5 Necessities Every Graphic Designer Needs for a Home Office
Often times Creatives are stuck in their office in front of a computer screen for hours on end. We do this because it is our job and our passion for creating and design fuels this. However, because we can spend so much time in one space we can often find ourselves getting bored, distracted, or worst of all trapped in our space. This kills productivity especially if your primary machine is a desktop computer. Therefore, it is essential to create a work space where you can spend time on your projects and maintain productivity. This is a list of five necessities for a graphic designers or creative’s home office.
This is a list not just for graphic designers but all creatives, freelancers and entrepreneurs. This list is focused on the office space itself rather than the equipment that goes into the office. That will be saved for another list.
Because we are sitting at a desk for hours at a time it is very easy to feel claustrophobic due to a cluttered desk. There are several factors that go into maintaining a good desk space which I will go into more detail in a different article. The key points to remember when coming up with a desk space work station is to have a desk that is big enough for your monitor/computer, keep it clutter free, and keep it organized. Figure out what your ideal work space is, whether it be an “L” shaped work space or one big table. I prefer the “L” shaped because it allows me to better organize my workflow and allows me to move, even if it’s not very far.
Lighting is especially important in any work space. Without the right lighting, we can often end up with eye strain, tension headaches and body aches. If you’re like me if you are working in a darker space, you tend to lean towards the light of the computer monitor which throws off your posture and leads to your upper and lower back hurting.
I recommend in whatever room your office space is set up, whether it is a dedicated home office room in a den or a spare room, or if it is in your bedroom, change all the light bulbs in that space to LED daylight bulbs. The lighting change from traditional soft light bulbs is incredible. These bulbs provide a natural white light that helps you stay focused, especially when you’re working late at night.
I also recommend to have at least 1 desk lamp so you can have light that you can angle to any hand drawings or writing you make be working on. Because you can easily adjust the angle of the lamp you can prevent glare on your paper and computer screen. I’ll go into more detail about the lamps and bulbs I prefer as well as other cool lighting options in another post.
It is also a great idea, if you’re able, to allow for as much natural light into your home office as possible. Set your desk up near a window because nothing is more inspirational than the world outside your computer screen and office.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re going to be sitting down at a computer for hours at a time you need to have a good chair. You want to make sure it is comfortable and provides plenty of lumbar support. I prefer to buy a chair that is able to roll and adjust the height because it makes it a little more versatile should I change my desk setup and it works great with an “L” shaped desk as mentioned above. However, if your workflow doesn’t need to be swiveling and moving a lot, you may opt for a more traditional stationary chair. Also something to keep in mind is to make sure if you don’t have an adjustable chair, is to make sure your chair is the right height for your desk and monitor set up. I speak from experience when I say there is nothing more frustrating a chair that doesn’t fit your desk so you cannot proper reach the keyboard or mouse without moving into an unnatural and unsupported position. A good way of thinking about your desk chair is to think of it like your mattress: you’re going to spend a lot of time there, so make sure it’s comfortable and be willing to invest in a quality product.
It is always a good idea to have a white board or a white board/cork board combo next to your desk. I recommend having a decent sized (at least 18”x 24”) white board and a separate cork board of the same size. Of course every work space is different so find the right size that fits your space, but try to have enough space so you can write your tasks or goals for the week down on the white board without having to write so small you can’t read it. The larger size cork board also comes in handy for putting up reminders or notes and also to provide you a space to mock up thumbnails of your project. It is always a good idea to print out a project, even if it is scaled down, and hang it up and step back from it. You may just see the solution to a problem you didn’t see on the computer or couldn’t figure out how to fix. **Tip** Use 3M hooks to help hang your new board. Put 2 on the bottom and some squares on the top for a secure hold.
There is no such thing as having too many books. Books provide so much more than knowledge, but they can often spark imagination and creativity. Buy some coffee table books that inspire you. Grab some photography books that show breathtaking landscapes or shows insights into different cultures. Find a new novel to read to guide your imagination on a new adventure or find a great nonfiction book to learn about a subject that has always interested you or to help you refine your skills as a creative.
Find some nice bookshelves to house your ever-growing personal library as well as to accent your office and provide additional storage space. They also make a great space to put collectibles or pictures to make your home office cozy and functional.
What are some of your necessities for a home office? Leave some ideas in the comment section below! I will also include a list of some items that you might like for your home office!
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