Graphic designer's desk

+$In this guide, we've rounded up the hardware, software and other graphic design tools that will help creatives of all levels work more effectively. Whether you're starting from scratch or looking to upgrade a specific piece of equipment, our recommendations will help you pick the best option.

+$Reliably equipment doesn't have to be expensive (take a look at our guide to+$the best free graphic design software+$if your budget it particularly tight), but here we've hand-picked the very best kit that money can buy. We wouldn't hesitate to recommend each item to our own friends and colleagues. Some might be a big investment, but all will be worthwhile in the long run.


+$Here are 16 must-have graphic design tools for starters...



Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2019)


+$MacBook Pro 16-inch (2019)

+$Apple's best laptop so far is a portable powerhouse

处理器:英特尔酷睿i7-i9 |显卡:+$AMD Radeon Pro 5300M with 4-8GB of GDDR6 memory; Intel UHD Graphics 630 |屏幕:+$16-inch 3072x1920 IPS display |存储:+$512GB-8TB SSD |记忆:+$16-64GB RAM |端口:4 X Thunderbolt 3,1 X耳机插孔|外形尺寸:+$357.9(w) x 245.9(d) x 16.2(h)mm |重量:+$2kg

+$Super sharp 16-inch display
+$Improved Keyboard
+$Only four USB-C ports

+$Apple's most powerful laptop to date, the+$16-inch MacBook Pro+$is the perfect tool for graphic designers, whether you're working on the move or at home.

+$When creating the new MacBook Pro, Apple's stated aim was to give fans "more of what they love", and it did exactly that. The most obvious feature is the new, larger screen, which is ideally suited to design work. It's also improved the keyboard; gone are the troublesome Butterfly switches that plagued earlier models, replaced with more responsive scissor switches, as found on the Magic Keyboard.

+$Battery life is exceptional too, which is particularly impressive considering this laptop's powerful components. It can be configured with up to 64GB RAM (a first for a MacBook) and up to 8TB storage so you don't need to rely on an external hard drive.

+$Of course, all this doesn't come cheap, and the highest specifications command particularly high prices, but if you're looking for a laptop that'll keep performing flawlessly for years and will never hold you back, this is an excellent investment.

另请阅读: 平面设计的最佳笔记本电脑


Apple iMac Pro


+$Apple IMac Pro

+$The gold standard desktop machine for creatives

中央处理器:+$8-core (configurable to 18-core) 3.2GHz Intel Xeon W |显卡:+$Radeon Pro Vega 56 (configurable to Radeon Pro Vega 64X) |内存:+$32GB (configurable to 256GB) |存储:+$1TB SSD (configurable to 4TB)

+$Enormously Powerful
+$Not User-upgradeable
+$Will soon be superseded

+$A desktop powerhouse created with professionals in mind, theIMac Pro+$remains the gold standard for graphic designers. It features a true 5K Retina display, and can be configured with an astonishing 256GB RAM, an 18-core Intel Xeon W processor and Radeon Pro Vega 64X graphics with 16GB of HBM2 memory.

+$As with the MacBook Pro above, this kind of power comes at a price, but for resource-intensive work like rendering 3D models, video editing and animation, the cost will be well worth the time saved.

+$Despite some serious upgrades under the hood, Apple has maintained the iMac Pro's signature look, with a chassis that's just 5mm thick and weighs a mere 700G, keeping your desk clear and clutter-free.

+$We've yet to get our hands on the new (and even more powerful) Mac Pro, but until then, this is the best desktop machine a graphic designer can buy.

另请阅读: 最好的图形设计桌面


Datacolor Spyder5ELITE


+$Datacolor Spyder5ELITE

+$Ensure your monitor is displaying colours as accurately as possible


+$Expert and professional options
+$No Manual Supplied

+$A properly calibrated monitor is essential for making sure your screen displays colours as accurately as possible. Windows and macOS both include their own calibration tools, but for the best results you can't beat a hardware calibrator like the superb+$Datacolor Spyder5ELITE

+$This calibrator is a particularly choice if you need to calibrate several displays to a single target configuration, whether they're laptops, desktop monitors or a mix. It features both wizard and expert settings for different levels of experience.

+$You also get a 90-day trial of the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan thrown in, so you can put your newly calibrated screens to work.



Western Digital My Passport Ultra

+$(Image credit: Western Digital)

+$Western Digital My Passport Ultra

提供USB-C和USB 3.0连接

容量:+$1-5TB |接口:USB-C

+$Fast File Transfer
+$Not Very Stylish
+$No Biometric Security

+$Western Digital My Passport Ultra+$is a neat external drive that gives you up to 5TB for your most important files. The optional WD SmartWare Pro software (available for Windows and macOS) lets you easily configure automatic backups, so you never need to worry about losing a client's work.

+$The My Passport Ultra is fast too, with impressive read and write speeds for quick transfers (essential for large image and video files). This is made possible by its USB-C connectivity, though it comes with a USB 3.1 adaptor for older devices too (albeit at slower rates).

+$At just 231g, it's ideal for carrying on the move, and fits neatly into a backpack, satchel or pocket in its own cloth carry bag.

另请阅读:+$The best external hard drives


iPad Pro 11


+$iPad Pro and Apple Pencil (2019)

+$The new go-to tools for graphic designers

中央处理器:A12X Bionic |内存:6GB |屏幕:11英寸1668 X 2338 |存储:64GB - 1TB |端口:1x USB-C |尺寸:247.6 X 178.5 X 5.9mm |重量:468克

+$Extremely Versatile
+$Powerful Processor
+$Pencil and keyboard sold separately
+$No Headphone Adaptor

+$Only a couple of years ago, the name Wacom was synonymous with graphics tablets for professionals, but the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil have now stolen the crown – particularly for designers who struggle to justify a tool that's tied to their desk. The iPad Pro is a superb device for digital drawing, but does far more besides.

+$Whether you opt for the 11-inch or 12.9-inch model, the latest iPad Pro borrows the nearly bezel-free design of recent iPhones, giving you an expanse of smooth glass to work on.+$Apple's Smart Keyboard+$transforms it into a powerful laptop, and the new苹果铅笔+$makes it even more versatile.

+$Apple has dropped the Lightning connector in favour a magnetic function, so the Pencil now snaps smartly onto the top of a new iPad Pro for pairing, charging and storage. What's more, gesture support has also been added, allowing you to switch between app tools with a quick double tap, for example.

+$We're likely to see a new iPad Pro later in 2020, with even more impressive specifications, but either of the current models is an excellent choice for digital drawing, wherever you happen to be.

+$Of course, some designers and artists will prefer the precise pressure sensitivity and control you can only get with a dedicated graphics tablet. If you're among them, the+$Wacom Cintiq 22+$is our tablet of choice, providing a great balance of screen, size, ergonomics and value. If your budget will stretch a little further, theWacom Intuos Pro+$is an even more powerful option, and is available in a choice of sizes (with prices to match).



Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

+$(Image Credit: Samsung)

三星Galaxy S10 Plus

+$A powerful handset with impressive photographic credentials

屏幕:+$6.4-inch Super AMOLED |处理器:+$Octa-core Chipset |记忆:+$8GB (configurable to 12GB) |存储:+$128GB (configurable to 1TB) |后置摄像头:+$16MP + 12MP + 12MP |前置摄像头:+$10MP + 8MP |OS:+$Android Pie

+$Five Top-end Cameras
+$Super AMOLED Screen
+$Slippery without a case
+$Bixby button not useful

+$iPhone 11 Pro Max+$might be the most sought-after flagship phone of 2020, but our handset of choice is the三星Galaxy S10 Plus+$. The Snapdragon 855 processor makes it one of the fastest Android phones around, but there's a lot more here for designers to take note of.

+$The S10 Plus is slightly larger than the regular S10, giving you a full 6.4 inches of Super AMOLED screen to work with. Colour reproduction is excellent, and there's impressive dynamic range.

+$The trio of rear-facing cameras (for normal, telephoto and wide-angle photos) are superb, too. The main camera's dual-aperture lens captures sharp images, even in low light, and the wide-angle lens captures a 123-degree field of view. Even Google can't match that. Videos benefit from image stabilisation, and this is the first Samsung phone able to record video in HDR.

+$The battery will last a whole day in typical conditions, and you can even use the S10 Plus to charge other devices wirelessly.

另请阅读: 最适合设计师的智能手机


Nikon D5300

+$(Image Credit: Nikon)

+$Nikon D5300

+$An affordable DSLR that checks all the boxes

传感器:+$23.5 X 15.6mm CMOS |解析度:24.2MP |镜头座:+$Nikon F-Mount |屏幕类型:+$3.2-inch Vari-angle |最高连拍速度:5fps |电影:1080 P用户级别:初学者

+$39-point AF System
+$Creative modes JPG only

+$Nikon D5300+$is an ideal DSLR if you're looking for something that will perform well and provide many years of reliable service. Together with a versatile lens kit, it'll help you achieve great shots without breaking the bank.

+$This is definitely an entry-level DSLR, and can't record video in 4K, but its still images are super crisp (partly due to the absence of an anti-aliasing filter) and the new EXPEED 4 processing engine means noise is well controlled, even in dark images.

+$The camera's chassis is made from a single piece of polycarbonate, meaning there are fewer joints, seams and potential weak points. It's also unusually light, making it easier to carry when you need to leave the studio. It's a shame there's no touchscreen, so you'll have to navigate the camera's many menus using physical buttons, but the interface is pretty straightforward and shouldn't present much of a barrier to you achieving professional quality images.

另请阅读: 适用于广告素材的最佳相机


Asus Designo Curve MX38VC

+$(Image Credit: Asus)

+$Asus Designo Curve MX38VC

+$An enormous 38-inch monitor for maximum multi-tasking

显示:IPS |解析度:3,840 X 1,600 |连接:+$DisplayPort 1.2, USB-C, HDMI x2

+$Enormous Ultra-wide Screen
+$Great Connectivity
+$No High Refresh

+$Unlike many ultra-wide monitors, the+$Asus Designo Curve MX38VC+$is designed with creatives rather than gamers in mind and eschews flashy design for a smart frameless look and practical features. Of course, the main attraction here is the huge 38-inch panel, which gives you masses of workspace without the need for multiple monitors.

+$It's designed to be kind to your eyes, too, minimising glare and flicker to help avoid strain and discomfort when you're putting in long hours. It doesn't offer the fastest refresh rates around, but the viewing angles are excellent and its unusual height means it doesn't feel as compressed as some ultra-wide monitors.

+$Its connectivity is excellent, with DisplayPort, USB-C and two HDMI connections at your disposal, plus Bluetooth. It even features a built-in Qi wireless charger, so you can simply set your phone down underneath your screen and pick it up later, fully powered up.

另请阅读: 现在最好的显示器


+$09. Creative Software

Adobe’s Creative Cloud

Adobe的Creative Cloud是设计专业人士的行业标准

Adobe Creative Cloud+$is the industry standard for design professionals – the range and depth in its suite of tools is unrivalled by any other company. But it comes at a cost, and even if you can snap it up during one of+$Adobe's Occasional Sales+$, an all-apps subscription represents a big investment.

+$Still, you get Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects and loads more. If you’re looking to be truly multi-disciplined and regularly share a workflow with other designers, go for it. But if your work revolves purely around vector design and photo-editing/manipulation, it's not the only choice.

亲和设计师亲和照片+$are both excellent tools from Serif – even topping Photoshop and Illustrator in some areas – and cost around £50 each, outright, with free updates. Superb file compatibility means you can collaborate with Photoshop and Illustrator users too. You could also check out these6个惊人的免费Adobe CC替代品

+$If you own an iPad, the newly released奥多比弗雷斯科+$is well worth considering, It aims to recreate the feeling of drawing and painting with traditional media on a tablet, and has been created with professional designers and artists in mind (though it's also accessible enough to pick up quickly).

+$10. Antivirus Software

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020

+$(Image Credit: Bitdefender)

+$Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020

+$The world's best antivirus software, updated for the new decade

OS:+$Windows, MacOS, Android |涵盖的最大设备:+$10 |保护:+$Viruses, malware, adware, phishing

+$Real-time Protection
+$Detects brand new threats
+$Anti-phishing Tools
+$No app for iOS devices

+$It's all too easy to fall victim to a virus or malware. You don't even need to be doing anything particularly risky; simply opening a PDF that appears to be a client invoice could be enough to infect your computer, encrypting or deleting your extremely valuable work. If you've made regular backups, this could be extremely frustrating; if you haven't, it could be catastrophic.

+$Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020+$is a full security suite that can protect up to 10 devices, including Windows PCs, Macs and Android phones. It provides real-time protection from viruses and malware, plus phishing attempts (when a person tries to trick you into entering usernames, passwords and financial details into a fake website). Even if it hasn't come across a particular threat before, the software can identify suspicious programs based on their behaviour and quarantine them before they have the chance to cause harm.

+$Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 also comes with a super-secure browser specifically for online banking and shopping, to help keep your card and account details secure. There's also a file shredder if you need to delete any confidential information from a client so it can't be recovered.

+$Bitdefender often runs special offers, so if you're lucky you'll be able to save a considerable amount off the regular asking price, which is great value already.


+$11. VPN Software


+$(Image Credit: ExpressVPN)


+$Protect yourself online, wherever you happen to be

OS:+$Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Kodi |服务器位置:160

+$Live Customer Support 24/7
+$VPN servers in 94 countries
+$Only five simultaneous connections

+$A VPN can be essential if you're travelling, and not just for countries like China where tools like Google Docs are blocked by a national firewall.ExpressVPN+$will also protect you when you're using public Wi-Fi hotspots in cafes and shared workspaces, preventing any would-be crooks from snooping on your online activity.

+$It does this by using an encrypted connection to redirect your web traffic through one of 160 servers, spread throughout 94 countries. If that sounds intimidating, don't worry; ExpressVPN's interface makes it all easy to use and understand, and if you do happen to get stuck there's live support available 24/7.

+$It doesn't just work with laptop and desktop computers, either; there are mobile apps for your smartphone and tablet too, and you can even install ExpressVPN on many routers to secure every device on your home Wi-Fi network.

+$Unlike many VPN services, ExpressVPN also gives a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you won't be left out of pocked if you discover it's not the right service for you.


+$12. Productivity Software

Google docs



缺少一些MS Office功能

+$In 2020, Google Docs is much more than a web-based version of classic productivity suites like Microsoft Office, and has come along in bounds and strides since it first appeared as a free service.


有一系列可供您使用的质量模板,以及可提供您通常在Microsoft Office中找到的功能的第三方加载项,如邮件合并和更高级的公式编辑器。您还可以使用Google翻译将其中一个文档转换为其他语言。如果您想要更多协作功能,您可以随时使用基于订阅的Google Docs版本,现在称为G Suite。


+$13. Quality sketchbook or notebook

MOO Hardcover Notebook

+$(Image Credit: MOO)


+$A notebook created by designers, for designers

页数:+$176 (16 Unlined) |尺寸:+$130x207mm |+$Binding:+$Swiss

+$Lies Completely Flat
+$Bright, Smooth Paper
+$No choice of sizes
+$Small section for sketching

+$MOO is a brand best known for its made-to-order business cards, but it also produces some of the best notebooks for designers. It might sound unlikely but theMOO精装笔记本+$was created by the company's in-house designers, and their expertise really shows. It features non-glare ruled paper, plus 16 sheets of shaded paper in the middle for sketches, and can be laid completely flat on your desk for easier working.

+$If you need an unruled notebook, a+$Moleskine Classic+$is still impossible to beat. It comes in a huge variety of shapes, styles and paper types, but whichever one you opt for, the quality is consistently excellent. The company also makes some of the world's best sketchbooks, including the+$Moleskine Art Collection Sketchbook+$. Its paper has enough tooth for most dry media while still being pleasantly smooth, and its price is very reasonable for 240-page pad.

+$14. Pantone Swatch Book

Pantone Plus ColorBridge: Coated and Uncoated

Pantone Plus ColorBridge:涂层和无涂层


+$May be more than you need

+$When you're working in print, you need to know exactly how spot colours are going to look. The only way to do that is to invest in a Pantone swatch book, and while they aren't cheap, they are invaluable.

+$Before making a purchase, consider exactly which swatches you actually need.+$Neons金属色+$are particularly hard to simulate on-screen, so dedicated swatch books for these are a good choice. Alternatively, a five-partPantone Plus固体指南套装+$will cost you £288/$329, and will cover both.

对于更加多样化的日常使用,Pantone Plus彩色桥组提供了与最接近的CMYK匹配的专色色谱 - 非常适合客户的预算不会延伸到特定工作的第五种颜色。还提供Pantone'芯片'的书籍,非常适合打印机的样张,以确保每个人都在同一页上,色彩方面。

如果您专注于高质量的印刷和包装工作,并且专色是您日常工作流程的重要组成部分,那么投资于全面的工作可能是值得的。Pantone参考图书馆为您的工作室提供触手可及的全系列产品,并配有取放展示架。但你将支付1,179英镑/ 1,620美元的特权,所以确保你真的需要它。


+$15. Variable Desk


+$(Image Credit: Flytta)

+$Flytta 2

+$Shift between sitting and standing effortlessly

+$Lift Capacity:120公斤+$Height Range:+$64-130cm

+$Powerful Dual Motors
+$Strong Steel Frame
+$Quite Expensive
+$Desk top costs extra

+$A standing desk can encourage you to be less sedentary, help reduce back pain and even decrease your risk of illness. With the Flytta 2 you have the option to switch between sitting and standing whenever you want, and adjust the level of the work surface to suit your height.

+$There's no need to fiddle with crank handles; the desk is raised and lowered smoothly by a pair of powerful motors, and can store your preferred height settings for quick access in future. Collision detection helps you avoid bumped knees, and the 120kg lift capacity means even heavy desktop computers won't be a problem.

+$16. Ergonomic Chair

Herman Miller Mirra 2

+$(Image credit: Herman Miller)

Herman Miller Mirra 2

+$Invest in your health with this top quality ergonomic chair

椅子高度:+$Adjustable |腰部支撑:

+$Hugely Adjustable
+$Temperature Control
+$Rather Wide Armrests

+$If there's one item that's really worth investing in, it's a high quality chair, and theHerman Miller Mirra 2+$is our number one choice for keeping you comfortably supported all day. It's a little more affordable than the iconic+$Aeron+$chair, and features 10 different adjustment systems so you can customise it for the perfect sitting position.

+$The posture support is superb, helping you avoid back problems down the line, and alleviating any issues you may already have. The mesh design also helps regulate temperature, so there's no risk of getting hot and sweaty while working at your desk all day.