10 Essential Tools Every Graphic Designer Should Have

If you are only at the beginning of your journey to becoming a graphic designer, or you have been doing it for a while now, you may benefit from adding a few new tools to your arsenal. Being a graphic designer is an interesting job that requires a lot of various tools, from different kinds of hardware and software to some special gear and settings. In our opinion, there are at least 10 essential tools that every graphic designer should have. Here they are. See whether you have everything on that list! 

1. Desktop

Let’s start with the obvious one. To be a graphic designer you need a computer or a laptop. Though, to be a successful graphic designer, you need a really good desktop for work. One desktop may be enough, though two desktops will be even better. Look for a high resolution screen, no less than 4k for the start. The current market offers 5k screens specifically for working on graphic design and similar jobs. Of course, you don’t need to go overboard with it, but knowing that you work on the best hardware possible will definitely add you a level of self-confidence and professionalism that will help you stand out among other designers. 

2. Monitor calibrator

One of the first things you learn on a journey to becoming a graphic designer is that everyone’s perceptions of style, colors, and taste are different. Though, you also get to learn rather quickly that everyone’s opinion on color and color schemes can vary greatly not only due to personal taste but due to the devices they use. You must be aware by now that our devices give us different color schemes due to different screens. Our phone or tablet resolution plays a role in it as well. Though, it's mainly the special setting on our screens that show colors differently. So, since we have already talked about having more than once display, you need to be sure they all match in colors. Whenever you need to calibrate your monitors to a single color display. 

3. Hard drive

Let’s speak of the obvious now. Graphic designers have a lot going on on their computers. There are all kinds of graphic software installed, tons of unfinished and finished projects kept in numerous folders, ideas and sketches for the next projects are stored right there on a desktop as well. It takes up a lot of space. No wonder that your computer or laptop has not been working well recently. It's exhausting! You better store all those materials you have created somewhere else. For example, professionals who provide the paper writing help would never manage without external hard drives. So are the majority of designers. A reliable hard drive is a must if you want to help your devices work well. We say reliable so you won’t start looking for any low-end options. A hard drive is useful but it can be vulnerable to external threats if you are not careful enough. You don't want to lose any of your precious work or clients’ orders. So don't forget to do backups every now and then. 

4. Graphics tablet and stylus

Of course, not all graphics have to be artists. Though, as a professional you are expected to have at least some artistic muscles, so to say. People are not coming to you with requests like, “can you write an essay for me?” No, they want your artistic vision for this job. Having a graphics tablet and stylus will greatly benefit you in showing off your creativity and artistic skills. After all, you will not impress your clients by sending them pictures of drawings that you have made on papers, right? Nope, at this age, we need to go fully digital. A good tablet created specifically for the needs of designers can bring a lot to the table. It can give you the mobility that working at a desktop can’t deliver. It will ensure a smooth and responsive work, with great features and options to ease your artistic pursuit. 

5. Productivity docs

To be a graphic designer can mean many things. You don’t only draw, create, and show your artistic sides, but also have to be your booker, manager, secretary, and everything else. It is especially true when you work as a freelancer. You need to keep track of all the work you are doing for numerous different clients. You need to stay on all deadlines, be ahead of time, and search for ways to optimize your workflow. To achieve all that and even more, you need to install a set of different productivity documents and apps to help you out. Those don’t have to be anything fancy. Simple google docs may do if you are in a mood of trying dozens of different applications. After all, this is what most professional academic writing services use. If it's good enough for them, it should do the trick for you as well. Just don’t forget to use them!

6. Antivirus software

Let’s not forget about safety here. Being a graphic designer automatically means you have to stay in touch with a lot of different people. And we don’t mean that you have to meet them in person. Of course not. In this modern age, you do everything you need to do online. Hence, you have to take care of the safety and security of your online presence. It is hard enough that you can’t know the person behind an email in your mailbox. But opening up files and random letters from strangers without extra security measures on your computer can lead to horrible, horrible consequences. So don’t you neglect the need for good antivirus software? Search for the most reliable options. All it takes is to open an unchecked PDF file from a client to catch malware.

7. Creative software

All graphic designers, whether you are a newbie or a hardcore professional, know at least a bunch of creative software that every designer should have. Software from the Adobe family or its famous alternatives, like Inkscape or others is installed on every designer’s computer. We are not going to spend much time here, though, let us say this. You have to stay in touch with new developments and technologies. Of course, every designer has their preferred software to use. It doesn't mean that you should stop your choice there. Just down forget to check what's new in the market once in a while both in terms of software and graphic and illustration bundles which can be a way to kick start a design project.

8. Behance

Whether you are new to this job or have been around since the beginning of time, you must have heard of Behance. There you can have a good portfolio, write or send reviews, and build a large network of clients and colleagues in your field. Behance is basically social media for graphic designers. Though unlike other similar websites, you get to know people through their professional work. You get to share your designs with others, read their opinions, and create a large portfolio on a website absolutely for free. The website can be a great tool for finding inspiration, motivation, or a community of like-minded people. What’s more, it is a great tool to create a beautiful portfolio that you can show to your future clients.

9. Pantone Swatch Book

Every designer knows about the Pantone Swatch Book. It doesn’t matter whether you have started doing this job a year ago or ten years ago. The Pantone Book has been around for decades. It is the tool that helps you pick the exact color you need. This tool is especially important when you work with printed materials. The book allows you to see how colors you have chosen are going to look like once they are printed. We admit that they are quite costly. Though, once you are sure that you are in this business for long, you better save up some money and invest them in this purchase. You won’t regret it.


10. Variable desk

This may be overlooked or even neglected by many graphic designers. Though, we are here to tell you how wrong that can be. Working at your desk all day long can have grave consequences for your health. Often we start feeling back pain and neck pains just after hours sitting at our desks. What to say if we spend weeks in a similar sitting position? It is simply wrong. Work is important, but your health should always be a priority. That's why you have to consider getting a variable desk. This way you can adjust your working space according to your needs. You can work sitting or standing. This will reduce the pressure on your shoulders and back, and lead to a better posture. A good posture will prevent a large number of other health issues that can happen due to a sitting job. 

10 Essential Tools Every Graphic Designer Should Have 10 Essential Tools Every Graphic Designer Should Have Reviewed by Opus Web Design on November 11, 2020 Rating: 5

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