked to the creative world , I only really check the news, The Independent is my go to, it works well on my phone and is easy to navigate.”

Pouya Ahmadi – Graphic Designer
“There are very few factors that separate a great portfolio from an okay portfolio. First and foremost the quality of the work that is shown is the most important factor. You need to be able to make a good selection of your work – it’s not about how many projects you have done. It’s about showing ‘you’ at your best. I personally prefer to see a portfolio site with very few pieces but with really high quality and thoughtful approach. If you need to photograph your work, make sure the style is consistent and are capturing both details and overall images of the piece. If you are not a good photographer or can’t afford having your work shot by a professional, then just show digital files. It’s always best to do that than showing mediocre documentation/photography of your work. I would also add that a short description of the project you are showcasing on your site is always helpful. Elsewhere on the web, I truly enjoy checking out, I’d say NASA. I am also amazed with the fact that we still think that we are the center of the universe, while there is so much unknown to us. It’s always a good reminder to me that I, as a human being, don’t really matter as much as I would like to think I do, or everything that I think is important for that matter.”

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Top Girl Studio’s website created with Squarespace’s Forte template.

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Anna Potter – Graphic Designer
“Surfing websites is a lot like dating, When I click on to a website, I want it to seduce me. It’s all about enticing me in and captivating me. I don’t want anyone to get lost, and I feel this way about other websites too, no one wants to get stranded in the world wide web. I have found, personally, social media to be the best way of getting people on to my website, I use Instagram as a way to showcase my latest projects and its a great way to communicate with people who follow your work.“

If you host your work on a Squarespace website and would like to be featured as part of this series of articles, please head here to learn more and get in touch.

In partnership with Squarespace

Squarespace is a creation tool enabling individuals to create a great website by giving them the tools to create an elegant solution and get their voice heard in the world of online publishing. Whether for experienced designers or for someone putting together their first website, it makes forming a beautiful platform simple.

If you’re not currently using Squarespace to host your site, the kind folks over there are offering It’s Nice That readers 10% off their services. Sign up here or upgrade your account using the discount code SUBMIT to get 10% off.