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Introducing 15 Best New Portfolios, March 2020

Are you trapped in a fourth floor apartment listening to the guy next door serenade the block from his balcony with a saxophone he made from a length of rubber tubing and an old boot?

While people the world over very sensibly self-isolate, it’s still possible to be productive, why not work on your portfolio? Strap on your noise-cancelling headphones, turn on some white noise, and grab some inspiration from our monthly roundup of the best portfolios launched in the previous four weeks.

This month we see several previous trends still going strong. There’s a whole heap of color, masses of glitch effects, and the re-return of that old favorite, big bold typography. Enjoy!

 

Mees Verberne

Mees Verberne describes himself as a creative front-end developer and designer. He makes full use of the popular glitch trend to give his site some character, but what it really does well is obscure the banding in his gradients, giving him a nice sophisticated lighting effect.

mees-verberne

 

Sing-Sing

Adi Goodrich and Sean Pecknold founded Sing-Sing five years ago. Their award-winning work has a wonderful sense of color, with some genuinely original schemes in their design and film projects. The only criticism I would have is their hamburger menu, which isn’t immediately clear.

sing-sing

 

David Polonia

If you’re a fan of glitch effects, you’ll love David Polonia’s site. Normally I advise everyone to avoid sound on websites, but David’s portfolio benefits from the uplifting energy that it provides. There’s so much to explore here, it’s less a portfolio, and more of a showreel.

david-polonia

 

Mad River

Mad River’s work is the epitome of those hipster-lumberjack designs that have been popular for a few years. So naturally, for a British design agency, its site uses an illustration straight out of a US National Park guidebook. It is very beautiful though, and the site is a pleasure to browse round.

mad-river

 

Jamhot

Tank fly boss walk jam nitty gritty you’re listening to the boy from the big bad city — ahem. Clearly someone else has a fondness for 90s-era dance music. Jamhot exudes confidence, but why not when you have that animation on your site’s landing page. Seriously, I could look at this beauty for hours.

jamhot

 

Halbstark

I love the mountains, so Halbstark’s blend of big bold type, and eye onto a mountain scene grabbed me immediately. The zoom effect when your scroll down is sublime, and it leads to a very simple, carefully ordered portfolio that showcases everything you want to see in a reliable agency.

halbstark

 

Kota

I said there were plenty of glitch effects this month, and my favorite of them is Kota. Run your cursor over the screen and the large type, with the gradient, will distort and glitch in a liquid style. How’s that for packing in every single current design trend into one graphic?

kota

 

Mango Media

Some of the best sites this month combine several design trends, and Mango Media is one of them. Cursor over the blob and you’ll get bold gradients combined with the ever-popular glitch effect. And kudos for that hamburger menu icon that’s both original and perfectly clear.

mago-media

 

Deadwater

With a name like Deadwater, it’s no surprise that this French design agency has employed the liquid effect trend that’s been popular for the last few months. I love the way it’s been combined with a glitch effect to create the sense of being under water.

deadwater

 

Works

There’s a long-standing tradition in this series of selecting portfolios that make good use of the color yellow. Works certainly does that with an acid-toned site, that once you scroll uses a ticker-style band of the same color to indicate a selection. It ties everything together perfectly.

works

 

Electric Red

So, you think you’ve seen big type? Think again, you’ve not seen anything until you’ve seen Electric Red’s giant, 3D-rendered ring of spinning red text. The graphic grabs you as soon as you see it, but it’s also interactive, and it needs to be if you want to see enough to work out what it says.

electric-red

 

Studio Dot

Studio Dot obviously had to use a big dot on its site, behind which you’ll see a ton of glitchy graphics. What I really love are the links at the bottom of the homepage, which open without clicks when you hover over them for a while — usability aside I love that they tried to innovate in this area.

studio-dot

 

Vitali Zahharov

More animated gradients, this time curtesy of Vitali Zahharov. And yet more big bold typography, which is a trend that’s going to last throughout 2020 and beyond. Vitali’s a freelance designer based in Spain, and he’s worked for some really exceptional clients, scroll down to see selected work.

vitali-zahharov

 

Tubik Studio

Tubik Studio’s site devoted to its staff has tons of personality on display, from its juggling balls load bar, to the eccentric sound effects when you cursor over a thumbnail. Its main site is very goal-orientated, so showing off some personality contrasts well and makes it approachable.

tubik-studio

 

Superlab

If you read this series regularly you’ll know that I’m a sucker for animated abstract shapes. I guess I must have loved building blocks as a kid. Superlab’s are great because they tie everything together, without imposing themselves on the design. Nice bold, confident colors too.

superlab



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Introducing 15 Best New Portfolios, February 2020

Each month we publish a roundup of the best new portfolios, launched in the previous four weeks, by freelancers, agencies, and other creative professionals.

This month’s edition is packed with color and animation. Almost every site in this list animates some part of its interface, and many are dependent on animation entirely. You’ll find tons of great interaction design, but the real trend in 2020 is that personality is making its way back into our sites.

 

Sarah Drasner

Sarah Drasner’s personal portfolio site is wonderful because it conveys the simple joy she feels in technology. It opens with large type stating, “I Make Things.” But hover over it and you’ll find that she also says, “I Break Things”. The coded flowers that burst open for the break animation are delightfully rebellious. The whole site is packed with personality.

sarah_drasner

 

Six N. Five

The interaction design, especially the light-dark transition on Six N. Five’s portfolio site is something to behold. Cursor to the left, or right, to switch from studio work to films. Scroll through some exceptional work, and hover over thumbnails to see a preview. What we really love is the simplest of touches: when you scroll past the bottom of a case study, it automatically returns you to the home screen.

six_n_five

 

Franc

We have two agencies called Franc/Frank this month. This time, it’s an animation studio with a uniquely engaging, linear style. Franc’s work includes cell animation, which appears to be increasingly rare these days. The contemporary edge is provided by the very 2020 color palette, with bold hues cutting into softer, ice-cream pastels.

franc

 

Special Offer, Inc.

The portfolio for Special Offer, Inc. could be a prototype for the colorful brutalism trend that we’ve carried over from 2019. The red on orange typography is by most measures, a real no-no, but as a way of searing the site into your eyeballs it does an awesome job. The overwhelming amount of content is part of the confident attitude, a minimalist site just isn’t right for many agencies, and it’s great we have so many options in 2020.

special_offer

 

Sandy Dauneau

Sandy Dauneau’s portfolio is centered around her beautifully emotive animation, with a slider that offers various projects to enjoy. It features some really expressive typography, but nothing here outshines her delicate, and expertly observed animation. Make sure you check out her showreel, which really convey’s the best of her current work.

sandy_dauneau

 

David William Baum

It’s difficult for photographers to come up with new ways of presenting their work. There’s only so many ways you can present a grid of thumbnails. The portfolio of David William Baum does an excellent job of solving this, with a moving grid of photos that responds to your cursor, then a stack of images to scroll through when you click a set, which feels a lot like flicking through a collection of printed hand-held photos.

david_william_baum

 

Frank

When we’re designing portfolios, it’s easy to get carried away with all kinds of different effects like liquid effects and hover states. Fancy effects help get you noticed by design agencies, but if you’re a design agency selling to business, what works is simplicity. Frank has done an amazing job of keeping its portfolio simple, not because simplicity like this is difficult, but because it’s brave.

frank

 

Corey Haggard

Corey Haggard has taken more of a traditional single-pager approach to his portfolio. He’s hopped on the out-sized typography trend, and if you click on any of the thumbnails on his site you’ll be rewarded with a flag-style enlarge effect, but basically this is a no-nonsense portfolio that shows off some inspiring work, and is well-worth a few minutes browsing.

corey_haggard

 

Victor Costa

Victor Work 20’ is the 2020 portfolio of Victor Costa, a Brazilian designer/developer based in Toronto. Scroll through and you’ll find some nice flag effects on the portfolio thumbnails. What we really like is the cool wavy line transitions as you scroll from one area of the site to the next — it’s an awesome way to section sites, without subjecting us to hard, horizontal lines.

victor_costa

 

Davide Baratta

Davide Baratta’s site is one of the new breed of portfolio sites that really only work well on touch screens. If you check it out on a tablet, or a large-screen mobile device, it’s awesome. The simple slide back and forth, with taps for further exploration, feels like a native experience. A lot of time and effort has gone into making this site feel effortless. There’s also some great lettering in there.

davide_baratta

 

Pierre Mouchan

It’s all about generative art these days, and Pierre Mouchan’s site is no exception. With a nod towards out-sized typography, what really grabs your attention is the giant pulsing blob in the center of the screen; it’s enough to trouble Steve McQueen. Each blob on the site represents a project and you can click on each for more info. It even works surprisingly well on mobile.

pierre_mouchan

 

A Color Bright

It’s all very well presenting beautiful animation if that’s your focus, but what if your focus is on user experience? A Color Bright is a Berlin-based design agency that provides UX/UI design, product development, brand growth, and other digital design. Its portfolio is all about the potential of the user, with a focus on the dynamics of the team you’ll be working with if you hire them.

a_color_bright

 

The Mill

The Mill’s site is a visual overload of motion design, VR, animation, and video. It works as a collection precisely because the lack of hierarchy allows you to delve in on a whim. Each video thumbnail links through to a case study, and the quality of the clients (Nike, Jeep, HBO, Spotify…) means that wherever you click you’ll be rewarded with a high-profile project.

the_mill

 

Oxana Bayra

Oxana Bayra’s portfolio opens with glitch-effect artwork that’s growing increasingly popular. Cursor over one of the crystalline objects — each of which features expertly coded artwork — and the glitch-effect grows stronger. Bayra’s won dozens of awards for her generative art and design work, and much of it is on display in her portfolio.

oxana_bayra

 

Kevin van der Wijst

Kevin van der Wijst is a digital designer based in Valencia, and you can feel the influence of that sunny Spanish city in his site. In recent decades Valencia has become known for some of the most extraordinary public architecture in the world, and the geometric shapes of van der Wijst’s portfolio echo the shapes of sunlight on buildings. If you cursor over it, you’ll see there’s a liquid mouse trail effect, as if the buildings were reflected in pooled water.

kevin_van_der_wijst



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Introducing 15 Best New Portfolios, November 2019

Every month we publish a roundup of the best new portfolio sites, launched (or relaunched with significant updates) in the last four weeks. It doesn’t matter if it’s a freelancer, agency, or other creative professional, if it’s an interesting portfolio we’ll include it.

This month, the slow decline of minimalism continues, and color is everywhere. There’s some awesome type, and video-based maximalism seems to be gaining a foothold. Enjoy!

 

Another Colour

I adore Another Colour’s site. It takes incredible complexity to produce an effect this simple. The landing page is a looping rainbow gradient, and the gradient strip on the left takes you to the related point. Click a case study, and you’ll see tons of great UX detail. The masks being used to create contrasting type is a cool effect.

another_colour

 

Superimpose

Superimpose goes for full visual overload. With repeat images, rapidly changing graphics, and videos in constant flux — the whole thing feels like the tour film for a French techno band. The menu is terribly hard to find, hidden behind the logo, but there’s not much there in any case, the focus of the site is the endless scroll on the landing page.

superimpose

 

Plug & Play

Back in the realms of established user experience, the agency site for Plug & Play feels a lot less challenging. There’s the simple mission statement in large type that we’ve come to expect, and work overlapping the bottom edge encourages you to scroll. What I really like is is the way in which the site transitions from dark mode to light, as you scroll to the case studies. It’s a brilliant example of a simple transition that can be tied to a scroll.

plug_play

 

Root

The video on the homepage of Root’s site made me snort coffee up my nose. An old British guy with a plummy accent, reads out a list of font names in a deadpan style. I don’t know if everyone would understand what the names refer to, but check out their client list and you’ll see that it’s working for them. I’m not a fan of the mobile-only approach though.

root

 

Rload

From a slightly anarchic British agency, to a highly-polished Spanish one. Rload hangs everything on its logo, with videos of smoke, and ink in water, behind a mask in order to add motion to the design. It’s a simple and effective way to present color and animation, without adding too much bloat. Their project page has embraced the brutalist trend, softened with a nice animated blob.

rload

 

BuglerSmith

BuglerSmith is a creative agency, working on all kinds of media and interactive campaigns. Their site uses a very strong, very traditional 12-column grid to position thumbnails offset from each other, embracing the post-Brutalist trend. What really works is that some of the grid columns are highlighted with a fine line, which gives the scrolling page an incredible sense of depth. What’s more, it’s hard to dislike any agency that embraces neon pink.

buglersmith

 

Michele Smolensky

Speaking of neon pink, what could possibly beat neon pink, other than blackletter type set in neon pink. Michele Smolensky is a freelance designer and developer, from Austin Texas. Her site is simple, but the color combination of deep blue and neon pink really pops, and you’ve got to love any site that has the confidence to embrace blackletter, possibly the world’s most underused style of typeface.

michele_smolensky

 

Vivid Motion

Vivid Motion is another site embracing beautiful typography. Vivid Motion relies on GT Spectra — a lovely serif font with tons of character thanks to those sharp cutaways. Scroll rapidly and the thumbnails sheer nicely to enhance the sense of motion. The dark background and simple grid feels like a lot of similar sites, but the considered typography really makes this site stand out.

vivid_motion

 

One Media

I love the energy of One Media’s site. It’s more than just the rapid-cut video, the whole layout, the overlapping elements, and the interaction of the different blocks of text all contributes. It also makes use of a big design trend: menus that rely on overlays rather than background color, in order to stand out.

one

 

Elium

Elium is a Paris-based design studio specializing in product design. Their site features a slow-motion video that is effortlessly cool, and light-filled; precisely what I think of when I think of Paris. They’ve adopted a little of the spirit of brutalism with their offset images, but this site really longs for minimalism with the geometric sans-serif, and the subtle shifts in grey. I still can’t quite let go of this style.

elium

 

Jenn Schiffer

After a little visit to minimalism, we’re back to brutalism with a vengeance. Jenn Schiffer’s site might be my favourite this month, because it harks back to the early web, when we posted what we loved, not what had been analysed, measured, and approved. Describing herself as a web app developer, pixel artist, and tech satirist, this site is cool AF. And the fact that she’s included a dark mode option is hilariously awesome.

jenn_schiffer

 

Berger & Föhr

Back to nice, sensible, orderly design. Berger & Föhr is a graphic design agency focused on brand ideas and identities. It’s a simple site that gives over all the attention to the actual portfolio. The work on show is highly accomplished, the identity for Hampton Architecture, Blackbelly, and Ello particularly stand out. If you had a healthy budget to rebrand your business, this is where you would spend it.

berger_fohr

 

Fanny Luor

Fanny Luor is a freelance illustrator (and sometimes designer) whose site features some awesome work for clients like Dropbox and Intercom. Her very simple site is an exercise in self-restraint, which lets her work speak for itself. The illustration is both modern, and reminiscent of mid-late twentieth century illustration, with rich color blocks and simple shapes.

fanny_luor

 

Huncwot

Huncwot’s site is a simple premise, executed brilliantly. It’s a split-screen design with company details on the left, and work on the right. As you scroll the logo, which straddles both, is overlapped by the design thumbnails to create a subtle sense of depth. There’s even some parallax scrolling (yikes!) thrown in for good measure.

huncwot

 

Austin Mayer

Austin Mayer describes himself as an ‘Interactive Director’ and the fun particle-explody effect on his landing page is certainly attention grabbing. What I really love is the use of the blue gradient. It feels like forever since I’ve seen blue used this well, creating a sense of space and light, without relying on darkmode to do it. Did I mention he’s done work for Beyoncé? Yup!

austin_mayer



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Introducing Project Cortex: The future of enterprise knowledge gets a big boost at Ignite

Today, at Microsoft Ignite 2019, Microsoft unveiled Project Cortex (final name to be announced in the first half of 2020), a new service in Microsoft 365 that uses AI to shape organizational data and organize it into shared topics like projects and customers. This announcement represents a glimpse into the future of knowledge management software – a big step in a vision that began in the 1990s when enabling technology first started to address this critical organization need.

Project Cortex: the realization of a vision of knowledge management software

Twenty-five years ago, I was the director of knowledge management at a global consulting firm. Our key goal was to make sure that as an organization, we knew what we knew and delivered that collective knowledge and experience to every client engagement. We relied on a collection of people activities (communities of practice), processes (a culture that encouraged knowledge re-use and a promotion culture that required the demonstration of knowledge leverage, not just revenue generation), and enabling technology (a collection of Lotus Notes databases that were frustratingly difficult to search – but were the best that we had at that time).

We recognized that people and their knowledge were our greatest assets and we invested in as many approaches as possible to help use technology to support expertise location and leveraging existing work and prior experiences. And we did a pretty good job back in 1995. Still, even with a culture that valued and rewarded knowledge re-use and the many programs and initiatives that we promoted to enable knowledge transfer, it was hard to get people to keep their expertise profiles up-to-date and to integrate the variety of knowledge assets, sources, and locations that we had – spread out over 9,000 people and multiple cities and countries.

We did have a vision, however, for a solution that would integrate our structured knowledge in a variety of databases and solutions and our less-structured knowledge in documents, and deliver that knowledge when and where our consultants could use it – on any device – to make better recommendations to our clients, to find expertise in any part of the company, and to make sure that we weren’t reinventing the wheel on every engagement.

Today’s announcement from Microsoft showcases a service that can make that vision a reality.

Project Cortex, a new service in Microsoft 365, turns content (structured and unstructured) into a knowledge network, delivering relevant knowledge to people across an organization through topic cards and topic pages. According to Microsoft, “the service brings innovations in smart content ingestion, to analyze documents and create sophisticated content models; machine teaching, to allow subject matter experts to teach the system how to understand semi-structured content; and knowledge retrieval, to make it easy for people to access the valuable knowledge that’s so often locked away in documents, conversations and videos.”

That challenge I mentioned about getting people to keep their profiles up-to-date is going to get some enhancements, too. Project Cortex will automatically augment the Microsoft 365 “people profile” with information from Project Cortex to dynamically associate expertise to individuals without harming any humans by asking them to keep their profile up to date!

Enabling knowledge networks in Project Cortex will take some training of the engine. But, in general, very few humans have to be harmed in the process of getting successful outcomes in the context of where you work. Project Cortex is designed work deliver knowledge in context – what you need, when you need it, in the flow of your work in the apps you use every day. This doesn’t mean that you don’t need to apply metadata to content. (As an Information Architect, I am pretty much required to say this, but it’s totally true – AI and human curation are much better together!)

There are plenty of cases where it’s really hard to extract metadata from humans – think about how hard it is to get people to update their profile data, even when they know they should – which is where the power of Project Cortex comes in to play. “Project Cortex in Microsoft 365 applies AI to empower people with knowledge and expertise in the apps they use every day. Cortex automatically organizes content across your teams and systems to connect topics like projects, products, processes and customers.”

Project Cortex is currently in preview with select customers. It is expected to be generally available in H1 2020. Pricing plans have not yet been announced, but it will be a premium experience for Microsoft 365 (which probably means that it could be included in the higher-end licenses or as an add-on to lower-end ones – but this has not yet been announced).

How it works

Here is an oversimplified explanation of how this all works. Project Cortex includes an ingestion engine where you effectively train the AI model based on your content. This includes internal content from SharePoint and file shares as well as external systems and other repositories. It automatically creates topic pages and knowledge centers based on this content. Topics can be enhanced by authorized editors and, most importantly, if you do not have permission to see the content curated by the topic – or even the topic itself – you will not see it.

This is key: Project Cortex respects all the permissions you have applied to your content and systems. Topic pages are based on the elegantly simple wiki-like pages in the modern SharePoint experience. Topic summary cards deliver knowledge from topics in the context of where you are working – across Outlook, Microsoft Teams and Office. If you are already leveraging SharePoint in Microsoft 365 for your intelligent intranet, using the topic cards will be a familiar experience. And if you aren’t using SharePoint in Microsoft 365, I have just one question:

Why not?

The metadata that’s applied to content – by AI or by experts – is managed in an updated Managed Metadata Service (MMS) that’s been extended to support tagging content across Microsoft 365. Managed metadata allows you define common terms in a taxonomy, including synonyms and multilingual support, to allow for precise tag definitions. Organizations that have used MMS taxonomy will be able to mine those tags to recognize topics in their content.

Here are some screen shots that demonstrate just some of the experiences in Project Cortex. Learn more in Microsoft’s blog post about Project Cortex.

project cortex in email Microsoft

Project Cortex connects topic cards to relevant terms in email.

project cortex in sharepoint page Microsoft

Project Cortex connects topic cards from within pages in SharePoint.

project cortex topic card Microsoft

Project Cortex automatically generates topic cards that an authorized user can enhance and adapt.

project cortex knowledge centers Microsoft

Project Cortex creates knowledge centers that users can explore independently.

project cortex web parts Microsoft

Project Cortex web parts allows Topic editors to easily enhance the automatically created topic pages.

But wait, there’s more …

Project Cortex is the next generation for knowledge management and while it’s getting a lot of attention in Orlando this week, it should also generate some buzz at KM World in Washington, D.C.  Chris McNulty is flying from Ignite to KMWorld in Washington, D.C. to deliver a keynote to my tribe of KM practitioners from across the globe.

Today is only the first day of Microsoft Ignite. There are more announcements and blog posts to come. Stay tuned to this blog. But if you can’t wait, you can participate in all of the action live by tuning in to Microsoft Ignite remotely. Every session is being recorded and will be available for streaming. Check out the Microsoft Tech Community for more information about how you can participate in the action from wherever you are.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.



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Introducing 15 Best New Portfolios, October 2019

Every month we publish this roundup of the best new portfolios launched by agencies, freelance designers, and other creative professionals.

All the signs are that web design is entering a phase of exuberance, with clashing colors, rapidly changing graphics, and dense layouts replacing the minimalism that’s dominated digital design for the last decade. Portfolios are beginning to adopt this maximalist approach, but never fear, for those who aren’t quote ready for full-on retina burn on a Monday in late October, we’ve included a few beautifully minimal sites for you to enjoy.

 

Hello Monday

Hello Monday’s site is utterly charming, with a delightful animation that I could watch for hours. The work section of the site is a masonry-style vertical grid, which is less easy to browse than you would expect, thanks to the number of projects. The best parts of this site are the little details: I love that they tell you how many days it is until Monday, and the way that hamburger menu slips away as you scroll is super-slick.

hellomonday

 

Bold

Bold’s portfolio is about sending a powerful message. It’s the website equivalent of huge shoulder pads, and an enormous, solid gold smartphone. The way the border expands from the featured images, giving you the sense of zooming into the project is inspired. It helps to have huge-name clients as social proof, but this site is excellent at inspiring confidence in the designers behind it.

bold

 

Analog is Heavy

Analog is Heavy is a creative photography practice that works with design studios to hone brand messages with high-quality product photography. Its approach to a portfolio is a vertically aligned grid of images, and that’s it. Targeting design agencies means that they’re speaking to an audience of visually educated professionals, giving Analog is Heavy the freedom to let its work sell itself.

analognisheavy

 

Athletics

Another big agency, with a client list to kill for, Athletics jumps right into fullscreen video case studies of its work for clients like IBM. One trend with many of these portfolios is that work is cherry-picked to be showcased and then less-exciting work is linked to below the initial presentation. In Athletics’ case this means an interesting grid of lower-profile, but equally exciting work.

athletics

 

Brittany Chiang

Brittany Chiang builds things for the web. How’s that for a no-nonsense approach? This great little site feels very app-orientated thanks to the dark-mode color palette and the monospaced typeface. Its a single-pager, which are increasingly rare these days, and the simplicity of it works really well. Brittany has out UXed plenty of dedicated UX designers, by being true to herself.

brittanychiang

 

Shohei Takenaka

As the web drifts towards maximalism, it’s great that there are still calm, simple, minimalist masterpieces to admire. Shohei Takenaka’s site is beautiful, with restraint, attention to detail, and ample whitespace. The subtle underlines on the menu text, and the images protruding into the white space to encourage scrolling, as well as the way the color bands are grouped when you scroll, are all perfect examples of clever UI design.

shoheitakenaka

 

Aristide Benoist

Aristide Benoist’s portfolio features some beautiful typography. It’s great to see a developer take an interest in the finer points of design. The all-caps sans-serif text is a little too much to cope with in large amounts, but here it works just fine. My favourite part of the site is the transition from thumbnail to case study. Hover over the list of projects and a little flag-like ribbon will appear, click on it and it expands into a full project image, delightful!

aristidebenoist

 

WTF Studio

WTF Studio’s portfolio is as in-yer-face as the name suggests. A front for NYC-based creative director Able Parris, the site slaps you in the eyes with color and animation the moment it loads. But scroll down past the anarchic introduction and you’ll find a series of projects for household names presented as individual case studies. It’s exactly what big brands like to see: creativity and safe hands.

wtf

 

Jim Schachterle

Jim Schachterle’s site takes an approach that we don’t normally see: he’s opted for a dark green background. That simple choice, alongside the carefully paired project shots make for a sophisticated, and distinct style. Unfortunately the choice of typeface doesn’t work in places, at 12px the detail in the design is lost altogether, swapping it out for a simpler sans-serif whenever the font-size was under 18pt would have been a better choice.

jimschachterie

 

Swwim

Perhaps it’s the chilly Northern climate at this time of year, but this Saint-Tropez looking site for Swwim warms my heart. The rounded sans-serif is an interesting choice — most designers would aim for sharp lines to emphasize precision. I adore the logotype, and its frivolity is echoed throughout the site in section titles. The less-subtle animation feels a little forced, but the wave motion is enticing, and brand-appropriate.

swwim

 

Hadrien Mongouachon

Hadrien Mongouachon is a freelance developer, so it makes perfect sense for him to demo his skills front and center on his site. He’s opted for a variation of the highly-trendy liquid effect, and it works really well. I’m not convinced by the sideways type — it only works in print because you can tilt the page — and the usability is a little compromised by the click-hold action. Once you’re accustomed to the site, it’s fun to traverse.

hadrienmongouachon

 

Butchershop

Butchershop is another design agency relying heavily on a video reel to sell its brand work. What’s really interesting about this site, is all the things it does “wrong”: the logo mark is positioned top right instead of top left, the title of its homepage is “Home”. It keeps breaking with received wisdom, so either they know something we don’t, or they didn’t get the memo about UX being a thing — you decide which.

butchershop

 

Nikolas Type

It’s rare that we get to enjoy a purely type-based portfolio, because design work is visual, but this minimal showcase is Nikolas Wrobel’s Type Foundry, Nikolas Type. Click through to the product pages and you can edit the preview text. Thanks to the foundry being a small independent, it’s able to show some lovely samples that bring the type to life, something that larger foundries often fail to do.

nikolastype

 

Jam3

It seems video (not static images) are now a must for any portfolio site. Agencies want companies to see real-world experiences, and understand what the working relationship is like. Jam3 is no exception, but scroll past the looping video and you’ll find a rigorously organized set of projects. The menu isn’t easy to locate, but I do like agencies opening up about their approach, and culture. Plus there’s a cool bubble effect hovering over the menu items.

jam3

 

New Land

There’s a tendency among motion graphics and video firms to be slightly mysterious about who they are, and what they do — perhaps it comes from the high-concepts of advertising. New Land’s target audience probably do know who it is, because this is the kind of company that you don’t hire without some prior-knowledge. Interestingly the site is geared around tablet and mobile preferred interactions, as if intended to be passed around a meeting.

newland



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