Wednesday, May 13, 2015

5 Graduation Gifts For Graphic Designers (Or Really Anyone Who's Interested In Art & Design)


Yesterday, I finished my last final of my undergraduate career and exactly one week from today, I will officially graduate. I'm sure many design students are using graduation as a good excuse to conjure up some design equipment that they'll need to keep working on their projects. Up until now, we've had the privilege of using the school's computers, cameras, tablets, etc.

So, I've complied a list of equipment you might be interested in getting with your graduation money.

1. Adobe Creative Cloud: For the past two or three years, I've been using Adobe Creative Suite 5 and don't get me wrong, it works perfectly! But there are some great updates with the Cloud. For instance, I created my portfolio using InDesign and then published it as a folio, which I can view in Adobe Content Viewer on my tablet. I could no longer create folios using CS5; the buttons wouldn't work in Content Viewer. From what I've read, you need a more recent version of Adobe Creative Suite (the Cloud) in order to get your folios to work properly.

2. Drawing Tablet: I have the Intuos Pen & Touch tablet and I love it! It's great for photo editing and for adding handwritten elements.

3. DSLR: Maybe this is more for if you're a photography major, but in all honesty, designers and bloggers would benefit from this. I used a DSLR to take product shots for my final portfolio and it made a world of difference. (Sidenote: If you're not interested in buying one, ask to borrow a friend's!)

4. A website: Yes, you read right. A website is important. It doesn't have to cost a lot of money, but it will cost some: you'll need a domain name and web hosting, but it's up to you whether or not you create your site, use a free template or purchase a template. If you're not interested in an actual website of your own, I highly recommend signing up for Behance and others have recommended using Wix, Squarespace or Weebly. If you're curious, I purchased a template and use Wordpress.

5. MacBook Pro: And lastly this might be something you need to save for, but as a designer, having your own laptop is essential. I'm partial to MacBook Pro, but it's totally up to you! You may run into to jobs or internships where you'd be required to bring in your own laptop or maybe you have some freelance work on the side? It'll come in handy. If there's anything from this list I'd recommend above all, it would be this. It's worth the investment.

Are there any items you'd add to this list? Leave a comment below and tell me what equipment or tools you found useful as a designer, photographer, artist, blogger, etc. I love hearing about what others find useful!

**Just a little disclaimer, I realize it may not be feasible to purchase every single thing I mentioned on this list. You should only purchase what you think you'll benefit from in the end. Also, look around for deals! Usually towards the beginning of a new school year, Apple has some deals for MacBooks and maybe venture out during Black Friday this year, especially for items such as a DSLR.**

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