Graphic Designer’s Home Office – Top 10 Design and Setup Tips
The art and craft of graphic design is becoming more popular and sought-after by companies and employers around the world, and it’s safe to say that this is one of the most lucrative industries you can become a part of as an aspiring freelancer.
Now, to do your job right, you have to be in a productive, healthy work environment, so you need to design and set up your home office just right.
That said, it’s important to note that a graphic designer’s home office is quite different from your typical freelancer’s home office, as this is a highly specialised vocation that requires a unique set of tools along with some unique office design considerations.
Some of the design tips and setup essentials we’re going to talk about today might seem like a significant investment.
However, they are all a necessary part of your work environment and can greatly influence your productivity and output, as well as your relations with your clients and partners.
With all of that in mind, let’s dive deep into the design and setup tips that will bring your graphic designer’s home office to life.
Start by scaling the lighting
When you’re just typing away at your computer, say as a freelance writer, you can go ahead and work from your laptop on the couch, not bothering yourself too much about the lighting in the room if you have a good display.
However, the lighting in a graphic designer’s home office can make all the difference, and significantly impact the quality of your work as well as your productivity levels throughout the day.
That’s why optimising the lighting should be one of your top priorities.
You can start by optimising the natural lighting in the room.
Ideally, you would want as much light to permeate the setting as possible for the sake of your mood and productivity.
However, it shouldn’t be so bright that it bounces off your screen.
You can use curtains to control the flow of light and keep it off your monitor.
While it’s always a good idea to have a desk lamp when you’re working until the wee hours in the night, keep in mind that the reflection on one side of the screen can affect the picture and the quality of your work, so for your needs, it’s better to choose a soft overhead light.
Make it programmable so that you can scale the lighting quickly.
Recommended Office Lights
- Multiple Control Ways:With the remote control, you can easily control the floor lamp without leaving the sofa and warm bed (with a 32.8ft/10m range).Add-on touch control, stepless brightness adjustment(brightness from 5% to 100%) by long touch.
- Using-Life Longer 20% than Others:With high brightness and low heat LED advanced technology, it has the brightness of a 200W incandescent lamp.Long-term use will not heat up as it's made up of the acrylic materials.the light has a lifetime of up to 100,000 hours at the right current and voltage, which means lower maintenance and replacement costs, totally save money and energy.
- 3 Color Temperatures and Stepless Dimming:The Joofo floor lamp has stepless brightness adjustment as well as three adjustable color-temperature settings from 3000K to 5000K, for warm white, natural white, and cool white light. It remembers your settings between uses and when power is interrupted.
- Save Space and Safe Base:The base is very heavy.Safe for your baby and pets.The base to provide a good stability from falling that can make sure safety and stable.And save space design,you can put it under your sofa or narrow corners.350 rotation you can adjust any angle you need it to make the light fit you.
- Directional and Glare-Free Light:The lighted surface can be rotated through 350 degrees and tilted to any angle between straight up and almost parallel to the floor. The 69inch/175cm height and tiltable top make it easy to avoid glare from the lighted surface. Pointed into a corner, the lamp provides great diffuse lighting when you’re on camera for remote meetings.
- ✅【Super Wide, Large and Bright】With a ultra wide 31.5 inch 24W LED light bar, this tall desk lamp illuminates entire desk, ideal for a multi-monitor workstation, large table for the home office, drawing, sewing, crafting, painting, reading. Maximum working height up to 27.5 inches. The best led desk lamp for working from home.
- ✅【No Screen Glare & 100% Flicker-Free】Equipped with 45° angled away LEDs and side lighting design, it illuminates only your desk and keyboard, no reflected glare on the screen or in eyes which can help you better see what you’re working on, reducing eye fatigue, NO flickering, NO ghost-freeze.
- ✅【Auto-Dimming & Multi Lighting Modes】The 1000Lm bright desk lamp Built-in intelligent light sensor it will detect surrounding light intensity and auto adjust to the best brightness level for your work environment. It includes 5 dimming levels and 4 color temperatures modes (3,000K- 6,500K, RA>85). The memory function memorizes your last setting.
- ✅【Minimalistic Style & Saving Space】The modern desk light with sensitive touch buttons that easy to control, the durable and flexible silicone neck allows you to turn the desk mount lamp to any angle possible according to your needs. The scratch-resistant metal clamp supports the maximum thickness of desk edge up to 3.34-inches.
- ✅【Quality Enhanced & Warranty】Eppiebasic LED Desk Lamp has been updated with all-involved effort and complete improvement, and NO MORE issue that cannot turn off. 2 Years of Warranty: replacement for any quality issues with 24/7 Customer Service. 【What's in the Box】 1*24 Watts Desk Lamp with Clamp, 1 * UL Power Adapter,1 * User Manual.
- 【3 LIGHTING MODES & 10 BRIGHTNESS LEVELS】Our LED desk lamp has 3 kinds of color temperature: warm light (3000K), warm white light (4500K) and white light (6000K). Each lighting mode has 10 brightness dimming levels. There are 30 lighting modes to meet all your requirements.
- 【SAVING SPACE & WIDE APPLICATION】The desk lamp wide clamp and hidden cabling design provides a completely free surface. The strong metal clamp supports a desktop up to 2 inch table. It can be perfectly used with the headboard, working table, computer table, easel, drawing table or sewing table.
- 【PROTECT YOUR EYES】12W LED desk lamp has uniform brightness, large coverage, brightness can be adjusted according to your own needs.It is designed to help people who read and work for hours every day to protect their eyesight and reduce eye strain. Ideal for architects, designers, artists, secretaries, typists, editors, accountants, students, teenagers, children.
- 【ECO FRIENDLY】As an eco-friendly LED desk light, it consumes 80% less power than traditional incandescent lights.Strong dust-proof performance, low energy consumption, low required voltage and current, low heat, and less luminous heat. High safety factor, service life up to 30,000 to 50,000 hours.
- 【ADJUSTABLE DESIGN】360° rotating lamp, 360° rotating base, 270° adjustable metal arm, you can freely adjust the desk light direction/ angles/ length/ positions according to your personal need. Please Note: Only Match with the adapter of 5V/ 2A (DC), otherwise it will cause damage the button controller to short-circuit.
Be as comfortable as possible
Before we get stuck in the software you should use to deliver better results and communicate with your clients efficiently, we have to address another important question regarding the comfort of your home office.
As a graphic designer, you have to stay mobile and flexible throughout your day, and a good laptop will help you do that to a great extent because the creative process makes us want to move around and change positions often.
The last thing you want is to slouch on your chair or over your desk because that will negatively impact your productivity and mindset.
Instead, it would be a wise idea to invest in an ergonomic chair and a modular desk.
The chair will promote good posture, while the adjustable desk will allow you to switch to a standing position on a moment’s notice without having to take a break for a second.
It’s a simple rule but always look to make yourself as comfortable as possible without risking dozing off.
There is such a thing as an overly comfortable home office, you know.
- FORTNITE OMEGA GAMING CHAIR - Ready to play like a gaming legend in the Fortnite edition Omega gaming chair? A racecar-style gaming chair that provides luxury and comfort, whether it's used for intense gaming sessions and climbing to the top of the leaderboards, or long workdays
- ARMED WITH COMFORT - This video game chair features a high back with segmented padding and an integrated headrest because you don't need to feel like you've been gaming all day This ergonomic chair is also equipped with an extendable footrest, so you can kick back and game on Padded armrests round out your comfort arsenal
- Fortnite OMEGA THEME - This Fortnite Omega-inspired gaming chair features accents that allow you to rep your favorite outfit Stain-resistant materials cover the gaming chair for long-wearing, extended use
- BASE SUPPORT - Find your optimal position by reclining between 90 - 155 degrees with infinite locking positions Soft, padded armrests pivot with the chair as it reclines Full 360 degrees of swivel rotation enable dynamic movement These gaming chairs measure 24 41 – 47 45" D x 26 75" W x 48 04"-51 19" H
- WE'VE GOT YOUR BACK - With 25 years of ergonomic workplace furniture experience, RESPAWN, an award-nominated brand, builds gaming furniture that is both durable and comfortable The limited lifetime warranty covers the gaming chair for users up to 275 lb and has your back so that you can bring your 'A' game to every match
Get the right creative software
Okay, on to the good stuff.
As a graphic designer hell-bent on making an impact on the industry, you need to equip yourself with the right software, apps, and tools that will allow you to fulfil all your clients’ wishes and deliver stellar results.
Generally, the clients won’t care what software you use so long as you deliver quality work, but you should look to find the apps that work best for your creative process and needs.
Always remember that there are many tools out there that you can try until you find the perfect fit, and some of them are free to use while others might require a hefty yearly renewal fee.
It’s important to remember that paid software is continuously updated and has non-stop service support, which means that you can enjoy the latest features and security measures on the market.
You can also choose Inkscape if you’re working on vector graphics or GIMP (this one’s free) for editing raster images and free-form drawing.
The choices are endless nowadays, so it’s a good idea to download different tools, try them out, and see which ones work best for you.
It’s a process, but an essential one for finding your unique style and boosting your productivity and output.
Communicate with your clients efficiently
Collaboration and communication are just as crucial for a successful graphic designer as the tools and software you use to make fantastic marketing materials, campaigns, and visual designs.
After all, you have to be able to communicate with your clients daily to stay productive and nurture your relationships, which is why you need to be available via phone, messaging, email, and more.
You can combine all of these communication platforms through a single VoIP system to cut costs and organise your communication and collaboration all in one place.
VoIP is a cloud-based solution and probably the best-rated phone system for companies and individuals, as it brings a ton of handy digital features to the table that allows seamless communication and collaboration.
However, the most significant benefit of VoIP is that it allows for low-cost phone calls for national and international calls, which will enable you to communicate with clients all over the world without breaking the proverbial bank.
- NEW magicJackHOME DIGITAL TELEPHONE SERVICE: Unlimited Local & Long Distance Calling to the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands with a 1 YEAR WARRANTY. Also, Free magicJack to magicJack calling worldwide and low international outbound rates and keep your number.
- WORKING FROM HOME: NEW & IMPROVED FEATURES: Improved voice quality. Lab-tested features greatly enhance overall voice quality under congested network conditions. Make higher quality calls with the newly improved chip. Has more memory and the new device uses CPU that is 4 times faster.
- NO MONTHLY BILLS: 12 months of service and Caller ID, Voicemail, Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, 411 and Conference Calling -- ALL INCLUDE GRATIS FOR A YEAR WITH NO HIDDEN FEES. It's the smart choice. (porting an existing phone number has a one time charge of $19.95)
- FREE COMPANION APP: Download the FREE magicJack Mobile App and Make Unlimited local & long distance calls to the U.S. and Canada from your smartphone. Have your home phone & cell ring simultaneously! It works just like using your magicJack service at home. PLUS get unlimited text messages to any U.S. mobile number. (calls to your magicJackHOME simultaneously ring on your mobile)
- EASY TO SET UP: You can connect your magicJackHOME to your existing high speed internet and any cordless or landline house phone or you can connect with your computer. Includes step-by-step instructions, ethernet cord, USB extension cord and power adapter. BUY WITH CONFIDENCE: If a magicJack product has been previously activated & returned, magicJack cannot guarantee that it will be in working condition. Please buy with confidence from magicJack to receive a NEW working unit. Do NOT BUY USED.
Don’t draw without a good graphics tablet
Amateurs draw using a mouse and keyboard.
Professionals use a graphics tablet to bring their designs to life.
If you’re serious about making it big in the world of graphic design, you need to invest in a good drawing tablet.
Fortunately, these have become incredibly affordable in recent years, and there is no need to spring for the most expensive one on the market.
When you’re shopping around pay special attention to the quality of the screen and its sensitivity, and how well it reacts to the subtlest of motions.
Recommended Drawing Tablets
- [11.6-Inches 1080P HD IPS Monitor]--GAOMON PD1161 drawing monitor comes with 1920x1080 HD IPS monitor paired with 72% NTSC(100%SRGB) Color Gamut, work area is 256.32×144.18mm (10*5.7 inch). High-end monitor ensure a more vivid display. Signal Output: Mini HDMI &Type-C; Viewing angle: 178°。
- [±60 Degree Tilt Function]--GAOMON PD1161 graphic pen display support ±60 degree Tilt function. We can freely draw from various angles according to the subtle pressure differences, and every detailed modification will be recognized immediately.
- [8192 Levels Battery-free Pen AP50 ]-- Say good bye to battery.No need to charge pen anymore, which is an humanized and environment-friendly design. The tablet equip with 8192 levels pen pressure, the thickness of the lines will change with the pressure you put on the pen, making the lines more natural and smooth. Two programmable hot-keys on pen body, and the default setting is erase and mouse right click.【8 Replacement nibs】--The replacement nibs inside of the pen holder.
- [Warm Reminder]-- GAOMON PD1161 drawing pen display is not a standalone product, it must be used with a computer which running windows or mac OS. It not compatible with Chrombook (chrome OS) . [8 ProgrammableShortcut Keys]-- You can set shortcut keys on tablet driver based on your preferences, such as erase, zoom in/out, scroll up and down, and so on.
- [OS Support& Art Program Compatibility]-- GAOMON PD1161 art tablet support Windows 7/8/8.1/10 or later, Mac OS 10.12 or later; Compatible with gimp,firealpaca,krita,medibang,zbrush,blender,Inkscape,Photoshop, Adobe illustrator, adode premiere, adobe after effect, sai version 2, clip studio paint, Corel Paintshop Pro,Autodesk Mudbox, Lightroom, Sketchbook Pro,etc. [WIDELY APPLICATION]-- Drawing, photography, animation,sketching, image editing, 3D sculpture, architectural designers ect.
- XP-PEN Artist12 drawing tablet must be connected to a computer to work, it's compatible with Windows 7 or later, Mac 10.10 or later. Compatible with Photoshop, Illustrator, SAI, Painter, MediBang, Clip Studio, and more. It's ideal for digital drawing, animation, sketching, photo editing, 3D sculpting, and more. Connect the Artist12 tablet to your computer with the included 3-in-1 cord, and install the XP-PEN driver, sketch or paint on the screen directly, enjoy an immersive creation experience
- 11.6 HD IPS display: Artist12 drawing tablet is the XP-PEN’s latest smallest 1920x1080 HD display paired with 72% NTSC(100%SRGB) Color Gamut, presenting vivid images, vibrant colors and extreme detail for a stunning display of your artwork. It's pre-installed anti-reflective screen protector already. The slim touch bar can be programmed to zoom in and out, scroll up and down. Its 6 shortcut keys are customizable, XP-PEN driver allows the shortcut keys to be attuned to other different software
- Battery-free stylus with a digital eraser at the end: XP-PEN advanced P06 passive pen was made for a traditional pencil-like feel! Featuring a unique hexagonal design, non-slip & tack-free flexible glue grip, partial transparent pen tip, and an eraser at the end! Delivering technical sense, high efficiency, with a fashionable and comfortable grip, and there are 8 replacement pen nibs included with the multi-function pen holder
- XP-PEN Artist12 drawing tablet with screen is ideal for online education and remote work. Set the Artist12 drawing screen as an extended display when working from home, visually present your handwritten notes on the screen directly. Teachers and students can write and edit complicated functional equations with ease. It's compatible with XSplit, Zoom, Twitch, Microsoft Teams, ezTalks Webinar, Idroo, Scribbiar, wiziQ, and more
- XP-PEN provides a one-year warranty and lifetime technical support for all our drawing pen tablets/displays. Register your XP-PEN Artist12 drawing tablet on xp-pen web to apply for an ArtRage 5, openCanvas, or Explain Everything. Your laptop/desktop needs to have HDMI and USB-A ports available for the connection, or you need an extra converter(such as Thunderbolt to HDMI, depends on what ports that your laptop/desktop has) for the connection
- Support Mac/Windows/Android: Not only compatible with Mac and Windows, Huion H640P also supports Android 6.0 or later via an included OTG adapter to turn your phones or tablets into a digital drawing canvas.This easy-to-use pen tablet is perfect for kids and beginners for drawing，animation，photo-editing or design work in most programs including Adobe Photoshop, paint tool sai, illustrator, corel draw, corel painter, sketchbook, manga studio, clip studio paint and more.
- Ideal for Online Education: With stylus and H640P,teachers and studernts can easily handwritten edit,diagram,do math,annotate on virtual whitebord in Zoom, Team and Xsplit while streaming or broadcasting.It is compatible with Word, Powerpoint OneNote and more.It is also perfect for taking notes ,jotting down ideas and business signature during web conferencing and remote working.
- Accurate Pen Perfomance: Digital pen PW100 features 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity,5080LPI pen resolution and vitually no lag，providing you untimate precision and control. It is also battery-free, no need for charging anymore.The pen side buttons help you switch between pen and eraser or instantly.Comes with extra 8 pen nibs in the pen holder.
- 6 Customized Press Keys: Set up the 6 programmable express keys to any shortcut combination you prefer in Huion driver and optimize your work flow. It also works for both left and right handed users.
- Compact and Portable: H640P art tablet is designed with slim and compact sized with an active area of 6.3x3.9inch offering perfect creative space for limited desktop areas.It is easy to carry out and always ready for your creation whenever and wherever.
Use a quality sketch pen
Of course, you can’t use a proper graphics tablet without a sketch pen, and these tend to run a higher cost because of the complexity of their design and the fact that you need a model that can easily translate your hand’s movements into quality drawings on the screen.
So, if there’s a piece of hardware you need to splurge on, it’s a quality sketch pen.
You can check the numerous brands out there to find the one that’s just right for you, and be sure to visit your local tech store to try them out before making a purchase.
- No limits to what you can do. Works seamlessly with iPad Pro 12.9 Inch (3rd Gen), iPad Pro 11 inch, iPad (7th Gen), iPad (6th (Gen), iPad Air (3rd Gen), iPad Mini 5, iOS 12.2 and above, delivering precise and fast Pencil input across hundreds of Apple Pencil supported apps
- Write and draw naturally without fear of missing a single line or detail
- Go right ahead and rest your palm on the screen while you write. Palm Rejection technology lets you enjoy natural hand placement while using Logitech Crayon
- Need a thicker or thinner line, just tilt the smart tip adjusts line weight automatically
- Logitech Crayon connects to iPad instantly just turn on and draw. No complex device pairing or other delays required
Get a better computer
It should go without saying that graphic designers tend to run performance-driven and resource-intensive programs, so you need to have a powerful computer rig at your disposal.
Whether you get a PC or a powerful Mac, or even a laptop is up to you, but you mustn’t skimp on the hardware inside.
Be sure to invest in at least 8GB of RAM and a powerful processor so that you can run various demanding apps and render videos, images, and other visuals in less time while ensuring stability.
The apps that graphic designers use tend to crash more frequently on lower-end machines, so don’t risk it, get a powerful setup.
- Mac Pro Desktop Computer - Magic Mouse 2 - Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad - USB Type-C to Lightning Cable (3.3') - Power Cord (6.6') - 90 Days of Complimentary Technical Support - Apple 1 Year Limited Warranty
- 3.5GHz 8-core Intel Xeon W processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.0GHz
- 32GB (4x8GB) of DDR4 ECC memory
- Radeon Pro 580X with 8GB of GDDR5 memory
- 256GB SSD storage
Have a printer on hand
You might be sending your work to your clients, but that doesn’t mean that sometimes you won’t have to print out something at your office, so why not get a small but reliable printer just in case.
You might be required to print out a copy of your work when you’re making posters and flyers to check the quality, so it’s a good thing to have a good printer on standby.
Recommended Printers for Designers
- Main functions of this all-in-one wide-format printer: copy, scan, fax, wide-format printing up to 11x17 inches, wireless printing, AirPrint, 2-sided duplex printing, color touchscreen, automatic document feeder, and more
- The power of your printer in the palm of your hand: The HP Smart app allows you to easily set up your printer, scan from your smartphone, order toner, and print from the cloud—such as iCloud, Dropbox and Google Drive
- Up to 50% less cost per page than color lasers with fast print speeds up to 22 pages per minute black; support high-volume office printing with a paper input capacity of up to 500 sheets with two 250-sheet paper trays
- Print, scan, and copy in standout color on a variety of paper sizes from letter to 11x17 inches; tap and swipe the color touchscreen, easily manage print, scan, copy, and fax jobs directly at the printer
- Use Original HP 952 & HP 952XL ink cartridges for great result print after print; original HP ink prints up to 2x the pages as refilled cartridges
- This Certified Refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, a minimum 90-day warranty, and may arrive in a generic box. Only select sellers who maintain a high performance bar may offer Certified Refurbished products on Amazon.com
- FAST VERSATILITY – Gain control of your printed documents and make an impact with the HP color LaserJet Professional CP5225n, A color laser printer designed to cover all your printing needs
- AFFORDABLE BUSINESS PRINTING – Print everyday business documents and marketing materials as well as wide-format projects at an affordable price—often less than printing at a copy shop
- HIGH-QUALITY OUTPUT AND SPEED – Enjoy superior print quality at speeds of up to 20 pages per minute, and easily print on different types of paper with adjustable paper trays
- SPEED THROUGH JOBS – Manage print tasks more quickly with an intuitive control panel with a 2-line, 16- character backlit LCD display
- BUILT-IN TECHNOLOGY – The HP Print Cost Estimator compares the cost of printing internally versus at a copy shop, and Instant-on Technology provides a warm-up time from low-power mode that's up to 50% faster compared to competitive models
Add plenty of storage to your workstation
Last but not least, you have to think about storage.
Firstly, be sure to install all demanding apps and programs, including your operating system, on the SSD drive in the computer to boost performance.
If you don’t want to get a second SSD for file storage, you can get a good HDD drive but keep in mind that it will be a lot slower than your system drive.
Of course, you have to back up your work regularly, so make sure to have a cloud storage account and get a sizable external hard drive just in case.
Don’t be lazy, back up your work at least once a week.
Recommended Hard Drives
- Easily store and access 2TB to content on the go with the Seagate Portable Drive, a USB external hard drive
- Designed to work with Windows or Mac computers, this external hard drive makes backup a snap just drag and drop
- To get set up, connect the portable hard drive to a computer for automatic recognition no software required
- This USB drive provides plug and play simplicity with the included 18 inch USB 3.0 cable
- Enjoy long-term peace of mind with the included one-year limited warranty and 1 year rescue data recovery services
- USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 Compatibility
- Fast data transfers
- Improve PC Performance
- High Capacity; Compatibility Formatted NTFS for Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7; Reformatting may be required for other operating systems; Compatibility may vary depending on user’s hardware configuration and operating system
- 2 year manufacturer's limited warranty
- Slim design
- Automatic backup - easy to use
- Password protection + 256-bit AES hardware encryption
- WD Discovery software for WD Backup, password protection, and drive management
- SuperSpeed USB-A 3.0 (5Gpbs), 2.0 compatible
What do you have in a graphic designer’s home office?
The world of graphic design is a lucrative one, but it’s also highly competitive, which means that you need to invest in the right setup to build your competitive advantage.
Combine these tips with our office design guidelines, and you will have no problem building a fantastic work environment that will take your career forward.
Last update on 2021-07-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API