How to Build a Creative Director Portfolio Easily (+8 Examples)
Check inspiring creative director portfolio examples and learn how to build yours in 5 easy steps.
Working your way up the career ladder in advertising, you’ll know the importance of an outstanding portfolio. By the time you become a creative director, whether you started out as a copywriter or an art director, you’ll have created quite a few of them yourself. We’re here to help you take it one step further and build your new creative director portfolio now.
We’ll show you 8 great examples that you can get some ideas and inspiration from, then we’ll go into details about how you can create a similar one for yourself.
8 Creative director portfolios you need to see for inspiration
Before we get into the details, we wanted to show you some creative director portfolio examples. Checking these will be great for seeing how yours should be structured, and getting some ideas and inspirations for visuals and layouts as well.
Ádám Mattyasovszky – Copywriter and Creative Lead
Ádám is a copywriter and creative lead at the advertising agency Kraftwork with almost 10 years of experience in advertising.
He’s probably had many exciting projects during these years, but he chose to showcase his six best pieces of work in his portfolio. These get the main focus on his homepage: with big, prominent thumbnails that match the colors and overall design of his portfolio website.
Ádám’s portfolio was created with Copyfolio, using the “Billboard” template.
Brenna Hamilton – Creative Director & Brand Strategist
Brenna is a creative director and brand strategist from Northern California, who created an absolutely stunning portfolio website. The secret to its success is in the cohesive look (matching style of thumbnails on a crisp white background, with consistent fonts in black), and the neat organization.
She organized her projects not by brand but by type instead: you can check her work in branding, traditional channels like print, radio, and tv, social media and content, and more. Finishing off the homepage with a short “about me” section and a clear CTA, Brenna leads her website visitors intentionally.
Brenna added a case studies page to her top menu, where you can learn even more about her expertise. She listed three project types with further descriptions and buttons leading to the finished results and examples. Similar to her homepage, she finished the page with a clear CTA to maximize her conversions.
Brenna created her creative director portfolio using Copyfolio and the “Billboard” template.
Kerrie Ann Frey – Global Creative Director
Kerrie wears many hats: she not only writes copy and works as a CD, but she also coaches copywriters and is an expert in global B2B marketing. As having such a wide range of responsibilities is an important part of her professional persona, she starts out her portfolio by explaining that before getting to her projects.
She features five projects on her homepage —all of which are case studies. In each, she shows some samples of the finished pieces and explains the project background and creative process too, following the case study writing prompts found in Copyfolio. Because similar to Ádám’s, Kerrie’s creative director portfolio was created with Copyfolio, but with the “Typewriter” template.
Gari Cruze – Associate Creative Director
An associate creative director with HUGE, Gari also has super creative, must-see projects in his portfolio, like the Lyft Christmas campaign or the activation for the Period Movement. He puts the focus on his work so much so that it’s all he has on his homepage, apart from a top menu to help you navigate.
Interested in the life and work of an ACD like Gari? Read our interview with Gari on the Copyfolio blog!
Susan Hamilton — Creative Director
With an impressive 20+ years of experience working for agencies, Susan has led many creative teams, worked with and mentored many writers. Currently sailing with BOSE, most of her projects are related to this specific industry, including videos, social media campaigns, and even TV or print ads.
Susan created her creative director portfolio with Copyfolio, using the “Letterpress” template.
Jimmy Pardi – Creative Director
Jimm’s currently a creative lead at Amazon, but he’s also worked with advertising agencies like Leo Burnett or Ogilvy. He’s passionate about pushing for representation for people of color, those that are differently-abled, and members of the LGBTQ+ community —which is reflected in the work he showcases.
He has a long list of awards on a separate “Recognition” page and a minimalist resumé on a page titled “Experience”.
Katie Mellor – Creative Director
You’ve probably caught on by now: in most of the creative director portfolios, their projects are in the spotlight, represented by big, prominent thumbnails right on the homepage.
Katie’s portfolio is no different: she’s featured 12 projects, in columns of two, the thumbnails going wall-to-wall with no white space in between.
She’s currently a creative director at Facebook/Instagram, but she has work in her portfolio from other big brands like Coca-Cola, and side projects like the book she wrote, titled “stop thinking bout yourself”.
Elrid Carvalho – Creative Director
Elrid’s a creative director at Ogilvy Singapore, so you’ll see many ad campaigns from non-US markets in his portfolio. He has projects in it from brands like Airbnb, KitKat, or Michelin —and he’s also worked with the Singapore Tourism board on some exciting projects.
You can find his resume and awards on his about page, and his number and email address under “Contact”. If you’d like to read more about Elrid and his work, check out our interview with him on the blog.
How to build a creative director portfolio
Now it’s time to take action, so let’s dive into the practical details of building a creative director portfolio!
What to include in a creative director portfolio
First and foremost: what are the essentials? What should you include in your portfolio?
As you could see from the examples above, the most important thing to have on your creative director portfolio is your work —more details about that in a little bit. You should also include an about page with a photo of yourself, a short introduction, and your resume.
If your previous projects have won awards, it’s a great idea to add a list of your awards and recognitions as well. You can create a whole new page for them, or add them to your about page if that’s more convenient.
Having your contact information, meaning your email address and/or your phone number is also essential. If you’re active on social media, you can definitely link your profiles as well.
How many projects should you add to your portfolio?
The very first thing we need to emphasize is that when it comes to projects in a creative director portfolio, quality always overrules quantity. As with any portfolio, really. Whenever you’re selecting which ad campaigns and case studies to include, you need to be really strict and only choose the best of the best.
What makes a project good enough for a creative director portfolio?
There are a few different things that might make a project worthy of including in your portfolio:
- It’s won awards. If a project has gotten notable recognition, a Cannes Lion, for example, it’s a good indicator that it has a place amongst your top work.
- It was for a big brand. Having brands in your portfolio that everyone knows gives you a certain authority and credibility, as people know they can afford to only work with the best advertising agencies and professionals.
- Has a great story behind it. Whether it’s the project background or the creative process, if the project has a catching, one-of-a-kind story, you could consider adding it too.
- It’s your personal favorite. Although choosing all the projects based on personal preference might not be the best way to go, choosing one or two that are simply close to your heart is absolutely fine.
Okay, now you know which ones have the potential. But the question still remains…
How many projects should you include?
What you need to keep in mind is that you should have enough projects to show your expertise and the variety of your skills —but not as many that’d be overwhelming and impossible to get through for your visitors.
We recommend you add around 6-8 projects for that reason. But the rule of “quality over quantity” still stands, so if you feel like you don’t have enough outstanding projects, don’t be afraid to go under 6. As long as you don’t have just one lonely project up, you’ll be fine.
Step-by-step guide: here’s how to create a creative director portfolio easily
By now you probably have an idea of how you want your portfolio to look and what project you want to add to it. The next step is to choose where to build it and inevitably, to actually get started.
Step 1: find the best portfolio builder
The tool you use will make or break both your website building experience and the success of your creative director portfolio website. You need to make sure you choose a portfolio builder like Copyfolio that’s easy to use, fast to load, and helps you at every step of the way.
Here’s what you should look for in a portfolio builder tool:
- Quick and easy to set up and use
- Has good-looking templates to start with
- You can easily case study pages, with thumbnails on the homepage
- Makes adding visuals easier with mockups and special sections
- Creates automatically responsive websites
- You can buy your own domain name on it
- Great customer support to help whenever you need
Step 2: create your site & setup the basics
Once you made your choice, it’s time to sign up and create your site. With the right tool, it shouldn’t take more than 2-3 minutes. In Copyfolio, it takes about 3 minutes to create an account and have your starter site ready, with 3 basic pages set up for you. We actually timed it.
What do we mean by basics? You should have a homepage, an about page, and a contact page at least. Write a tagline and upload a photo for your home page first —but don’t worry about the other two pages yet, we’ll get there in a second.
Step 3: add your projects
When the top of your homepage is ready, you can move on to add your projects. Create nice big thumbnails that lead to case study pages for each project.
Pro tip: try to choose thumbnails that fit the color scheme of your website. If your background is white with black/grey text and elements, you can choose basically any colors for your thumbnail. But if you have a colored background and/or text, then make sure each thumbnail fits the overall aesthetic.
When working on your project pages, aim to write brief case studies about each. Describe the creative brief you got, the process of coming up with ideas and choosing the final one, executing the vision, and working with the client.
Don’t forget to show the final results either! You can add their images into billboard, magazine, or laptop mockups for a professional look, and include testimonials from the clients for added credibility.
Step 4: write your about and contact pages
Now that the most important parts are done, it’s time to finish up the website by filling out your about and contact pages.
As a creative director, your about me page should ideally have a picture of yourself, a brief summary of your career so far, and a little bit about your areas of interest and expertise. It’s also a perfect spot for featuring your resume and your awards/recognitions —or you can create separate pages for each of these.
And the contact page? Just keep it simple. The easier it is to find your contact info the better. So feel free to just drop your email address and phone number —or add a simple contact form instead.
Step 5: buy a domain & share your site
And then it’s time to put the cherry on top by buying a custom domain name and connecting it to your site. As a creative director, it’s important for your portfolio to feel as professional as possible, and that’s exactly what a domain name will give you. Try to get yourname.com if possible —if it’s taken already, just try a different ending instead of .com.
When you’re all set and ready to go, there’s nothing left but to share your creative director portfolio with the world. Add its link to your email signature, resume, and your social media profiles, and don’t forget to update it on any other professional platforms you’re using.
Build your creative director portfolio with Copyfolio
Follow these 5 easy steps and build your creative director portfolio with Copyfolio today! With Copyfolio you can…
- Buy your own domain that we’ll automatically connect to your site
- Add your images to mockups including billboards and magazines with a single click
- Change the whole look of your site in seconds with color palettes and font presets
- Create case study pages with thumbnails automatically added to your homepage
- Get help with writing the case studies, with prompts and guiding questions