Vital Tools For The Beginner Graphic Designer

Adrian Cruce

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Graphic design is truly a highly popular career path these days. Growth has always been huge in full-time and part-time positions, freelancers or company employees. If interested in working for companies involved in marketing or advertising, web design or development, virtual design or multimedia, graphic design is a wonderful choice.

The problem is that graphic design is complex. You need to be able to properly use specialty software like Adobe Illustrator and stay up-to-date with technological changes. As you are here, reading these lines, you are most likely a beginner graphic designer that aspires to be successful. If this is you, it is important that you choose great tools as you get started. Contrary to popular belief, using the best tools is a big part of the job.

Practice and constant improvement are necessary, together with adequate tools. With this in mind, here are the tools that are paramount for every single beginner graphic designer out there.

A Suitable Computer

The common debate as a computer is chosen for graphic design is: PC or MAC? There is definitely a close to 50-50 split in popularity for both. However, as the graphic designer takes the first steps in this career, there is no need to invest in the very best possible computer. A good, mid-range computer is more than enough when enough RAM is present. Only when you start working on heavy video and image editing you will need to invest a lot of money in the strongest possible computer you can afford.

A Laptop

Generally, for most beginner designers a very good laptop is more than enough. That is because it allows complete portability. You can easily work wherever you want to, in a dining room or in a coffee shop. Obviously, the desktop will be the main unit for the graphic designer because of the larger screen, increase durability and extra power present. However, having a really good laptop is normally more than enough for starting out right. Just be sure you have one with enough RAM and high durability if you intend to carry it around with you.

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Specialized Drawing Tablets

There are so many tablets on the market and it is really easy to understand why sales keep going up. However, for the aspiring designer an average tablet will simply not cut it. Fortunately, those gadgets needed are not necessarily expensive. The goal is always to focus on buying the best drawing tablets you can afford.

The reason why you need a drawing tablet is twofold. For starters, you never know when a new design idea comes up. As this happens you need to have a way to quickly start drawing and at least build the foundation of the design. The second reason to remember is that these tablets are very fast and generally really durable. Try to find those that are very good for your specific intended use. Some drawing tablets are better for architects while others are tremendous for the web designers.


As a graphic designer, most of the money you invest in tools will be spent on software. The one suit you absolutely have to consider is Adobe Creative Cloud (including Acrobat, After Effects, Premiere Pro, InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator). This is a package that includes an impressive 20 mobile apps and 20 desktop apps. If you are a student, you only have to pay $19.99 per month for it. Those with a focus on web design will also need something like Dreamweaver.

When you get better, specialize and want to take it to the next step, the software you need will start costing more and more but the pay will also become higher. Moving towards animation and 3D effects means you want to consider Autodesk 3DS Max, Cheetah 3D and Maya Autodesk. Open-source options are available but generally, the paid software is going to be a lot better.

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Final Considerations

The choices that have to be made for the beginner graphic designer are not many. What was mentioned above is more than enough. As time passes specialized tools and software can be purchased and is highly recommended. The very best designers in the world always use the latest technology since this makes their work better and a lot faster.