These are our top 9 picks that every designer should have in their creative arsenal to get the creative flow going.
This may seem obvious to some, but a sketchbook to me is the cornerstone of all design projects. It’s a place to gather your thoughts, take notes, create concepts, and track your process. A sketchbook is where you can be free and do what ever you’d like to do, coming up with new ideas to make future projects better than the last. This is why the sketchbook is at the top of our list.
We like to go for hard-bound sketchbooks with non-perforated pages. Typically they don’t, but spiral sketchbooks sometimes do. Hard-bound sketchbooks just seem more sturdy.
2. A Desktop or Laptop Computer
We know some may be thinking DUH!!! of course you need one. We recommend to look for something that is going to last you and able to keep up with you as you progress throughout your career.
Roberto Blake, a Graphic Designer based in New York, has a video
that can explain and suggest all that you need in a computer for your path.
3. Drawing Tablet
Every designer needs a drawing tablet to transfer the ideas they made in their sketchbook (el numero uno) on to a digital format. Just as a personal preference we would go with Wacom Tablets.
Now, here’s a fun one that can be optional. We say get this because, you should document your work step by step and they will be ready for the world to view in a hi-def format so that every detail won’t be missed.
5. Online Portfolio
Now, that you have your sketchbook, your work and you’ve documented your progress, what are you going to do with all this content… oh I don’t know.. PUT IT ON YOUR ONLINE PORTFOLIO. Show the world your creations, but don’t overshare, because you may want somethings to be up your sleeve. Put your best work up there, and show your process.
You can design and code your own portfolio by using Sketch or Adobe XD, and WordPress with great visual-based themes like Divi. Then, you are going to need to find a web hosting company like That Guy Sketch
to register your domain name and host your website. Alternitavely, for those who just want to focus on designing you can even use a WYSIWYG like Squarespace or Wix; Or even use an online platform like Behance or Dribbble
Next up would be a blog. Now that you have your online prtfolio up you’ll notice that at times it’ll become static, nothing’s happening. So what better way to get engaged with the online community than keeping them in the loop. Make a blog, post about what you’ve learned, your upcoming projects, what you’ve read, etc. It’s a great way to get organic SEO back to your portfolio site and for you as a designer to get found by potential employers and clients.
7. AIGA Membership
For those that don’t know, AIGA is an organization that brings design to the world, and the world to designers. This organization will help you connect with other designers in your profession, help you find a job, and even gives you these SWEEEEET benefits and discounts. Check out the memberships and get started with them, personally I would go with the Supporting membership, because that is where all the fun stuff is bestowed unto you.
8. Thirst for Knowledge
NEVER lose the passion for what you have. Go out there and read a book. look at what other designers are doing, and bounce ideas off them and create something.
Lastly, find a mentor or a group of people that can inspire and guide you, someone that has experience in your design concentration to show you the ropes. This person will keep you on track and should keep you inspired to do what you do best.