If you’re just entering the graphic design industry then you may be a tad bit confused at all the hardware and software options that you have. Everyone tells you that you need them, but finding out exactly why you need it and what brands you should invest in are a different story. Fortunately, when it comes to your hardware you aren’t in need of a lot. You just have to make sure that you’re buying the right hardware before you get started and that you’re investing in the right brands.
Fortunately for you, we’ve compiled a list of exactly what hardware you need to get started with graphic designing. We’ll talk about what you need to buy, what you need to ask yourself before buying it, and what brands are worth buying.
As a graphic designer, you’ll need a computer. Even if you do some art on your iPad, you’ll still need a working computer to communicate with clients and upload files, but also to do your actual work on. A computer is a necessity and choosing one can be difficult, especially if you aren’t a tech whizz. The main question that you’ll have to choose between is if you’re going to choose a Mac or PC.
For the past few years, it’s been common for graphic gesigners to go with Apple products since they seem to be the superior choice, but nowadays designers are more open to choosing PC options. If you’re willing to pay on the high end for a PC, you can get a decent one that will work well for the purpose. Think it over and weigh out the pros and cons; Macs and PCs both have their benefits, but they also have cons as well.
The next part of your computer that you’ll want to be thinking about is whether you want a laptop or desktop. Once again, there are benefits to both of these choices; many designers like the freedom of having a portable laptop. Having the freedom to bring your work on the go can be freeing. However, a desktop is often more powerful, so it’s important to keep this in mind. Whatever decision you make is a personal choice and both are good options.
It’s no surprise that the second item on our list of essentials is a graphics tablet. Without a graphic tablet, graphic designers aren’t able to complete their job. Think of your graphics tablet as your sketchbook; your one piece of equipment connecting your art to the computer and bringing it to life. When we talk about graphic tablets, there are quite a few options.
The number one choice of a graphics tablet for most graphic designers is the Wacom tablet brand. Wacom is one of the largest providers for graphic designers that provide tablets of all kinds. Graphics tablets range from $50 – $1,500 and, although Wacom is a popular brand, there are hundreds of others out there, so choosing one can be overwhelming at first.
Unless you’re positive that you’re certain about graphic design as a career path, we don’t recommend dropping money on the highest-priced one at first. Take it slow and get a decent one for starters that will get the job done and you can always upgrade later once you’re more advanced.
A Reliable Hard Drive
Now that you have your computer and your graphics tablet, the next step is to focus on setting up a reliable hard drive. A hard drive is critical for graphic designers since that’s where all their work is stored. It’s important that you have a hard drive that you know will be reliable and last. Too many good graphic designers waste money on hard drives that don’t end up working out.
Or they wind up spending half their paycheck on monthly storage in the cloud instead of just spending one initial big buy and getting a hard drive. When going to buy a hard drive, it’s tempting to buy the first one that you see. However, this can be dangerous, since although hard drives appear to all be the same, they aren’t. It’s important that before you decide on the one you’ve looked into the brand and know what you’re getting into.
Overall, graphic designers rely on sturdy hardware to complete their job, so it’s important that they not only know what they need to buy but what brands they should buy. Although, depending on what you’re doing, you may need other pieces of hardware in addition to this, these three pieces of hardware are what you should start with and invest your money in. Any graphic designer will tell you that these pieces of hardware are critical to designing and are worth the money that you’ll spend on them.