A website can say a lot about who you are as a creative. More than any other medium, web design and coding offers flexibility, diversity and variety; the possibilities really are endless. Take, for example, a photographer whose portfolio consists of large format images full of details you want to zoom in on. A pared-down site with little-to-no text and a simple image slider will let the work speak for itself and really pull focus. For an illustrator who undertakes several editorial commissions a week, on the other, a homepage populated with rows and rows of images, all explicitly labelled, will convey the volume of work they produce and the calibre of the client for whom they make it.
But it’s not just design you have to think about. The way someone navigates a site can say as much about you as the way they see your work on the page. While this plethora of choice is exciting, it can also be a little paralysing, especially if your experience with web design is limited. If the thought of starting with a blank canvas and translating the personality and passion that goes into your work through code is a little daunting, we’ve spoken to three creatives who’ve wholeheartedly achieved it. Pitch Studios, Dot Pigeon and Calvin Pausania each built their website using Wix, and the results are as varied and idiosyncratic as their portfolios.
Pitch Studios is a Melbourne-based creative studio and a name those who came down to Nicer Tuesdays in September will be familiar with. Known for its digital-first projects and future-facing aesthetics, the studio needed something equally as slick to present its work on. Pitch, therefore, opted for simplicity in both design and interaction. “With a lot of our work, because it’s often surrealist and colourful, we didn’t want a complicated site with lots of distractions. So we opted for something more simple, where the work could really speak for itself (as you can see on the project gallery page),” the studio explains.
With little-to-no information about the studio on its homepage, instead, two icons in the top right-hand corner hint at how users can find projects or contact Pitch. This ensures the first thing anyone notices when arriving at www.pitch-studios.com is the studio’s creative output. Ironically, by stripping back any elements which might reflect the aesthetic of the studio’s work, its website allows the work to take centre stage through juxtaposition. A ticker with links to social accounts injects a sense of fun into the site but, ultimately, “it’s really about showing off the work in the best way possible,” the studio tells us. “As long as it’s functional and workable for the user, your own design flair can follow!”
When designing his website, Milan-based artist Dot Pigeon also opted for simplicity. “The idea behind my artworks is to create simple and comprehensible messages realised in a clean and visually satisfying way,” he tells us. For his website, therefore, he wanted the same approach: “a simple but bold website able to grab attention and entertain people who visit it.” Dot Pigeon started sharing his work on Instagram, posting works inspired by pop culture, politics, icons and trends of the moment and so the layout of his website reflects this, mimicking the square grid of the photographic platform. “It is a sort of homage and at the same time a warning to myself to always remember where I come from,” he adds.
This idea is only furthered by Dot Pigeon’s choice to show nothing but imagery, a header, and a link to his Instagram, as well as a potentially infinite scroll of images. When combined together, all of these design decisions make for a smart website that gives Dot Pigeon’s work a home on its own domain, but which still reflects the platform it originated on.
“In my opinion,” begins Calvin Pausania, “my website is my gallery, even my house. It’s the space that shows me and my profession in a unique way.” As a result, the Dutch director-photographer-designer took consideration when designing his portfolio in order to make sure it wholly embodied the look and feel of his work, as well as the ethos behind it. “The first thing you notice is the overall dark vibe with the moving background and the interactive elements through visuals, animation and text. It’s a way of communicating that I don’t have on social media,” he tells us. While Calvin’s work is often shown on other platforms on a white, clean background, he wanted to take this opportunity to present his imagery exactly as he wanted to.
He continues: “You go outside to meet people and create relationships, but people will get to know more about you when they enter your house. This is what a portfolio website is to me. On social media people get introduced to your work and on your website everything aligns and you can feel what the person is doing.” Calvin’s website is, therefore, a space where he can fully control a visitor’s experience of his work. Finally, he tells us: “I chose to not work with an existing template and did the spacing and sizing of all the work in a very specific way. It’s, in a way, tailor-made to the pages.”
What seems to unite what Pitch Studios, Dot Pigeon and Calvin all say is the notion that, no matter what, you should start by looking at your work. It can definitely be tempting to start playing around with different themes and layouts, but the answer to how best to present your portfolio will most likely be staring you straight in the face. What is it that makes your work unique or distinctive? Once you’ve figured that out, designing a website which represents you and which is imbued with your personality will be easy.
Wix is a world-class website building platform with 150 million users in 190 countries, enabling you to create a professional website and manage your business online. With advanced design capabilities and specialised features, Wix gives you the freedom to design and customise a website that expresses your vision, no matter your brand or business.