30 tips for creating a graphic design portfolio

Getting noticed can be difficult in the design field. Whether you are a freelancer, junior or somebody that is looking at changing their career. This post is a list of 30 portfolio ideas that will help you with your design journey. – tips graphic design portfolio

tips graphic design portfolio

This will (hopefully) offer some ideas to create an interview ready graphic design portfolio.

“There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.”

– Milton Glaser

How to create a design portfolio that will get you noticed

I will answer a very quick question that I was asked recently before going into the detailed list of how to create your stand out portfolio.

Take note, you, the designer will need to put your best foot forward if you want to win that job. You need to show that you can do what is asked of you and that you can offer value to the next role.

What you did yesterday is nice – what you are going to do tomorrow will be what gets you the job.

1 ) Do you need a design portfolio?

In short, yes. This is the first tip. Without a design portfolio, there is no way of ‘showing’ what you can do. Without any examples of work, you are relying on an employer, agency or client to just take your word for it. I cannot emphasise this enough.

Yes, you need to show that you are a designer and you at least have some idea of what you can do. Don’t tell them – show them.

2) include your best, finished pieces

This is not as common as you might think. Graduates, in particular, tend to put too much process stages into their portfolio. Although this offers a good insight into how you work, too much can be counter-productive.

Many employers are in a hurry and want to see ‘results’.

And, I may burst a bubble here and go as far as to say that you may be working as a creative junior artwork / designer if this is your first role – even if the position is sold differently on the jobsboard.

Hopefully, this won’t be forever. But be prepared to see a lot of this when applying for work – especially in the early stages.

Many artworking roles are dressed as creative design work when in fact a manager or client may be telling you what to do, and… you may be pushing pixels around to begin with as a junior designer.

3 ) Show your technical proficiency

If you have managed to find a job that is more ‘art and design’ or ‘illustrative’ then great! But if you are looking for more mainstream graphic design roles you will need to show that you can create the artwork in current programs such as, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and Indesign.

I would no longer assume that all design graduates come out with these software skills as a standard – not after recruiting interns and junior graphic designers for creative positions.

4 ) Design notes & annotations in portfolio

Believe it or not, whether you are going to a meeting as freelancer, junior or senior designer. People will read your notes and they will want to understand more of what is going on in your project.

You may know what your project is about but others will not, it is often best to spell it out in short sentences. It doesn’t have to be an essay. Just a paragraph with some annotations saying what is going on in a few words.

5 ) Make it relevant and appealing

This is one of the most most important points in this list so make sure to pay attention. Make sure whatever is in your portfolio, it is as relevant to the job as possible if you want the position.

Employers will want to see what you have done and also what you will do for them should they hire you for the role.

For example, if you are going for a packaging role at gifting company, try to emulate that you can do packaging and that you have past experience in the relevant market.

6 ) Your portfolio says one thing, your CV says another

Saying that you have x y z is one thing. But if your portfolio tells a very different story to what comes out of your mouth or what is written on your CV it will be evident by the end of the meeting.

Don’t bluff too much as you will just waste your time and hiring managers’ time. And managers and directors really don’t have a lot of time to waste.

7 ) The portfolio is just woefully terrible

Subjective but…

I recall reading a CV and thinking to myself how epic a candidate was. I jumped over to their portfolio and they had just 2 pieces of lacking work in their portfolio. Part of it was scrappy little advert tucked up into a corner of the page promoting a grave-digging business, the other I cannot recall.

It was pretty evident that this individual was not a trained graphic designer and that some people in the industry may have been outraged by what was trying to be passed off as a portfolio. In a word – they were bluffing it and portfolio showed it.

Perhaps they wanted to change their career.

If you are looking at changing career then study design, or at the very least have a portfolio with work that shows you are capable.

Don’t tell hiring managers how good you are, show them!

Also, don’t get me wrong, I don’t claim to be the best designer in the universe but you know… come on. I was hiring! My reputation is on the line.

So, make your portfolio as awesome as you can! Do your best, look at other designers and ask yourself some critical questions

8 ) Varied but relevant

The closer you can keep your portfolio to the job match, the better. If you have any relevant or applicable pieces that you believe can help land you the desired position – include them.

You what to show projects that are transferable to the position and present you in a good light.

9 ) Not enough work

It can be frustrating even as a senior designer to hear, “have you worked for anyone else?” or when I was a graduate “is that all?” from a recruiter. As a graduate, then chances are you may only have a few good pieces of work and a final major project that takes up a large portion of your portfolio.

Don’t be disheartened.

Create more work that will draw attention. Sounds easy, but the fact is, your portfolio shouldn’t stop once you leave university or college. If you can try to keep your work up to date and keep adding new and exciting pieces, this will carry you in good stead in the future.

tips graphic design portfolio - encouragement

tips graphic design portfolio

10 ) Personal projects

As long as they are good, polished and relevant, include a couple of these projects in your portfolio. It shows that you are continuously trying to develop and some of these projects are on occasions more interesting than your commercial projects.

11 ) ‘Discuss’ projects

With your printed portfolio, be ready to discuss not just what you did in the project, but for what purpose. For example, if your aim was to sell a product, mention this in notes and be prepared to elaborate if you are asked questions.

Keep the notes small and too the point but, try to write it in a way that will invite questions and open discussion.

12 ) Real-life examples

If you have created any real-life examples of your work be it packaging, stationery, retail displays take photos of these and add them to your portfolio too.

Aside from breaking up your portfolio and keeping it interesting, having real-life examples adds an authenticity to the project that a render of a flat image cannot replace.

tips graphic design portfolio - packaging example
tips graphic design portfolio - real life examples
More packaging this way

13 ) If you don’t have real examples

If you don’t have photos or real-life examples them create your own renders and visual mocks ups to show your work in action! And if you don’t have the ability to create visualisations, you could always consider using a website such as Graphic Burger for freebie mockups.

Websites, such as Graphic Burger have a ton of free mockup kits.

tips graphic design portfolio way of displaying your website design work
UI design

14 ) Have real products and samples for your meeting

Another thing to accompany your graphic design portfolio is to have physical samples of what you have made. So, for example, if you have created a piece of packaging and you are in possession of the box – take it with you to the meeting.

People like to touch things – we are tactile creatures.

You can always show some of the work in progress in your portfolio too and then pull out a “here is one I made earlier”.

15 ) A ‘bit’ of the design process

Showing some of how you work can offer a little extra insight into you as a designer, as mentioned before. For me, I will often keep completed visuals alongside some of the bare UI and snippets of code to show my roles, methods, and stages of a project.

It holds true for both print and digital design.

I have a link here visualising my creative journey

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Tips for a graphic design portfolio – a break

This is a small break in the list! 30 tips graphic design portfolio

Hopefully, this has given you some ideas on how to create an interview-ready portfolio. As a designer, your portfolio is important at any stage of your career, whether you are a graduate or a senior designer.

If you are a graphic design graduate, I have written a post that may help you out.

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16 ) Type of physical portfolio

It should be noted right here and now, that a nice display book for your portfolio is never a replacement for good work and eye-catching design. It is just tidy a professional vessel to show your best pieces.

Since University, I have used a tidy A3 mapac portfolio to display my work.

Your portfolio needs to look professional. Not stickers, No A level ring binders with cloudy sleeves… slick and professional.

tips graphic design portfolio A3 portfolio book.
A3 Mapac

My personal favourite that is affordable is the A3 design book or if you have some cash for the sleeves too, archival cases.

Don’t use the cheaper looking A2 ring binder portfolio that you probably went to a college interview with. You are design professional now and you need to look the part, I would also like to remind you that you are in competition with other designers – with slick portfolios.

17 ) Art vs Design

I’m going to say something controversial to some – art & design, in most commercial settings, are not the same…

So, by all means, feel free to include some of your ‘artwork’ if it is relevant to the job.

But most agencies, unless you are an illustrator, are looking for a Graphic Designer – not an artist, and there is a difference.

If you look too much like an artist as opposed to a design professional when you are going for a design business role this can work against you in a couple of ways:

  • Secretly, you want to be an artist and your portfolio shows this. Therefore do you have intentions to make this dream a reality? (leave the role in 5 minutes)
  • They are not hiring an artist (unless they are) they are looking for a graphic design professional for the position.
  • You will be frustrated as you probably won’t get to paint. (Who doesn’t love to paint!)

Make sure your skills and portfolio are in line with the job requirements. What you have in your portfolio will reveal more than you you realise.

tips graphic design portfolio

18 ) ‘Artwork’ in your graphic design portfolio

As lovely as some artwork can be, these more often than not offer an irrelevant distraction sadly. They may look beautiful, but unless relevant to a job or project it is best left out.

Or added to an alternative dedicated artwork portfolio.

If you have provided artwork for ad campaigns, an app or something similar, include it if you feel it offers something to the job. But only if, it offers something to role. Make your portfolio about the job and what you can offer to the job that will be applicable.

19 ) How much work should I include in my design portfolio?

This question has been around for years and for as long as I have been designing – and in truth. I would struggle to say how much is too little for your printed design portfolio.

– For my printed portfolio, I try to hover around 14 pieces without it getting boring.

– I would say no more than 20 pieces in your portfolio.

Too much ‘okay’ work can dilute the great work. Be ruthless with what you include. it is a delicate balance of best foot forward and not selling yourself short.

20 ) Stand out with your portfolio

The tips and ideas listed in this post are elements of a much bigger goal – what can you do to make your portfolio stand out and get you a job?

Recruiters, HR, businesses are busy and the chances are if you applied for a position at a company in a big city they will have received literally hundreds of applications. This is especially more likely if you are applying for work in the summer holidays.

How do I know this? Because I have been in the position of hiring for junior design roles.

So, this brings it back round to this point. What can you do to stand out in a roaring sea of busy inboxes?

Create real-world examples of how the project came out, If it is a piece packaging then try to mock up the packaging. There are websites online that allow you to put together mock-ups if you can’t do this yourself.

If you have designed a kiosk, stand signage – take ‘in situ’ pictures that makes a recruiter say “you actually made this”.

If it is digital design also, use web links to live websites.

If the website has changed and you only have a UI, create mock-ups of the design inside a computer screen or a Smartphone.

Assume that people will only spend around 60 seconds glancing at your portfolio. What can you do to hold their attention for longer? Also ‘show’ what something is as much as possible.

21 ) Make your design portfolio snappy

Did I mention that business owners are busy (or impatient)? Or both. I’m (and have been) guilty of this. I would advise making it so that your portfolio can be read easily and skimmed.

There may only be a couple of projects that actually catch the employers’ attention so make it easy for them to spot what they are looking for.

22 ) Compartmentalise and structure

Keep your portfolio in some sort of sensible order. Whether this is by project or by a medium such as print and then digital is down to you. Don’t jump between projects.

It will help any recruiter stay on track with what they are reading and makes it look like you can apply some order to your projects. Being an organized designer is a huge plus too.

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Do I need a ‘digital’ portfolio?

Yes, in a very short answer.

I have been asked “do I need a digital portfolio?” or specifically a PDF portfolio. 100% yes. You do need a digital portfolio saved as PDF. Get this sorted first as with the digital age, this will be your first port of call.

When I was recruiting for internships ( you can read tips here on getting a design internship) and hiring for a junior role, I would also need to see a PDF of work along with a CV. And shall offer a little inside sub-tip right here, right now.

After a time I stopped reading a design CV’s first?

Think that is an odd thing to add?

It would not be uncommon for me to read a great CV from top to bottom and say – “Wow this person sounds great! Let us hire them now.“

Then I would look a the portfolio… it ends there.

I can recall looking at some of these portfolios and asking myself whether they were even Graphic Designers, it made me feel genuine pity for Graphic designers trying to struggle through and find work in the industry when these ‘have a goes’ were trying their luck.

Secondly. I had wasted 5 minutes of my time reading a CV of somebody that clearly wasn’t a designer. From then on I took a portfolio first approach.

Make both your CV and portfolio as good as it can be. It will help you secure the opportunity you want.

And to answer again – yes you will need a graphic design portfolio / PDF version. It is very important. Which leads to the next point.

23 ) Create PDF version of your portfolio

Moving on from physical hard copy of your print portfolio. I will now offer some ideas and insights on creating digital versions of your portfolio with this being the first digital tip.

Create a digital PDF version of your portfolio so that it can fit inside a recruiter’s inbox.

Make it eye-catching and don’t make the recruiter or the person having to hire need to work for it.

Make it as easy for them as humanly possible.

If you are struggling to know which program to use to create a digital PDF portfolio you can use Indesign and Adobe Acrobat and save as or export from there

24 ) Keep the PDF small

Don’t send a MASSIVE portfolio to the recruiter’s inbox. This will either take too long to download or may even get caught in a firewall.

So with this I mind, and knowing that you should send a concise version of your PDF portfolio this will probably mean that you may have to trim the fat.

Cull the stuff that won’t help land you the job – next point!

25 ) Create A light version of your PDF portfolio

One of the obvious ways of shrinking your portfolio is by losing some of the pages which make it so bloated and heavy.

Lose projects and be brutal with what you want to include.

If needs be, strip it back to the bare essentials. And then decide what matters to you and what you should include. I can be worth doing this every year. We can call this maintenance.

26 ) Don’t bother sending links to download your WHOPPING great PDF

Please don’t.

Remember when I said ‘make it easy for them’ sending a link or a Wetransfer isn’t making it easier for the recruiter to see your work. Don’t make ‘them’ (people hiring) have to wait to download your 2 GB portfolio as this takes time and invites more problems for you.

I tend to strive to try and keep my PDF portfolio under 3 / 4 MB tops so that I can attach it and get it inside an inbox.

From a recruitment stand-point making me have to download a PDF from 100 plus applications makes it time-consuming and more difficult than it needs to be.

So, don’t make a hiring manager download anything. Don’t waste their time.

It will be met with an inner groan. You don’t want to make the person hiring burst a blood vessel!

tips graphic design portfolio - dont do this...
Don’t cause this | tips graphic design portfolio

27 ) Make it easy for the hiring manager

Make is simple. Don’t send dozens of links to various locations. Have all of the big content a single PDF or keep it all together as much as possible.

The more actions you ask the recruiter to make, the more likely they are to get bored or move on.

And you don’t want that. They are people behind the jobs, after all.

28 ) Links to online presence

In addition to your PDF portfolio, you should have some of your artwork online. And when I say online, I mean on platforms such as Behance, Creativepool, etc.

Putting additional work on websites such as Behance can be a great way of showing off additional work and sending follow-up links. The bits of the process you can’t fit into a portfolio, or the bit of a project that didn’t quite make the final cut.

As a freelancer, it is especially important for you to have your work visible online but that is another topic for another day.

29 ) Deciding on ‘not’ having an online graphic design presence

Mixed opinions on this.

If this was for a job for a classic print house then I could let it go – maybe. But in this day and age with so much information, projects and work being online I would have found it strange not to see any of your work online.

Even as a pure print designer. I would advise that you have your print work online also.

Here are a few reasons: It will most likely be the first thing people will look at when they want to see samples of your work – in particular as a freelancer.

Not having work online will age you – in a negative way (too much of a senior designer?). It may also be perceived that you may not have an interest in design trends etc.

I’m not mentioning that to be mean. Even a senior designer myself. I have found this to be an issue in the past.

30 ) Website Portfolio

You may not ‘need’ a dedicated online portfolio if you are just going to focus on print design. But, if you are gearing towards working in the digital fields then I would say yes – you should have some form of a website or at the very least an online presence as a bare minimum.

If you are thinking of creating a website I have written some tips here on how to start with some very affordable web creation options – keeping in mind, that the post mentioned is geared toward small business owners as opposed to how to create a killer graphic design portfolio.

A website allows you to sell yourself and sell yourself the way you want to.

Having online a Behance profile means that you are in a sea of designers and you have to structure portfolio according to their rules and format.

Don’t get me wrong, Behance is great. And I believe you should set up a profile today but not at the expense of a website – more true if you are a freelancer.

So… do you need a Website? Is it compulsory to have one?

No and no.

But having one may help you to stand out and possibly look more professional. You need to give yourself an edge.

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Summary | 30 tips for creating a graphic design portfolio

I hope these suggestions will help you in creating a graphic design portfolio that turns heads. If you also have tips for a graphic design portfolio feel free to share.

I have over 10 years of commercial experience in design – both digital design and print. I have also recruited quite a few graduate designers that I see falling at similar hurdles and I wanted to help you – as a graduate graphic designer (and maybe another professional designer) get to the design job you want.

For me, my issues were very different. My problem was lack of ideal clients and not really knowing what to do with my portfolio to get the right people to look – it was a long a painful journey and I imagine the road will always change, but if I can show a few worthwhile short cuts you might arrive at your career destinations a bit sooner. This is the end of the list | tips graphic design portfolio

Here are a couple of inspiring quotes:

“There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” – Milton Glaser

“No masterpiece was ever created by a lazy artist.” – Salvador Dalí

Graduate tips | graphic design portfolio
Graduate design tips

If you are graduate looking for some design tips read this.

Additional Resources | tips for a graphic design portfolio

Getting a job in graphic design as a graduate – help me!

Ways to create a website for free … or very cheap

I want to make a party game

Photoshop – how to get the black you want in print!

The graphic design journey – my process

External Resources

Behance – create an online portfolio

Creative Pool – Look for jobs and create an online portfolio

Design Quotes

Thank you for reading, if you felt that this article was helpful please share. All the best with your portfolio. tips graphic design portfolio

Freelance Designer for the legal industry

In the past, I have been involved in various projects across different industries ranging from legal lifestyle, to gifting to charity. This post focuses on my freelance design work for the legal industry, picking out a handful of projects to show and discuss – my Freelance design for the legal industry.

Most of the projects were created at the time when ‘static’ websites were the norm and responsive design was but a twinkle in tech industries eye.

Freelance designer for legal industry UI
Frame UI for Legal website

Overview | Freelancing for Law & More

Law & More – or what I used to call LAM, was a legal lifestyle platform for all that was to do with the legal industry, be it: jobs, advice and entertainment. Working for Law & More gave me the chance to show how I could approach a brief, whether it was a UI project or an animation.

I was involved in creating micro-sites, animations, UI’s and then building the static HTML websites with the aim to drive traffic to the Law & More platform.

If you would like any advice on your website feel free to send an enquiry and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Questions welcome!

Below are the samples of my work.

Header Animation – Legal Industry

As part of the freelance project to create engaging visuals for my client – I created a set of animated headers that were blended into the UI offering a seamless, functional and a fun web experience.

When these headers were created it was at the time of the ‘static’ website era – when the humble desktop reigned supreme! Smartphones had come to the market but weren’t as mainstream as they are today.

( Many of us had flip phones – or used the classic dial pads on a Nokia, yes – I used to be able to touch text on my phone without looking.)

As this website followed the conventions of a static website, I only needed to concern myself with a single standardised format for browsers and desktops.

Animated header for a website

It would be difficult to replicate this website today, due to it being technically challenging to accomplish the same results on a responsive website. Although, whilst writing this paragraph, I have already thought of a couple of paths that may achieve a similar visual result across all browsers and devices – but that is purely hypothetical.

I found this design strangely refreshing when most websites now are fluid and in essence follow the exact same format of a full-width image that works both well on a smartphone and desktop browsers.

UI Design

With the static website UI’s, I had fun creating something unique that would entice users to engage with the brand. The UI needed to playful and push the users to the main website where they could either read articles, browse jobs or even bag a luxury holiday!

With the brief, I wanted to push boundaries as far as possible.

Thanks guys

Freelance designer for legal industry

Freelance designer for the legal industry

MPU’s

If you would like to see other UI projects you can see this collection of UI’s here.

MPU for older website 2009
MPU Design

In this instance – a Multi-Purpose Unit. Is space you could use to either display a banner, upload an animation or create an interactive piece navigation. In this case, I created an interactive carousel in Adobe Animate.

If this was to be made again now, it would be published as HTML5 or probably wouldn’t exist at all as this project was very much something of it’s time and was heavily dependant on flash.

You can look at some of my other projects that were created in flash (animate) such as this STEM/Elearning game or examples of what you can create in Animate.

Freelance designer for legal industry | summary

Thank you for reading this post. If you are in need of any freelance services and you are based in the legal industry feel free to get in touch for a quote.

“Proving himself to be an excellent problem solver delivering creative and innovative solutions to our web ideas which we have not always been able to provide a detailed spec for.”

– D Goodridge, Law & More

All visuals, designs, and ideas are copyright Law & More. Please do not share or use this content without prior permission.

Other useful links

UI design projects projects
Creating an E-learning game
Example of what you can create in Adobe Animate
My design process
Photoshop tips for removing noise

External Website Locations

Website design London
– Graphic UI Designer Yorkshire
Website Design Cornwall

Examples of what you can create in Adobe Animate

To answer the question of what can you create in Adobe Animate there is a large list of applications and uses for this program which I have included in this post.

With Adobe Animate you can create; cartoons, animations for web, games, apps, interactive media and so much more with a bit of thought and creativity.

I have used Adobe Animate to create Indie games, animations, introductions and small pieces of motion graphics that have been used on websites for numerous purposes.

what you can create with adobe animate

2 significant projects I have created using Adobe Animate are: an interactive Museum and an e-learning game, which I shall mention further on in a bit more detail.

Adobe Animate is a good program and shouldn’t be dismissed too quickly.

Adobe Animate is still a viable program in certain situations and can offer great results – it comes down to what you want to achieve and how you would like to get there.

A plus to using Adobe Animate is the way you can use keyframes and a timeline similar to traditional 2D animation skills.

It also comes as part of the Creative Suite (CC) if you are already a subscriber to the whole package.

I have attached my showreel demonstrating what you can do. Many of these projects were of a commercial nature, and if you still wish to read the rest of this post for more information then please do!

What I created in Adobe Animate.

Animation Showreel

Psst, are you looking at making a game?

If you are here because you are intending on making a game or interactive story, I would advise reading this post that covers some of the principles of creating a game in Adobe animate.

This may also prevent – “I wish I knew that earlier” syndrome when you come to create your game.

Best of luck.

How to make a game in Animate (in principle)

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List of examples of what you can create in Adobe Animate

These are some of the projects I have been involved with creating for both personal and professional purposes.

These are all ‘real’ projects and actual examples of what you can make, and what has been made in Adobe Animate by myself or as part of a team.

Product Simulation – Browser and Desktop App

This app was part of a larger project that I was involved in from the beginning.

In order to demonstrate the product without the physical product needing to be sent directly to the buyer, the app demonstrates how the product works through the computer screen.

This was a virtual demonstration for a product called Idesign.

I was involved in coming up with the concept, planning, designing and development of the application and it was all put together in Adobe Animate, what was then known as Flash then.

Much of the trimming work and cutting out of the PNG’s was performed by a colleague – also the chief bug tester.

Idesign Browser App Animate
Created in Adobe Animate (Flash)

Using Adobe Animate to create an application

With the Idesign project, it wasn’t just a browser application that was created.

A desktop application was created too so that both buyers and “end users” could download the software and play it from their own computers.

These are the icons that were created to sit on the taskbar or desktop.

Idesign landing page
Website application icons
.icons

I used Adobe Animate to create an interactive museum

What else can you do with Adobe Animate? You can create an interactive museum, it’s great for e-learning projects.

This was a detailed project that involved using Adobe Animate to create an interactive museum for a local charity.

The interactive museum, after it was treated and prepared was developed in Adobe Animate.

More can be read on how I used Adobe Animate and the rest of the creative suite to bring this project to life. Creating an interactive museum.

But in essence, it was Adobe Animate that breathed life into the static imagery and made it all interactive and fun!

Aside from the topic itself.

Museum created with Adobe Animate

Create a point and click game (Graphic Adventure)

This is an example of a game that was designed and developed by me, in AA.

After drawing the level with a pencil and then proceeded to trim all the artwork in Photoshop and then bring it all to life in Adobe Animate I playtested this small graphic adventure with friends and family.

This was a ‘small’ self-initiated project in which I challenged myself to create a one-level game – or to be specific – a graphic adventure in under a month. That included the artwork and the programming on my own.

what you can create with adobe animate
Point and click game
Created in flash - pencils drawing of game assets
Pencil drawing / game assets

Developing an e-learning game

You can use Adobe Animate to make interactive experiences and this also includes e-learning experiences applications.

This E-learning game was created to make learning fun for young children! Whist traveling through a set of levels, the player would have to answer questions to complete the game.

E-learning game create with adobe animate

You can read more about how I created an e-learning game inanimate and learn from my mistakes.

You can make a viral game

This game was created in Adobe Animate – as is the theme with everything listed in this post.

This game combined a mixture of using animation, artwork, and coding in Action Script 2 to create a twitchy game where the player had to jump over spears.

The purpose of this flash game was to promote a comic and music score for a client.

(I had no part in the artwork or the concept of this game – only its construction and its build)

Viral Game
what you can create with adobe animate
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Using Adobe Animate for ‘Animation’

You can use Adobe Animate for – you got it, creating animations! Adobe Animate is a good tool for creating not only games but frame by frame animations too. You can use tweens and keyframes to create motion graphics.

What you decide to do with these animations and how you plan to distribute them is down to you.

You can place these animations on Youtube or publish then to HTML5 – I would strongly advise against using Animate and publishing to.SWF.

The SWF format is already disappearing and will only continue to diminish in the future.

I have used Adobe Animate numerous times in the past to animate characters, typography, parts of games and many other interactive and moving elements that sit somewhere between all that is listed above.

animations created in Adobe Animate.

Animated 2D painting created in Adobe Animate

This painting, the one shown in the image below was sent to me as is.

Animated painting

The purpose of animating this interesting painting of the Yorkshire reservoir was to capture the attention and drive traffic!

A link to the website can be found at the bottom of this post.

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Using Adobe Animate for interaction

You can use Adobe Animate to create interaction within games, banners or videos. In order to do so, you will need to use a language called ActionScript to make it all work.

Many of the games and applications I have used in the past have required me to use Action Script to make them work. Action Script 3, along with 2 has been around since Adobe Animate was called Flash.

You can create interactive ‘wound damage’ UI’s

This is an example interactive project showing what you can make with the time and bit of Action Script 3.

This is an experimental piece of work showing a wound gauge that can be applied to a hypothetical game UI.

About the interactive timeline

The code and ‘states’ are relatively simple to create in principle for this project.

  • I created create 4 keyframes on the root timeline.
  • Added 4 Action Script frames above the keyframes
  • wrote ‘Stop();’ in the ActionScript layer which then enabled application to jump to the next frame when triggered eg – takes damage.

Or, a simple button click.

In this project, I have also added a ‘Healed’ state at the very end so theoretically if you wanted the player to heal when trigged, it would be the case of jumping the animation to that frame on the timeline.

This would make a great addition to a game UI or interactive adventure.

What can be created in Adobe Animate

There is nothing stopping you from creating something similar in Unity using the state engine.

So what else can you create in Adobe Animate?

I have added my last couple of projects towards the bottom.

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You can use Adobe Animate for making video’s

Yes, not only can you just create Animations and make little HTML5 videos or enclosed apps that can be downloaded as part of an Adobe Air Package – but you can also create stand-alone videos and intros.

I have used Adobe Animate to create animated headers on websites, animated videos and intros and also starter clips that have been uploaded to Youtube.

Minor detour alert …

Many years ago, whilst studying, I used Adobe Animate a lot – it was part of my major and it was around this time I was shown a brilliant animation on “Bitey castle” if you have time I would advise paying the website a visit.

I have attached a link at the end of this post so you can look.

Back from Flash nostalgia…

Here are some of the live animations created in Adobe Animate.

Animated Intro – The Gadget Factory

The purposes of this animated intro were to promote a brand theme – the Gadget Factory as part of a marketing push to promote a new line of cool, fun and exciting products.

This 20 / 30-second clip was created using a variety of motion tweens, keyframes, and experiments with visual effects to get the desired results.

The still keyframes below have been pictured to show the animation in action.

what you can create with adobe animate
Animation

Guess Poo

I was in two minds as to whether to add this project but I felt as it was so infantile, fun and had a lot of TLC with the design I felt that it deserved some love.

Guess Poo…

For this project, I created an animated indent for a video clip that was featured at the start of the Kickstarter on the Crowdfunding page.

It was crass.

Silly,

Fun.

And it was created in Adobe Animate.

For the Guess Poo clip, I animated a character falling from the heaven’s and plopping down into the dark waters below.

It was arguably (although fun) too much TLC that the game deserved but hopefully, the animated clip that was added to the start of the video turned a few heads.

You can read more on my crowdfunding design service or read more on creating a Kickstarter page. That article goes into all the details on how to format a Kickstarter page for your campaign.

This was created in Flash / Adobe Animate
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What can you create in Adobe Animate | list of ideas

Here is a summary / quick list of what you can create in Adobe Animate.

  • Create a frame by frame animations
  • Games
  • Graphic Adventures
  • Motion graphics for websites
  • Stand-alone games for browser and desktop
  • Slideshows
  • Interactive videos
  • Video indents and short clips
  • Rich media, and interactive elements
  • Elearning experiences

It is not limited to that list. There are many other creative ways in which you can use Adobe Animate to create something entertaining or useful.

I feel that I should mention.

For myself, in the future, I intend to use more programs such as After Effects and Unity for my commercial projects. But I shall always keep the loyal tool of Animate in my belt!

What can you create in Adobe Animate | Summary

Thank you for reading my post and looking at work samples. If you felt that this post was useful, feel free to share on social media or on your blog.

I have written a list of useful posts that are related to games created using Adobe Animate

Principles of creating a game in Adobe Animate

Creating an interactive Museum in steps

Creating and Elearning game in Animate

Alternative Software

Why unity is awesome

Free game engines

How to create a cursor in Stencyl

– Digital drawing – create digital art

Design Services (external website)

Motion Design

Crowdfunding pages design and Guess poo

Credentials

If you would like to know more or need assistance with working with Animate get in touch.

All design and visuals are Copyright Jimmsdesign and their respective owners. Please do not use these images without explicit written permission.

Bitey Castle – Yorkshire Reservoir by Julia Odell

Free Stock Vector Skull | Sideways

So this is the first post on the blog that is offering a free give away, and there is no catch apart from acknowledging where you found the artwork and perhaps sending a link back to this page.

This post | Free Stock Vector Skull | is what it says on the tin. A selection of free skulls that you can use in you is work be it commercial or not. There is no catch!

It is a simple case of copy and paste the jpgs – and they are all yours!

Free Stock Vector Skull
Free Stock Of Skull – Created in Adobe illustrator
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Free Skull Stock Graphic

This skull has been created in Adobe Illustrator. This is in preparation for some Artwork that will be available to purchase soon on websites in which you can use it for your project, game, business or anything that is relevant to your purpose.

This stock image is completely free – use as you wish but please refer back to this page saying where you got hold of the artwork.

Graphic Vector Badge
Link with this! thanks! \
Or | https://blog.jimmsdesign.co.uk/free-stock-vector-skull-sideways/

I took my time to create these visuals for you.

Enjoy

Free Stock Graphic skull profile

Side view of screaming skull with mouth open – SCREAMING!

Free Stock Vector Skull
Skull on Purple Grey

These are Free to USE!

Skull on red
Free Stock Vector Skull
Skull on black

FREE Skull Graphic – PNG – Isolated

Free Stock Vector Skull
Skull PNG

Free Stock Graphics – Vector Skull Profile – Free

There is very little to say, apart from ‘thanking’ you for either looking at or reading through this post. If the Free Skull Stock Graphic comes in handy for what you need then great! I am happy in the knowledge that this is serving some purpose out there on the world wide web!

Watch this space to see if there are any other handy projects, tips or FREE stuff. You never know if you come back and look.

Other useful links

How to create vector art like this on your computer

Create a photoshop brush

How to get the black you want in photoshop

External link to services

Freelance Vector illustration

Design

5 game engines you can use for free

Wondering what programs can you use to create your own games for free?

These 5 game engines you can use for Free are more than capable of creating a polished game whether you are a hobbyist or a small studio.

Below is a list of items (most tried and tested) which you can use to create your game whether it is a personal project or something you want to monetise at a later date.

free game engines

The 5 Game Engines

What programs can you use to create your own games for free? (in the beginning)

Adobe Animate

Adobe Animate is part of the Creative Cloud package. Although this application is only free as part of the demo version you can still try and test out your game.

If you like the program you can purchase the product at a lower cost if you are a student or a teacher.

Adobe Animate is great for making 2D games and animations which can either be played from your browser or downloaded as a stand-alone application (Adobe Air)

Adobe Animate Free Demo Engine

It should be noted, that if you do decide to use Adobe Animate you should avoid publishing your game as a Flash object (.SWF) as this format is becoming more and more defunct with many browsers no longer running it by default. Best avoid this SWF format.

Those are the facts about Adobe Animate. I will now give some opinions on the program.

Yes, Adobe Animate is a free game maker as Demo and you can create some great 2D games and animations. If you want to get serious with the application, you will have to buy it.

Adobe Animate is great for making 2D games and animations which can either be played from your browser or downloaded as a stand-alone application (Adobe Air)

Adobe Animate
Header from a post on how to create a game in Animate

But, the program doesn’t get as much love as it used to. In the heyday of Adobe Animate (which was known as flash then), there were 1000’s of games being created and published to the internet using this software.

I majored in part of studying using the application to create an E-learning and STEM game. I also used it on various commissions to promote or create games.

As the years have gone by newer and *completely free engines have come to the table where anyone can play and test their games straight after downloading their game. And you don’t even have to know how to code with some of them.

Adobe Animate is a great program and the Demo is free but I would consider some of the awesome modern and powerful options out there before investing your time in this software.

I will always have respect for Animate but I have started to find my love with newer game engines that offer great solutions.

Stencyl

Stencyl is also a free game engine to download.

And, if you don’t like coding or writing – you will probably like this application more to create a game.

Stencyl Code Block Example
Code block looks like this | 5 game engines you can use for free

Stencyl behaves a lot like building blocks when you assemble code and behaviours. The one major frustration I found with using this application to create a game is that it does seem to have it’s technical limitations once you try to get off the starter steps.

Some of the simpler challenges such as creating a cursor in Stencyl (as shown) can be done but I struggled to get it to work with any degree of sophistication. That is not to say that you can’t or won’t – there are developers out there that have created games and monetised what they have made by using Stencyl.

Examples

I think one of my favourite things about Stencyl (aside from being free to download) is that it’s great learning how to make games away without hard coding it together.

If coding scares you, then Stencyl could be a way to go.

Unity Software

I could write a whole lengthy article as to why Unity is a great and free gaming engine (I have an article already for that actually) and why you should consider it on its merits alone.

But, this article needs to give a level playing field as to which game engines are great to use and are free.

Unity Free Game Sofware

Unity is a very able program which can create 3D games, 2D, 2.5 D games, platformers – you name it, quite a lot in other words.

The downside is, you will struggle if you cannot code or don’t have a mindset for coding. To get truly great results, you will need to code Unity in C Sharp to make something great.

The one big thing that bridges that knowledge gap (if coding isn’t your thing), is the asset store. It should be noted though that the asset store isn’t a silver bullet.

You can purchase many ‘assets’ and templates to do a lot of the heavy lifting for your game which makes Unity very appealing. There are even some free assets in store which you can use in your can ranging from 3D models to a range of furniture.

Example of Unity Software
Unity in Action | 5 game engines you can use for free

If at some stage you start to earn a substantial amount from your game, then you will need to pay the professional fees for the license to use Unity.

Why not take a look for yourself! Download Unity Software

Winter Mute Engine

Winter Mute Engine is a fair and free open-source engine that makes full 2D or 2.5 adventure games. It is a good engine if you want to create some classic adventures and point and click game as it comes with many of the tools needed to have a ready to deploy game

You can see examples of what can be created in Wintermute by following this link to the Dead Code website.

In the past, Winter mute had a very active forum with its active users willing to help you out as when needed.

In my opinion, the main limitation to using the Winter Mute engine is that is predominately geared towards Windows PCs and general activity around it – isn’t as powerful as some of the others out there.

It should also be noted that if you intend to use Winter Mute you will need to code the game to work.

You can find out whether Winter mute is the Engine for you. As you can see by some of the examples you can see at can produce some excellent results with the know-how and talent.

Unreal Engine

Unreal Engine, like the other game engines mentioned in this post, is also free to download and can create both 2D and 3D games that look like AAA standards.

The great thing with Unreal Engine – setting aside that it is also free to download the program is that it can create some spectacular 3D visuals which are on par with epic games that see released on the Play Station or Xbox.

If you are intending on creating games with some punchy looking graphics and excellent lighting effects then Unreal could be the way forward for you.

On a personal level, I can only vouch for how good Unreal is visually and the quality of the games you can produce using this engine. You see an example of what can be created in Unreal here.

I have personally never developed anything in Unreal – I have just stood on the sideline and admire what can be created.

5 game engines you can use for free | Summary

I hope that is this post has offered some insight into what game engines and programs you can use to start creating your game for free today.

Some of the game engines are better at certain actions than others and I hope that this post has cleared up some of the patches of what you can and can’t do – mostly based on personal experience with using the engines.

Thank you for reading this post about what 5 game engines you can use for free. If you felt that this post was helpful and other game devs would benefit from reading it then do share.

Other handy resources to do with games

Adobe Animate Games

Stencyl

How to make a cursor in Stencyl

Unity Design + Development

Why Unity is great for your game

(external website) Unity experiments and game from the Dev Lab