Blank Canvas: What’s Your Digital Design Setup?


We’re starting a new feature on the Go Media ‘Zine to give our readers a chance to voice their thoughts and opinions. We’re naming it “Blank Canvas”. And if you readers have any topics you’d like to see covered, please let us know in the comments and we’ll choose from the best and use for future “Blank Canvas” posts.

To kick things off, this week’s topic is “What’s Your Digital Design Setup?” and we’d like to hear from readers about your setup for creating.

The Questions:

  • Mac, PC or other? What kind of machine?
  • What software/version do you create with?
  • Any extra hardware gadgets or tools?
  • Reference books/media nearby?
  • Inspiration?
  • What kind of desk & chair?

To get this ball rolling, here’s my personal setup:

2008 Mac Pro with 14 GB RAM. Most of my work is done Using the Adobe Creative Suite CS4, primarily Illustrator and Photoshop, but InDesign gets it’s fair share of attention. I rarely use my mouse, almost all of my interaction with the Mac is via my Wacom Inutos4 medium-size graphics tablet. Keyboard and mouse are stock from Apple. I have a basic scanner, a Canon LIDE 90. I have a dual-monitor setup, my main monitor is a 24″ Samsung SyncMaster 245T and my secondary is my former main monitor, a 20″ ViewSonic a Samsung SyncMaster 2243BWX 22″ monitor. Main monitor is calibrated using a Pantone Huey. A bunch of external hard drives, mostly for backups and more backups.

I also have a webcam set up, primarily for the microphone. Of course I have a set of external speakers hooked up. All my main computer equipment runs through a battery backup/surge suppressor in case of power glitches or outages. I also have an EyeTV which lets me watch & record TV on the Mac while I am working.

My desk is always cluttered, I have a small bookshelf nearby with various drawing and design reference books. I have a nice rolling taboret for all my drawing and art tools, including all my Pantone swatch books and color reference books. The desk I sort of built myself, it was a DIY IKEA 60″x30″ tabletop and leg setup. Lots of paper and sketchbooks nearby, I primarily sketch on laser paper sheets as they are easiest to scan afterwards. Chair is a basic drafting table chair.

There’s a drawing table next to my main computer desk, but mostly it gets used for stacking paperwork and other random stuff. I usually draw and sketch on a small drawing board sitting in front of the computer.

A tiki sculpture and an Easter Island bobble head keep me company, along with a posable wooden reference hand as well as a posable mini wooden reference manikin.