What does it take to be a successful graphic designer? Of course it takes motivation, talent and inspiration… but we believe helpful tools are the final ingredient for a designer’s sweet success! From moleskine to macbooks, here are the top ten must-haves for every graphic designer.

1. Cloud Computing



Don’t learn the hard way. Backing up files is crucial for designers. Cloud computing is a great way to save files, as well as keep all mobile devices and computers in sync. For this beneficial technology, many use the popular website Dropbox which offers 18 GB of free space. If you’re an Apple person, check out iCloud.

Cloud computing programs also offer convenient bookmarking and curating of ideas in one place, with the feature of easy access from any device. Try Evernote for mobile or desktop.

2. Pantone Color Guide

Pantone Color Guide


Color is a science, and designers must know the perfect formula for success. Pantone color guides are like a cheat sheet for color harmony. For you paperless folks, check out the MyPantone app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

3. Macbook


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This one is a no-brainer. A macbook sits at the root of the designer’s tree, a strong base of inspiration and creation. Be sure to check out Apple’s new Macbook Pro with retina display.

4. Music



…to get the creative juices flowing. Whether it’s calm classical tunes or head banging rock jams, music is key to inspiration. According to Livestrong.com, music triggers the right brain.. Voila! Creation! Look for a future post from us on the best music to work to.

5. Sketchbook


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Every designer needs a place to doodle or jot down ideas when they are born. Moleskine sketchbooks are a great way to keep a library of creativity.

6. Power Foods



Everyone loves a little snack to get through the work day. Keep the energy up with healthy colorful foods, and treat yourself with a sugary treat every once in a while.

7.Design Apps


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Apps like Color Expert, Camera Bag , WhatTheFont and Loupe were named a few of the “Must have iPhone Apps for Graphic Designers,” by Pelfusion. In today’s fast paced world, apps make a designer’s job more convenient, allowing them to begin developing ideas anytime or anywhere.

8.Design Inspired Items


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What graphic designer wouldn’t love some techy swag? With status update calendars and Adobe pillows, EightyOne design has some must-have items for designers.

9. Personalized Work Space


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There’s nothing quite like working in a comfortable and inspiring environment. Fill up your work space with art and trinkets that get the job done! Paperleaf has cool items for your desk and Power to the Poster is a gallery of powerful downloadable posters. Love Music? Check out Gig Posters to find your favorite band.

10. The Graphic Artists Guild Handbook



Referred to as the industry “bible,” The Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines gives information on copyright laws, ethics, tips on what to charge clients, and more.

For these photos and more nifty designer must-haves– check out our “Objects of Affection” lightbox.