The most important tasks required of a designer or illustrator to publish a promo site are becoming easier thanks to new portfolio web products. Many of them are free to join, and offer great benefits to the creative professional.
The most important work begins before you join a portfolio site. It’s critical that you put your best work forward, write creatively, persuasively, and honestly, and edit your content to generate a great impression. But from there, much of the work is getting faster and easier, especially for those creatives who don’t specialize in web development and coding. We are exploring several of these sites right now at Zachary Creative, and we begin with one of the best.
Behance is a free portfolio website for creative professionals, and it has many excellent features that make it attractive to both the new designer and the seasoned veteran.
Behance is free to join, and the interface guides new users through the process and gives tips on how to improve your content and make your profile more complete. Uploading, publishing, and sharing your profile is very fast, and if you have content ready to upload, you can publish an attractive collection of work in a matter of minutes.
The site is targeted at creative individuals and companies, and no distinction is made between types of portfolios which are shown by default in the “Discover” tab.
Behance is a large community and it is getting larger, so to narrow the range, there are several operators in provided in tabs. These include type of creative work, date uploaded, geographic region (including country, state, and city), and an item called “most appreciated”. This is part of a function featured on Behance built around the idea of other users’ “apprecation”. At the bottom of each project page is a button that enables users to “appreciate” the project. Merit thus measured builds contributors’ reputations, which incentivizes them to feature their very best work.
Some of the other features include integration with social media sites, and a section called “Galleries” with curated portfolios, similar to Groups in Flickr as a way to feature work according to user-created themes.
These are great resources, but perhaps the most admirable is the effort to include a “Jobs” board. This same network that features your portfolio can also help get you hired, and Behance encourages people seeking designers to participate with a “Post a Job” button in the top menu.
From the Behance website:
In 2006, we set out to put control into the hands of countless creative professionals suffering from inefficiency, disorganization, and careers at the mercy of bureaucracy.
…Behance is a rapidly growing design centric technology company based in New York City. Our talented team of designers and developers work hand-in-hand, leveraging the latest technologies and design thinking to create revolutionary products that empower the creative world.
Overall, Behance benefits from its ease of use and friendly interface for new users, and it provides attractive portfolio pages with little trouble. In addition, the potential for cultivating a network through the site seems promising, with the possible drawback of a large user base cluttering the view of both prospective employers and creatives. Those wanting to establish a portfolio with high visibility and individual character may find it insufficient as a primary portfolio site, but may consider it as a secondary channel for showing their work.