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8 Essential Tools and Gadgets for a Successful Graphic Designer

graphic-designerStarting as a graphic designer means unfolding a new chapter in your life. Whether you have been accepted in a big designing firm or you are working as freelance on the comfort of your bed, there are some essentials that you simply cannot work without. So if you are near to becoming any of the two, or already are struggling with a job, we have compiled a list 8 tools and resources that will help you get the best out of your skills for a small investment that will pay off as you see.


Apple has been the top favorite for graphic designers and history can prove it. The iMac is not a toy if you must know. It comes among the most elite machines technology has to offer with all the necessary gear that makes a serious designer out of you. However, with so much to give, it comes with a rather hefty price tag not everyone can afford. The OS is beautifully calibrated with the machine and the built in support for peripherals is just amazing.  If you are in for a professional graphic design career and don’t mind spending a few hundred extra for a reliable working platform, then I suggest you go with the Mac.

Adobe Tools

adobe-toolsAnother very basic gear that every graphic designer needs to have in their PC/Mac is Adobe tools. It almost goes without saying that every designer has used this to convert the fluid ideas from his mindinto solid workable designs through Adobe tools.  From Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesgin, the Adobe Creative Cloud offers every necessary tool that your need to shine your project. These applications however, are no longer available in packages hence must be purchased or subscribed to singularly. You can also get QuarkXpress to gain a full package of tools and applications in the best available pricing.

Computer Arts Mag

Since its debut in 1995, Computer Arts magazine has taken the graphic designing community by storm, winning readership and increasing their subscription by the day. It can be said without doubt that Computer Arts is the best magazine to start your graphic designing journey. It’s full of inspiration, success stories, web design innovation, helpful advice and valuable resources for a full digest. If you are not hard copy savvy then the iPad edition is also available to keep yourself connected with a healthy dose of innovation and ideas.

DSLR Camera

Having a good DSLR camera trigger ready is one of the genuine habits of a successful graphics designer. It helps document ideas on a wider spectrum and producesoriginality into your work. A graphic designer searching for ideas without a reliable camera is same as a soldier without a gun in the heat of battle. Sometimes a random image, scenery or a piece of art clicks the mind of the designer and ignites the stove of cooking ideas. That moment needs to be preserved as much as possible with its precise details and there is no camera better than a DSLR to do the job. Buying a DSLR is not cheap and the professional ones can go as high as $10,000. However, a good DSRL to suffice your basic needs is $300-$400 gig along with a suitable 18-55mm lens. An investment that will pay off in time.


moleskineEven though DSLR cameras and iPads are the trending tools of today’s graphic designer, nothing beats the oldest hack of preserving an idea. A Moleskine sketchbook is the best piece of paper your pencil will ever touch. It’s a professional and budget friendly solution to graphic designers who like the traditional ‘keeping it simple’ ways of scribbling and jotting down their thoughts. The sketchbook comes in various colors and designs so you can carry them with the matter of occasion.

Wacom Cintiq 13 HD Touch

wacom-cintiq-13-hd-touchIf you have been working as a graphicdesigner or started your pursuit, it’s impossible if you say you haven’t heard about ‘Wacom’ at least a 100 times. Wacom tablets are dedicated machines built for graphic designing and come in various models and specifications. Among these models, the Wacom Cintiq 13 HD Touch is the ideal mix of performance and user-friendly features any designer can use. It’s a 13.3 inches of full 1080p creative designing workstation and only weights a measly 1.2 kg. It’s ideal for carrying and compatible with most of the devices including PC and Mac through HDMI and USB cable. The tablet is wee bit expensive but if you are willing to raise your budget in exchange for professional work, the Wacom Cintiq 13 HD Touch.

Herman Miller Aeron Chair

When it comes to working tirelessly on nonstop hours, your comfort becomes a prime factor in your professional work. The environment of your work has a direct connection with the quality of your results and as graphic designers, the pedestal is even harder. You have to remain glued to your seat without taking a break for several hours. This can raise several health related complication that can be damaging to your future including spinal pain. Thanks to technology again, the prayer has been answered in the form of a comfort device known as the Herman Miller Aeron Chair. It’s an entire comfort pad on wheels that offers ultimate usability and ergonomic design. It will cost you around a $1000, but a well-deserved price in return for comfort.

Surface Pro 4

It’s the ideal solution to the laptop-tablet conflict that most designers fall for. It’s basically a fashionably designed and notched up tablet, which is also a laptop as whole. For those designers who prefer the iPad Pro, the Surface Pro 4 is a machine worth reconsidering with a super 12.9-inch display along with a stylus for ideal sketching. Even though it’s a hybrid and somewhat of a Laptop replacement, it still doesn’t get the full working version of Creative Cloud apps available on laptops only. I personally recommend it to designers who are looking for Windows savvy machine that has a ton of applications available for Creative Cloud work.

Author Bio:

Asad Ali is a talented online marketing veteran with a 7 years’ experience in marketing and web design industry. He has offered services for several renowned companies and currently works for GO-Gulf Dubai website design company offering web development services for custom online solutions.

Stanislaus Okwor is a Web Designer / Developer based in Lagos - Nigeria. He is the Director at Stanrich Online Technologies. He is knowledgeable in Content management System - Wordpress, Joomla and PHP/MySQL etc

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