design solutions

Design Solutions For The 21st Century

If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that new design solutions to problems will arise each and every day. The other thing you can count on is that new problems will rear their heads!

Thankfully, breakthroughs and innovation show no signs of slowing down. This is great for our personal lives, but it’s even better for our professional lives.

Think of it from the standpoint of a designer. You’re no longer relegated to pens and paper. You’ve got an array of amazing tools at your fingertips with which you can complete tasks. It doesn’t just end with design tools, but you’ve also got weapons that will allow you to take on organizational tasks and admin tasks. It’s a new year now, and whether you’re ramping up your career options, or starting life out as your own boss, you’re going to need solutions to the issues that this year will bring to you.

design solutions


Let’s start off with the simple gear. You’re going to need a laptop if you’re designing (freelance or contracted, you might need to be portable). There are plenty of options available for you to purchase from Apple’s latest MacBook Pro which is going to pack 16gb of ram on a Mac OSX that’s optimized for design to a Lenovo Z70. What do you need to look for in a laptop? Well if you’re a designer, you’re going to want a decent sized screen (don’t go over 15 inches though, you need to be mobile here!) and plenty of RAM. Think of RAM as your desk, the bigger the desk, the more space you have to work on, the more you can store on the desk to actively work on. If you limit your RAM you’re not going to have a lot of space to work with. As a designer, you’re going to need space. That means, you’re going to need RAM. RAM is going to be useless without a good CPU or processor though and there’s no point in developing graphics without a graphics card that cannot display them. Take all of this into account when choosing your laptop.

design solutions for the 21st century


It doesn’t all have to be laptop based; tablets are amazing as amazing design tools thanks to the large surface of their screen and the touch screens which allow for a stylus to be used. It’s a natural drawing surface. The Microsoft Surface and iPad Pro offer an experience that is probably more natural than that of a laptop.

If you prefer sticking to the sketchbooks, there are plenty of options for you. No matter the sketchbook you use, there are ways you can digitize your concepts and transfer them into digital materials to be edited on a computer. This can be as easy as scanning your images, using a camera to capture the sketch, or digitizing it via an app like EverNote. Just make sure you keep all the physical copies safe from the dangers of rain and water.

In terms of unique options, a 3D printer could do wonders for your work. If your design relies on high-concept ideas and prototypes, a 3D printer could win you jobs via pitching. If you are tasked with drawing buildings, a 3D printer will allow you to create a physical render of your drawings. A 3D Printer can provide you with instant prototypes! If you’re looking to win over clients this year, you could really wow them with the help of a 3D printer, and you should probably research on how to start with 3D printing!

Most solutions you’ll need for this year likely won’t be actually related to producing your work. Freelancers need to keep on track of their tasks and apps like Wunderlist can help them stay on the path. Not only that but accounting software like Quickbooks allows you to keep track of your budget and the tax that you may owe. If you need work, sites like Fiverr, Elance and Odesk can allow you to work with clients from around the globe.

Innovations and developments will never, ever stop. This means that for every new problem that arises, a solution is right around the corner. It’s important to take advantage of these and to not create pointless headaches for yourself, especially if you are self-employed. Technology is going to be an asset for you if you allow it to, but it’s easy to stay stuck in your ways. Embrace the possibilities and let the developments of the 21st century provide for you.

My name is Sarah Sparkle, a Web and Graphic designer. I am passionate about all things design related including web, character, and graphic design.

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