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10 Essential Tools for Graphic Designers in 2021 

10 Essential Tools for Graphic Designers in 2021 

Graphic design is an ever-evolving industry. Thanks to advancements in technology, graphic design is fast-growing and is now necessary for almost all industries.

It’s amazing how the corporate world, start-up businesses, and non-profit organizations are now embracing visual elements to boost their marketing strategies.

And as graphic design continues to grow, there’s a lot required to stay on top of the game. Graphic designers need hardware, software, and online tools that simplify the development of visual elements.

For Graphic designers, the tools of trade determine the success of their creations. And with the right tools, a designer can improve productivity, deliver stunning arts, and attract a large viewership.

This article will take a look at the ten essential tools for graphic designers in 2021. We’ll also include a few examples so you know what to look for when purchasing.

1. The Right Computer

The Right Computer Essential Tools for Graphic Designers

A computer is the lifeblood of graphic design. Without one, you may never fully realize the potential of online applications. Luckily, the marketplace is flooded with different models and brands to choose from.

But before making any purchase, make sure you are familiar with the right specs for the job:

  • Look for a computer with a large screen, processor, storage space, and RAM.
  • Take a look at online reviews to see what most people would recommend.
  • Check the prices and pick a computer that fits your budget.

If you are looking for high-end laptops for graphic designers, then the Apple MacBook Air could be the right choice. This laptop has a screen size of 13.3 inches, storage of 256GB – 2TB SSD, and RAM 8GB-16GB. The Apple MacBook Air is designed to work for various professionals but more specifically, graphic designers.

2. A Notebook and Pen for Jotting Your Ideas

A Notebook and Pen Essential Tools for Graphic Designers

It’s incredible how great ideas always hit us at the least expected time. You can be listening to a podcast and interestingly get an idea for your next art. To ensure your thoughts aren’t lost, keep a notebook and paper close. With a notebook, you are assured of a starting point when you get to the tasks.

Additionally, a notebook is a great place to draw sketches. This adage method ensures you are not starting on a blank on your creations. Sketches are also great for when you have to consult or include a colleague for ideas and approval.

3. A Tablet for When You are Away From Your Desk

Tablet - Essential Tools for Graphic Designers

If you are considering portability for your design tools, then a tablet is your best choice. Tablets are small, lightweight, and convenient to carry around. Additionally, the use of tablets is not restricted by space. You can hold it by hand and still get most of your graphic works done.

When selecting a tablet for graphic design, consider the storage space, performance, and durability. You should also check the pen pressure sensitivity and ensure that you have a tablet with the best cursor control for easy execution projects.

A tablet you can consider for your tasks is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. The tablet has a screen size of 10.5 inches, storage of 64GB, and can quickly transform into a desktop. It also comes with an S-pen that enables you to jot your ideas and personalize your creations promptly.

4. Better Spaces with External Storage or Cloud

External Storage - Essential Tools for Graphic Designers

The graphic design contains heavy files. To ensure better storage for your files, consider including an external hard drive in your collections. Apart from offering extra space, an external hard drive acts as a back-up if your computer crashes. The hard drive is also portable and convenient if you travel a lot.

Another storage option is the Cloud. With Cloud, your files are safely stored in a remote server and are accessible anytime and from anywhere. Additionally, the Cloud acts as a collaboration tool and allows for the sharing and editing of files with team members in different locations.

5. An Excellent Smartphone for Communication

Camera to Capture Stunning Images

Every graphic designer needs a smartphone that supports communication with team members. With a good smartphone, sending emails, taking photos, and recording conversations are made possible at the click of your fingers.

Smartphones are also convenient for accessing and sharing files when you are on the go. It’s also the best place to save your ideas when you are away from your desk.

One of our top choices for a smartphone is the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The phone has a 6.7-inch display, a Pro 12MP camera system, and storage of 128GB and above. iPhone 12 Pro Max is ideal if you create and share a lot of images on your phone.

6. A Good Camera to Capture Stunning Images

Supporting Software

Although graphic designers can always get images from other sources, nothing stands out like original images from a good camera. Stunning photos give life to your design work. Appealing visuals invite more followers, likes, and shares.

If you are looking for a budget camera, then Nikon D3500 is the right choice. The camera has a comfortable design that makes it convenient for travel. It also contains features that are easy to use as point-and-shoot cameras.

7. A High-Resolution Monitor for Clarity

High-Resolution Monitor for Clarity

Larger screens improve image clarity. For this reason, graphic designers opt for high-resolution monitors to enhance the quality of their work.

When buying a monitor, make sure you know the screen size, resolution, price, and color accuracy that match your work scope. You can choose a monitor like the ASUS PA329Q. This 32-inch monitor is most ideal for complex projects since it has a wide viewing angle.

8. Supporting Software to Make Your Work Easier

There are different software you can install or download to support your work. These are apps that support your creativity and make it easy to create stunning graphics. For example, Canva is excellent for creating custom images through already made templates.

On the other hand, we have Adobe that’s excellent for developing advanced graphics from scratch. For either choice, you need to be clear on what you want to achieve.

9. Build Social Proof with a Portfolio Platforms

Graphic design is a competitive industry. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you must be creative with your online visibility tactics. For a start, target social media sites and showcase your work in relevant groups. As you advance in your career, move to more graphic-savvy sites like Behance, Portfolio, or Dribble.

Just remember that creating a portfolio takes time. But with consistency and determination, it’s only a matter of time before people start noticing your work and giving recommendations.

10. Include Planning Tools in Your Applications

Graphic design involves a lot of sharing and collaboration. With graphic design, there are always images to share, emails to handle, or even calls to make. To ensure all operations run smoothly, you need the right planning tools for the job.

For example, if you operate in a large group, Trello would help define your roles. Through Trello, you can know tasks assigned to members, timelines, and feedback from clients.

Additionally, you can choose Slack for communication. Slack is convenient for discussing project progress, arranging meetings, or even direct-messaging specific members.

Planning tools are convenient for organizing your work and helping you know if you are in line with your goals.


Graphic designing is a competitive field. To succeed in the area, you need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and software upgrades. By choosing these ten essential tools for graphic designers, you’ll achieve much more and boost your creativity.

Also Read: More Helpful Resources on KnowAboutAnything

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