When you’re a graphic designer, every (seemingly small) detail is important. While the work itself is critical to your way of living and building a solid reputation, it’s just as critical to ensure the preparation is right. If you aren’t going into a new piece of content with the right mindset, then it can easily lead to a subpar product - or, perhaps worse yet, a missed deadline.
It sounds like we’re being a bit dramatic, but it’s true. The aim of the game is to stay consistent, enjoy yourself, and build up your portfolio to the point where you have people banging down your door in search of assistance. In our view, one of the best ways in which to ensure that happens is by having a top-of-the-range home office.
Today, we’re going to run through what we consider to be essential factors in building that perfect home office for a graphic designer. It isn’t going to come easy, and you’ll have to make some investments, but what you’re investing in is yourself. It comes down to how badly you want to succeed, and these are the steps you need to take in order to do so.
There are definitely going to be benefits to working in a shared workspace with colleagues or perhaps even friends, but for those of you who are looking to maximise your skills and take things to a whole new level, it’s crucial that you make the most of what you’ve got. On the face of it, that sounds pretty vague, so allow us to break it down a bit more.
When you have a dedicated workspace, it becomes so much easier to generate increased productivity, creativity and peace of mind. You’ll pick up on that tone in quite a few of the ideas we’ve got here, and even though you may think some of our suggestions are obvious, you’d be shocked at how many people are opting against making these changes.
There’s something to be said for the comradery that you can achieve by chatting away with others in your team, whether it be virtually or in person. Alas, we just don’t think it serves as a step in the right direction, and we hope you’ll end up thanking us in the long run.
With that being said, let’s dive into it.
How easy is it to slump down in your chair, sofa or bed and just allow the world to swallow you up? We’ll tell you - very easy. It’s one thing to have the willpower to keep going, but there are other ways in which you can help yourself. One such example of that would be to buy a really, really comfortable chair that’s going to get you ready and raring to go.
With an ergonomic chair, you’re going to find yourself having better posture, which is a huge green flag right off the bat. As well as that, you’re going to be able to adjust the height to suit whatever it is you’re trying to achieve on a given day. From getting a better angle for a design or wanting to get the perfect view of your screens, it all starts with the simple act of sitting in a chair.
No, we aren’t going to sit here and pretend like you won’t have to spend a bit of cash to make this all come together. At the same time, the finished product is going to give you a completely new perspective on what it is you’re trying to achieve in your career. Case in point - a large desk and a desk area that has enough space from top to bottom is exactly what the doctor ordered.
For a graphic designer, you can never have too much space in which to work. If anything, there are times when you’re left wanting even more room to accomplish your goals for the day. If you have an area in your home or working environment that can fit all of your essentials with relative ease, then we’d say you’re doing something right.
It’s important to put the hours in when you’re a graphic designer, and while that may not always be necessary depending on the project, it certainly can’t hurt to get things down and really begin to formulate an idea of what it is you’re trying to create. Therefore, we think having an isometric sketch pad to hand is something that should be at the forefront of your priority list.
From pillar to post, it is one of the most useful sketching tools you can have - and it’ll help you to iron out any potential hiccups in your work and provide a clearer picture of your actual target. We know it’s going to seem like an obvious inclusion to some, but this is the foundation of what will hopefully become a really successful piece of art.
We’re going to strip things back even more so than we already have with this next entry, but sometimes, you just have to point it out in case a few folks out there forget. At the heart of most creators is the desire to knuckle down and carve out the base of an idea, even if that’s just through a few bullet points here and there.
A notebook is a great place to jot down a few thoughts when they first spring to mind, and even though it’s simple, it can also trigger some alternatives that weren’t previously considered. Regardless of which way you look at it, though, there should be a notebook sitting on your desk at all times, in our view.
From getting the right colour contrasts to ensuring the monitors are of the highest quality, there is a lot to be said about this entry and what it can mean for your overall productivity. When what you’re looking at on the screen is able to really pop and shine through, you can get a better feel for what it is you’re going to send off to a client or colleague.
It’s all about positioning yourself in a professional setting. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in an active workplace or a personal workspace in the comfort of your own home because you don’t want to take your eye off the ball. If the tech isn’t up to scratch, then you aren’t giving yourself the opportunity to produce the work that you know you’re capable of.
They could be on the wall, on a screensaver on one of your monitors, or just sitting in your sketch pad. Either way, having mood boards present is handy at all hours of the day. It’s been said before that no two projects are the same, and even though you don’t have to subscribe entirely to that philosophy, mood boards encourage you to think outside of the box.
It’s also just a light relief when you want a five-minute break from whatever it is you happen to be working on. There’s no guarantee that what’s presented to you on this mood board is going to flip a switch, but it’ll definitely present some views that otherwise would’ve gone unnoticed. In our book, that’s a good thing - and that leads us on perfectly to point number seven.
We should all be looking for inspiration at one point or another in our day-to-day lives. Sure, we may think that we’re better off just thinking up ideas ourselves, but that doesn’t have to be true 100% of the time. You never know what kind of image or piece of writing is going to strike a chord, and you never know what’s going to help make that lightbulb go off in your head.
In essence, we just think it’s both practical and fun to have a bunch of design books around you in your workspace. It doesn’t have to be too overbearing (we’ll touch on that more shortly), but if you happen to have hit a bit of a wall, picking up a book and skimming through it can give you peace of mind as well as a different perspective.
Have you ever been working in the office or at home, and things have just been a little bit dark? We all know about pathetic fallacy and how the weather can dictate our mood, but there are definitely ways in which we can fight back against that. For one, you can do everything in your power to bring as much natural light as you can into your life.
It’s great to have a small lamp by your desk or a larger overhead light, but nothing beats what comes in from the outside world. It’s relaxing, it’s calming, and it’ll perhaps encourage you to take the time and go for a quick walk to clear your head now and then. It may sound stereotypical when reading it back, but the little things matter a great deal.
When you’re a designer, it’s easy to see how things can get lost in the shuffle. From the desk to the monitor and beyond, there’s a good chance that there are 5-10 items that do not need to take up so much real estate. So, every couple of days, why not take the time to clean everything out and reduce the clutter that’s causing so much chaos?
It isn’t going to require hours, and it’s much more likely that you can get it done during your lunch break. The key is to make sure that you aren’t allowing everything to get on top of you, and even though that can be difficult as a designer, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible - and you can’t even begin to imagine how much stress you’ll be taking off of your shoulders.
We don’t want to say that there are no positives whatsoever that come from working in close proximity to others because that simply isn’t true. However, when you’re getting to work on a project that you know is going to take up a great deal of your time and effort, you have to make sure there are no distractions. Therefore, we recommend isolating your space in whatever way you can.
Whether it be by slapping on a pair of headphones or just ensuring there aren’t that many others around you (if any), this is going to be a game-changer. There will always be plenty of time for socialising, but if you let your guard down and don’t live up to your own potential as a designer, a negative review is something you can’t take back, no matter how hard you try.
We’ve thrown around our fair share of ideas here today, so instead of just barking orders, we also want to put forward our name if you need any help in the graphic design department. Here at Hatchly, we run an unlimited graphic design service that aims to assist anyone who is in need of repeat business.
We have a committed, hard-working team of professionals who are on hand to help through our own unique platform. Whether it be a constant flow of work or the occasional piece that needs to be picture-perfect, we can give you the clarity you’re searching for. Plus, we all have fantastic workspaces, and we’ve heard they can come in quite handy.
It’s so easy for companies to spin a web of lies and deceive you, but our customer satisfaction rate speaks for itself. So, if you’d like to learn more about what we can bring to the table, feel free to check out our website, and if you feel like it, get in touch!