The Best Gear for Graphic Designers (Sorted by Career Level & Price)

The Best Gear for Graphic Designers (Sorted by Career Level & Price)

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Throughout your career as a graphic designer, illustrator, or any other creative role you may have, there are generally three-mile markers during your career.

  1. When you’re just starting your career right out of college.
  2. The mid-point in your career where you’ve had some success and have some great clients, but you haven’t reached the level of a seasoned pro.
  3. When you’re a seasoned pro, you’ve been working in the field for a good amount of years, have a Rolodex that is bursting at the seams, and loving life.

We started to wonder what the best gear for each stop along the way would be. What tools would not only help you succeed at that point but help you move to the next one as well? With that in mind, we crafted a list of the Best Tools for Graphic Designers including the best software, hardware, and equipment, and broke it down by each point in your career. That way, you can be at the top of your game no matter where you are in the game.

Before buying anything, there are three major points to consider before you buy anything.

If you’re ready, let’s begin.

Things to Consider When Buying Graphic Design Tech

Cost

Depending on your situation, considering the cost of the gear that you use on a day-to-day basis could be very important. If you’re just starting out running your own business, funds may be at a minimum so the cost that the gear you use may come into play much more than if you have been running a successful business for several years.

Quality

With cost, comes quality. For many products, the higher the price, the better the quality the item has. This can also pertain to the way an item feels in your hands or when you are using it. Regardless of the price, a piece of tech that feels cheaply made when you use it will probably not last very long and you’ll be forced to replace it much sooner than you may have anticipated.

Comfort

We all love to feel comfortable right? Whether it is our favorite pair of jeans, chair, or piece of gear, being comfortable while using it is perhaps the most important thing to consider. The gear you choose will be used repeatedly in your line of work. Choosing something that makes you uncomfortable will just make your work suffer over time.

The Best Gear for Graphic Designers in 2021

We know that when you’re in the market for new gear or simply window shopping for your next upgrade, going through list after list just to find the one product that you are interested in can become mind-numbingly painful.

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Because the adage, “time is money” can ring truer for some people more now than ever, we wanted to provide you, dear reader, with a handy, clickable guide broken down into the different stages in your career to make finding the best gear as easy as possible.

Check below to see a full listing of the Best Tools for Graphic Designers in 2021, for both beginners and professionals. Feel free to click the link for any product on the list to be taken right to it.

10 Best Tools for Graphic Design Beginners (Budget Gear)

The total for all these tools is approximately $2,500.

The Best Gear for Beginners

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Best 2-in-1 Budget Laptop for beginners
New Microsoft Surface Go 2 - 10.5" Touch-Screen - Intel Pentium - 8GB Memory - 128GB SSD - Wifi -...
The best budget-friendly PC for graphic design
HP Pavilion Business Desktop PC 590-p0033w Intel Core i3-8100 (up to 3.60 GHz), 4GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM,...
The best budget-friendly monitor for graphic design
Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor - AW2518Hf, Full HD @ Native 240 Hz, 16: 9, 1ms response time, DP, HDMI...
The best affordable pen display tablet
XP-Pen Artist15.6 15.6 Inch IPS Drawing Monitor Pen Display Graphics Digital Monitor with...
The best mouse for peace and quiet
Logitech M330 Silent Plus Wireless Mouse – Enjoy Same Click Feel with 90% Less Click Noise, 2 Year...
The best printer for freelancers or entrepreneurs
HP ENVY 5055 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer, HP Instant Ink, Works with Alexa (M2U85A)
Title
New Microsoft Surface Go 2 - 10.5" Touch-Screen - Intel Pentium - 8GB Memory - 128GB SSD - Wifi -...
HP Pavilion Business Desktop PC 590-p0033w Intel Core i3-8100 (up to 3.60 GHz), 4GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM,...
Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor - AW2518Hf, Full HD @ Native 240 Hz, 16: 9, 1ms response time, DP, HDMI...
XP-Pen Artist15.6 15.6 Inch IPS Drawing Monitor Pen Display Graphics Digital Monitor with...
Logitech M330 Silent Plus Wireless Mouse – Enjoy Same Click Feel with 90% Less Click Noise, 2 Year...
HP ENVY 5055 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer, HP Instant Ink, Works with Alexa (M2U85A)
Star Rating
Prime Status
-
-
-
Reviews
1,409 Reviews
25 Reviews
2,942 Reviews
1,263 Reviews
13,417 Reviews
20,505 Reviews
Price
$429.99
$469.00
$595.00
$299.99
$17.99
$144.99
Best 2-in-1 Budget Laptop for beginners
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New Microsoft Surface Go 2 - 10.5" Touch-Screen - Intel Pentium - 8GB Memory - 128GB SSD - Wifi -...
Title
New Microsoft Surface Go 2 - 10.5" Touch-Screen - Intel Pentium - 8GB Memory - 128GB SSD - Wifi -...
Star Rating
Prime Status
-
Reviews
1,409 Reviews
Price
$429.99
Buy Now
The best budget-friendly PC for graphic design
Thumbnail
HP Pavilion Business Desktop PC 590-p0033w Intel Core i3-8100 (up to 3.60 GHz), 4GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM,...
Title
HP Pavilion Business Desktop PC 590-p0033w Intel Core i3-8100 (up to 3.60 GHz), 4GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM,...
Star Rating
Prime Status
Reviews
25 Reviews
Price
$469.00
Buy Now
The best budget-friendly monitor for graphic design
Thumbnail
Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor - AW2518Hf, Full HD @ Native 240 Hz, 16: 9, 1ms response time, DP, HDMI...
Title
Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor - AW2518Hf, Full HD @ Native 240 Hz, 16: 9, 1ms response time, DP, HDMI...
Star Rating
Prime Status
-
Reviews
2,942 Reviews
Price
$595.00
Buy Now
The best affordable pen display tablet
Thumbnail
XP-Pen Artist15.6 15.6 Inch IPS Drawing Monitor Pen Display Graphics Digital Monitor with...
Title
XP-Pen Artist15.6 15.6 Inch IPS Drawing Monitor Pen Display Graphics Digital Monitor with...
Star Rating
Prime Status
Reviews
1,263 Reviews
Price
$299.99
Buy Now
The best mouse for peace and quiet
Thumbnail
Logitech M330 Silent Plus Wireless Mouse – Enjoy Same Click Feel with 90% Less Click Noise, 2 Year...
Title
Logitech M330 Silent Plus Wireless Mouse – Enjoy Same Click Feel with 90% Less Click Noise, 2 Year...
Star Rating
Prime Status
Reviews
13,417 Reviews
Price
$17.99
Buy Now
The best printer for freelancers or entrepreneurs
Thumbnail
HP ENVY 5055 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer, HP Instant Ink, Works with Alexa (M2U85A)
Title
HP ENVY 5055 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer, HP Instant Ink, Works with Alexa (M2U85A)
Star Rating
Prime Status
-
Reviews
20,505 Reviews
Price
$144.99
Buy Now

 

10 Best Tools for Mid-Career Graphic Designers (Mid-Range Gear)

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The total for all these tools is approximately $8,000.

The Best Gear for Mid-Career Designers

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The best Apple laptop for mid-level graphic designers
2019 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7) - Space Gray
The best ultrawide monitor for designers
Acer Predator Gaming X34 Pbmiphzx Curved 34" UltraWide QHD Monitor with NVIDIA G-SYNC Technology...
The best pen display tablet for designers
Wacom DTK1660K0A Cintiq 16 Drawing Tablet with Screen
The best mouse for Apple aficionados
Apple Magic Mouse 2 (Wireless, Rechargable) - Space Gray
The best mid-range compact printer
Epson Expression Photo XP-8500 Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner and Copier, Amazon Dash...
Title
2019 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7) - Space Gray
Acer Predator Gaming X34 Pbmiphzx Curved 34" UltraWide QHD Monitor with NVIDIA G-SYNC Technology...
Wacom DTK1660K0A Cintiq 16 Drawing Tablet with Screen
Apple Magic Mouse 2 (Wireless, Rechargable) - Space Gray
Epson Expression Photo XP-8500 Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner and Copier, Amazon Dash...
Prime Status
-
Star Rating
Reviews
4,697 Reviews
733 Reviews
2,328 Reviews
25,494 Reviews
109 Reviews
Price
$2,285.00
$841.99
$649.95
$89.55
$582.00
The best Apple laptop for mid-level graphic designers
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2019 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7) - Space Gray
Title
2019 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7) - Space Gray
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
4,697 Reviews
Price
$2,285.00
Buy Now
The best ultrawide monitor for designers
Thumbnail
Acer Predator Gaming X34 Pbmiphzx Curved 34" UltraWide QHD Monitor with NVIDIA G-SYNC Technology...
Title
Acer Predator Gaming X34 Pbmiphzx Curved 34" UltraWide QHD Monitor with NVIDIA G-SYNC Technology...
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
733 Reviews
Price
$841.99
Buy Now
The best pen display tablet for designers
Thumbnail
Wacom DTK1660K0A Cintiq 16 Drawing Tablet with Screen
Title
Wacom DTK1660K0A Cintiq 16 Drawing Tablet with Screen
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
2,328 Reviews
Price
$649.95
Buy Now
The best mouse for Apple aficionados
Thumbnail
Apple Magic Mouse 2 (Wireless, Rechargable) - Space Gray
Title
Apple Magic Mouse 2 (Wireless, Rechargable) - Space Gray
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
25,494 Reviews
Price
$89.55
Buy Now
The best mid-range compact printer
Thumbnail
Epson Expression Photo XP-8500 Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner and Copier, Amazon Dash...
Title
Epson Expression Photo XP-8500 Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner and Copier, Amazon Dash...
Prime Status
-
Star Rating
Reviews
109 Reviews
Price
$582.00
Buy Now

 

10 Best Tools for Professional Graphic Designers (High-End Gear)

The total for these professional graphic designer tools is approximately $15,000.

The Best Gear for Design Professionals

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The best overall laptop of 2021
2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop: Apple M1 Chip, 13” Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage,...
The best Windows PC for graphic design
Microsoft LAM-00001 Surface Studio 2 (Intel Core i7, 32GB RAM, 2TB) - Newest Version, 32 GB RAM, 2...
The best 8K monitor for graphic design
Dell UP3218K Ultra sharp 32" 8K Monitor, Silver/Black
The best computer/tablet combo for graphic design
Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13" Windows 10, Intel Core i7, 512GB SSD: Second Generation
The best mouse for graphic design (and Jacob Cass)
Logitech MX Master 3 Advanced Wireless Mouse, Ultrafast Scrolling, Ergonomic, 4000 DPI,...
The best professional wide-format printer
Canon Pixma Pro-100 Wireless Color Professional Inkjet Printer with Airprint and Mobile Device...
Title
2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop: Apple M1 Chip, 13” Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage,...
Microsoft LAM-00001 Surface Studio 2 (Intel Core i7, 32GB RAM, 2TB) - Newest Version, 32 GB RAM, 2...
Dell UP3218K Ultra sharp 32" 8K Monitor, Silver/Black
Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13" Windows 10, Intel Core i7, 512GB SSD: Second Generation
Logitech MX Master 3 Advanced Wireless Mouse, Ultrafast Scrolling, Ergonomic, 4000 DPI,...
Canon Pixma Pro-100 Wireless Color Professional Inkjet Printer with Airprint and Mobile Device...
Prime Status
-
-
-
Star Rating
-
Reviews
9,258 Reviews
68 Reviews
-
18 Reviews
10,908 Reviews
1,615 Reviews
Price
$849.99
Price not available
$2,999.99
$2,599.95
$99.99
$900.92
The best overall laptop of 2021
Thumbnail
2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop: Apple M1 Chip, 13” Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage,...
Title
2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop: Apple M1 Chip, 13” Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage,...
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
9,258 Reviews
Price
$849.99
Buy Now
The best Windows PC for graphic design
Thumbnail
Microsoft LAM-00001 Surface Studio 2 (Intel Core i7, 32GB RAM, 2TB) - Newest Version, 32 GB RAM, 2...
Title
Microsoft LAM-00001 Surface Studio 2 (Intel Core i7, 32GB RAM, 2TB) - Newest Version, 32 GB RAM, 2...
Prime Status
-
Star Rating
Reviews
68 Reviews
Price
Price not available
Buy Now
The best 8K monitor for graphic design
Thumbnail
Dell UP3218K Ultra sharp 32" 8K Monitor, Silver/Black
Title
Dell UP3218K Ultra sharp 32" 8K Monitor, Silver/Black
Prime Status
-
Star Rating
-
Reviews
-
Price
$2,999.99
Buy Now
The best computer/tablet combo for graphic design
Thumbnail
Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13" Windows 10, Intel Core i7, 512GB SSD: Second Generation
Title
Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13" Windows 10, Intel Core i7, 512GB SSD: Second Generation
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
18 Reviews
Price
$2,599.95
Buy Now
The best mouse for graphic design (and Jacob Cass)
Thumbnail
Logitech MX Master 3 Advanced Wireless Mouse, Ultrafast Scrolling, Ergonomic, 4000 DPI,...
Title
Logitech MX Master 3 Advanced Wireless Mouse, Ultrafast Scrolling, Ergonomic, 4000 DPI,...
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
10,908 Reviews
Price
$99.99
Buy Now
The best professional wide-format printer
Thumbnail
Canon Pixma Pro-100 Wireless Color Professional Inkjet Printer with Airprint and Mobile Device...
Title
Canon Pixma Pro-100 Wireless Color Professional Inkjet Printer with Airprint and Mobile Device...
Prime Status
-
Star Rating
Reviews
1,615 Reviews
Price
$900.92
Buy Now

 

The Best Graphic Design Tools for All Levels

Extra Design Gear Worth Considering

If you’re interested in the full detailed list, please keep reading.

 

The Best Gear for Graphic Designers in 2021

While we all wish that we could be at a point in our careers where the clients keep coming, the money keeps coming and life is good, on Day 1, the reality is, we all start somewhere. Everyone has their journey to success and the right tools can help you move down the career path and closer to that end goal.

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With our focus on the three different points in your career, recommending a high-priced tablet when you’re just starting your career might not be the best idea. Honestly, if you’re just starting your career and can afford the best gear out there, go for it. It can only help you progress faster.

As Paul Arden, creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi put it:

“If you get stuck, draw with a different pen. Change your tools; it may free your thinking.”

Let’s get started!


The Best Graphic Design Tools for Beginners

Congratulations! If you’re at this point, maybe you just made a career change or just graduated from college. Even if you had an internship with an agency during school, you may need some tools to perfect your skills and attract new clients or even a spot at your dream job. If you’re in this part of your career, here are the recommendations that we’d make to put you on the path to success:

Microsoft Surface Go 2 laptop

microsoft surface go 2

Best 2-in-1 Budget Laptop for beginners

CPU: Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 4GB – 8GB | Screen: 10.5” PixelSense Display with touchscreen | Storage: 64GB – 128GB SSD

The second release in Microsoft’s Surface Go line, the tablet PC received some upgrades over its past iteration and is one of the best Windows tablets available. A great alternative to laptops and tablets, the Go 2 has a better battery life, bigger screen, and better performance. A great 2-in-1 laptop that can help anybody just starting their career hit the ground running.

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
New Microsoft Surface Go 2 - 10.5' Touch-Screen - Intel Pentium - 8GB Memory - 128GB SSD - Wifi -...
1,409 Reviews
New Microsoft Surface Go 2 - 10.5" Touch-Screen - Intel Pentium - 8GB Memory - 128GB SSD - Wifi -...
  • Starting at just 1.2 pounds (not including Type Cover), with new 10.5” touchscreen.
  • Battery life up to 10 hours. Perfect for browsing, shopping, emails, and homework
  • Tablet portability, performance and laptop versatility with adjustable Kickstand and Signature Type Cover.
  • Stay connected with included USB-C port and headphone jack. Full HD front- and rear-facing cameras let you make crisp, clear calls to friends and family, or take and share great photos.
  • Hi-res touchscreen is perfect for browsing, playing, and binge watching.

 

HP Pavilion 590

HP Pavilion 590

The best budget-friendly PC for graphic design

CPU: 4-8 cores AMD Ryzen 3 / 5 / 7, 4-6 cores Intel Core i3 / i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD / AMD Vega Pro / Radeon RX550 / Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti / 1060 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Storage: 128-256GB SSD, 16GB Intel Optane, 1-2TB HDD

With a choice of either an Intel or AMD processor, the Pavillion 590 from HP is an incredible combination of value and performance for a graphic designer starting their career. Pack it with a choice of graphics cards including the GeForce GTX 1050Ti/1060 from Nvidia and you’ll have a solid and dependable PC without busting your budget.

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
HP Pavilion Business Desktop PC 590-p0033w Intel Core i3-8100 (up to 3.60 GHz), 4GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM,...
25 Reviews
HP Pavilion Business Desktop PC 590-p0033w Intel Core i3-8100 (up to 3.60 GHz), 4GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM,...
  • Operating system: Windows 10 Home. Processor: 8th Generation Intel Core i3-8100 processor.
  • Memory: 4 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM memory (1 x 4 GB) 16 GB Intel Optane memory
  • Internal Storage: 1 TB 7200RPM SATA hard drive. Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630.
  • USB ports: 9 (4 x 2.0, 4 x 3.1, 1 x 3.1 Type-C). Wireless: Wireless LAN 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (1x1) and Bluetooth 4.2 M.2.
  • Mouse and keyboard: USB wired keyboard with volume control and optical mouse. Optical drive: DVD-Writer. Warranty: 1-year limited hardware warranty.

 

Alienware 25

Alienware 25

 

The best budget-friendly monitor for graphic design

Screen size: 24.5-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Weight: 11.7kg

While having a powerful PC like the one we mentioned above is great, you also are going to need a monitor to display all of your graphical creations. For our money, we love the monitor from Alienware as an entry-level option. Sure, it’s designed for gamers but with a refresh rate of 120Hz and with support for FreeSync, your computers’ GPU can relax a bit. All this tech at a great price for new graphic designers cements it on our list.

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor - AW2518Hf, Full HD @ Native 240 Hz, 16: 9, 1ms response time, DP, HDMI...
2,942 Reviews
Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor - AW2518Hf, Full HD @ Native 240 Hz, 16: 9, 1ms response time, DP, HDMI...
  • Designed for the enthusiast, the AW2518HF delivers a futuristic style and precise form with solid stability
  • Lightning-fast 240Hz native refresh rate combined with 1ms response time delivers buttery-smooth gameplay with virtually no input lag
  • Compatibility- All Operating System. AMD Free Sync eliminates choppy gameplay and broken frames with fluid, artifact-free performance at virtually any framerate
  • Specific gaming OSD (onscreen display) design keeps your user experience in the gaming theme. Brightness : 400 nits. Voltage Required AC 120/230 V (50/60 Hertz)
  • Game comfortably in your zone with a height adjustable stand, tilt, swivel and pivot features. Refer to the PDF attached below in Technical Specification for Installation manual

 

XP-Pen Artist 15.6 pen display

XP-Pen Artist 15.6 pen display

The best affordable pen display tablet

Active drawing area: 13.54 x 7.62in | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Pen pressure sensitivity: 8,192 levels | Connections: USB-C | OS: Windows or macOS

Packaged with a comfortable stylus that provides plenty of pressure sensitivity, the Artist pen display from XP-Pen features a bright 15.6-inch display and can help you take your designs to new levels. When you are at the start of your career, finding a pen display that offers great performance at an affordable price is paramount. The Artist pen display from XP-Pen checks both boxes.

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

XP-Pen Artist15.6 15.6 Inch IPS Drawing Monitor Pen Display Graphics Digital Monitor with...
1,263 Reviews
XP-Pen Artist15.6 15.6 Inch IPS Drawing Monitor Pen Display Graphics Digital Monitor with...
  • [Warm Reminder: Artist15.6 drawing pen display must be used with a computer] Functions allow users to sketch, paint, design and edit directly from the tablet screen. Your work function will flow...
  • The latest Passive Pen design! Our Passive stylus technology provides 8192 levels of instant pen pressure sensitivity―Providing you with groundbreaking control and fluidity to expand your creative...
  • 15.6” 1920x1080 IPS 16:9 Display with 178° degree of visual angle delivers life-like colors, greater contrast, sharper, and vivid images..The Artist 15.6 driver can support 4k displays. Now you can...
  • Features USB Type-C input design, easy to plug in and out. Features come with a 11mm thin design, 3 in 1 cable, and a new brightness adjustment button. 6 fully customizable express keys create a...
  • We’ve adopted the newest F900 High Tech IC, to make lines flow smoother and perform better. Compatible with Windows 10/8/7, Mac OS version 10.10 or later, and major graphics software such as...

 

Logitech M330 Silent Plus

Logitech M330

The best mouse for peace and quiet

DPI: 1,000 | Interface: 2.4GHz wireless | Buttons: 3 | Ergonomic: Right-handed

The buttons on a mouse, even your favorite mouse, make noise when you click them and if you’re somewhere where silence is golden, the constant clicks can be slightly annoying, to say the least. The M330 from Logitech solves that problem with its silent design. With its small size, it’s easy to take with you and with a great price to match, you might never buy another mouse.

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
Logitech M330 Silent Plus Wireless Mouse – Enjoy Same Click Feel with 90% Less Click Noise, 2 Year...
13,417 Reviews
Logitech M330 Silent Plus Wireless Mouse – Enjoy Same Click Feel with 90% Less Click Noise, 2 Year...
  • ULTRA-QUIET MOUSE - 90% reduced click sound and same click feel eliminates noise and distractions for you and others around you
  • QUIET MARK CERTIFICATION - Logitech is the first mouse company in the world to receive the Quiet Mark certification from the UK Noise Abatement Society that internationally recognizes technology...
  • ERGONOMIC SHAPE - Designed with contoured grips made of soft rubber for total comfort
  • LONG BATTERY LIFE - 2 year battery life and auto-sleep help you go longer between battery changes
  • PLUG'N'PLAY CONNECTION - Nano-sized Logitech wireless unifying receiver stays in your computer - plug it in, forget it, even add compatible wireless devices without multiple USB receivers. Note: No...

 

HP Envy 5055 Printer

HP ENVY 5055

The best printer for freelancers or entrepreneurs

Category: 3-in-1 colour inkjet printer | Print speed: 15ppm | Paper sizes:up to A4 | Paper capacity: 100 | Weight: 5.4 kg

When you first start your graphic design journey, you may not realize just how important a printer is until you need one. While there may be better options out there, depending on your needs, our money goes to the Envy 5055 from HP. An all-in-one printer, it takes advantage of HP’s Instant Ink program to help manage the costs of ink replacement. With an app for both iOS and Android and a great price, start making room for your new favorite printer.

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

HP ENVY 5055 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer, HP Instant Ink, Works with Alexa (M2U85A)
20,505 Reviews
HP ENVY 5055 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer, HP Instant Ink, Works with Alexa (M2U85A)
  • Replaces the HP ENVY 4520, HP ENVY 5055 comes with Bluetooth, Smart, improved Wi-Fi connectivity, faster print speeds and more
  • Step up and create projects at home – Print, scan, and copy borderless, high-quality photos and documents with crisp, sharp text using this versatile all-in-1 printer
  • Ink delivered to your home: Get your first 2 months free when you enroll in HP Instant Ink (optional) during printer set up; plans starting at 0.99 dollar per month after the trial period, shipping...
  • Our most powerful printing app ever: the HP Smart app allows you to easily set up your wireless printer, scan documents with your camera, and print from social media or the cloud, such as iCloud,...
  • Stay connected, no matter what: Whether connecting to your network or your mobile device, reliable Dual Band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Smart deliver a stable connection for steady performance

 

Olympus Tough TG-6

Olympus Tough TG-6

The best camera that can take a beating

Type: Compact | Sensor: 1/2.3-inch | Resolution: 12MP | Lens: 25-100mm f/2-4.9 | Viewfinder: N/A | Monitor: 3.0-inch screen, 1,040,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 20fps | Movies: 4K |

Choosing an affordable camera might make you feel like you’re going to miss out on some vital features but this isn’t the case with the Tough TG-6 from Olympus. Not only is the camera water, crush, and drop-proof, it can also capture 4k video at 30 fps or in FullHD at 120 fps. Available in red or black, the TG-6 can handle anything you can throw at it.

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

OLYMPUS Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera, Red
1,292 Reviews
OLYMPUS Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera, Red
  • Water proof (50 feet /15 meter), dust proof, shock proof (7 feet / 2.1 meter), crush proof (100 kgf), freeze proof (14 degree Fahrenheit / -10 degree Celsius), anti-fog
  • High resolution F2.0 lens, maximum 8x zoom, true pic VIII, back illuminated CMOS image sensor
  • Variable macro system comprised of 4 macro shooting modes, magnified shooting up to 1 centimeter from the end of the lens
  • 5 underwater shooting modes including underwater microscope, 3 underwater white balance modes
  • 4K movie and full HD 120 fps high speed movies can be recorded. Battery life - Approx. 340 Images (using Toshiba SDHC UHS-I Card Exceria with is on, based on CIPA testing standards). Approx. 50...

 

Western Digital My Passport

Western Digital My Passport

The best storage device for beginners

When you start working, you can go through a lot of proposals and designs trying to get your first client. Even if you don’t succeed, you don’t want to throw away all of that hard work and the My Passport external hard drive is a great way to save your work securely. With storage capacities up to 5TB and usable with both PCs and Macs, it’s a great option.

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
WD 5TB My Passport Ultra Blue Portable External Hard Drive HDD, USB-C and USB 3.1 Compatible -...
  • USB-C and USB 3.1 compatible
  • Innovative style with refined metal cover
  • Password protection with 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • Formatted for Windows 10

 

Flash Furniture High Back Mesh Chair

Flash Furniture High Back Mesh Chair

The best budget-friendly office chair

While we’re all for standing desks, sometimes you just want to sit down and work and when you do, you want to sit comfortably. The High Back Mesh Chair from Flash Furniture is the perfect option. At a great price, the adjustable headrest helps support your neck. Overall, this chair is missing only one thing to make it perfect – adjustable armrests but as a first office chair, its a perfect choice

Latest Price on Amazon:

Flash Furniture High-Back Black Mesh Swivel Ergonomic Executive Office Chair with Flip-Up Arms and...
10,357 Reviews
Flash Furniture High-Back Black Mesh Swivel Ergonomic Executive Office Chair with Flip-Up Arms and...
  • High back office chair with wheels
  • [Our chair conforms to ANSI/BIFMA standard X5.1-17] Mesh back with built-in lumbar support
  • Adjustable headrest for maximum comfort, made with black nylon and a chrome base
  • Executive style swivel chair perfect for office and desk
  • Product Measurements: Overall Size: 25.5"W x 24"D x 47.5-52.5"H | Seat Size: 20"W x 19"D x 18.75-22.5"H | Back Size: 20"W x 30.5-32"H | Arm Size: 26.5-30.25"H from floor; 7.5"H from the seat

The Best Graphic Design Tools for Mid-Career Graphic Designers

So you’ve been out on your own for a few years now, built yourself a nice reputation in the industry, and have some quality repeat clients. Maybe you’ve been nominated for an award or two. But what gear will help give you that push from All-Star to Superstar? Here are the choices we’d make to take the next step forward.

Apple MacBook Pro 16″

Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch

The best Apple laptop for mid-level graphic designers

CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M – Radeon Pro 5500M | RAM: 16GB – 64GB | Screen: 16-inch Retina display with True Tone | Storage: 512GB – 8TB SSD

With a thin, light design, the 16-inch MacBook Pro from Apple gives you plenty of screen space to create incredible works of art. With its beautiful Retina display with True Tone technology, everything you put on the screen will look amazing. Whether you’re a content creator, graphic designer, or something in-between, the MacBook will give you a great piece of hardware for years to come.

 

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2019 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7) - Space Gray
4,697 Reviews
2019 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7) - Space Gray
  • Ninth-generation 6-Core Intel Core i7 Processor
  • Stunning 16-inch Retina Display with True Tone technology
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • AMD Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics with GDDR6 memory
  • Ultrafast SSD

 

Dell Inspiron 27 7000

Dell Inspiron 27 7000

The best all-in-one PC for graphic design

CPU: Intel Core i5-i7 / AMD Ryzen | Graphics: AMD Radeon 580 8GB / Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 4TB | RAM: 8GB – 32GB | Screen: 27-inch 3840×2160 IPS display | Storage: 1TB HDD; 256GB SSD

While many might expect us to put the latest Apple offering in this spot, the Inspiron from Dell takes this spot on our list. An excellent all-in-one computer that provides designers a beautiful Infinity Edge 4K display that makes colors pop every time you turn it on. With the upgrade options that Dell is known for, you can easily make this computer a beast that will keep performing long into your career.

 

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Acer Predator X34

Acer Predator X34

The best ultrawide monitor for designers

Screen size: 34-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3440 x 1440 | Weight: 9.9kg

They say that seeing is believing and with the Predator X34 from Acer, you can certainly believe what you’re seeing. With a 21:9 aspect ratio, the monitor gives you enough real estate to handle multiple tasks and supports G-sync technology from Nvidia, meaning that you can give that graphics card some rest. Beyond its incredible performance, the overall design makes it stand out on any desk.

 

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Acer Predator Gaming X34 Pbmiphzx Curved 34' UltraWide QHD Monitor with NVIDIA G-SYNC Technology...
733 Reviews
Acer Predator Gaming X34 Pbmiphzx Curved 34" UltraWide QHD Monitor with NVIDIA G-SYNC Technology...
  • 34" QHD (3440 x 1440) 1900R Curved Widescreen IPS Display
  • NVIDIA G SYNC Technology
  • Refresh Rate: 100Hz (Overclocking to 120Hz) Using Display Port
  • Ports: 1 x Display Port 1.2, 1 x HDMI 1.4 & 4 USB 3.0 Ports
  • Display Port, HDMI & USB Cables included

 

Wacom Cintiq 16

Wacom Cintiq 16

The best pen display tablet for designers

Active drawing area: 16.6 x 11.2in | Pen pressure sensitivity: 8,192 levels | Connections: Micro USB, Bluetooth | OS: Windows or macOS

At this point in your career, while you may have used a drawing tablet, you haven’t used one like the Cintiq 16 from Wacom. While the price may keep some from considering the tablet, the stylus it comes with, the Pro Pen 2, makes it an absolute steal. With 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, a gorgeous display, and an affordable price, few tablets can match the quality of the Cintiq 16 from Wacom.

 

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Wacom DTK1660K0A Cintiq 16 Drawing Tablet with Screen
2,328 Reviews
Wacom DTK1660K0A Cintiq 16 Drawing Tablet with Screen
  • A more affordable pen Display with Wacom Pro Pen 2 technology, 8,192 pressure levels and tilt recognition; It's amazing precision and reduced Parallax provide the most natural drawing experience
  • Cintiq’s 15.6 inch 1920x1080 HD displays provide you with clarity to see every detail of your work; The scratch resistant, anti-glare surface prevents distracting reflections as you create
  • See your creations in vibrant color on the Cintiq’s HD display (16.7 million colors bit, 72 percentage NTSC/Cie1931 typical); Work as long as you'd like with the battery free pen that charges off...
  • Connect to your computer with the convenient 3 in 1 (HDMI) connection cable and get into the perfect position with foldable legs that let you adjust how you want to work; Brightness 250 CD/m2
  • Warning: Manufacturer's warranty is only valid when purchased from an authorized reseller or amazon

Apple Magic Mouse 2

Apple Magic Mouse 2

The best mouse for Apple aficionados

DPI: 1300 | Interface: Bluetooth | Buttons: 0 | Ergonomic: Ambidextrous

If you use a MacBook or iMac, there are a lot of options when it comes to finding a mouse. However, none of them compare to Apple’s proprietary mouse, the Magic Mouse 2. Controlled by the gestures you make with your fingers, it might confuse some but once you are comfortable with it, you not only have a great mouse but a trackpad all rolled into one.

 

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Apple Magic Mouse 2 (Wireless, Rechargable) - Space Gray
25,494 Reviews
Apple Magic Mouse 2 (Wireless, Rechargable) - Space Gray
  • Magic Mouse 2 is completely rechargeable, so you’ll eliminate the use of traditional batteries.
  • It’s lighter, has fewer moving parts thanks to its built-in battery and continuous bottom shell, and has an optimized foot design — all helping Magic Mouse 2 track easier and move with less...
  • And the Multi-Touch surface allows you to perform simple gestures such as swiping between web pages and scrolling through documents.
  • Multi-Touch
  • Bluetooth

 

Epson Expression Photo XP-8500

Epson Expression Photo XP-8500 Printer

The best mid-range compact printer

Category: 4-in-1 color inkjet printer | Print speed: 9.5ppm | Paper sizes: up to A4 | Paper capacity: 100 | Weight: 6.7kg

While it’s described as a compact printer, the results you can get from the XP-8500 by Canon are anything but. With a rare paper feed, you can get incredible results in no time. Its use of 6-color CLARIA Photo HD ink can give your prints a smooth feel, along with deep blacks and images with higher contrast. All in all, the XP-8500 is a great mid-range printer for any designer.

 

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Epson Expression Photo XP-8500 Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner and Copier, Amazon Dash...
109 Reviews
Epson Expression Photo XP-8500 Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner and Copier, Amazon Dash...
  • 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...
  • Ultra powerful small-in-one — Fast, quiet performance in a compact, space-saving design.
  • Professional-quality, borderless photos up to 8" X 10" — 6-color Clarian photo HD inks deliver smooth gradations and amazing skin tones.
  • Fast — high-quality 4" X 6" Photos in as fast as 10 seconds (1).
  • Never run out of ink again - printer features Dash Replenishment which, after activation, keeps track of your ink usage and orders more from when you are running low

 

Sony A7 III

Sony A7 III

The best mirrorless camera for creatives

Sensor size: Full-frame | Resolution: 24.2MP | Viewfinder: 2,359K dots | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 921K dots | Autofocus: 693-point AF | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 10fps | Movies: 4K at 30p

In an already crowded market, the A7 III from Sony stands out thanks to the overall design and performance that it offers. With a 693 point hybrid AF system and a burst mode of 10 fps, the camera also includes two extra SD card slots. While the camera is by no means budget-friendly, those who do splurge a little will get a great camera with excellent value and performance.

 

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Sony a7 III ILCE7M3/B Full-Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera with 3-Inch LCD, Black
1,556 Reviews
Sony a7 III ILCE7M3/B Full-Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera with 3-Inch LCD, Black
  • Advanced 24.2MP BSI full frame Image Sensor w/ 1.8X readout speed
  • 15 stop dynamic range, 14 bit uncompressed RAW, ISO 50 to 204,800. Compatible with Sony E mount lenses. Can be connected via Bluetooth with smartphones featuring (as of the date of release)- Android...
  • Up to 10fps silent or mechanical shutter with AE/AF tracking. Battery life (Still Images): Approx. 610 shots (Viewfinder) / approx. 710 shots (LCD monitor), battery life (Movie, continuous recording):...
  • 693 phase detection / 425 contrast AF points w/ 93 percent image coverage. Focus sensor: Exmor R CMOS sensor
  • In the box: Rechargeable battery (NP FZ100), AC adapter (AC UUD12), shoulder strap, body cap, Accessory shoe cap, Eyepiece cup, Micro USB cable. Metering type: 1200 zone evaluative metering

 

Samsung Portable SSD T7 Touch

Samsung Portable SSD T7 Touch

The best storage device for traveling designers

Capacity: 2TB | Interface: USB 3.0

Traveling can be stressful. Between crowds, security and so much more, the last thing you want to worry about is lugging a massive hard drive in your laptop bag. The T7 from Samsung is a great, compact option that also provides a great level of security with a built-in fingerprint reader. With a capacity of up to 2TB, the SSD from Samsung is a great way to protect your files no matter where you go.

 

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SAMSUNG T7 Touch Portable SSD 2TB - Up to 1050MB/s - USB 3.2 External Solid State Drive, Black...
  • FINGERPRINT SECURITY: SSD with fingerprint and password security
  • BLAZING FAST STORAGE: Reads up to 1,050 MB/s / Writes up to 1 000 MB/s. Transfers files nearly 9.5x faster than hard drives
  • LED STATUS INDICATOR: The T7 Touch features an LED square that illuminates to keep you informed of what your SSD is doing at a glance
  • BUILT STRONG: Shock-resistant and withstands drops from 6ft

 

Steelcase Silq

Steelcase Silq

The Best Office Chair for Meetings

When you have an important meeting with a potential client, the last thing you want to worry about is whether the chairs are comfortable. Thankfully, the Silq from Steelcase has a solution – a chair that adjusts automatically to the user. By not having to worry about how comfortable your client is, you can focus on more important things, like the work.

 

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Steelcase SILQ Office Desk Chair Merle Dark Frame Cogent Connect Sailor Fabric 5S95 - Hard Floor...
1 Reviews
Steelcase SILQ Office Desk Chair Merle Dark Frame Cogent Connect Sailor Fabric 5S95 - Hard Floor...
  • So intuitive, only height adjustment is needed. Patent-pending material technology.
  • Great conference rooms chairs where you don't have to spend time fiddling with chair adjustments to get comfortable.
  • Naturally adjusts to the way your body moves and delivers a personal sitting experience that encourages posture shift.
  • Designed to give the user a comfortable and hassle-free sitting experience.
  • Designed to give the user a comfortable and hassle-free sitting experience.

The Best Graphic Design Tools for Graphic Design Professionals

You’ve made it. The top of the mountain. Clients can’t wait to work with you. You’re a name among names in the industry. But where do you go from here? At this point, focusing more on having the right tech to stay on top of your games is more important than where you go next. Tech at this point should be helping you get better, not worse. This is what we would choose:

Apple MacBook Air

Apple MacBook Air

The best overall laptop of 2021

CPU: Apple M1 | Graphics: Integrated 7-core /8-core GPU | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch (diagonal) 2,560 x 1,600 LED-backlit display with IPS technology | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD | Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches

If you work in any kind of creative field, the MacBook Air is the laptop you need for a great 2021. With its incredible ARM-based M1 chip, the Air provides you with not only a great-looking laptop but one that will consistently outperform its competition. While it might be on the higher end of many designer’s budgets, we’ll simply say this about the MacBook Air from Apple – there’s a reason why it was our best overall laptop of 2021.

 

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2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop: Apple M1 Chip, 13” Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage,...
9,258 Reviews
2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop: Apple M1 Chip, 13” Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage,...
  • All-Day Battery Life – Go longer than ever with up to 18 hours of battery life.
  • Powerful Performance – Take on everything from professional-quality editing to action-packed gaming with ease. The Apple M1 chip with an 8-core CPU delivers up to 3.5x faster performance than the...
  • Superfast Memory – 8GB of unified memory makes your entire system speedy and responsive. That way it can support tasks like memory-hogging multitab browsing and opening a huge graphic file quickly...
  • Stunning Display – With a 13.3” Retina display, images come alive with new levels of realism. Text is sharp and clear, and colors are more vibrant.
  • Why Mac – Easy to learn. Easy to set up. Astoundingly powerful. Intuitive. Packed with apps to use right out of the box. Mac is designed to let you work, play, and create like never before.

 

Microsoft Surface Studio 2

Microsoft Surface Studio 2

The best Windows PC for graphic design

CPU: Intel Core i7-7820HQ | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB -GTX 1070 8GB | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Storage: 1TB – 2TB SSD

While the iMac has generally been a designer’s go-to for a desktop computer, the Surface Studio 2 from Microsoft should give many people a reason to look elsewhere. With a 28-inch display that no only makes everything look incredible but gives you something the iMac won’t – a touchscreen. While the processor and graphic card that the Studio comes with isn’t the newest tech available, the all-in-one design and touchscreen make this a perfect choice.

 

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Microsoft LAM-00001 Surface Studio 2 (Intel Core i7, 32GB RAM, 2TB) - Newest Version, 32 GB RAM, 2...
68 Reviews
Microsoft LAM-00001 Surface Studio 2 (Intel Core i7, 32GB RAM, 2TB) - Newest Version, 32 GB RAM, 2...
  • Our most powerful Surface yet with Intel Core i7 processors, discrete NVIDIA GeForce GPU, and SSD storage
  • The strikingly large 28" PixelSense Display is a stunning touchscreen with 13.5 million pixels of true-to-life color
  • Tilt the display weightlessly to work at 20 degrees down in Studio Mode or upright in Desktop Mode
  • Keep creativity flowing when you draw with the improved Surface Pen and use Surface Dial* for intuitive shortcuts
  • Runs intensive professional-grade software like SolidWorks,* Adobe Creative Cloud,* and Autodesk.*

 

Dell UltraSharp UP3218K

Dell UltraSharp UP3218K

The best 8K monitor for graphic design

Screen size: 32-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 7,680 x 4,320 | Brightness: 400 cd/m2 | Response time: 6ms | Viewing angle: N/A | Contrast ratio: 1,300:1 | Color support: sRGB 100% | Weight: 8.5kg

While 8K is still in its infancy, there are many people, designers included that love being on the cusp of the newest technology and the UP3218K from Dell is at the forefront of the 8K revolution. With an impressive build quality and the best color reproduction in the business, everything from photos to video will look it’s absolute best. Is there a lot of 8K content? No. Is the UP3218K cheap? No. It is, however, the best monitor for graphic design and way ahead of the curve.

 

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Dell UP3218K Ultra sharp 32" 8K Monitor, Silver/Black
  • Dell UltraSharp 32IN 8K 7680x4320
  • UP3218K
  • 8K

 

Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13

Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13

The best computer/tablet combo for graphic design

Active drawing area: 11.6 x 6.5in | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 | Pen pressure sensitivity: 8,192 levels | Connections: 3 x USB-C, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi | OS: Windows 10 | Requires: Windows or macOS (with optional Wacom Link)

When graphic designers use a tablet to work on designs, generally they need to plug into a desktop or laptop computer and use the OS that is running. With the MobileStudio Pro 13 from Wacom, this isn’t the case. Loaded with Windows 10, a 512 GB SSD, and an Intel Core i7 processor, you have all the makings of a laptop without the keyboard.

Complete with the technology that Wacom already uses with the Cintiq line of tablets, the MobileStudio Pro 13 is expensive but will cut the cord that far too many tablet users are stuck with.

 

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Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13' Windows 10, Intel Core i7, 512GB SSD: Second Generation
18 Reviews
Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13" Windows 10, Intel Core i7, 512GB SSD: Second Generation
  • Our most powerful compact device yet with enhanced computing power fast data processing & quick data transfer powered by Intel i7-8559U processor 16GB system memory 512GB SSD & Thunderbolt 3...
  • See your graphics & artwork in great detail and clarity with high-resolution 13 3” WQHD (2560 x 1440) screen with up to 82% Adobe RGB coverage (CIE1931) and included 3-angle adjustable Wacom Stand
  • Enjoy fast-processing and performance in 2D illustration and photo-editing with graphics options including Intel Iris Plus Graphics card
  • Extraordinary precision with the Wacom Pro Pen 2 and 8 192 levels of pressure sensitivity tilt response & lag free tracking – drawing tablet computer includes customizable ExpressKeys & multi-touch...
  • Comes with 16GB system memory and 512 GD SSD With upgradable memory and hard drive this all-in-one studio provides a future-proof creative workspace

 

Logitech MX Master 3 Mouse

Logitech MX Master 3

The best mouse for graphic design (and Jacob Cass)

DPI: 4,000 | Interface: Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless | Buttons: 7 | Ergonomic: Right-handed

The first of two products used by our very own Jacob Cass, the MX Master 3 from Logitech is a graphic designer’s dream mouse. With its ergonomic build, thumbwheel, and programmable buttons, your hand may never have to come off of it. While it’s not the cheapest mouse, the quality, features, and performance make it a must-buy.

 

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Logitech MX Master 3 Advanced Wireless Mouse, Ultrafast Scrolling, Ergonomic, 4000 DPI,...
10,908 Reviews
Logitech MX Master 3 Advanced Wireless Mouse, Ultrafast Scrolling, Ergonomic, 4000 DPI,...
  • Ultra-fast magspeed scrolling - Remarkable speed, precision & quietness of electromagnetic scrolling with all new magspeed wheel - up to 90% faster, 87% more precise & ultra-quiet
  • Comfort shape and intuitive controls - Work comfortably with perfectly sculpted shape and ideally placed thumb wheel and controls
  • App-specific customizations - Speed up your workflow with predefined app-specific profiles and numerous customization options. Advanced 2.4 GHz wireless technology
  • Flow cross-computer control - Work seamlessly on three computers. Seamlessly transfer cursor, text, and files - between windows & macOS, desktop & laptop
  • Works on any surface even on glass with dark field 4000 DPI sensor. It is faster and 5x more precise than the basic mouse - so you always hit the right Pixel

 

Canon PIXMA Pro-100

Canon Pixma Pro-100

The best professional wide-format printer

Category: color inkjet printer | Print speed: 1.2 ppm | Paper sizes: up to Super A3/B | Paper capacity: 150 | Weight: 9.52kg

With 5 dye-based color inks to help you print vivid and colorful prints, the PIXMA Pro-100 from Canon comes with 3 dedicated inks for grayscale to produce the deepest blacks possible. With incredible results at 4800 x 2400 DPI and up to 13” x 19” in size for incredible detail, the PIXMA Pro-100 is one of the best A3 printers available and also the best printer for art prints.

 

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Canon Pixma Pro-100 Wireless Color Professional Inkjet Printer with Airprint and Mobile Device...
1,615 Reviews
Canon Pixma Pro-100 Wireless Color Professional Inkjet Printer with Airprint and Mobile Device...
  • 8 Dye based inks for amazing gradients and color, 3 of which are dedicated grayscale inks for beautiful black & white prints
  • The Optimum Image Generating System reproduces colors as you intend them by logically selecting the optimum ink combination and placement. Output tray capacity auto sheet feeder: 150 sheets of plain...
  • Compatible with individual CLI 42 ink tanks (Black, gray, light gray, cyan, photo cyan, magenta, photo magenta, yellow). Save even more on value packs. Only replace the inks that run out
  • 4800 x 2400 dots per inch with fine technology for incredible detail. Print your vision up to 13 inches x 19 inches: Print professional quality photos on various media up to 13 inches x 19 inches
  • Weight: 43.2 in bullet point. Number of nozzles: 6,144. Number of nozzles: 768 per color 6144 total

 

Nikon D850

Nikon D850

The best DSLR camera for creative professionals

Type: DSLR | Sensor size: Full-frame CMOS | Resolution: 45.4MP | Lens: Nikon F mount | Viewfinder: Optical | Screen type: 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen, 2,359,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 7fps | Movies: 4K

While mirrorless cameras have become the top dog to many creatives, the D850 from Nikon shows that there is still some bark in the DSLR line. If you’re looking to take high-resolution photos as well as record 4K videos, the camera’s 45MP resolution will suit you just fine. Where the camera truly sets itself apart from the competition is in its battery life. At 1800 frames per charge, you’ll be able to go all day without worry.

 

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Nikon D850 FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body
521 Reviews
Nikon D850 FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body
  • Nikon designed back side illuminated (BSI) full frame image sensor with no optical low pass filter
  • 45.7 megapixels of extraordinary resolution, outstanding dynamic range and virtually no risk of moiré
  • Up to 9 fps1 continuous shooting at full resolution with full AF performance
  • 8k6 and 4k time lapse movies with new levels of sharpness and detail; file system : DCF 2.0, exif 2.31, Pict bridge
  • Tilting touchscreen, focus shift shooting mode, outstanding battery performance and much more; total pixels: 46.89 million

 

G-Technology G-RAID external hard drive

G-Technology G-RAID external hard drive

The best external hard drive for graphic designers

On our last best gear article, we recommended another G-Technology hard drive after being impressed with its specs. Digging a little deeper, we found an even better option. With transfer rates up to 480MB/s, the G-RAID device comes with both Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0 connectivity, giving you the option to use it with your Mac or PC. The biggest draw here is its capacity. At 20TB, you can store hundreds of thousands of photos, videos, and documents, giving you a place to securely store your work.

 

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G-Technology 0G05012-1 G-RAID with Thunderbolt 2, Silver, 20TB, Pack of 1
  • Two removable enterprise classhard drives
  • Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0 Ports for high speed data transfer
  • Up to 480MB/perfect for photo & video editing
  • Hardware RAID in RAID 0 (Performance) or RAID 1 (protection), or JBOD

 

Herman Miller Aeron

Herman Miller Aeron

The best office chair for graphic designers

With its pleasing design and support, for the second year in a row, choosing the best chair for professional graphic designers was not hard at all. We just had to check Jacob’s office. The Aeron by Herman Miller has been used by Jacob for more than a decade. The Aeron is available in three sizes so that just about anyone can find a comfortable fit. While it is pricey, if you ask Jacob, he’ll tell you it’s worth it.

 

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Herman Miller Aeron Ergonomic Chair - Size B, Graphite
534 Reviews
Herman Miller Aeron Ergonomic Chair - Size B, Graphite
  • Your purchase includes One Herman Miller Aeron Ergonomic Chair – Size B, graphite color
  • Chair dimensions: 41" H x 27" W x 16.75" D. Seat heights: 16”-20.5”.
  • Tilt Limiter lets you set the recline range at one of three postures. Tension control lets you adjust the amount of effort needed to recline comfortably. Seat Angle Adjustment changes seat angle from...
  • Try the Adjustable PostureFit Sacral/Lumbar support. Two individual pads flex independently and can be adjust to fit the curve of your spine
  • Fully Adjustable Arms adjust from a height of 6.8” above the seat to 10.8 inches above the seat, slide backward and forward over a range of 2.5 inches, pivot 15 degrees outward and 17.5 degrees...

The Essentials For All Levels

No matter where you are in your career, regardless of the creative industry that you work in, every role has those tools that when you start they should hand you in a welcome package. We call these The Essentials For All Levels. If you look over our list and aren’t interested in anything that you see, you should make special considerations for the items below.

Moleskine Classic

Moleskine Classic Notebook

If you’ve ever been to an office supply store, you have some idea what these very popular notebooks are. To many, Moleskine Notebooks are the Apple of notebooks, signified by the quality time and materials that go into each notebook.

With a variety of styles, including colored notebooks, smart notebooks, Moleskine offers notebooks that will satisfy just about any creative professional and can easily be a go-to choice for years to come. For those on a tight budget, the Amazon Basics Notebook is a good second choice.

 

Copic Multiliner Pens

Copic Markers Multiliner 1.0 Black Pigment Based Ink

In the movie, The Wolf of Wall Street, the main character asks people at a conference to “sell me this pen.” While for many, this can be seen as just a way to sell someone, to us, it shows the importance of a good pen. If you’re an illustrator in any way, you cannot go wrong with the Multiliner Pen Set from Copic. A quality pen in every respect, will create crisp lines and hold well on paper.

Comfort can be a big issue for creatives with the tools they use, and many have stated that the Multiliner, which is available in different thicknesses, is comfortable to use and isn’t scratchy. For the price and the ability to refill the pen, the Multiliner pen is essential everyone should have.

 

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud

All of the talent in the world is an amazing thing to have. When you start a career, however, having the right software so you can take your ideas and make them digital reality requires a piece of software that can help you from start to finish.

The Adobe Creative Cloud is without a doubt, the most essential piece of software you should own if you work in a creative field. With so many different platforms from Photoshop, Lightroom, and Illustrator, you have all the tools you would need. Adobe offers a subscription service broken down into individual, business, and other options. If you’re serious about working in a creative field, you need this immediately.

 

Extra Gear worth Considering

Even when we go through our notebooks and to-buy lists, every once in a while, a product blows us away so much that it has to be part of our lives. These are the products that we felt we worth their spot on our list. They may be honorable mentions, but each one can be an MVP for your career.

Pantone Swatch Book

PANTONE COLOR BRIDGE SET Coated & Uncoated

Pantone is one of the biggest names in colors and their Pantone Matching System is the without a doubt, the most widely used spot-color printing system used. Pantone offers a wide array of different books, color fans, chips, and other guides that can help you not only choose the best color for your project but also help you ensure that the color you’re using pops off the page, screen, or whatever you’re using it on.

 

X-Rite ColorMunki Smile

X-Rite ColorMunki Smile

While it may not be the most expensive monitor calibration option out there, it makes our list for the ease of use that it has right out of the box. In three simple steps, you can have a monitor perfectly calibrated to your needs. Making it even easier, the Smile plugs directly into your computer’s USB port.

The ColorMunki Smile provides you with before and after results that many other calibrators already do but this is where the affordable price makes it stand out not breaking your budget and offering so much substance.

 

VIZ-PRO Magnetic Dry Erase Board

VIZ-PRO Magnetic Dry Erase Board

The right whiteboard should feel like an extension of your thoughts. You should be able to jot or sketch ideas with ease or fear of them fading off or being hard to clean once you’re done. That’s why we like the Magnetic Dry Erase Board from VIZ-PRO. The smooth surface makes writing on it super easy and comes with a sturdy frame which is helpful if you want to move it around in your office.

With a hanging kit that gives you the option to place it horizontally or vertically, the board also comes with a detachable marker tray to help keep your markers in one place and not lost all over the room.

 

iPhone 12 Pro Max

iphone 12 pro maxThe Best Smartphone For Creatives Overall

Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP | Front camera: 12MP | OS: iOS 14 | Screen Size: 6.7-inch | Resolution: 1284 x 2778 | CPU: A14 Bionic | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB | Battery: 3,687mAh 

It would be impossible to write about the top smartphones of the year without mentioning the iPhone. Apple’s constant presence in the smartphone market each year, it would be a disservice to ignore their offerings. That said, their flagship iPhone 12 Pro takes the cake for the most premium device for any creative today.

From designers to marketing professionals, this is one competent piece of technology, able to make you shine in whatever you do! This phone is worth every penny you pay for with its 6.7-inch screen size to its pristine camera.

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (128GB, Graphite) [Locked] + Carrier Subscription
225 Reviews
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (128GB, Graphite) [Locked] + Carrier Subscription
  • OFFER INCLUDES: An Apple iPhone and a wireless plan with unlimited data/talk/text
  • WIRELESS PLAN: Unlimited talk, text, and data with mobile hotspot, nationwide coverage, and international reach. No long-term contract required.
  • PROGRAM DETAILS: When you add this offer to cart, it will reflect 3 items: the iPhone, SIM kit, and carrier subscription
  • Ceramic Shield, tougher than any smartphone glass
  • A14 Bionic chip, the fastest chip ever in a smartphone

 

Sony WH-1000XM4

Sony WH1000XM4

The King of the Hill

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 8.95 oz | Cable length: 3.94 ft | Frequency response: 4Hz to 40kHz | Drivers: 1.57-inch | Driver type: Dome-type | Sensitivity: 104.5 dB | Impedance: 47 ohm | Battery life: 30 hours | Wireless range: 30 meters (98ft) | NFC: Yes

The 1000XM3 wireless headphones from Sony have long been the best choice of noise-canceling headphones available until now. The 1000XM4, Sony’s newest release takes everything great about their previous model and added to it. Aesthetically, they look extremely similar but under the hood is where Sony has added some new bells and whistles. With multipoint pairing, DSEE Extreme upscaling, conversational awareness, plus an auto-play/pause feature using a sensor built into the headphones, they are the new best noise-canceling headphones on the block. The only downside? They aren’t water-resistant.

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones with Mic for...
22,458 Reviews
Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones with Mic for...
  • Industry-leading noise canceling with Dual Noise Sensor technology
  • Next-level music with Edge-AI, co-developed with Sony Music Studios Tokyo
  • Up to 30-hour battery life with quick charging (10 min charge for 5 hours of playback)
  • Touch Sensor controls to pause play skip tracks, control volume, activate your voice assistant, and answer phone calls
  • Speak-to-chat technology automatically reduces volume during conversations

 

Ergonomic Desk: FlexiSpot Standing Desk 

Flexi Desk

FlexiSpot’s desktop workstation provides an easy way to transition between sitting and standing throughout the workday. This particular standing desk offers a deep work surface, a wide keyboard, and instant tablet integration. These quality workstations offer smooth up/down motion, twelve height adjustment settings, and ergonomic monitor mount compatibility.

 

Choosing the Best Design Gear for You

The right gear for where you are in your career can depend on many different things. It can be the price or anything else entirely. As always, you want to use the gear that you feel will help you provide quality work every time.

Is there a piece of gear you recommend? Something not on our list that should be? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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