Tools For Graphic Designers: 10 you cannot live without!

Graphic design tools

Technology and the Internet are revolutionizing the modern era. Content sharing is now widely used by nearly everyone who has a smartphone. And one of the most shared types of content is short graphic clips and creative logo designs. Therefore, graphic designers are highly needed in the market nowadays and rely on a lot of tools for graphic designers. Sit back, grab a custom koozie for your beer and enjoy our list!

The Best Tools for Graphic Designers

So, whether you are starting out in graphic design, or you’re a seasoned designer looking to up and expand your existing creative tools, having these tools for graphic designers will help you transform your workspace and creative process. Perhaps you must have the basics such as a powerful computer, stable internet connection, a workspace with illuminated signs, and a designer’s eye. Beyond these usual necessities, there are a lot of essential tools for graphic designers that you can go for to achieve a high-quality designer project successfully.

We know that you might already have some of these tools, but we encourage you to go through our list and pick a tool that might become your critical creative arsenal. With that said, here are 10 tools for graphic designers that are must-haves on any graphic design project.

1) Microsoft Surface Studio

Microsoft Surface Studio.  For a very long time now, most graphic designers across the world have been going for the latest MacBook. But come this year, that notion seems to be fading. Why? The new Microsoft Surface Studio is the answer to problems that designers experienced with the old MacBook. Unlike the MacBook, one can use it either in the normal PC mode or convert it into a tablet, and you can still use its touchscreen for easy and quick designing.

If you are a seasoned designer pro looking to explore new possibilities, there is no other better opportunity to add this to your tools for graphic designers than with the Microsoft Surface Studio. The 28-inch display touch capabilities leave you with an amazing experience that no other hardware can provide. Based on your level of expertise, give it a test today, and at $3,000 the Surface Studio is truly a great investment.

2) A Moleskine Ruled Cahier notebook

It is a three-pack notebook that is black, squared, lined and has rules options. Being a graphic designer, there are those times that you need a pen and paper to put down your favorite sketch idea. This is one of the must-have tools for graphic designers. Whether you want to doodle, create quick wireframes or jot down notes, Moleskine Cahier notebook provides you with several task-specific products that will let you sketch, storyboard, plan and take notes.

3) iPad Pro and Apple Pencil

graphic design tool-iPad Pro

 

You are not going to stay in your office or home all the time. When you need to accomplish some work on-the-go, the iPad Pro comes in as one of the best graphic design tools for mobile related work. These are an attractive combo for graphic designers. Not only will you experience a first-class sketching experience, but the iPad Pro can also handle plenty of other graphic design tasks. The unique benefit that comes with the iPad Pro is the great software for designers and artists. With the “Procreate” app considered as one of the best sketching, painting and illustration apps for a mobile device. With this app, you can never go wrong in your design process. These awesome benefits make it one of the top tools for graphic designers.

 

4) Datacolor Spyder5ELITE monitor calibrator

If you are working as a professional designer, it is crucial to keep your color workflow as accurate as possible. The last thing you want to see is your output looking different and beautiful than the design process. To calibrate your monitor is not that hard, but it needs a special tool. One of the best monitor calibrators that professionals use is the Datacolor Spyder5ELITE. After you are done with a five-minute setup process, the Datacolor will maintain your laptop and desktop screens so that they are spot-on. The features include room light monitoring and grey balancing to determine maximum brightness before and after to see the results. By calibrating your monitor, you can be confident of complete accuracy when moving from print to screen.

5) Adobe Creative Cloud

It is very hard to discuss 10 tools for a graphic designer and not mention Adobe Creative Cloud. It is one of the essential tools for any illustrator or designer, whether it is your first time in graphic design or you are already a professional designer. To make your designs and illustrations appealing, you’ll require having a great combination of Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.  Adobe is a must for all unique projects like metallic stickers and metal business cards.

When you subscribe to Adobe products, you get the chance to access any of their products including After Effects and many more. With Adobe Design tools, you can keep all your designs organized in libraries and store all your files in their easy to use cloud system. The latest Adobe Creative Cloud comes with new features to allow graphic designers to store all their favorite graphics, color palettes and typefaces in the cloud. And also to use them in their future projects. This makes everything easy for the designer to access all these tools when they begin a new project.

6) Font Shop

When it comes to achieving greater success in graphic designing, it is not just the color and design that are important. The font of the design is vital in creating a big difference. To find a font that is correctly in sync with your design is not an easy task and it can consume most of your time. As a designer, you want to save time when doing your projects. Luckily, FontShop tool solves for you these problems by helping you choose from a wide range of fonts and test to see how the fonts would appear when incorporated into their design. This always makes the task of finding the right font for your design easy.

 

7) Pantone Matching System

Often, what you see is not necessarily what you get in the graphic designing industry. If you are a graphic designer, you already know what I mean. Most of the time the colors appear different on screen but take an entirely different tone when printed. This is one of the many reasons that professional graphic designers choose to invest in a Pantone Matching System. The system has a collection of swatches to help the designer get an idea of how a color would appear when printed on a hard copy. This usually comes handy when you are presenting the design to clients or sending it to the printer.  One color mistake on a large project like a mesh banner or lobby sign could cost $10,000+.

 

8) Ergonomic Vertical Mouse

When you are in the process of designing an infographic or just completing projects that require a mouse, it is essential to keep your arms and wrists in an optimal and comfortable state. This is so that you don’t begin to suffer from chronic joint pain. Wrists are a common problem for most creative designers who love to stay glued to their computer, but you can melt away the pressure and focus more on your work with the help of a vertical mouse.

With the Kinesis DXT Wireless Ergonomic Mouse, you can be sure to remain in a neutral, upright position while you relax your wrist, arm, and hand. Despite being vertical, this mouse is stable and accurate. So, you are never going to get stuck while designing your project. 

 

9) Wacom Tablet

 

graphic design tool

Despite the invention of touch screen and mouse pads, many graphic designers prefer to work with a pen and paper. However, for them to remain at par with the latest technology, it would be an excellent idea for them to look for a Wacom tablet. Professional designers highly recommend it. Because, it has a stylus that operates like a pencil, thus making the whole process of designing easy, fun and natural. What’s more, if you are working with Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, etc. the designer tends to experience more pressure sensitivity.

 

10) iMac 21.5-inch Retina (2017)

 

iMac is one of the best tools for graphic designers

Macs may not be the first choice for most graphic designers today, but this 2017 refresh of Apple’s brand with an upgraded CPU, Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, and a brighter display is fast, powerful and excellent midrange machine for your design process. The 21.5-inch iMac is available in three versions. The basic option has a 2.3 GHz processor; a mid-range has a Retina 4K Display and 3.00GHZ processor while the highest level features a 3.4 GHz. The mid-priced 4K iMac features a Radeon Pro graphics card, perfect for tasks such as video editing and 3D graphics. If you want 360-video editing, you will require the 27-inch 5K iMac.  You will need the power behind this Mac if you are doing large projects like monument signs or large format printing.

Graphic designing is not an easy task! Rather, it’s a tough job that requires the designer to stay current with the client’s requirements in mind. It requires digging down one’s creativity to meet these requirements and then developing a design that is attractive and unique. With these tools, graphic designers can enjoy the process of designing in their everyday job. So, if you would like to be a professional graphic designer, browse through this list of graphic designing tools. We hope you will enjoy reading and learn something from it.

 

Now that you have this dialed in, try designing a car wrap!

 

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Brandon Stapper
Brandon Stapper is an entrepreneur and investor. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Nonstop Signs, an industry leading graphic design, print, and sign business with multiple locations throughout the United States. At 20 years old, with no formal education and only a few hundred dollars, Stapper turned a $400 custom decal machine in a garage into an international printing powerhouse focused on helping businesses improve their marketing and branding with everything from retail signage to packaging, to trade show displays.
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