Being a graphic designer needs proper designing skills and an exceptionally creative mind. As crucial as those, every graphic designer needs some proper software and hardware to do the job. Otherwise, priceless skills and creativity would be wasted.
Graphic designers need to invest some of their money to begin with before they earn possibly much more of it back from their creative graphic designs. It is not necessary for them to invest in top quality and super expensive software and hardware as long as they are capable of doing the job.
However, it is very recommended for you to use the best software and hardware available to be bought, especially if you are one of those professional graphic designers who earn a huge income. These recommended tools can help you do your job easier, which is perfect in the long run.
Required Graphic Design Software and Hardware
There are at least one software and one hardware that every professional graphic designer needs to do the graphic designing job. These software and hardware are basic graphic designing tools like a bus for a bus driver. The tools are, of course, creative software and computer.
It is obvious that graphic designers have to have some creative software with them to bring their creativity into reality. There are many kinds of available creative software from various software developers to be chosen and bought with different plus and minus.
Among the available creative software, the most recommended one is Adobe Creative Cloud or Adobe CC, as known by most people. This software is used as the standard for many graphic design industries, among other standard software and hardware.
Personal Computer or Laptop
A computer device is the main hardware for every graphic designer. You are not a graphic designer if you do not use a computer for designing. You can either use a personal computer or a laptop, or even both if you want.
Both of them, of course, have their own strengths and flaws. Both also support any kind of software and hardware for every graphic designer. It really depends on your personal purpose and taste.
If you work in the comfort of your private office at home, a personal computer or PC is the better choice. With a PC, you can personalize the parts to be used, hence the name ‘Personal Computer.’ You can prioritize your investment toward graphic-focused parts like the CPU, the GPU, the storage, the monitor, and others.
Moreover, a set PC is often much more affordable compared to a laptop with similar performance and specification. Therefore, you can use that extra money to improve your private office to be more comfortable and make you work more productively.
However, if you have no ideas about how to build a PC or simply would not bother to do it, you can consider the Apple iMac 27-inch. It costs you more than building a PC, but its powerful and capable software and hardware are more than ready to be used for graphic designing.
The other option, a laptop, is the one to choose for mobile graphic designers. You should look for a powerful laptop if you normally work outside or in public places. Some laptops sometimes even have some capable software and hardware from the factory.
One of the most recommended laptops for graphic designers is another computer from Apple, the MacBook Pro 16-inch. The MacBook Pro 16-inch is the best laptop from Apple in 2021, so there are no doubts about its performance and quality.
There is also the smaller 14-inch MacBook Pro available, if you prefer, the lighter and more portable one. Both are basically the same, but a larger Liquid Retina XDR screen display is better for graphic designing.
Optional Graphic Design Software
This additional software is not as crucial as the creative software in the graphic designing job. Still, they can give some benefits to graphic designers and can ease their job in various parts.
Like many other things in our life, safety is the priority. There are no doubt a lot of threats in the form of a virus or malware for computer users. Investing in antivirus software is important to prevent your valuable work from being deleted or encrypted by these threats.
Any antivirus software available in the market will protect you from various threats, but a recommended one is the Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020. This antivirus software has the ability to detect any latest kinds of threats, which will protect both your software and hardware.
The Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 will give your devices real-time protection from viruses, adware, malware, and phishing threats. You can use this antivirus software for up to ten of your Windows, macOS, and Android devices. However, it can not be used for devices powered by iOS.
Similar to the antivirus software above, VPN software is used for safety, especially if you often work outside with your software and hardware and use a public internet connection. Sometimes, using public hotspots without a VPN would give hackers a chance to track your online activity.
Moreover, you would find that some internet features can not be accessed in certain countries for whatever reasons, which is very inconvenient if you desperately need to use those features to finish your work. If you use VPN software, you can use any capable server from anywhere.
One of the best VPN software is ExpressVPN. This VPN software has a total of 160 servers located in 94 different countries. Not only that, but it also has 24/7 live customer support, and if you are not satisfied with the performance of the software in the first 30 days, you can return it and get your money back.
Optional Graphic Design Hardware
Other than software, there is also some hardware that can support graphic designers to make their job easier along with the necessary software and hardware. This hardware is not obligatory, but they are better to be used than not.
Reliable External Hard Drive
The works of graphic designers, both unfinished and finished, often consume a huge amount of storage space. The internal memory of your laptop or computer can only contain so much of your work. Also, a filled memory possibly means a slower device, which can disturb your job.
Therefore, you need an external hard drive to contain your valuable files. But, keep in mind that you have to find an external hard drive that not only has a large capacity but also is reliable, as you certainly do not want to lose your files in the hand of a dodgy device.
If you do not care about the physical appearance of an external hard drive, the Western Digital My Passport Ultra is a considerable choice. It may look so boring and not stylish at all, but the external hard drive does the storage work perfectly. Weighing a bit more than two ounces, it is very easy to be carried around.
The Western Digital My Passport Ultra has various options from 1 TB up to 5 TB of storage capacity. This external hard drive is also quite fast for transferring large files of your work with its USB-C connectivity and its versatile software and hardware support.
Everyone needs at least one smartphone nowadays, so instead of having a smartphone merely for your daily use, you can invest more for a smartphone that is capable of helping you do your graphic designing job with its software and hardware.
A capable smartphone is mostly more expensive than some regular smartphones, but it is worth to be bought if it is used correctly. One of some recommended high-end smartphones with software and hardware that can be a graphic designer’s best friend is the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra is a Samsung flagship smartphone with a large 6.8-inch screen size and supports the optional S Pen. That means it is perfect for graphic designers. This smartphone also has a 108 MP, 10x zoom capable rear camera that allows you to shoot videos or take pictures in 8K for your reference needs.
Furthermore, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is powered by the powerful Snapdragon 888 with up to 16 GB of RAM and up to 512 GB of storage capacity. The performance is among the best for a smartphone, and its 5,000 mAh battery will accompany you all day. The drawbacks are just that it is expensive and too big for most of your pockets.
Graphic Tablet and Stylus
A tablet has a similar convenience to a smartphone with a larger screen like a laptop. If you like to go outside with your software and hardware to look for some ideas for your graphic designs, owning a tablet is perfect for you.
A proper graphic tablet, like the Wacom Cintiq 22 or the Wacom Intuos Pro, is recommended as it is specifically developed to be used for graphic designing. However, if you want to use your tablet for other things as well, you can not go wrong with the iPad Pro 12.9 along with the Apple Pencil.
Other Optional Tools
Not only some optional software and hardware, these tools and furniture can also make graphic designers feel more comfortable finishing some of their works.
In this modern era, there are a lot of chairs that are specifically designed and built for those who sit in front of their computers for hours to do various things. A tech term like ‘gaming chair’ is familiar in most people’s ears for the comfort the type of chair provides.
By using a chair that has the best quality, you will be more comfortable and less tired while working with your computer for a long time. Not only that, your body, especially your back, will be very grateful in the future. Therefore, a proper chair is a great investment in the long run.
The Herman Miller Mirra 2 is an example of an ergonomic chair with top quality. This chair will keep you comfortable all day in front of your computer. Its mesh design makes you sit for a very long time without getting sweaty. The chair is also fully adjustable to fit your preferable position, which is great for your back.
If you already have a proper chair with you, it is not complete if you do not have a proper desk as well. Even though a proper computer desk is not as crucial as a proper chair since any desk can be used to place your software and hardware, investing in it is much better in the long run, just like a proper chair.
One of the best desks available is the Flytta 2. The height of the desk can be smoothly adjusted from 64 cm to 130 cm with powerful dual motors, so you will get the best position for you. It can also support 120 kg of your devices with its strong steel frame. Still, it is quite expensive for a desk, but it is worth the cost.
High-Quality Notebook or Sketchbook
Some people, perhaps you are one of them, prefer the old-fashion way of using paper with a pen or pencil to take some notes. Even though most modern software and hardware have the capability of note-taking, using a notebook or a sketchbook is still more convenient.
If you are looking for a notebook that is a perfect fit for graphic designers, look no further than the MOO Hardcover Notebook. It is developed by a group of designers so they know what graphic designers need. It has 176 pages of smooth and bright paper.
Graphic designers will deal with colors every time they are working. If you find some disturbing obstacles with color, you should invest in a swatch book like the Pantone Plus ColorBridge. The swatch book can make your job easier and result in a much better graphic design.
To work professionally, graphic designers certainly need special and even expensive software and hardware more than common people. Do not be afraid to invest in some expensive tools since the expenses will be paid off by your beautiful works. You can then use some available references to make your graphic designs.