If you are thinking about becoming a graphic designer or starting to learn graphic design, you are going to need to invest in the right tools. You do not need the latest software and hardware, but it is worth investing in the best tools that you can afford. Here are the must-have tools for graphic designers in 2017.

1. Right Software for You and Your Budget

There are a lot options for software at all price points. Adobe’s Creative Cloud is a popular option for many graphic designers because there are many features that make it easy to use. This software suite costs about $50 USD per month. Other great options for software including After Effects, In Design, Illustrator, and Photoshop.

Most design software has a free trial available. This allows you to try the software before buying it, so you can make sure that it is the right fit for your style and type of work.

2. Macbook or Surface Book/Studio

A decent computer is important for a graphic designer because you need to run the software around the same speed as your brain. Mac has been the popular choice for graphic designers for the longest time. However, Microsoft’s Surface Studio has changed the landscape of hardware. The Surface Studio lays flat and still can be used a traditional laptop. The best option will depend on your preferred operating system and design of the device.

3. Good Smartphone

You are not going to use a smartphone for most design work, but you are going to need one. This is important because you are going to be replying to clients and emails regularly. You also can use it for soft proofs and view other items on the go. The best option is to buy a smartphone that is easy to use and has a large, vibrant screen.

4. An Ergonomic Desk and Chair

When you are working at a computer all day, you should make sure that you invest in a good ergonomic desk and chair. These items are costly.

There are many models of ergonomic desks and chairs, so take some time to check them out. If you can sit for around 30 minutes in the chair to make sure that it is comfortable for you. Having the right equipment can prevent medical injuries in the future. Sitting for a long time improperly can even dramatically effect your heart health. Making sure you have the right chair or desk can help you avoid having to see a doctor trained in ACLS certification online in the future.

5. Reliable Storage

We all know the pain of losing files, because of a computer failing to save a file or forgetting to back-up all the data. The best option for graphic designers is to not store their files on their computer. Solid-state drives are a great option because there are no moving parts. They are expensive, but they last longer and load information faster. Cloud storage can also be used, but it limits you to uploading and downloading files to only when you have an internet connect.

The tools that graphic designers need will depend on the work they do and their preferred art style. There are many options of hardware and software for graphic design. So, the best tools for you will depend on your budget and your art style.