When it comes to graphic design, obviously the main tools you are going to be using are your software, for example, the Adobe Creative Cloud software package and your choice of machine, whether it is a laptop or desktop computer.
But, believe it or not, that isn’t the be all and end all as there are numerous accessories out there that can make your experience as a designer and the creations that you produce that much more impressive. Within this article, we are going to take a look at a few of what we think are the most important ones.
What exactly is a graphics tablet you ask? One of the best tools a designer or even just a digital artist for that matter can own. It’s basically a drawing pad that will connect to your machine, allowing you to draw like you would on paper. This makes it so much easier to produce your creations, especially those with curvature than with a standard desktop mouse, or worse still, a trackpad…
There are plenty of options out there for these, however personally we would recommend anything from Wacom. There cheapest will set you back a modest £50 while the most expensive is upwards of £2000, but is a machine in and of itself, coming with a 24” screen built in.
With these, you often get great software that will let you create entire pieces of art digitally such as Art Rage, Sketchbook and of course using the Adobe Illustrator software.
Where would any designer be without their sketchbook? That goes for even digital designers, as more often than not it is good to get a good sketch down on paper before bringing your ideas to life digitally. Obviously, there are loads of different types of sketchbooks out there, so it all depends on what it is you are working on for which one you choose. And the size is also something that you should consider. Do you plan on sitting down for a couple of hours to draw something out? Then something like A4 or A3 is the way to go. But if you are more akin to being out and about and sketching for 5-10 minutes at something you’ve seen, then maybe an A5 or A6 one is good for you. Again, it is entirely a personal preference, but a sketchbook is something we feel no designer should be without
Knowing your colours is absolutely vital when you are a designer, as you need to be able to spot the slightest difference between one colour and the other. This is why it is handy to have a Colour Book or perhaps a set of Pantone colours to hand when you are creating. These will be a great help especially if you are working with a brand that can’t quite decide what their colour scheme should be or even if you are rebranding someone. With these to hand, you can beat determine what goes well with other colours and also what colours beat suit their mission statement as a brand. It will also help with the explanation of why those colours are chosen, as it is sure to be a question that is asked.
Coinciding very well with the sketchbooks that we mentioned previously in this article, are Notepads. It’s the worst thing for a designer, when perhaps you are out and about or even if you’re in the office and come up with a great idea, but don’t have some paper to write it down. You say “It’s okay, I’ll remember it later” but you never do and half the time that idea is lost. This is where always having a good notepad handy is a great idea. It allows you to capture all of your great ideas and then implement them into your designs. If a writer is never without one, why should you be?
We hope that this article has not only provided some insight into the life of a designer away aside from their computer, but also helped those of you out there that might be looking to kick things off in their design career, and want to know where the best place is to start.