In the last interview of our 2018 ‘Ask The Expert’ series, we chat with Lukas Dryja, co-founder of website builder and portfolio platform Format. Lukas gives us the low-down on his company, shares his advice on what creators can do to stand out in a crowd, and gives us those all important tips for creating a show-stopping online portfolio.
The Format team are also feeling very generous this festive season and are offering our readers a 2-week free trial, plus a 50% discount.
What made you want to start Format – were you driven by passion, did you just realize it was a good business opportunity, was it frustration or something else?
It started after I graduated from the OCAD University in Toronto. I had been planning a career as a designer when I noticed something—none of my friends and classmates had the tech skills required to create a portfolio website to showcase their creative work online. I also looked at the available options and saw a gap in the market: an easy to use, professional website portfolio builder did not exist.
How would you describe Format to somebody who has never come across it before? How does it work?
Format is the online portfolio platform that empowers creators to succeed. Built for creatives by creatives, it’s a website builder and so much more: beautiful themes showcase your work, alongside integrated business tools like e-commerce, blogging, SEO, and image protection. Whether you’re just getting started or you’re a full-time professional, Format has the solutions and support you need at every stage of your business. Build your website and share, promote, and sell your work—all in one spot.
What differentiates Format from other similar products?
Format is built for creators, by creators. Many website builders target anyone who wants a website; at Format, the focus is on helping creators succeed. Format continues to succeed because it is creative-driven; many of our team members are designers, photographers, writers, visual artists, makers, and entrepreneurs.
Why do you think that you have gained popularity with online creators?
I think the main reason is trust. The Format brand signifies creative success, and they know that we understand their needs. We believe that creators should let their work speak for itself; and we do everything possible to ensure their work shines—they’re the star, we’re here to help them succeed. We do this outside of just offering an amazing product—our Success team also takes the time to really help, guide, and mentor Format members.
We are edging closer to the end of the year: a time when people look to switch up their careers or take on new challenges. What would be your advice be to creators and how can they use Format to stand out from the January crowd?
One thing I see a lot are portfolios that don’t tell a cohesive story. It might help to think of your site as a brick-and-mortar location. If you saw your portfolio as a storefront, would you stop in and take a look around? It should be easy to see what you’re selling. If your portfolio has a clear, distinct narrative, it’ll help you stand out from your competition.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to someone getting started/creating their first online portfolio?
Curate your work carefully. Choose only your absolute best pieces for your portfolio, and leave visitors wanting more, instead of feeling like they’ve seen all there is to see already. Including everything isn’t doing your work any favours—too many images can be overwhelming to navigate.
What is your vision for Format’s future? What can we expect next?
We just celebrated our tenth anniversary as a fully self-funded company—something we’re extremely proud of. In the next ten years, we’re focused on ensuring every creative in the world knows about Format and considers our products as the go-to solutions for showcasing their work online. We want to ensure that Format will play a significant role in creatives’ lives around the world.
What are you waiting for? Click here to get started on your new online portfolio!
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This post is also available in: Italian