It’s actually pretty nice to be able to get up, get a cup of coffee and then do some conference calls in my underwear, while the rest of the world has to travel to and from work. I’ve compiled a few images of my place on Flickr. It’s a pretty sweet pad if I do say so myself, however someday in the not too distant future, we will be moving on to other places.
Top 10 Graphic Design Office Essentials
I’m going to forego the obvious. A computer and a phone are absolutely a given. If you don’t have either of those things, you are either too old or too young to be running a business.
1.}Big ass desk – In the world of imagery and design, square footage and free space are a requirement. Clutter tends to distract as well.
2.}Fax/copy/printer – You’d be surprised at how many people are STILL using fax machines to do business. A copier is helpful as well for invoices, bills, etc. and a printer is great even if you don’t have a business, just to get those directions from Google Maps to the strip club. Make sure you’re always stocked up on plenty of paper, too.
3.}Scanner – The bigger, the better. being able to scan in photos, magazine images, drawings and other imagery is extremely useful. Especially for illustrators and artists.
4.}Comfortable Chair – You’re going to spend over half your waking day in it. You might as well get one that keeps you relaxed and comfortable and doesn’t wear out after only a year or so. Treat yourself to a good chair and you will spend more time working and less time squirming or rubbing your aching shoulders.
5.}Art Books – Often inspiration needs a good shove to get the juices flowing. Art, graphic design and illustration books are extremely useful for reference and ideas. Just don’t rip off anyone else’s work in the process of being “inspired” by them.
6.}Post it notes – These are really helpful when you get a phone call from a client about a quick fix thing that they need you to do in the next few days or possibly a phone number to jott down. Just stick that sucker on your monitor and you don’t have to worry about forgetting. For some reason it’s a lot easier than using your iPhone or a calender to-do-list application on your computer. Maybe not as organized, but if you take care of it quickly, that crumpling sound it makes when you’ve finished the task and thrown it in the garbage sure makes a satisfying sound.
7.}Full Spectrum Light – One that can stand the rigors of being twisted around and left on for days at a time, while you work all through the night and early morning meeting that deadline. If it can serve you coffee and give you back massages, all the better.
8.}External Hard drive – Actually, you should probably have a very large hard drive that you keep at home and a portable hard drive to carry with you when you take your laptop out of the office. Use your home drive for backup storage and your portable for your current work and files. Graphic designers and artists often have enormously big files to maintain and save for possible future reference and use. (look on the bright side, atleast you’re not doing a lot of video editing…I hope).
9.}Digital Camera – It’s hard to work in the visual communications business without a nice digital camera. SLR’s would be the way to go if you can afford it, but a small digital camera with atleast 7 mega pixels should get the job done for a lot of tasks (for example photographing textures and backgrounds to be used later with photoshop). Unless of course you’re actually going to print a poster or something from the image, in which case, you should leave it up to the professionals or buy stock photography.
10.}Wacom Tablet – I can’t stress enough the difference a drawing tablet will have on your productivity, creativity and end result of your work. If you are still working without one, get off your ass right now, grab your car keys and pick one up. You will thank yourself for it later and won’t know how you got along without one all this time.
I’m sure there are more things that can really help, but these are my top. If you’ve got some that you think are essential to this profession or similar forms of self employment, please leave a comment and let us know what YOU use.