When it comes to professional networking, LinkedIn is the social network that everyone turns to. However, if you are a creative professional, especially a graphic designer, you may need a more inspiring platform where you can showcase your work and show off all of your creative talents.
We have compiled a list of the best social networking sites for graphic designers where you can post your design portfolio and connect with other designers online.
Best for: visualization of your ideas and projects.
Pinterest started as a visual bookmarking tool. After gaining popularity, it turned into a social network for creative professionals and a great tool for any designer.
There are several ways to use Pinterest professionally as a designer:
- Showcase your work on the board.
- Follow and connect with other designers whose work interests you.
- Get inspiration from other users who share their work in the form of mood boards
- Exchange professional contacts and educational resources with other graphic designers online.
- Use promotional pins for marketing purposes and to get noticed.
Getting started with Pinterest is easy. All you need is to fill out the registration form on the site and you can start chatting.
Best for: quick exchange of small information.
If Pinterest works in the form of pins, Dribbble’s currency is “shots” – users share screenshots or small images of their designs on the platform and give each other feedback by leaving comments. Dribbble used to be called “Twitter for designers” because everything here is small. Small images, short comments – the whole concept of the site is very clear and understandable.
The site has members called “scouts” – people looking for designers for a project, making Dribbble even more profitable for creative professionals.
Best for: to get your work noticed.
Behance is one of the most popular portfolio sites where designers showcase their work and discover talented professionals.
With a large community of designers and other creative professionals on the site, your work is more likely to be noticed here. If you want to be known and want to get a job or a project, Behance is the best choice. However, be sure to exhibit examples of your best work. Otherwise, you can get lost in the competition.
Best for: get your first design gig.
If Dribble is Twitter for designers, 99designs is Upwork for designers. 99designs is not so much about sharing examples of your work with other designers. The site is more focused on connecting graphic designers with people who want to hire them for a project.
To become an active member of 99design, you need to create a graphic design portfolio on the site and then participate in creative contests where a group of designers completes a small project and the winner receives a cash prize.
Best for: highlighting your portfolio.
Cargo is the perfect online platform for anyone looking to build a graphic design portfolio that’s truly out of the box. This platform allows you to set up your portfolio website with your own URL using one of Cargo’s templates. The best part is that you can sign up and get started for free.
Cargo also has a network of creative professionals who can follow you and provide feedback on your work to help you improve your portfolio.
Best for: work with typography.
Fontli is not for a wide range of graphic designers, but for those who work with fonts and call themselves printers. The whole program is organized in a similar way to Instagram: users create their own profiles, where they share examples of fonts they’ve created or fonts they like.
A feature that makes Fontli stand out is the ability to identify a specific font or typeface. You can upload an image of the font and use photo tags to help more people in the app notice it and help identify the font. However, since typography is more of a niche, the community is not as large as on other platforms.
Best for: finding and sharing the best color combinations.
COLOURlovers is a networking website for illustrators, graphic designers, and other creative professionals to share color patterns and palettes, discuss the latest trends, and experiment with color.
COLOURlovers is a useful online resource for people working on any design project, whether it’s a portfolio, website design or booklet. You can create your projects directly on the site and receive feedback from other users. You can also use some colorful patterns and shapes that other users have created and shared online.
Best for: search for educational content.
SlideShare may seem like a different breed than the other sites on this list. SlideShare is a platform where professionals share their knowledge and experience in various fields in the form of slides. The site has a special “Design” section, which will be useful for any graphic designer.
For aspiring designers, SlideShare can offer many opportunities for development. The site has many educational materials and experienced designers to learn from. For designers who want to get more information and start selling their work, SlideShare can offer a big boost to business as well as brand awareness. You can also create or upload your SlideShare portfolio and follow other users you want to connect with.
Time to start networking
Smart networking can get you the contacts you need, as well as your first big project. Showcasing your work is an important part of this, and it’s a great way to put yourself out there and start making a name for yourself. When you post your work online, remember to protect any copyrighted content you share with others.
What platforms do you use for networking? Do you use the same or a different service to showcase your portfolio? Share your networking experience in the comments section below.