A common misconception is that you don’t need many tools if you’re using Photoshop or other computer based design applications. While you may not need as many as non-computer based designers, I think a case can be made for keeping an arsenal of art supplies around. Maybe it’s the former SCAD student in me talking but here is a breakdown of the non-software products I use in my workflow.
- 1. Canson Sketch Pads. These sketch pads are smooth to write on, durable for carrying purposes and acid free so your grubby hands don’t eat away your designs. Whether you use pencil or ink, drafts will last a long time on this paper.
- 2. Sakura Pigma Micron Pens. These pens make writing and drafting as smooth as spreading butter over hot pancakes. According to Sakura’s site their Pigma Micron Drawing Pens are filled with a high pigment, waterproof, fade proof, archival, acid free drawing ink which means your sketches will last a LOOONG time. I use these to draw character designs, draft layouts of future sites and to jot down ideas.
- 3. HP Scanner/Printer. As much as I like to stay away from HP computers, they make good, cheap scanners and printers that are almost disposable. I usually scan everything at 300dpi and then scale it down and HP’s products make that quick and easy.
- 4. Canon Point and Shoot Digital Camera. Sometimes I need reference photos, or I need to photograph clients or myself for whatever reason. Having a Digital ELPH or Powershot lying around never hurts on those occasions.
- 5. Calculator. When I’m crunching numbers trying to find perfect third measurements or multiples, fractions or percentages of numbers, there’s nothing faster than a standard calculator.
- 6. Apple iPhone. I’m a blatant Mac fanboy and have been for sometime. So my iPhone has become my electronic swiss army knife. Aside from the obvious, I use it as a substitute for most of the things on this list when I don’t have access to them: to take notes, to take pictures, to chat with clients etc…
- 7. Apple Timecapsule. Another Apple product, imagine that. I use this for automated backups in my studio. My Macbook and iMac backup data to it wirelessly allowing me to rest easy knowing all my recent designs, tutorials, websites and web apps are backed up safely. For all of you wondering what I do in case of fire or theft, I also use Mozy.com’s remote backup solution.
- 8. Ikea Furniture. It’s cheap, easy to put together and easy to take down when moving. Plus the illustrated assembly instructions are the epitome of minimal and universal design!