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

Keep The Light On To Increase Productivity

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.

Next, turn your attention to the artificial lighting

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

Bestseller No. 1
Floor Lamp,30W/2400LM Sky LED Modern Torchiere 3 Color Temperatures Super Bright Floor Lamps-Tall Standing Pole Light with Remote & Touch Control for Living Room,Bed Room,Office(Black)
  • 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.
SaleBestseller No. 2
LED Desk Lamp with Wireless Charger, USB Charging Port, Desk Lighting with 5 Brightness Level,5 Lighting Modes, Dimmable Eye-Caring Reading Desk Light for Home, Office Lights,Touch Control,Auto Timer
  • Wireless charging and USB charging: The dimmable led desk lamps have wireless charging and USB charging functions. You can charge your mobile phone while working, studying, reading, and sleeping, which is very convenient.
  • 25 lighting choices and Touch control: 5 lighting modes X 5 levels of brightness, there are 25 lighting options in total. Using touch control technology, a suitable light can be selected easily and quickly.
  • Eye protection and Timing function: 52 full spectrum led beads with soft light, no flicker, no shadow, which avoids eye fatigue. 30/60 minutes Auto-off time, making sleep more comfortable, no need to worry about turning off.
  • Foldable design: This foldable LED desk lamp has a 225° flexible arm and a 90° bottom axis. The foldable design makes it easy to carry and place.
  • Professional service: We provide a 1-year warranty service for the led desk lamps. As long as there is any problem or dissatisfaction with the product, you can contact us for a free replacement or return. We are always at your service.
Bestseller No. 3
HaFundy LED Desk Lamp,Adjustable Eye-Caring Desk Light with Clamp,Swing Arm Lamp Includes 3 Color Modes,10 Brightness Levels Table Lamps with Memory Function,Desk Lamp for Home,Office,Reading(Black)
  • ❤【3 COLOR LIGHT AND 10-WAY DIMMABLE】- The desk lamp is the latest version, which has 3 kinds of light (including white light, daylight, and warm light). The brightness (10 levels)of each color light can also be adjusted gradually according to the button indication, You can choose the most comfatable light to control the appearance and feel of your space (such as working, reading, or relaxing).
  • ❤【HIGHLY ADJUSTABLE LAMP AND SAVING SPACE】- The desk lamp for home comes with a 360° rotating light, 270°rotating base,180° adjustable metal arm. You can adjust light direction as you like.And the flexible adjusting arm can be extended up to 29 inches and used in multiple locations.The reading light is also equipped with a sturdy clamp that can support a tabletop up to 2.1 inches.Suitable for reading working,computer boards,jewelry makers,arts crafts hobbyists,welding.
  • ❤【EYE PROTECTION LAMP】- The desk lamp has been professionally designed, no strobe, no ghosting, no shadow, which keeps you focused and productive when you're working, reading, or studying. Its light is very uniform, can prevent blue light damage to the eyes. This lamp is suitable for all ages, no matter the children or grandparents, easily protect your family's eyes.
  • ❤【ALUMINUM HEAT DISSIPATION ENERGY SAVING】- Compared with other ordinary desk lamps, this desk lamp adopts the newest grade aluminum alloy structure as the heat sink, which provides sufficient 10W's brightness, is more energy-efficient and has a longer service life, without frequent replacement, and reduces electricity cost and carbon footprint.
  • ❤【VARIOUS CHARGING METHODS AND MEMORY FUNCTION】- You can supply the power to the desk lamp through adapters (5V/2A), power banks, computers, and other ways. Of course, our architectural lights also support power-off memory. When you turn off the lights and turn on the power again, the lamp will return to the previous setting (mode).

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.

RESPAWN OMEGA-Xi Fortnite Gaming Reclining Ergonomic Chair with Footrest (OMEGA-02)
  • 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

Adobe Photoshop Graphic Design 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.

Typically, the software you need to pay for will work better, such as Adobe’s Photoshop or Illustrator, and for many reasons. 

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

Understand The Client

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.

Don’t draw without a good graphics tablet

Wacom Cintiq Best Tablets Review

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

SaleBestseller No. 1
Huion Inspiroy H640P Graphics Drawing Tablet Android Support with Battery-Free Stylus and 8192 Pressure Sensitivity
  • 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.
SaleBestseller No. 2
GAOMON M10K2018 10 x 6.25 inches Graphic Drawing Tablet 8192 Levels of Pressure Digital Pen Tablet with Battery-Free Stylus
  • [Battery -free Pen]---The pen adopts the most advanced passive technology at present, no need to charge or replace the battery, so it's always ready whenever you want to create art,avoiding trouble of battery leakage and low power.
  • [8192 Levels Pen Pressure]---The pen features 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, helps you to draw thicker or thinner lines depending on how hard you push on the pen. It makes lines smoother and more natural, allowing you to capture ideas faster and easier.
  • [High Performance]--Working Area:10 x 6.25 inches (255*159mm);Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 levels; Pen Touch Resolution:5080 LPI; Report Rate:233PPS; Sensing Height:10mm
  • [1 Touch Ring+1 Round Key+10 Hot-keys]---The touch ring could be programmed for canvas zooming, brush adjusting and page scrolling ( zoom in/out and roll ). The round key designed to shift function among zooming canvas, adjusting brush, and scrolling page. 10 customizable shortcut keys allow more quick access to most commonly used functions.
  • [Compatibility]---Windows 7/8/10, Mac 10.12 or later version. And it’s compatible with most drawing program,such as: Photoshop, Krita, Illustrator, SAI2, SketchBookPro, FireAlpaca, OpenCanvas, Manga Studio and so on.
Bestseller No. 3
XP-PEN StarG640 6x4 Inch Ultrathin Tablet Drawing Tablet Digital Graphics Tablet with 8192 Levels Battery-Free Stylus Compatible with Chromebook-Rev B (for Drawing and E-Learning/Online Classes)
  • XP-PEN G640 Graphics Tablet is designed for gameplay, drawing, painting, sketching, E-signatures, etc. Battery-free Stylus making lines flow quicker and smoother, enhancing overall performance
  • The perfect replacement for a traditional mouse! The XP-Pen advanced Battery-free stylus does not require charging, allowing for constant uninterrupted Draw and Play. The one-click toggle allows you to switch between Pen and Eraser instantly, suitable for both right and left hand users. Now comes with 20 replacement nibs. Allowing you to have more fun
  • Active Area: 6x4 inches Fully utilizing our 8192 levels of pen pressure sensitivity―Providing you with groundbreaking control and fluidity to expand your creative output. The G640 is only 2mm thick, it’s as slim as all primary level graphic tablets, allowing you to carry it with you on the go
  • XP-PEN G640 drawing tablet is ready to work seamlessly with Chromebook devices, so you can create information-rich content and collaborate with teachers and classmates on Google Jamboard’s whiteboard; Take notes quickly and conveniently with Google Keep, and effortlessly sketch diagrams with the Google Canvas
  • XP-PEN G640 is compatible with Windows 10/8/7 and Mac 10.10 or above and Chrome OS 88.0.4324.109 and above and it's compatible with many creative software programs. XP-Pen provides one-year warranty and lifetime technical support for all our pen tablets/displays

Use a quality sketch pen

Apple Pencil Review For Designers

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.

Logitech Crayon Digital Pencil for iPad Pro 12.9-Inch (3rd & 4th Gen), iPad Pro 11-Inch (1st & 2nd Gen), iPad (6th, 7th & 8th Gen), iPad Air (3rd & 4th Gen), iPad Mini 5, iOS 12.2 and Above — Orange
  • 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

Best Mac Computer For Designers

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.

Apple Mac Pro Desktop Computer, 3.5GHz 8-Core Intel Xeon W, 32GB Memory, 256GB SSD, Radeon Pro 580X 8GB, Magic Mouse 2, Stainless Steel with Feet
  • 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

Canon Pixma Printer

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

Bestseller No. 1
JANDJPACKAGING Sublimination Paper for Heat Transfer - 100 Sheets A3 Sublimation Paper for All Inkjet Printer with Sublimation Ink
  • Higher Transfer Rate & Vibrant Colors: With over 98% ultra high transfer rate, clear and bright colors, and excellent printing details, this sublimation paper is your go-to paper for creative projects. You will also love it's extremely fast drying and greater ink saving performance.One Heat Resistant Tape is specially included in the package for your accurate transfer application.
  • Premium Quality: 120gsm sublimination paper for heat transfer is tough enough to withstand repeated washes, high temperature and sunshine without cracking, fading and wrinkling. Sublimation paper for fabric features superior line sharpness, excellent lay-flat performance and outstanding quality consistency. No worries about paper jam any more.
  • Wide Application: By our sublimation paper, it would be a breeze to transfer your favorite images onto a wide variety of surfaces such as T-shirts, pillow, canvas bag, ceramic mug, phone case, puzzle, metal plate, key chain and so on. Perfect for special occasions and seasonal crafts plus everyday celebrations!
  • Warm Tips: Please print on WHITE side. This sublimation paper for t shirts compatible with all inkjet printer and only sublimation ink works; Work with light colored polyester fabric and polyester coated items and material with cotton content≤30%; Must store in a cool, dry area, avoid direct sunlight, heat and humidity and the remaining must be put back into the box.
  • Great Service: We have confidence with sublimation paper. We want to make you fully satisfied with your sublimation paper. However if you are pleased with the sublimation paper, please help us share it with more craft lovers or any social media you own.
Bestseller No. 2
Automatic A3 T-Shirt Printing Machine DTG Printer Tshirt Machine for T-Shirts/Sweatshirts/Hoodies/Pants/Jeans etc
  • 1. Automatically adjust the tay height and position (also can be adjusted manually).
  • 2. Free RIP9.0 software, can print both white and color at the same time. Here is the printing video link: https://youtu.be/fY8fes9e6xM
  • 3. It can print on clothes which contains cotton material, T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, pants, jeans, socks, bags, thin or thick clothes.
  • 4. If you have question about this machine, you can contact us freely.
Bestseller No. 3
Epson Workforce Pro WF-C8190 A3 Color Printer
  • This printer is designed for use with Epson cartridges only, not third party cartridges or ink. Cartridges described as Compatible, Remanufactured, refilled or refillable may not work properly or at all. See product description for more details.
  • Display technology: LCD

Add plenty of storage to your workstation

Best Portable Hard Drive 2020

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

SaleBestseller No. 1
Seagate Portable 2TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD – USB 3.0 for PC, Mac, PS4, & Xbox - 1-Year Rescue Service (STGX2000400)
  • 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
SaleBestseller No. 2
WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive HDD, USB 3.0, Compatible with PC, Mac, PS4 & Xbox - WDBU6Y0020BBK-WESN
  • 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
SaleBestseller No. 3
Toshiba Canvio Advance 4TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0, White - HDTCA40XW3CA
  • Compact design with stylish, textured finish and color options to fit your lifestyle.
  • Automatic backup software to easily back up your content (free download, for Windows PC only).
  • Password protection software to help prevent unauthorized access to your data (free download, for Windows PC only).
  • USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 compatible.
  • 2-year manufacturer's limited warranty(3).

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 2021-02-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tips Graphic Designers Home Office Setup Guide
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