Read these 10 Inside the Design Studio Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Creative Staffing tips and hundreds of other topics.
When it comes to your graphic design studio, there are many different ways you can "go green". If you are looking to reduce energy use and waste on the job, here are some great tips to get you started:
If you spend a lot of time on your laptop coming up with ideas or doing research, you may want to consider some upgrades for your graphic design studio setup. For those who travel frequently between work and home, a docking station may be a very practical investment. Docking stations save you the trouble of dealing with a variety of cables every time you move your computer. Just slide your laptop in, and you're ready to go.
Cooling systems are another good option for those who spend endless hours on the computer at work. Since graphics naturally place a large demand on your computer's resources, a cooling system can help keep your laptop from overheating. There are many different varieties available.
Many designers prefer to use a full computer rather than a laptop, due to resolution capacity and monitor size. Still, it can be nice to bring things home to go over on your personal computer or laptop. A portable hard drive can be a great investment for this purpose--that way you can take things back and forth without too much trouble.
When it comes to studio decor, you'll want to be sure you select something that fits with your company image. Stodgy furniture or old-fashioned designs won't work well in the graphic arts industry. You don't have to go too far out on a limb, but you'll want to be sure you are decorating with a fresh and contemporary style.
Clean lines are always a classic choice, and you can even punctuate space with colors from your company's logo to help reinforce branding. Try to create a waiting area that is pleasant and comfortable, and consider hanging some artwork there as well. Plants are another good choice; just make sure they are low maintenance and that your lighting conditions will work for the type of greenery you pick.
In the design field it can be a good idea to set aside some meeting space so that you have an area to sit with clients and talk. Be sure and include a computer with a nice display in the room in case you are going to look at designs or discuss revisions. This way you can keep your own work area more private and set it up however it works best for you.
You might work for a fancy Los Angeles graphic design studio or you may be a freelance designer that works from home; either way you'll want to consider what your studio area is going to look like. In addition, you will want to make sure it functions well for your needs as a designer.
So what are some of the main factors you will need to address? If you work for a larger company, chances are they will have much of the studio set up already, but that doesn't mean you can't customize your own work area. Make sure the ergonomics are healthy and make every effort to create an environment where you will feel creative and comfortable. You'll feel better in the long run if you set things up right from the beginning.
If you freelance or work from home, portability may be a major factor in your overall setup. Think through what will make that an easier process, and enable you to stay organized as well. You may want to consider things such as cushioned carry cases and computer security features. If most of your equipment is in your home, you may also want to look into additional insurance so that you are sure you are covered.
What the setup is like inside a Web design studio or graphic design company can make a big difference when it comes to your body and how it feels. If you haven't yet overhauled your workstation to make sure you are set up well ergonomically; now is the time. Here are some tips on how to make the most of things while being kind to your limbs:
Many designers enjoy working with a tablet rather than a mouse. Tablets allow for precision-point control, are less confining than a mouse, and they have the additional advantage of being customizable as well. There are different brands out there you can choose from, but many have similar features.
First you'll need to decide on a tablet size, and much of that will depend on what you are comfortable with, how mobile you need it to be, and what you typically design. Naturally, the larger tablets tend to cost more than the smaller ones, so that is a factor you may also want to take into consideration.
Typical tablet sizes are:
Is your computer monitor at the right height? If you can't answer this question, you may want to keep reading. Many people are not aware that their monitor height is incorrectly placed, but in a graphic design studio this is a very important thing to get right. With all the hours that designers spend on computers, the toll can be great with improper placement.
Here are some tips for making sure your workstation is set up correctly:
Ergonomics are an important factor to consider when it comes to setting up your workstation. Web design studios and those for graphic design both rely heavily on computers for their work. Although sitting in a plush chair may be comfortable for a while, it will eventually result in an aching back and stiff neck. There are many ways to customize your work area to be sure you are not injuring yourself while on the job.
Here are some things to consider:
It doesn't matter if you are in a Chicago graphic design studio or one in Atlanta, your choice of computer is an important one. Since graphic design is such a visual field, not just any laptop or desktop will do the work that you need with the speed that you require.
A large screen is pretty much a priority for your setup, and preferably one that is high resolution so that the detail comes through well in images and graphics. Deciding whether you want to go with a Mac or a PC is another thing you'll need to consider. Other things you don't want to skimp on are processing power and memory. Since the computer is such a big part of your job, it pays to invest wisely.
You will probably also have your own personal preferences in terms of a computer. Some people like to work on a laptop for mobility, while others prefer a more traditional workstation. Think about your likes and dislikes and see what you can do to customize the features. Ultimately it will make you more productive if you can arrange things the way you like them.
Setting up a freelance graphic design studio can be a time-consuming task. Going into business for yourself means taking care of a lot of details--as well as carrying a full workload. You'll need to come up with your own logo and marketing collateral, navigate the books, scout for work and more if you are self-employed.
As a freelancer you can work from home, or even rent a small office. Going into business with a writer or another graphic designer are other options that you can consider. You'll need to choose a name for your company, file any necessary paperwork, create a business portfolio, get a Website up and running and attend to many other start-up tasks. You may want to consult a small business lawyer and accountant for advice when you are trying to pull everything together. They can often help you navigate the details so that you are sure that you are covered when it comes to taxes and other details.
Self-starters with a knack for multi-tasking may enjoy the freedom that comes with a freelance lifestyle; but it isn't for everyone. Some people prefer the security of a company environment, along with the steady pay and solid benefits. Only you will know if a freelance career is right for you.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|