I’m always fascinated to see where and how other people work and today I wanted to share my personal set up, focusing on the tools & resources I use every day as a designer. Part one is focused on the hardware and part two, is on the software & apps I can’t live without.
Also see my top online design resources & deals!
Update October 2016: Although I wrote this in 2011, I’ve updated the list to reflect my latest tech.
The main weapon of choice for all my design & browsing is the Macbook Pro 13″ (3 GHz Intel Core i7, 16GB DDR Ram, 500 GB.)
I used to use a Macbook Air 11″ on the road but since 2015 have just kept to the MBP 13″.
When not traveling, I hook up my MBP to my Samsung UD970 31.5″ and place the MBP on a Pole Notebook Holder so I can make use of the two screens. Pretty handy as you can rotate and move the screen as needed. Color accuracy is huge on this monitor!
My iPhone is rarely out of sight and is probably used the most out of all my hardware. My most used apps are all the main social apps. The iPhone is also used as my calendar, alarm clock, email center, site monitor, music player, etc. It’s a smart phone indeed.
I’ve had this mouse for a few years now and still love it. It was previously called Logitech MX Revolution but since undergoing a few refinements is now called MX Master Mouse. Why do I love it? It has a neat ‘infinite scroll’ feature and is extremely comfortable in my large hands. The Apple Magic Mouse gives me cramps.
Nothing too fancy but it does everything you need in an office; prints, scans and copies. This is quite old now so I would not recommend buying this model. See here for more top printers for graphic designers.
These headphones gets you in the zone by canceling out all outside noise, especially useful on airplanes.
An external hard drive that automatically backs up my files each night using Time Machine. It also stores the majority of my media files. The first thing I’d take in a house fire. I use Dropbox for cloud storage too.
A neat graphics tablet for easy maneuvering in Photoshop.
- Desk + Drawers + Chair + Lamp + Mousepad
The desk draws are the most handy, hiding away all the clutter (pens, notebooks, graphics tablet, the Mac Air, etc.) and the slim nature of the desk forces me to keep the top of the desk clean.
- Name Plate
A gift given to me before leaving for NYC. Comes in handy when you forget your name 😉
- Moleskine Large Plain – My sketchpad and idea generator.
- Dot Grid Book – Great for logo designs.
- Artline 0.4 Fineliner Pen – My pen of choice.
I sit on a Herman Miller Aeron chair.
- Where We Design – Office space inspiration
- 11 Tips for making your office more comfortable
- 25 Elegant Work Stations
Software & Online Tools I Use as a Designer
What are some of your favourite designer hardware tools? Please feel free to share your set up too!