Graphic Designer’s Home Office – Top 10 Design and Setup Tips
The art and craft of graphic design are 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.
To do your job right, you must be in a productive, healthy work environment, so you must 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 and some unique office design considerations.
Some design tips and setup essentials we’ll talk about today might seem significant investments.
However, they are all a necessary part of your work environment and can significantly influence your productivity and output and your relations with your clients and partners.
With all 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 and 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 your mood and productivity.
However, it shouldn’t be so bright that it bounces off your screen.
You can use curtains to control the light flow 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 of 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
- TOUCH CONTROL DIMMABLE DESK LAMP — 5000K cool white desk lamp with 3 Brightness Levels, easily adjust the brightness by touch. Cool white lighting great suit for working, studying, reading.
- 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
- 25 Light Modes: The LED desk lamp can easily switch between 5 brightness and 5 color tempers (3200K-6500K) with buttons, providing you with healthy and comfortable office lighting. Different lights meet the needs of different scenes, suitable for you and your children to read, work, study, relax, etc.
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 at a moment’s notice without having to take a break for a second.
It’s a simple rule, but always make yourself as comfortable as possible without risking dozing off.
You know there is such a thing as an overly comfortable home office.
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- [Lockable Reclining Function] By pushing the lever up/down, it locks/unlocks the tilting of the back. The chair feels amazing by tilting and locking the backrest to any place you want, and 90-135 degree is great and comfy enough for you to work or rest in this high back mesh chair for long hours.
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 client’s 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 best apps 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 require a hefty yearly renewal fee.
Typically, the software you need to pay for will work better, such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, for many reasons.
It’s important to remember that paid software is continuously updated and has non-stop service support to 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 drawings.
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 these communication platforms through a single VoIP system to cut costs and organise your communication and collaboration 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, enabling you to communicate with clients worldwide without breaking the proverbial bank.
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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 graphic design, you must 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 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
- 【Battery-Free Pen】StarG640 drawing tablet is the perfect replacement for a traditional mouse! The XPPen advanced Battery-free PN01 stylus does not require charging, allowing for constant uninterrupted Draw and Play, making lines flow quicker and smoother, enhancing overall performance.
- 【Large Active Drawing Space】: UGEE M708 V3 graphic drawing tablet, features 10 x 6 inch large active drawing space with papery texture surface, provides enormous and smooth drawing for your digital artwork creation, offers no-lag sketch, painting experience;
- Multi-Purpose & Multi-Colors: Electronic writing tablet, a greater helper for drawing ,note taking, memo, reminding, massage, draft ,scrawl and etc. Ideal tool for kids, show your child¡¯s creativity and Imagination with color!
Use a quality sketch pen
Of course, you can’t use a proper graphics tablet without a sketch pen. These tend to run at 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 (5th and 6th gen) , iPad Pro 11 inch, iPad (6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th Gen), iPad Air (3rd, 4th, 5th 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, 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 to 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.
- SUPERCHARGED BY M2 PRO OR M2 MAX — Take on demanding projects with the M2 Pro or M2 Max chip. M2 Pro has up to 12 CPU cores, up to 19 GPU cores, and up to 32GB unified memory. M2 Max has 12 CPU cores, up to 38 GPU cores, and up to 96GB unified memory.
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 making posters and flyers to check the quality, so it’s good 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 11×17 inches, wireless printing, AirPrint, 2-sided duplex printing, color touchscreen, automatic document feeder, and more
- L1800 DTF T-Shirt Printer: You do not need to pre-process the clothing, it can be transferred to the T-shirt by a heat press after printing on the PET film with a DTF Printer, which will have better results than a DTG Printer.
Add plenty of storage to your workstation
Last but not least, you have to think about storage.
Firstly, 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 much slower than your system drive.
Of course, you must back up your work regularly, so 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
- Compact design with stylish, textured finish and color options to fit your lifestyle.
What do you have in a graphic designer’s home office?
The world of graphic design is lucrative, but it’s also highly competitive, so 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 2023-03-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API