Design insights & tutorials.

Blank Canvas: What’s Your Digital Design Setup?

blank-canvas-header

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.

About the Author, George Coghill

George Coghill isa freelance humorous illustrator/cartoonist specializing in mascot cartoon character design & cartoon logos. His cartooning & illustration work can be seen at CoghillCartooning.com and at his cartooning and illustration blog. Be sure to follow me on Twitter here!
Discover More by George Coghill

Discussion

We want to hear what you have to say. Do you agree? Do you have a better way to approach the topic? Let the community know by joining the discussion.

  • http://twitter.com/moogaloo andy marshall

    I have a PC, as created by http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk (highly recommended!). Its a quadcore 2.67GHz with a meaty Nvidea GeForce 9800GTX and 4GB RAM doing the hardwork. I currently have Vista 64bit installed, and despite having no problems with it (no blue screens, just 1 crashes in over a year, and very rarely slows down unless I got a backup / scan running) may well upgrade to windows7 sooner or later.

    For the viewing pleasure, I have a lovely 24″ Belinea monitor and a rubbish 17″ Hanns-G (for viewing sites in their more native environments and reading emails).
    A Logitech Gaming mouse (not just for playing EveOnline!), a plain ol' media keyboard and a Wacom A6 mouse for the fancy work.
    A Canon EOS 400D takes care of most client photography when its needed.
    …and no desire, whatsoever, to jump on an Apple Mac bandwagon that most of us designers seems obsessed with! :p

    Software is mostly a happy use of free / open source stuff – Firefox & Chrome (for using and testing sites), Thunderbird (for emails and RSS), Open Office, Dropbox, Spotify, Tweetdeck.
    The only paid apps I use are Dreamweaver and Photoshop. Very occasionally I fire up Illustrator while I make a cup of coffee, or Flash when I'm feeling brave.

    Reference, aside the usual scattering of web based stuff (Twitter, RSS, blogs etc), takes the form of .net magazine, “CSS missing manual”, “Learning jQuery 1.6″, some tyography books, and a library card (“Don't make me think”, “XML demystified”, “Design for Community”)

    My Office is always messy, no matter how had I try to keep it clear, but then minimalist has never really been my chosen style. On the wall is an amazing print taken from a video made for an art show that my wife bought me a few years ago. Called “Girl with a gun” it seems to create a lot of different reactions in people who see it. Also got a ltd ed Fleet Foxes Festival screenprint from this years End of the Road Festival that needs to be framed and hung.

    Desk and chair are fairly unremarkable – I bought them off my old employers when they made me redundant – they needed cash, and I needed office furniture – worked well… I probably should get a better chair tho.

  • nuyoguru23

    First off… 14GB of RAM… WOW!! envy is not the word! lol

    I currently use a 24″ iMac, with only 4GB of ram.., running Snow Leopard and the Latest Creative Suite. It looks so nice on my desk. I need to get a new scanner, because my drivers do not work with the new 10.6 :( – I have a Bamboo tablet that I never use. I’m so much more comfortable with a mouse. Also have a bunch of HDs to keep backups of work and music.

    Hmm… Reference is hard, so much to list. I always have the Latest Computer Arts Mag on hand. I have recently purchased some design books by Ellen Lupton, and currently reading “Graphic Design Theory,” “How to be a Graphic Designer with out losing your soul,” & “Art & Fear”

    Pandora is always on. Music is key, but I find myself listening to instrumental tracks so that grooving to song lyrics does not distract me. Stuff all around inspires me, but it depends on what I am working on. I have tried to build up my library of ref and inspiration books so that they are at hand. I have a great IKEA bookshelf with my design books. I also have some old cameras and typewriters as visual inspiration, writing that I pinned up on my cork board … and some posters that I designed, all within reach… My creative friends inspire me to work harder & my VS project blog helps me to inspire myself.

    I sit at a glass Z-line designed desk that I found at staples, sounds cheap but very nice. It may be harder to see that I have a desk with all of the stuff I have scatter on it. My chair is a cheap one I need to get a better one, but it is still comfy for the long days or nights of research or freelance.

    I think that’s all I have for now… hope this helps spark more conversations!
    Later

  • http://www.gomedia.us jeff_finley

    Again, I second the wow on the 14gb RAM. I have 3 GB. You are crazy George. There is NO way someone would ever need 14 GB! Hehe – I like to say that cause we all said it when 1GB of RAM was considered a lot back in the day.

    Anyway at Go Media I have a Dell Precision 670 2.8ghz Intel Xeon CPU with 3gb RAM. Windows XP – soon to be Windows 7 after I attend a launch party to see just how fun Win 7 can be!

    I have a dual monitor setup. A 24″ widescreen and a 22″ regular.

    Ikea Galant Desk, with two addons to make it bigger. Wacom Intuous 3, 6×9. My desk area is kinda cluttered, but I don't like it that way. I like a clean desk. I usually clean it weekly.

    I have a few candles, and seasonal decorations, and some photos on my desk. Moleskins, paper, drawing tools, etc.

  • Adam_Wagner

    Have you noticed that snow leopard is faster than previous versions of osx?

  • Simon H.

    I 3rd (or 4th) the notes on the 14 Gb of RAM… But I envy them too. I'm kind of pissed of at my computer when it slows down when switching between Ps and Ai for example.

    I use a june 2008 Macbook Pro… under windows XP. As dumb as it sounds, I ordered my CS for windows :-/ Anyway.
    I have a dual core 2,5 GHz processor and 512 Mb of RAM on my GeForce 8600M GT. I use CS3 (Ai and Ps, mostly).
    Also, for the web, I use Notepad ++ a lot, smultron when on the mac side of things.

  • Adam_Wagner

    Nice setups from everyone so far. I think I'm going to describe my home setup, even though Go Media kindly updated my system at work recently.

    Okay. PC is a refurbished HP Media Center 8067c. I've upgraded the Graphics card (nVidia Geforce 8800gt) power supply (800w) and Ram (8GB).

    I'm a constant tweaker and usually have 2-3 OSes installed. I've been down the Hackintosh road a couple of times only to come back for some silly reason (if it isn't working perfectly I'm not happy). Now I'm running a trial version of Windows 7, which I really like.

    Monitors are cheap Dual 24″ Soyos. They do the job! MX Revolution mouse & logitech keyboard.

    I can thank my dad for most of my beloved non-tech office items. I've got a huge L-shaped desk from the 70s that is very, very heavy. My chair is a fantastic 70s metal chair covered in yellow vinyl.

    Frequently used software is Chrome, Reaper for audio production, Adobe CS4, Dropbox (great!!) WMP12, Windows Live Photo Gallery, Trillian, all the Google apps (do they count yet?) Zune Player 4, DVDfab, Onenote, Outlook, utorrent.

  • AndrewCrocker

    I have a 2006 MacBook Pro I bought refurbished 2 years ago that has served me very well. Only 4GB of ram, and It's as much as this will support, and it seems just enough to run a localhost version of the webapp I'm working on. I have a nice apple external monitor hooked up, and a great Logitech mouse.

    I do mostly web design, so I end up using illustrator CS4 to build a lot of the individual elements of the site, and Photoshop to bring it all together and slice it up. After that I use a free CVS program to keep my code synced up with the developers, and Coda (great app!) for all my front end coding.

    The only books I have are the timeless design staples, like the Geometry of Design by Kimberly Elam. Most of my inspiration comes from online, like siteinspire or design shack.

    I really like http://patterntap.com/ or http://www.scrnshots.com/ as I'm doing a lot of work on web interfaces.

    My desk/chair is default shitty company supplied setup. It serves its purpose.

  • http://www.geoffmay.com Geoff May

    Currently I have a 17″ MacBook Pro with 4GB RAM, though I'm in the process of building a Hackintosh. No more Mac for me, overrated. I have a secondary 21″ monitor that I run in tandem with my MBP. I use Adobe CS4, mainly using Photoshop and Illustrator. Connected to MBP are 2 500GB external drives that keep all my work files as well as my huge mp3 library.

    I normally just draw on normal copy paper from Staples. Since I tend to not save any sketches, it doesn't matter too much what I draw on. Digital inking/sketching happens on my large Wacom Intuos4 tablet.

    I have a glass L shaped desk and some leather office chair I picked up from overstock.com. I also have a drafting table but I rarely use it anymore. Sometimes I wonder why I'm even keeping it around.

  • sigurarm

    Great idea George! And me too… 14Gb ! ! I see now that I have ONLY 8GB.

    My main workhorse is a MacPro dual core, 8GB, 23″ monitor. A4 Wacom tablet is always connected and often used, but main input device is a MacAlly DotMouse (it's so light, you see). I have iSight that I only use to scan book barcodes. I have speakers and a huge bass but I rarely listen to music while I work because of all the calls and disturbance from other designers with questions. Besides, music makes my mind drift.

    As I am working in an ad agency I have access to a good scanner, good camera, Xerox 7760 color printer and other stuff. The only printer I have for my self is a label printer. Very nice to have.
    My chair is a German Drabert which has saved my back for ages (could use an overhaul).
    My desk is a big and sturdy oak desk that used to serve some civil servant years ago.

    My desk has always been a victim of the volcano syndrome, but it works fine. I know exactly where everything is, ever since I got an agreement with the cleaning lady. I am surrounded by few other computers. Two old G4 towers to run old stuff, one to convert Quark files for InDesign the other to access old Retrospect tapes. Then usually I have a one or two which I am fixing.

    Main design tools: Creative Suite CS4, Illustrator in the top seat, Photoshop and InDesign in that order. FontLab is usually open as I do a lot of font related stuff. Keynote sometimes.
    Other tools involve mac maintenance tools like Apple Remote Desktop to help the other designers, server tools etc.

    I find Twitter a valuable source of information and cool stuff for inspriration. I guess I tweet about 20-30 times a day (you are welcome to follow http://twitter.com/sigurarm) I also collect rss feeds into NetNewsWire to view the latest and greatest stuff online and I also blog too about design, fonts and what ever I like. (http://font.is).

    I also have a MacBook Pro, which I mainly use for writing and when I am teaching courses. Sync what I need to sync, my Things database (http://tr.im/zDKu) DevonThink database and the files I use for teaching.

  • Adam_Wagner

    512mb of ram running CS? Ah man Simon, I know what you need for xmas. :-)

  • nuyoguru23

    Adam..

    I think basic apps work more efficiently, but not that noticeable in the big creative programs… i may need to clean install them, becasue i have notice unusual crashing ;( but i like the slight tweaks. the new Quicktime screen grab video option is great… the only thing you cant only select a certain part of the screen. it does the entire screen and on a 24″ that is a lot of real estate.

  • Adam_Wagner

    Interesting, good to note. Apples mile-long pages of features and blazing fast speed improvements with pretty little icons sure made snow leopard a thing to get excited about. Then I saw it in action and scratched my head a little.

  • feelium

    I'm doing my work on my 13'' Macbook Pro with standard components, except for the 4 Gb of memory installed. I use Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Dreamweaver and Flash. In conjunction I use Lightroom 2 for some works. It's a small screen but it works and with some color profile adjustments and habitual viewing angles it works quite nicely.

    I suppose this doesn't really have anything to do with those programs, but Spotify tends to be on most of the time while I'm in them.

    I barely don't use mouses these days. Since the introduction of the Macbook's unibody trackpad I've gotten so used to it that I prefer it over the regular mouses. But there's so many different mouses out there so I'm sure there's some mouse that I can be reasonably comfortable with again. ;)

    Both my real-world desktop and computer desktop tends to have stuff all over them, but whenever I start anew on something I prefer to clean it off. Then I slowly or quickly let it build up with things needed for the project I'm focusing on at the moment. I mostly can't begin something anew when there's old, irrelevant stuff everywhere.

  • stewartKnapman

    Woot! at work im running a PowerPC G4 (quicksilver box) with 1.5GB ram and Tiger OS (10.4.11) with Adobe Design premium package CS3 (but CS4 is due in any minute now, Yay!!!)
    There are a few books about filemaker sat at the end of my desk and my sketch book. But mainly alot a paper strewn about the place.
    An old gray desk with a black wheely chair that the back is almost falling off of.

    At home im running a 20inch intel imac (white) with leopard. Im about to up the ram to 2GB and the hard drive to a WD 1TB caviler green this weekend. an A5 sized wacom bamboo (Black), Adobe web premium package CS4.
    I have a mallrats Jay toy (i need silent bob now), a tech deck skate board, a Resident Evil: Extinction poster and a Frank Kozik tokyo 96 poster (signed and framed) all within arms reach. The chair is just a basic red rolling thing but the desk is a custom designed and built (by yours truly) marine ply box shaped desk.

    Also im building a dedicated web server for development and file sharing this weekend, that will run ubuntu. 2gb ram 1tb HD intel dul core processor :) its going to be sat next to my tv, Super cool

  • stewartKnapman

    just as i posted that a small package containing CS4 was tossed at my head!!!! WO0T

  • http://twitter.com/RobotMojo Jordan Morris

    My current setup (thinking about the Hackintosh route as well, Geoff May) is my 17″ MBpro w/ 3GB ram, running closed but routed to my 30″ Apple Cinema display. I was originally considering dual monitors vs. one giant workspace, but I do a heavy amount of photo editing on top of my design work, and the extra real estate is really sweet. Definitely kicking myself for going to Apple route with that though, as the price tag at the time dug me into a bit of an unnecessary hole.

    That said, can anyone please shed some light on their reasoning for the dual monitor vs a single large one?

    In addition to the comp and the monitor, I'm using my Intuos3 6×8 whose stylus is missing it's secondary button (huge bummer, but im so accustomed to using CRTL as my right click anyway that it hasnt really phased me). I too am using the Canon LIDE90 and it suits my purposes just fine. I've also got a tiny recording rig set up with my M-Audio Fast Track Pro and my external HD for backup (and as my music repository). All this set up onto a glass, L-shaped desk in the corner with a single warm halogen bulb velcroed to the stantion on the back of the cinema display aimed at the wall (to give me some sweet ambiance).

    I can't stress how much more comfortable it is having some kind of light source behind one's monitor. The strain of staring at a cold LCD, vs having it balanced with some warm halogen light behind it is, I think, pretty noticeable.

  • http://www.jannegylling.fi Janne Gylling

    15″ MacBookPro 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4Gt RAM. OS X 10.6.1 Snow Leopard.
    +BenQ 24″ monitor. Wacom Bamboo. CS4 Master Collection.
    + Lots of empty Pepsi bottles. Desk from Ikea. Spotify and iPod.

  • overithiswire

    Sweet!

    Computer: Dell Vostro 410 with 24 inch HD monitor. Microsoft comfort curve keyboard and wireless mouse. Windows vista ultimate along with a core 2 quad process & 4gb of ram. Love the way this machine runs, wouldn't trade it for anything. the ONLY thing i would change is my video card and that is a ATI radeon hd 2400- The video card seems to do bad with wacom setup.

    With that being said, my wacom is the 12wx cintiq w/standard pen & Air brush pen both with felt nibs(i really enjoy the air brush it's so much fun) absolutely love this tablet – i do all of my inking/drawing/painting on it. I do still draw on paper, i have 2 moleskines but i still find myself going back to doing sketches on regular printer paper. Lately i've been drawing directly into photoshop or illustrator with my cintiq.

    As far as programs go i use-

    Adobe illustrator CS4
    Adobe Photoshop CS3 extended
    Flexi Deisnger for sign stuff
    and Indesign pops in there when i need it.

    My chair is black leather from staples with wheels on it. Very comfy, it was cheap as well. My desk is very large- it has my cintiq, my keyboard, my monitor, my HP printer and 2 heat presses on it and my phone. It was given to me by a friend so i have no idea what brand it would be. I really lucked out!! I have design books all over the place for inspiration. I also have full sets of national geographic magazines from 1940-1958. I always check out how they designed the advertisements & lay out the graphics. They give a tun of inspiration!

  • erikote

    Hi, I'm working with a Mac Pro Quad with 5Gb Ram and two 23'' Apple Cinema Display. I mostly use Adobe CS4 (Ps, Ai, Id, Fl), Autodesk Maya, Cinema 4D v11, Autodesk SketchBook and I like a litte piece of software called Vectoraster. I also use a Wacom Intuos 1 (yeah, man… I'm calling from the past :-D ).

    iTunes is always running because I dont know how to design without music, so I have 480Gb of music on my 2Tb Lacie Hard Disk.

    My references vary… I'm always looking for people that is better than me to learn everything I can… but Internet is my primary source although I'm always buying design books.

    My desk is from IKEA, and I am sitting on a cow chair (I'm tellin' this with a black thick line hiding my eyes…)

  • Simon H.

    You more than welcome to drop a Mac Pro under my Xmas tree :-D

  • Simon H.

    It's interesting to me that a lot of creative people talk about their need of mpusic when designing :-)

  • mug25

    This is based on Battle's studio. I'll do my personal setup later.

    Mac, PC or other? What kind of machine?
    Mac. 99% of the machines in our studio are Mac based. We have two Alienware workstations used primarily for web development and 3D rendering. Most of our machines are G5 Powermacs. Our Motion artists are equipped with Intel MacPros with dual Cinema Displays.

    What software/version do you create with?
    Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Cinema4D, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Dreamweaver, Flash

    Any extra hardware gadgets or tools?
    Wacom Intous4 Tablets, plenty of external hard drives, Nikon D80

    Reference books/media nearby?
    Several issues of Advanced Photoshop, Communication Arts, Lurzers, Juxtopose, ComputerArts, CMYK, HOW, PRINT. The list goes on. We have a library.

    Inspiration?
    Things we pick up in magazines, inspirational sites, TV. Just about anywhere.

    What kind of desk & chair?
    Varies.

  • http://twitter.com/badrobotbrain Matt Bryant

    At work I'm running a Mac: Dual 2.5 G5 w/ 2.5 gigs of ram. Viewing on a 23' Samsung monitor. I use a Logitech MX1000 mouse—best the ever made—and a 6×9 wacom bamboo tablet.

    I use Photoshop/Illustrator & InDesign CS3 for designing, Quark 7 on occasion. BBEdit & Coda for programming. iTunes and Tweetdeck are always running to keep me sane throughout the day.

    I have a stack of books, magazines and the internet for inspiration and insight when I hit a brick wall. I also keep a sketch book and a dry erase board handy to sketch things out prior to hitting the computer. I keep photos of my family next to me to remind me why I do what I do. As well as a sad looking plant that refuses to die no matter how much I ignore it.

    As far as furniture, it's pretty standard, an L-shape desk that faces the window—particle board w/ gray laminate and a simple yet comfy office chair. I have a nappy old bookshelf to hold the aforementioned books/mags plus a shelf that holds my toys/tchotchkes.

  • http://www.geoffmay.com Geoff May

    I can build a Hackintosh that is 1/3 of the price of a Mac Pro and it has better specs. The only thing I really like by Apple is OS X. Other than that, I'm indifferent. Makes more sense for me to save $3K and build it myself.

  • haleysaner

    16 GB ram.. right here… 8 Core mac pro, maxed out. over 2TB internal space. lacie 4TB Raid 5… also have a nice macbook and a handful of other machines hanging around for render farm and C4D purposes… couldn't be happier.

  • Adam_Wagner

    whoa.

  • Adam_Wagner

    Hmm. We may have to talk more about this in the future. Did you get *everything* to work? Sound, LAN, drives – what about additional stuff like firewire audio interfaces?

    It sounds like something I'd want to do, but it's hard to trust thousands of dollars with people I don't know on an online forum.

  • haleysaner

    aaaand.. I still sometimes wait hours for renders to finish. Hey why doesn't my profile link up w/ my site. You're profile is looking like mine, where as Jeff's and a few others get kickback to their site. Do i need to add a photo?

  • mike_r

    the galant desks from ikea are awesome

  • http://www.twitter.com/gfxmaven gfxmaven

    O.o @ 14GB

    System: custom-built 16.4″ HD Sony Vaio FW laptop, 2.66GHz Core2Duo with 4GB RAM sporting Vista x64 (despite what Apple would have you think, I've been running fine with just one crash thus far). Plan on upgrading to 7.

    Kit: Hooked up via VGA to a standard Hyundai 17″ monitor for previewing designs at standard dimensions; via HDMI to an LG 36″ HDTV (also paired to my PS3). Smaller Wacom Bamboo in my laptop bag for when I'm on the go, and a full-sized Intuos A4 tablet at my desk. Use a cheap logitech optical mouse I think I've owned since 2003. A Seagate Freeagent GO 250GB portable HD– highly recommended :) — and a Maxtor OneTouch 350GB external (crap, never buying Maxtor again). An old Canon LIDE scanner I absolutely love.

    Software: Running CS4 design Suite, performs just fine on my setup; PS, Dreamweaver and Illy get the most wear. For my sketching I've almost completely ditched paper: I use Artrage or Sketchbook Pro (I owned a copy of Sketchbook but Artrage 2 came free with my Wacom Bamboo…and now I'm torn between the two, both excellent software for simulating natural media– though I must say that the ability to rotate the canvas in Artrage is winning me over slowly). For designers/artists working off a laptop I advise purchasing a Bamboo if only for this sw. For an example of what it you can do, check out my twitter background @gfxmaven (shameless plug). Sketched in Sketchbook Pro, colored in PS.

    DIY wooden L-shaped desk, nothing special. One of those posturpedic roller chairs that's doing nothing for my back really.

  • http://coghillcartooning.com George Coghill

    Adobe apps will not be fully up to speed until Adobe makes native OS X/Intel versions, which they said will happen in CS5. I am holding off on 10.6 for a few more weeks, but will be repoting on the blog with my impressions once I do.

  • http://coghillcartooning.com George Coghill

    In the Mac Pro, the RAM can go to 32 GB I believe. Has to be installed in pairs. So, if you go meekly with your upgrades you end up needing to throw out your previous RAM to make room for new. I decided to invest in larger RAM for those slots now.

    The great thing about more RAM (PC or Mac) is that I can run *all* (and I mean all) of my main apps at once, with no slowdowns in any of them.

    Acrobat, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Mail, iCal, iTunes, Safari, etc. etc. I can even run GarageBand or edit movie files (quickly) with all that stuff running! It's kind of insane, but I spend a lot of time in front of the computer so I wanted everything to happen as fast as it can. I jump between apps a lot, so don't like to wait.

    Overall the RAM upgrades were only a few couple hundred bucks total. In the grand scheme of things for my setup, not very much. Especially when it spreads out over the 5-7 years I plan on owning this machine.

    Even though I say it every time, I just can't imagine outgrowing my current setup but somehow it always happens ;)

  • http://coghillcartooning.com George Coghill

    Yeah my drafting table has become a storage space. I also draw on regular laser paper (I like the tooth of laser paper better than copy paper).

  • http://coghillcartooning.com George Coghill

    Upgrade your RAM to 2GB and you'll be amazed. It'll be worth every penny.

  • http://coghillcartooning.com George Coghill

    Nice! You'll love CS4.

  • http://www.geoffmay.com Geoff May
  • http://www.get-sorted.net/ Catherine Cantieri, Sorted

    Lots of awesome systems listed here. I'm planning to replace my 2006 17″ PowerPC PowerBook G4 in the next few months, and I'm getting a lot of good ideas here.

    Any recommendations for someone in the market for a souped-up Mac notebook?

  • http://coghillcartooning.com George Coghill

    Dual monitors are great for throwing your Adobe panels on it to free up the main monitor for just the artwork. I also throw my chat, Twitter app, RSS reader and to-do app Things on the secondary monitor. It's great to dedicate all that real estate to your artwork.

  • http://coghillcartooning.com George Coghill

    I've seen comparisons to off-the-shelf PCs with similar specs to Mac Pros, and the price break isn't very much. I wouldn't have the patience to build my own machine, but if you go that route then the savings are probably substantial, even over buying a ready-made PC. To me it's all an investment and a write-off, so I don't worry about the price too much. Plus, I am an unapologetic Mac geek — so there's that ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/JessGwen Jessica Thompson

    Well, I'm a single mom in my Senior year of college and Freelancing my way through school. Needless to say I'm poor! But I do think I have a decent setup for my situation:

    A Refurbished 13inch macbook 2.1 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo straight from the apple store. Unfortunately only 1 GB of ram. A Wacom Bamboo Fun (Pen Only) that I got for $60 on Amazon, a Canon Powershot A590 IS, my iPod Touch and a 1G flash drive go with me everywhere. As well as earbuds for working in quiet places. This all gets carried in a bag I sewed up myself to specifically carry all these precious things. Oh, and a 5 Star flexible 3 ring binder with grid paper, lined paper, and sketch paper “installed.” I usually have old-fashioned friction based writing implements in there somewhere.

    At home I have a glass & metal desk that is supposed to wrap around a corner, but space in my home would only allow the 2 main sections to be lined up. Just a basic office chair. I also have a Brother MFC-6490CW All-in-one printer that prints & scans 11×17's that I haven't gotten to play with much because I'm rarely home right now. My Samsung monitor doesn't get used much either at the moment. A 500GB hard drive sits on my desk and gets plugged in for Time Machine to do it's thing whenever I think about it. Oh, and a bluetooth keyboard.

    The Graphic Artist Guild's handbook, the Graphic Design Basics Index, The Basics of Style, and Art & Fear are on my “close at hand” shelf, as well as a few others that rotate from the big shelf on PHP, Typography, and Art. I have Da Vinci's La Scapigliata, and an old album cover for the musical Godspell on the wall, and a bunch of flowers my daughter got from a craft store with my mom in a small Metropolitan Museum of Art tote bag.

    As for Software I have CS4 Creative Suite, with Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator on my dock, in that order. I use Coda for almost all of my web work, unless someone specifically wants me to use DreamWeaver. I use “Billings” to keep track of time & invoicing. I was using “Things” for task management until I discovered I could use FlexCal to add things to iCal with a hotkey. And of course, iTunes!

    I've been collecting this stuff for years, and looking at all of it together now is actually pretty rewarding!

  • TornadoAlleyGraphics

    Working on a 20 inch Intel core 2 duo iMac Snow Leopard. For backups I have what I affectionately call my hard drive farm consisting of three 500 GB drives and three 1TB drives. Connected to my iMac is a WACOM Cintiq 12 LCD drawing tablet, an Epson oversize 1640XL scanner, a new Apple Aluminum keyboard, and a Kensignton Expert Mouse pro. For reference photos I use a Canon 12mp Eos Rebel, two USB hubs and one multi card reader. In addition to storage I have 4 16GB USB jump drives for transporting files.

    For software I am using Adobe CS4 design suite mainly PS and Illustrator. Since the upgrade to Snow Leopard I have scaled back my usage of Macromedia Freehand, however I still use Freehand for page layouts on certain projects. Dreamweaver and Fireworks for Web design. Since the purchase of the WACOm Cintiq I have been doing my primary illustrating on it using Corel Painter 11 and Autodesks Sketchbook for roughs and renderings. I still do draw in the “traditional” sense using pencil, paper and pen. Strathmore 400 series smooth for final pieces.

    My work area consists of an office desk that holds all my computer peripherals with a “junk drawer” for gum, rulers, pica scales and other implements of destruction. To my right is a 6 foot Alvin adjustable drafting table that holds a light box for inking pencils, a pencil sharpener, two drafting lights, phone, one Electric eraser (plugs into the wall) and 2 Staedtler battery powered erasers, a tackle box converted to hold drawing supplies is under the desk, a desk organizer that holds paper, pens, pencils and a few reference books. In front of that is a bulletin board that mainly holds family photos. To the left and also behind me are book cases that hold a plethora of reference materials, books, CDs, magazines, etc.

    My office is decorated with framed original interior comic book art by Humberto Ramos, Stuart Immonen, Ed McGuiness, Jim Lee, and Lee Bermejo, several signed Kevin Smith posters, posters signed by bands that i have done work for, and the primary illumination source is handled by 7 beer neons and one light up Spuds Mackenzie Bud light dog. I keep my task list on a full size dry erase Corona Surfboard marque. Overall a VERY fun environment in which to work. This is my spread.

  • http://twitter.com/TomFaraci Tom Faraci

    I play around on a MacBook Pro, 4 gigs of ram and 250 gigs of storage. I have the Adobe CS3 Design Premium package, and jump between Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign most often. I have a Wacom Intuos3 8×12 that I use for digital illustration, and not much else. I find it's quicker to stick to the touch pad for basic navigation. My printer is a Kodak all-in-one scanner/copier/fax/printer and it works for what I need it to. I have a couple of reference books, but the only ones I find myself needing to refer to are the Dreamweaver books.

  • jfoawn

    This is it:

    <img src=”http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h63/jfoawn/photo2.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”Photobucket”>

    Nothing fancy, im usually on the move so i keep it very light.
    2008 Toshiba laptop if im not wrong.
    2GB ram
    logitech wireless mouse (perfect for watching movies on my screen, is like a remote :D )
    Vizio 26″ LCD/TV, rearely use it for design, 1024 X 768 max resolution so it defeats the purpose, mainly use it to watch movies.
    500 GB External HD

    As far as software: Adobe CS3, mainly Illustrator photoshop, dreamweaver, flash. Also, ITunes DJ always on, Aim, Firefox, and couple small programs that Go media posted, Like task bar shuffle, extended monitor, ect.

    Thats about it, furniture wise, you see the table and a regular computer chair, nothing fancy. Other than what ever you see around it i dont use.

    Inspiration i get from the net.

  • http://twitter.com/cazimier Caralyn Karaitis

    I get to play on a PC at work, don't know the specs of the system, but it is a heck of a lot better than the last tower they gave me. We are still on CS3, haven't been able to talk the boss in to the upgrade yet, CS5 will be out by then perhaps. I can remote access to the tower from home and work from home on the tower so I cannot complain a bit. The iMac at home is now outdated. It runs CS slowly but I doubt it will work with the newest Adobe suites. We don't have any special toys or gadgets. I have a tinge of “toy envy”…
    I gave up on reference books because technology and trends change too fast for books to keep up with. Go-Media and other sites like it are my more up to date so I get my inspiration from, effectively, all of you.
    I have a moderate office chair and a horrible egonomic desk set up (it was made for shorter people). I work in cube city, but it can be as dull as a library sometimes. My desk is a mess and I refuse to clean it up because it's just going to get messed up again anyway. I try to decorate a bit for the holidays and have as much fun as with my cube mates as noise levels will allow. Headphone and CDs are a necesity to focus at times.
    Now I believe one of the Blank Canvas requests was to offer up ideas for upcoming posts… well what is the trend? Do you build in CMYK or RGB? I've heard there is a lot of color conversion and color loss if you start in CMYK because all the periferals are RGB based and need to convert colors before printing… So it was suggested to me to build in RGB and coverting to CMYK at the final output or PDF was the solution. What are your thoughts?

  • Mike Shoaf

    I'll throw in on this one. My home setup is a White 20″ C2D iMac (with plans to go to a 24″ aluminum iMac very soon). 3GB ram (maxed). Factory-stock keyboard. 8.5-year-old Wacom Intuos 1 9×12 that is just now starting to show some age and getting flaky on me. Contour Design Shuttle Xpress (supposed to be a video controller, but I've been using it the same way most pros would use Wacom's Intuos 3/4 ExpressKeys — works awesome!). I have a Contour Design MiniPro mouse so the wife & kids can use the computer, but I hardly ever touch the mouse. Got 3 external drives: two backups and one just an archive. Epson 1650 Scanner. Printer is an Epson 1400.

    Running Leopard and CS4… efficiently as long as my wife doesn't leave Safari running on her side of the login.

    The desk is an old steel monstrosity I rescued from the scrap bin at work. I'm guessing it's a late-1950s or 1960's model. I semi-restored it by putting a new surface on the top and repainted it with silver hammertone paint. Chair is a comfy black leather deal from Staples. Doesn't really look right with the desk, but it does the job.

    When I'm doing traditional drawing, I head out to the kitchen table.

    Reference material is mostly kept in a closet. (Studio is a spare bedroom in my house.) I DESPISE office clutter, so I try to keep a lot of stuff hidden. I do have a few vintage car ads framed, and a collection of North Carolina license plates (ranging from 1932-1972), as well as a few hubcaps and some of my own art on the walls.

    Thanks everybody for sharing your setups! I dig seeing how different people work!

  • http://www.geoffmay.com Geoff May

    Building your own machine is like building something out of Legos. It's surprisingly easy. Like I said, I'm a big fan of OS X. Just not digging the reliability issues I've had with my MBP or the bad customer service I received at the Apple store. I'd rather just provide my own support.

  • Neri

    Kinda contradictive, no?

    “No more Mac for me, overrated” “I'm in the process of building a Hackintosh”..

    You think mac is overrated, but dare not go back to a normal pc? At least go linux or something instead of building your own mac when you say you're never going to buy one again..

    Also I use cs4 photoshop and illustrator on my macbook pro 15″ mid 2009 with snow leopard. Kind of a mobile office, so I tend to move around, from my desk to the couch to my bed, to clients. Pretty much anywhere. I haven't hooked up my bamboo since I got this macbook pro.

  • http://www.geoffmay.com Geoff May

    Not contradictive at all. I like OS X but hate Apple's overpriced proprietary hardware. I can build a $1500 Hackintosh that has better specs than a $4500 Mac. If you're happy with your mac, great. But don't turn this into a Mac vs. PC pissing contest. Some people prefer different stuff. OK. Back to people's design setups.

  • http://www.twitter.com/gfxmaven gfxmaven

    If you don't mind overspending then go for the Macbook Pro 17 laptop. If you want the beautiful OSX at a reasonable cost then a Hackintosh is the way to go. You may also want to look at a Windows 7 machine for the best dollar to performance ratio as well as a pretty good OS (but if you already have a catalog of design software for OSX then I'd say stick with a Mac/Hackintosh).

  • drocka

    Lottsa great setups here!
    On the Desk:
    Running Dual 2.3 Ghz G5 Power PC. Dual 22 inch monitors. An older Intuos tablet. M-Audio firewire 410 interface. XBox 360. Adobe everything. A lamp with a wooden monkey wrapped around it covering his eyes. An old music box with a little cigarette holding dog that pops out of the top. Main caddy corner desk and another old adjustable drawing table.

    On the Wall:
    Obey Posters: Joe Stummer , Chuck D and Flav, Bouncing Souls show poster.
    Brian Ewing: Hot Water Music show poster
    And a sweet drawing of a bat clutching a guitar from my 6 year old niece.

    Got work to spring for a new 3.06GHz Intel iMac and all software upgrades (except AE and Final Cut, since they don't require me to do any video or motion graphics).

    I love my home setup, but am bummed about the lack of Power PC support now. So I gotta upgrade. I like the ideas being tossed around in here about buiding a Hackintosh (love osX). Being able to spend that extra “mac tax” on a new tablet and AE upgrade. I am super interested to see how stable they have been performing for other designers!

  • jglovier

    First, did you all know about wherewedowhatwedo.com? You can see my home office here: http://wherewedowhatwedo.com/spaces/2016-joel-a

    I have an overtaxed Gateway GM5446 with a Core 2 Duo VIIV processor and 6 GB of RAM, two internal hard drives (500 GB and 600 GB – one just for Ps scratch disk space), an external 500 GB eSATA drive where I store ALL my client projects and most of my design resources (including the GoMedia Arsenal, et. al.), and a 256MB Nvidia graphics card. I run Vista Ultimate 64 (uuuughhh…) and Adobe CS4 Design Premium, Xara3D and C4D most of the time.

    My monitor is a 24″ Gateway FPD2485W and calibrated using Adobe Gamma (RIP) and it's built in calibration software, although I'm awaiting my Amazon purchase of Huey to arrive in the mail shortly. But this monitor has AMAZING color accuracy and display at 500nits. I bought almost 2.5 years ago new with my PC.

    I use an OLD SCHOOL cream colored PS2 keyboard because of months of USB issues in Vista, and a really slick Logitech 5 button wireless mouse. I got a sweet Microsoft eyeball webcam sitting high atop my 24″, and work with only one monitor these days b/c I gave my dad my second 15″ eMachines monitor to use with my old eMachines PC for surfing the web.

    I use a HP Laserjet P1006 black laser printer, and a Cannon LIDE600F scanner. And I still use my lightbox to sketch stuff from time to time. And I do have a graphics tablet, but unlike many of you guys I rarely use it. Partly because it was given to me and it's a real tiny 4″ x 6″ old Wacom, but also partly because I'm just really used to the mouse and keyboard workflow.

    This stuff is all for my personal business (JAG Design Ideas) and have been using most of it since spring of 2007, although I did plunk close to a grand into beefing up my PC earlier this year, adding the extra couple GB of RAM, installing 64 bit Vista, my second internal hard drive and the external one.

    I recently started a new position as Web & Graphic Designer at CURE International and it was a new position they created so I had the rare chance to request new hardware for everything and give all my input. Got a really sweet set-up there, but ask if you wanna know…

  • Simon H.

    I just want to clarify something: it's my video card that has 512 Mb of VRAM, my actual laptop has 4 Gb of DDRAM ;-)
    But I'll still take a mac pro under my Xmas tree :-p

  • ademonc

    Nice setup guys i have a hakingtosh i semi built i had a core 2 quad hp pavillion elite that the motherboard just happen to be perfect for running osx so it runs flawless it also has a built in wireless n card that also works perfectly i maxed out my ram to 8 gigs and upgraded my power supply to 800 watts im also running a nvidia 8500gt oc. i did a retail instal of snow leopard so no problems with updates or anything. im also running cs4 i use mostly illustrator photoshop indesign and occasionaly dreamweaver.

  • EmptyWallet

    I bounce between a few systems depending on my needs. I have a Windows Vista system to keep my business afloat, records and whatnot, but it can be added to a renderfarm with just a few clicks. My main editing system is a little out-dated and a soon to be upgraded Pentium II 1.98GHz, 4GB RAM, with 250GB internal + 3.5TB external (spread across multiple drives) running Windows XP and editing in Sony Vegas Pro 7. My portable workstation is a MacBook Pro running Snow Leopard and the Adobe CS4 Production Suite as well as Final Cut, Logic and Pro Tools. -yeah, I'm all over the map, but it keeps me going at the moment.

  • http://www.alanvalek.com/ Alan Valek

    · Mac, duh. Mac Pro Dual Xeon 2.93 / 16gb ram
    · CS4
    · Wacom Intous 4 Large / 30″ Apple Cinema Display / Epson R2880 / Drobo
    · Too many books to name or let you know of, ha ha. “Fucked up and Photocopied” is a fav though.
    · Aeron Chair / George Nelson Desk

  • xRollinx

    I think I’ve got the coolest setup you’ll ever see. Computer is a tad mediocre, but does a fantastic job!

    I’ve got a custom built PC that I have been upgrading over the last year. So far, its got 4GB of RAM, and a GeForce 9600 GT video card by BFG. I’ve also got a dual screen setup with dual 21.5” Samsung monitors, not to mention a Dell Studio 17 laptop on the side. Currently running 32-bit Vista, I’ll be upgrading to Windows 7 Ultimate once I attend the developer conference in Seattle!

    Software wise, I’m totally into Adobe CS4 Master Collection, mostly Fireworks and Photoshop. I’m running RocketDock, which creates a Mac like dock for me at the top of my screen. I’ve installed the Hypderdesk Darkmatter: Subspace Windows Vista theme which makes my computer look and feel GORGEOUS. Highly recommend you guys look at that one, I like to use it with this wallpaper (http://desk08.customize.org/wallpaper/126). I use Display Fusion to extend my taskbar to my 2nd monitor and quickly throws windows across monitors rather than me having to minimize, drag, and then maximize. Trillian Astra organizes my contacts, twitter, facebook, myspace, and email accounts all at once.

    I’ve also got a cool speaker setup. I’m rocking the Bose Companion 5 multimedia speaker system which is wired to my iTouch dock station. Thus, my iTouch constantly plays my Desktopography 2008 and 2009 albums which you can buy here: http://www.desktopography.net/ I find that music very inspiring when I work away!

    Something you guys should consider is getting a macros keyboard! I’m rocking a G19 Keyboard from Logitech. Although it’s designed for on-the-fly macro recording for games, I find this particularly useful when I am designing to speed up functions I perform often but don’t have keyboard shortcuts for. I can program copy and paste, which takes 4 key strokes all into 1. Very cool!

    Being a musician, I’ve got the coolest keyboard on the planet in my office – the Roland Fantom G8 with realistic ivory feel weighted keys. Not only does it make my office look sexy, it makes incredible music that I’ve used for web projects and more.

    I’ve got a 6’ sword mounted on my wall based off of the movie “Final Fantasy Advent Children,” yes the one that Sephiroth used!!! Another sweet touch in my office is the use of a 16’ LED strip I got from Home Depot which I use as a lining around my desk to create a very cool glow against the wall and my desk.

    Of course, I’m rocking an executive office chair, a huge U shaped desk, tons of external hard drives, and a 60” glass board. I’ve got some interface design books, management resources, Joel Bauer’s book “How to Persuade People who Don’t Want to be Persuaded” (LOL) and will soon have the Smashing Magazine book! Can’t wait!!!

  • xRollinx

    I think I’ve got the coolest setup you’ll ever see. Computer is a tad mediocre, but does a fantastic job!

    I’ve got a custom built PC that I have been upgrading over the last year. So far, its got 4GB of RAM, and a GeForce 9600 GT video card by BFG. I’ve also got a dual screen setup with dual 21.5” Samsung monitors, not to mention a Dell Studio 17 laptop on the side. Currently running 32-bit Vista, I’ll be upgrading to Windows 7 Ultimate once I attend the developer conference in Seattle!

    Software wise, I’m totally into Adobe CS4 Master Collection, mostly Fireworks and Photoshop. I’m running RocketDock, which creates a Mac like dock for me at the top of my screen. I’ve installed the Hypderdesk Darkmatter: Subspace Windows Vista theme which makes my computer look and feel GORGEOUS. Highly recommend you guys look at that one, I like to use it with this wallpaper (http://desk08.customize.org/wallpaper/126). I use Display Fusion to extend my taskbar to my 2nd monitor and quickly throw windows across monitors rather than me having to minimize, drag, and then maximize. Trillian Astra organizes my contacts, twitter, facebook, myspace, and email accounts all at once.

    I’ve also got a cool speaker setup. I’m rocking the Bose Companion 5 multimedia speaker system which is wired to my iTouch dock station. Thus, my iTouch constantly plays my Desktopography 2008 and 2009 albums which you can buy here: http://www.desktopography.net/ I find that music very inspiring when I work away!

    Something you guys should consider is getting a macros keyboard! I’m rocking a G19 Keyboard from Logitech. Although it’s designed for on-the-fly macro recording for games, I find this particularly useful when I am designing to speed up functions I perform often but don’t have keyboard shortcuts for. I can program copy and paste, which takes 4 key strokes all into 1. Very cool!

    Being a musician, I’ve got the coolest keyboard on the planet in my office – the Roland Fantom G8 with realistic ivory feel weighted keys. Not only does it make my office look sexy, it makes incredible music that I’ve used for web projects and more.

    I’ve got a 6’ sword mounted on my wall based off of the movie “Final Fantasy Advent Children,” yes the one that Sephiroth used!!! Another sweet touch in my office is the use of a 16’ LED strip I got from Home Depot which I use as a lining around my desk to create a very cool glow against the wall and my desk.

    Of course, I’m rocking an executive office chair, a huge U shaped desk, tons of external hard drives, and a 60” glass board. I’ve got some interface design books, management resources, Joel Bauer’s book “How to Persuade People who Don’t Want to be Persuaded” (LOL) and will soon have the Smashing Magazine book! Can’t wait!!!

  • xRollinx

    Light source behind the monitor? That sounds like a great idea. What would you recommend for a dual screen setup that is not against the wall but rather on the corner of a L shaped desk?

  • studiosixfive

    Currently I am working on a PC. Sony VAIO from 2004 when I graduated high school. Scary enough this PC outlasted my Dell XPS which I bought before I graduated university.

    Adobe CS3 for me with a little Quark on the side.

    Mainly I use the mouse, but I have a Wacom Bamboo, and I always use a scanner.

    Heavy Hitters Magazine and Complex Magazine, Sorry not a fan of How, But I do love Computer Arts Mag.

    My inspiration comes from my drive to succede and my passion for following my heart no matter what.

    A nice big leather one.

  • drezz

    I've been working for this agency for about 9 years now and I've gone through a number of iterations of workstations! All Macs as well, I might add. BUT – I am 'ambidextrous' and use a PC workstation at home to keep myself in tune with the capabilities and limitations from both sides.

    Currently, at the office I have:
    G5 PowerPC with OSX 10.5 and 4 GB of ram
    23″ Cinema Display
    Adobe Suite CS3
    A Graphire 3 Tablet – its so old it matches the G4 housing… but like a Timex, takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'.

    On the desk – client dockets, a pic of me and my wife in Cuba, my sketchbook for my comic, a couple of plastic table hockey players(the flat ones), and other drawing paraphenalia – not terribly exciting. I prefer to keep the workplace austere and the thought process vibrant – if I want inspiration I'll plop down on the couch beside the desk and scan through our print media library.

    At home:
    Dell P4 2.53 Ghz w/ 1GB of Ram
    A Graphire 4 tablet (ooh – movin on up!)
    A 19″ widescreen monitor
    Adobe Suite CS4
    All my art supplies (quills, paints and traditional media from pencils to markers etc)

    My bookshelves house my graphic Novel collection + my resource collection. Its a bookcase built into the stairs of my basement. Its great for tucking away all sorts of goodies.

    I could work in a closet if I have to – so long as I have a sketchbook and some pens, I'm good to go!

  • xRollinx

    I think I’ve got the coolest setup you’ll ever see. Computer is a tad mediocre, but does a fantastic job!

    I’ve got a custom built PC that I have been upgrading over the last year. So far, its got 4GB of RAM, and a GeForce 9600 GT video card by BFG. I’ve also got a dual screen setup with dual 21.5” Samsung monitors, not to mention a Dell Studio 17 laptop on the side. Currently running 32-bit Vista, I’ll be upgrading to Windows 7 Ultimate once I attend the developer conference in Seattle!

    Software wise, I’m totally into Adobe CS4 Master Collection, mostly Fireworks and Photoshop. I’m running RocketDock, which creates a Mac like dock for me at the top of my screen. I’ve installed the Hypderdesk Darkmatter: Subspace Windows Vista theme which makes my computer look and feel GORGEOUS. Highly recommend you guys look at that one, I like to use it with this wallpaper (http://desk08.customize.org/wallpaper/126). I use Display Fusion to extend my taskbar to my 2nd monitor and quickly throw windows across monitors rather than me having to minimize, drag, and then maximize. Trillian Astra organizes my contacts, twitter, facebook, myspace, and email accounts all at once.

    I’ve also got a cool speaker setup. I’m rocking the Bose Companion 5 multimedia speaker system which is wired to my iTouch dock station. Thus, my iTouch constantly plays my Desktopography 2008 and 2009 albums which you can buy here: http://www.desktopography.net/ I find that music very inspiring when I work away!

    Something you guys should consider is getting a macros keyboard! I’m rocking a G19 Keyboard from Logitech. Although it’s designed for on-the-fly macro recording for games, I find this particularly useful when I am designing to speed up functions I perform often but don’t have keyboard shortcuts for. I can program copy and paste, which takes 4 key strokes all into 1. Very cool!

    Being a musician, I’ve got the coolest keyboard on the planet in my office – the Roland Fantom G8 with realistic ivory feel weighted keys. Not only does it make my office look sexy, it makes incredible music that I’ve used for web projects and more.

    I’ve got a 6’ sword mounted on my wall based off of the movie “Final Fantasy Advent Children,” yes the one that Sephiroth used!!! Another sweet touch in my office is the use of a 16’ LED strip I got from Home Depot which I use as a lining around my desk to create a very cool glow against the wall and my desk.

    Of course, I’m rocking an executive office chair, a huge U shaped desk, tons of external hard drives, and a 60” glass board. I’ve got some interface design books, management resources, Joel Bauer’s book “How to Persuade People who Don’t Want to be Persuaded” (LOL) and will soon have the Smashing Magazine book! Can’t wait!!!

  • xRollinx

    I think I’ve got the coolest setup you’ll ever see. Computer is a tad mediocre, but does a fantastic job!

    I’ve got a custom built PC that I have been upgrading over the last year. So far, its got 4GB of RAM, and a GeForce 9600 GT video card by BFG. I’ve also got a dual screen setup with dual 21.5” Samsung monitors, not to mention a Dell Studio 17 laptop on the side. Currently running 32-bit Vista, I’ll be upgrading to Windows 7 Ultimate once I attend the developer conference in Seattle!

    Software wise, I’m totally into Adobe CS4 Master Collection, mostly Fireworks and Photoshop. I’m running RocketDock, which creates a Mac like dock for me at the top of my screen. I’ve installed the Hypderdesk Darkmatter: Subspace Windows Vista theme which makes my computer look and feel GORGEOUS. Highly recommend you guys look at that one, I like to use it with this wallpaper (http://desk08.customize.org/wallpaper/126). I use Display Fusion to extend my taskbar to my 2nd monitor and quickly throw windows across monitors rather than me having to minimize, drag, and then maximize. Trillian Astra organizes my contacts, twitter, facebook, myspace, and email accounts all at once.

    I’ve also got a cool speaker setup. I’m rocking the Bose Companion 5 multimedia speaker system which is wired to my iTouch dock station. Thus, my iTouch constantly plays my Desktopography 2008 and 2009 albums which you can buy here: http://www.desktopography.net/ I find that music very inspiring when I work away!

    Something you guys should consider is getting a macros keyboard! I’m rocking a G19 Keyboard from Logitech. Although it’s designed for on-the-fly macro recording for games, I find this particularly useful when I am designing to speed up functions I perform often but don’t have keyboard shortcuts for. I can program copy and paste, which takes 4 key strokes all into 1. Very cool!

    Being a musician, I’ve got the coolest keyboard on the planet in my office – the Roland Fantom G8 with realistic ivory feel weighted keys. Not only does it make my office look sexy, it makes incredible music that I’ve used for web projects and more.

    I’ve got a 6’ sword mounted on my wall based off of the movie “Final Fantasy Advent Children,” yes the one that Sephiroth used!!! Another sweet touch in my office is the use of a 16’ LED strip I got from Home Depot which I use as a lining around my desk to create a very cool glow against the wall and my desk.

    Of course, I’m rocking an executive office chair, a huge U shaped desk, tons of external hard drives, and a 60” glass board. I’ve got some interface design books, management resources, Joel Bauer’s book “How to Persuade People who Don’t Want to be Persuaded” (LOL) and will soon have the Smashing Magazine book! Can’t wait!!!

  • http://twitter.com/jackkeller Jack Keller

    2.4GHz Core2duo MacBook teamed to a 24″ Samsung T240 display. 4Gb ram, 500Gb Seagate 7200 internal. Wireless KB & M, 6×8 tablet and cheaply tossed together stained black desk. Random assortment of external HD's for weekly and daily clones (lost data once … once).

  • roypipeloi

    Here's what it I work on.

    Custom build system:
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5
    CPU: Intel i7-940 2.933 GHz
    Ram: 12 GB Corsair DDR3 1600 MHZ
    GPU: Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB DDR3 (old but still working)
    Sound: Soundblaster audigy 2 ZS platinum pro ( old but still good)
    HDD: several drives, western digital and Maxtor ( 8 build in the system) Total space: 6 TB

    The OS I work on is Windows Vista Busines 64 bit. ( need to get windows 7 though). I'm thinking of building a hackingtosh ( using the efi-x dongle) but I'm not quite sure. Advise is always welcome!
    I use a gaming mouse from logitech because u can adjust the mouse speed with buttons that are on the mouse. I find that realy nice when i do some detailed work.
    The software I use are Adobe master collection CS4, Maxon cinema 4D, Ableton suite 8. I use Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks and Dreamweaver the most.
    I still use a CRT display because I'm saving up some money to buy 3 nice Eizo 24″ displays. My desk is also a custum build, but it needs replacement. Going to buy an IKEA galant set, thats a nice desk I think.
    The chair I use is a great one, everything is adjustable, you can even setup the suspension to you bodyweight. I need a good chair to work on because I had some back problems in the past because of bad chairs.
    I also have some good speakers [Behringer Ms40 Speaker Set - studio monitors], I also make some weird noise with Ableton ( I call it music, but most people don't) and then its nice to have some good speakers.
    For my inspiration I look outside, read a book, listen to some good music (rock, pop, dance, what ever!), well i put inspiration out everything i do, even going to the toilet! The bookcase that stands in my living room is filled with reference books. ( I buy them chaep on marktplaats, a dutch website like ebay)

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