Getting Inspired & Researching
Kyle provided us with a Notion link full of good portfolio websites to look at and research in more detail. The first one that really jumped out at me was for an independent design studio called Little Thunder.
The first thing I liked about this portfolio site was the loading screen. Unfortunately (no matter how many times I tried…) it was impossible for me to get a screen grab of this fast enough, so I will explain it. The screen was all black, with a flashing image of the lightening bolt logo in yellow, right in the centre of the page. I think attempting to do something similar for my site could be quite fun and challenging.
The nav bar is quite similar to many I’ve seen before, including my original portfolio site design. It includes a word mark in the top left, and buttons/links on the right directing you to the home, projects, thoughts, and contact pages. Although all of these are worded quite uniquely:
I particularly liked the “Get in Touch” call to action, as it is made more interesting with a little megaphone icon. This button also stands out a lot more from the rest as it has a border around it – making it catch your attention more.
Something I also liked about the Get in Touch button was that it has a rollover effect, and goes black when the mouse is hovering over it:
The first part of the homepage is a left-aligned hero, with their purpose in H1, and a short blurb in H2:
I like how clean, yet bold, this looked. Since the blurb is so concise, it makes you more likely to read it even though the text is significantly smaller than the heading above.
Below this are some of their main case studies being showcased. This is done with scattered images, call to actions leading to the case study pages, and short descriptions of each project/deliverable.
I quite liked the layout of this feature. I think it is unique and interesting. It also makes each case study stand out a little more as they aren’t placed directly beside one another.
Below that is some information about international companies that Little Thunder have worked with or are currently working with. This includes some descriptive text, and a grid with images of the logos from the companies mentioned:
I think this particular feature is clever, and is laid out very cleanly. The images of logos are a nice touch as it breaks up this section from the next one quite well.
The site goes on to explain the work that they do and the processes involved. Again, this is done in a neat grid format and is easy to read and separate each design process from the next.
We are then told that no project is too large or too small, and some information about their team and how they work with clients is included. This is done with nice little illustrations scattered on either side of the text, yet again breaking it up nicely, and making it more enjoyable to read.
After that information comes a prompt to “get in touch”, highlighting a button that is identical to that in the nav bar. I think this is very cleverly placed, right below some case studies and information about the company. After looking at all of this, as a company interested in their work, it is very convenient to have this option come back up.
Just like the homepage, the portfolio page has a very interesting layout. It is done in a timeline format, with dates appearing beside each project in chronological order going from 2020 back to 2013 when they began.
I think that a unique layout like this is also good for showing how the design company has progressed and improved over the years, and moved to bigger projects because of this.
This page works quite like a blog. It includes a couple of articles about their “thoughts on design, front-end development and the industry.”
I think their illustrations included above the article teasers are so much fun. They’re simple but effective, and very colourful which adds a lot of personality to the monochromatic background and text.
Footer & Newsletter Sign Up
The footer is simple and clean. I particularly like the use of the space, with the slogan standing alone in large, bold text on the left so it stands out. Then their HQ information is presented neatly in a two column grid to the right, with their social media and email links below.
The newsletter boxout is a nice touch, and stands out well against the rest of the white background. It also separates this section nicely from the footer. Again, I like how simple, yet bold, this section is. The yellow “Sign me up” button is a nice touch, and it jumps out at you when you look at this part of the page.
I think that beginning my research with such a strong blog has definitely helped set the standard for me. This type of colour scheme and format is something I have always been interested in doing for my own portfolio site. It is understated, yet also quite bold.
I will continue to research more portfolio blogs, with all different themes and features, in order to gain a fuller range of inspiration moving forward.