What Tools Do Graphic Designers Need?

What Tools Do Graphic Designers Need?

If you are trying to expand your graphic design toolkit, you have come to the right spot. We also compiled a list of the best hardware, applications, and other graphic design resources to assist creatives of all levels with their work. If you are starting from scratch or upgrading a particular piece of equipment, our advice will assist you in making the right choice. You can also study graphic design with Blue Sky Graphics.

Reliable equipment may not have to be costly (if your budget is especially low, but we have hand-picked the absolute best gear money can purchase. Although some will need a significant investment, they would all be worthwhile in the long run.

16-inch MacBook Pro (2019)

Apple’s most powerful laptop to date is a pocket-sized powerhouse. The 16-inch MacBook Pro, Apple’s biggest laptop to date, is the ideal platform for graphic artists, whether they operate on the go or at home.

Apple’s reported goal in developing the new MacBook Pro was to provide users with “more of what they enjoy,” which is accomplished. The most noticeable change is the bigger screen, which is suitable for design work.

What Tools Do Graphic Designers Need
What Tools Do Graphic Designers Need

Additionally, the keyboard has been improved; the problematic Butterfly switches that afflicted previous versions have been replaced with more sensitive scissor switches similar to those used on the Magic Keyboard.

The battery life is excellent, which is particularly remarkable given the laptop’s powerful components. It supports up to 64GB of RAM (a first for a MacBook) and up to 8TB of storage, eliminating the need for an external hard drive.

Naturally, none of this is inexpensive, and the highest specs demand a premium, but if you are looking for a laptop that will run flawlessly for years and never let you down, this is an outstanding investment.

Apple 27-inch iMac (2020)

The 2020 iMac Pro is a laptop powerhouse designed for professionals. It continues to be the gold standard for graphic designers. It boasts a true 5K display with a colour depth of 1 billion and can be equipped with an incredible 256GB RAM, an 18-core Intel Xeon W CPU and Radeon Pro Vega 64X graphics with 16GB of HBM2 memory.

As with the MacBook Pro, this level of performance comes at an expense, but for resource-intensive tasks such as rendering 3D models, video editing, and animation, the cost is well worth the time saved.

Despite significant internal updates, Apple has retained the iMac Pro’s iconic look, with a chassis that measures just 5mm thick and weighs just 700 grams, leaving your desk clean and clutter-free.

A hard drive that is reliable

The Western Digital My Passport Ultra is a stylish external hard drive that offers up to 5TB of storage for your most critical data. The optional WD SmartWare Pro app (available for Windows and macOS) enables simple configuration of automated backups, ensuring that you never lose a client’s job.

The My Passport Ultra is also a fast device, boasting incredible read and write speeds for lightning-fast transfers (essential for large image and video files). This is allowed by the device’s USB-C connection, but it also includes a USB 3.1 adapter for older users (albeit at slower rates).

Tablet with stylus

If you want the 11- or 12.9-inch edition, the 2020 iPad Pro borrows the virtually bezel-free architecture of recent iPhones, providing an expanse of smooth glass on which to function. Apple’s Smart Keyboard elevates it to the level of a solid notebook, and the latest Apple Pencil expands its versatility much more.

Apple also omitted the Lightning connector favouring a magnetic connection, which enables the Pencil to securely clip onto the top of the latest iPad Pro for connecting, charging, and storage. Additionally, touch support has been introduced, enabling you to swap between interface tools with a double-tap quickly.

Naturally, sure programmers and artists enjoy the precise pressure sensitivity and power that only a dedicated graphics tablet provides. If you are one of them, the Wacom Cintiq 22 is our recommended tablet, offering an excellent combination of screen size, ergonomics, and price. If your budget allows for it, the Wacom Intuos Pro is a much more versatile alternative that comes in various sizes (with prices to match).

Adobe CC

Adobe CC is the industry benchmark for design practitioners – no other company’s software suite compares in terms of breadth and scope. However, it comes at a price, and even with a fantastic Adobe Creative Cloud discount, an all-apps licence constitutes a significant investment.

Nonetheless, you have Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects, and a slew of other applications. If you want to be genuinely multi-disciplined and collaborate with other designers daily, go for it. However, if the work is entirely focused on vector design and photo editing/manipulation, this is not the only choice.

Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo are both fantastic software from Serif – in some ways, they also outperform Photoshop and Illustrator – and cost about £50 upfront with free upgrades. Due to the excellent file accessibility, you can even work with Photoshop and Illustrator users. Additionally, you should try out these six incredible free Adobe CC alternatives.

If you own an iPad, Adobe Fresco is well worth considering. It attempts to replicate the sensation of drawing and painting using conventional media on a computer. It was designed with experienced designers and artists in mind (though it is also easily available to beginners).

Google Documents

Google Docs is something more than a web-based clone of traditional management suites such as Microsoft Office, and it has advanced in leaps and bounds since its inception as a free utility.

Apart from rendering your notes, spreadsheets, and slides available from any browser (and making collaboration with other users a breeze), the online suite offers an elegant interface that also incorporates Google’s extensive search capabilities when necessary.

There are a variety of high-quality models available and third-party add-ins that include functionality typically found in Microsoft Office, such as mail merge and a more sophisticated equation editor. Additionally, you can use Google Translate to translate one of your documents.