Graphic design is a job that requires skill, talent, and creativity, but that does not mean that your life cannot be made easier and your artwork enhanced with the use of the right tools.
In fact, using the right tools can help you to create work more quickly and easily, allowing you to take on more projects and grow your portfolio.
10 Essential Tools All Graphic Designers Should Be Using
The list below outlines ten of the very best software and hardware tools for graphic designers.
1. A High-Quality Laptop
The first tool that all graphic designers should be using is a high-quality laptop. When you are finding the right laptop as a graphic designer, there are a few considerations worth bearing in mind. You will need to consider the CPU to ensure that you have enough processing power to run the necessary software. You should also pay attention to the GPU to ensure graphics quality and the RAM for memory. For more information about finding the right laptop for your needs, check out the Lenovo buying guide.
2. Anti-Virus Software
When you are thinking about the essential graphic design tools, your mind probably goes to creative software, not anti-virus software. However, anti-virus software is one of the most important tools any graphic designer should have.
High-quality anti-virus software is there to protect the interests of you and your client. This will help you to avoid successful cyber-attacks that could risk you losing work and access to your devices.
3. The Right Tablet
Finding the right tablet will make your life much easier as you are able to use it to sketch and map out ideas. There are a few different considerations you will need to make when it comes to finding the right tablet for you.
Firstly, you should think about what software you intend to use. Different operating systems have different application architecture, meaning that different apps are only available on certain devices. That means that if you are looking to use the most popular graphic design application for a tablet, Procreate, you will need to use an iPad, as the software is only available to download on Apple devices.
Once you have determined which operating system is right for you, the next consideration to make is about size and graphics quality. Larger tablets are less portable but offer increased drawing capabilities. You should also consider if you can double up your laptop as a tablet, as some designs do allow you to do this.
4. A Comfortable Chair
As a graphic designer, you will probably spend the majority of your time at your desk working. It is very important that you find yourself the right chair that is both comfortable and supportive. Using an unsuitable desk chair can lead to eye strain, back and neck pain. This not only affects you physically but has been found to decrease productivity rates, too, so make use you are using an appropriate desk chair.
5. A Monitor
Many graphic designers use more than one screen, so they are able to display multiple images at the same time. A high-quality monitor can be a hugely useful tool as it allows you to work on projects on larger screen sizes and to see details more in-depth. You should look for a high-resolution monitor that will work with your operating system.
6. An External Hard Drive
Graphic design projects can take up a lot of space on your computer; this can slow down your laptop and potentially cause problems in the future. To ensure you are not overloading your computer and you are able to retain access to old projects, you should be using an external hard drive.
Even if you are currently using cloud storage services, using an external hard drive will offer you an additional level of security. This means that you will always have access to your work and be able to showcase your portfolio to potential clients.
7. Adobe Creative Cloud
The Adobe Creative Cloud tools, like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, are some of the most useful tools you will ever use as a graphic designer. If you are not already using the Adobe Creative Cloud setup, then it is strongly recommended that you use these tools now. Young and aspiring graphic designers are expected to gain a strong understanding of this software so that they are able to use them to an industry standard.
If you are new to the Adobe Creative Cloud, then you could always try it out by signing up for a trial. Adobe Creative Cloud offers its own tutorials to help new users learn how to operate the systems. Alternatively, there are many very useful tutorials on YouTube that you can refer to when you are learning.
8. Art Supplies
With so much useful technology on the market, it can be easy for graphic designers to neglect the basics. It is unlikely that all of your work will be done on the computer; in fact, many graphic designers begin the creative process by drawing or painting, only later to create the final product on the computer. Having access to a range of art supplies is a great way to ensure that you are able to create innovative and inspired work.
9. A VPN
If you often find yourself traveling or working in public spaces, then you should consider getting yourself a VPN. A Virtual Private Network, or as it is more commonly known, a VPN, is essential for protecting yourself when using public WIFI. This is because public WIFI is not encrypted, which means that anyone who so wishes can see what you are doing online. If you are regularly using public WIFI without a VPN, then you are increasingly vulnerable to a successful cyber-attack.
10. A Studio Camera
If you regularly find yourself using photography in your work, then you might want to consider purchasing a studio camera. Many people assume that you no longer need to purchase a camera since the top-of-the-line smartphones all come with good cameras built-in. However, if you wish to benefit from these tools and produce the best work, then you should be using a specialized studio camera.