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What is everyone's work space like?

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  • What is everyone's work space like?

    I'm a freelance graphic designer, I just recently moved from New York to Colorado. I'm trying to figure out how to set up my "design office" at home.

    I have a regular sized Ikea desk that I put my macbook pro on, as well as a decently high specced homebuilt windows desktop. I also have a record player and vintage receiver I scored for free that i thought would be great to listen to while I work. Has anyone else done this? I also have a Wacom drawing tablet that I love for detailed illustrations. I know this is the typical graphic student equipment, nothing fancy no mac pro's here but we all start somewhere Anyways, I'm sure this has been asked before but I couldn't find anything recent in the search;

    Whats your workspace like? maybe post a picture of how you set your desk and equipment and/or decoration. Thanks guys I need some inspiration!
    Last edited by PanToshi; 07-19-2016, 11:50 AM.

  • #2
    Hi sczahra, welcome to GDF.

    We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.


    My workspace has the tools I need, an iMac, wacom tablet, DSLR and assorted camera accoutrement, a lot of empty desk space, sketchbooks, pens, pencils, markers, a window to outside and food nearby.
    Design is not decoration.


    • sczahra
      sczahra commented
      Editing a comment
      Sorry is there any way to edit my previous post? I didn't preview it and I didn't realize that I made it annoying to read haha.

    • PanToshi
      PanToshi commented
      Editing a comment
      You can edit your posts but only for a few minutes afterwards. However, you have to get past your first few posts before you can. In the meantime, I fixed your formatting for you.

    • sczahra
      sczahra commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks PanToshi!

  • #3
    I think I have a desk under all this junk. I know because there's a phone, 2 monitors, a keyboard and a soda coozie mac here and I'm fresh outta antigrav devices, so it must be a desk. It's covered in papers, fabric swatches, a bunch of vinyl selectors. Ah, here's a scale rule and a bunch of pens and a pair of pliers. Scissors seem to be missing though. Hmm....

    I have some plants over by the window and some shelves with my Pantone decks and an office printer. There's a whole wall of project notebooks, all various things done over the years. A whole bunch of colorful fabric print proofs kinda festoon one corner.
    A bulletin board covered with various things from speed dial numbers to a decimal equivalent chart plus some really cool print samples and fabric swatch decks. There's a photocopier and a fax machine. Yes, some of my vendors still use fax (mostly metal fabricators but a couple print vendors too, for contracts.)

    No music though. Music is only allowed out in the shop while doing piecework. When in the office I'm doing prepress or quotes so absolutely no distractions when working on client files or doing math.

    Best part? It's air-conditioned.

    Second best part?, It has a door.


    • #4
      My workspace is like a cave… Not too much hanging around on my desk, but I always keep my black curtains closed, never put on the central light, only have a small table light to see my keyboard keys. Have a tv next to my computer (iMac) that is constantly on a movie channel or on a radiochannel, that doesn't distract me it keeps me vigilant. There is a Wacom that dates from 1999 (thank you Prince) and does a perfect job if I handle it correctly and the coffee machine is just 10 steps away… Heaven


      • #5
        My old work space had a 5 foot wide composite desk with a bookshelf built into the end. My stepdad is a carpenter and hooked me up with some scrap material from work. I had a 10 gallon fishtank, I've grown accustomed to the noise of the filter but it is very distracting haha. My tv was mounted above it but if I was at the desk I wouldn't be watching it. There was a mess of pens and pencils and markers and micron pens in various mason jars unorganized. Lava lamp, which I was paranoid to leave on with papers on my desk it got pretty warm. I used to have an iMac on it but the graphics chip fried. My main computer is my 2011 15" Macbook pro i7, it is seriously worn and dented! It rode with me during a car accident a few years ago and still works! A cheap but comfortable office chair is important, I used to have a stool but don't do that to yourself haha! So does anyone have any pictures? I want to see how it really looks when its used all the time rather than a staged google image of an Ikea display


        • #6
          My workspace is a corner in my living room. That's because I spend far more time maintaining my home life than earning a living. 10 years ago it was a desk in the den when my kids were barely walking. I decided to move to the living room when I saw (on remote camera) one of my laughing kids clubbing the other screaming kid with a blunt object.

          Now I sit on a recliner in the corner with the same 1st generation MacBook Pro I bought new at the time of the move. When I need more computing power or just need to multitask, I just screen share with one of the (2 newer, 1 older) 3 desktops I've brought since then. I sometimes use the same monitor that we use to watch TV and movies in the living room for some of my work. My wife and daughters hate it.

          My biggest problems with this setup is distractions and not remembering to get up and stretch. I will probably die from something related to prolonged sitting, or lying. But at least I can take cat naps without having to get up.

          I have multiple Windows machines too, but mostly for compatibility checking and games. Overall, there is about 20 computers in my house, not counting tablets or PDAs. Sometimes I restore old computers for the same geeky reason people like to restore old cars. There's another half dozen ancient computers in the garage that I should donate to a computer museum already.


          • #7
            I feel you designzombie, I like to play with old computers AND old cars, so I'm on the way to an episode of Hoarders as well! haha. In fact most of my computer fixing knowledge is with the older stuff, I could probably tell you more about Mac OS9 than the newest OSX. I feel like being old school sometimes can add to the character in my work. Rather than being the design equivalent to a silver honda civic, I'd much rather have my stuff pop like a classic car.

            That's why I'm thinking to surround my desk with decorations and appliances of character, like my stereo and record player. I also had an expensive but short lived hobby with Polaroid cameras and I might throw them on a shelf above it with some of my color charts and assorted design books for easy access.
            Last edited by KitchWitch; 07-22-2016, 11:30 AM.


            • #8
              My workplace is like a storage, really. I put everything in one place. My husband always wonders how can I find something there. But i like my creative mess.


              • #9
                My workspace is often covered in a cat or three. There are also often Legos covering a lot of it (let's say that they belong to my son...). It also doubles as my writing desk and home for my fountain pen collection. It is not the most practical work space, but I've made it work for me.


                • #10
                  My workplace is in my sister's room. She has a lot of light and plants in there. And I like bugging her while I'm working.
                  The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.


                  • #11
                    I've been freelancing full time for 6 months so I'm still working out more efficient ways of doing things, though I feel like I've got my office set up pretty well now.

                    I work from home and my workspace is about a third of our living room, along one wall. I have an huge table (actually a 6 seater dining table) with my iMac, a printer/scanner, an A3 drawing lightbox, a plant, some art supplies, my camera and one photography stuff, and archive boxes of my top 5 clients. I also have a 3 drawer filing cabinet for archived job bags and a small bookshelf beside my computer for current client files. I love having a big table to spread out on and I can have my illustration stuff out without having to pack it up when I want to work on my computer. I have an extra chair in case a client comes by, though I generally hold meetings on the couch because it's more comfortable.

                    I have a whiteboard and a wall planner with a to do list that I update constantly to keep me on track. I store my photography shooting table under the dining table as well as some other junk.

                    Because it's also our living room, we have couches and a TV in the same room. The TV is my husband's computer monitor. It feels quite social as my husband is often on the couch which is just a metre from me but we can both be together while concentrating on our own thing and we can easily show each other our monitors if we feel like sharing. I'm not sure I would want a separate room for an office. I'm a bit of a workaholic so it's nice to be able to "hang out" in the lounge while I work, rather than being in a different room.

                    I had lots of plants in here but I realised this room didn't get enough light for them and they were suffering so we're down to one shade-loving plant. At least I have a nice view of our messy green garden from my desk so I don't feel too "indoors".

                    For someone starting out, I recommend a mono laser printer/scanner and a whiteboard and wall planner. You can get all these for under $100US.
                    It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" – Winnie the Pooh






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