The internet is a beautiful thing, but many of us have to thank Sir Tim Berners-Lee for turning it into a stream of boring commands and bits and bytes to the World Wide Web, and making it not only legible for all of us, but also turning it into a medium that has transformed the way life has been in the last 20 odd years. Of course, it didn’t stop there, and we have the millions of web designers with their expertise to thank for making this a more pleasant experience over the years.
So to thank all the designers out there, we have done some head scratching, looked at a lot of the websites you built, and got a list of gadgets that we’d think you’d love and appreciate. Don’t forget, there are also some top web design courses you can also look at!
Pen and Paper
Call us old fashioned, but personally we think all good ideas start with a bit of scribbling and doodling. For this reason, we start off with a bunch of good notebooks to start. A good notebook for us features a good skin, tearable paper, and a good decent size, ideally A5, to make it portable. Most of all though, the magic lies in the paper quality. It needs to be ink friendly, soft to touch, and able to withstand a bit of ‘pocket’ travel and folding.
Our suggestions? The classics, i.e. Moleskine and Filofax!
Graphic Tablets and Pens
A good design on paper needs to travel from the analog world to the digital world. A number of solutions exist, such as graphic tablets and digital pens. For this, we have been looking at the Wacom range, which offers everything from top end solutions such as the Intuos series, to something as simple as their Bamboo Spark pen, which works just like an ordinary pen, and storing everything in a digital format. What’s even great is that you have apps for both iOS and Android, allowing this to work across various platforms. App integration means you can also store directly to services such as Evernote or Dropbox.
Macbooks vs Windows – Fight!
You have your idea, and you have it on digital. Now is the time to go back to the office, be it a coffee shop or a hi-tech secluded environment, and turn that design into something solid. Something beautiful. Something the world really wants to see. At the end of the day, you need a full fledged computer to make it happen, and sadly, we cannot decide between the two top contenders: Macbook Pro or the Surface Book.
Both have a lot going for them, including portability, the power, and their focus on creative design. We really don’t want to tell you which one to go for, but if you have an opinion, we would love to hear from you! Both also cost around the same, and feature great looks.
All we know is that when we asked the question among our peers, we walked away even more confused than before!
Brains and brauns are essential to computing power, but all designs need to look beautiful at the end of the day, and every designer needs a good monitor to go with their machines. The world has seen some amazing displays lately, and we can definitely recommend a good bunch of 4k monitors. In fact, we can happily recommend the range from our friends at Acer. Featuring a plethora of ports, connectivity, a fast refresh rate, and looks to match the designs you make, the monitor offers everything you want in a great display.
Server – Backup Storage
You put in all that hard work, and there is no way you want to lose it. We have solutions such as cloud storage these days, giving us the comfort of backups on the go, but the best storage is one that you keep and control yourself. Many such services exist, and we have chosen the Synology DS216 range for our designers. High data rates allow UHD Video transcoding on the fly, and an award winning Disk Manager software allows you to sync your data with various cloud services. Whether you want security, backups, decent file management or just efficient cloud storage, this one ticks all the boxes.
So, we have given what we think would work as a great set of tools, from start to finish for our friends who do all the design work. Of course, if you want any such work done yourself, we can also recommend our friends at Bulldog Graphic Design, too!