What monitor(s) are you currently using?

Hello, I’m new to the forum and found this site during my endless search for a new monitor to replace my older Thunderbolt Display. BenQ PD3220U, Asus Pro Art PA329C and Dell U3223QE are my top picks at the moment but I keep going back and forth on whether to go 27" or 32". I’m mainly design art for t-shirts, color separations and some general print work.

Just curious what monitor(s) others are currently using for graphic design and they would buy for their next monitor. Price range is around $1000. The Dell is actually pretty low right now.

Appreciate any replies.

I don’t have any personal experience with any of those, but I’ve heard good things about the Dell UltraSharp monitors.

Thanks. I also hear good things about Dell Ultrasharp and the price has dropped recently on this one. The other 2 have 100% Adobe RGB, but everything else is fairly similar. Curious what designers are using these days with so many options out there. Every review I see on monitors tends to focus on photography, video editing or gaming so not very useful.

I have an iMac, but there is probably a Mac Mini or Mac Studio in my near future, so I’ve been looking at monitors a bit, too. I’d say a photographer’s needs in a monitor are going to be pretty similar to a designer’s needs.

You probably won’t find a better display than the Eizo CS2731-BK.

Eizo is famous for making top-level displays for all kinds color-critical work.

You should also buy a Calibrite ColorChecker Display Pro or Plus colorimeter to calibrate the display.

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Thanks. That may be a good option. I wasn’t even considering Eizo because I didn’t think they’d have anything in that price range. I have a Spyder X Pro I’m using now to calibrate.

After my good old white NEC 2690 wuxi2 I got the Benq SW271c but only because of its HDR-10 compatibility in hope for smoother greyscales with Affinity under MacOS.
Otherwise I would have gone for one of the Eizos in this list which also include budget models which do not meet my needs though

The better none budget 30" were too expensive for my needs except for Benqs bigger brother SW321c which is weirdly worse then the 27"

I use two smaller additional cheaper portrait displays on both sides to the main display for tools and stuff which seems more ergonomic to me and more affordable than a 30"

Essential to me are

  • Adobe RGB coverage
  • Hardware calibration
  • Color accuracy
  • Matt/anti-glare display surface which is almost impossible at high pixel density. With 4k or 5k I would probably go for a 30" today.

I’m afraid the Mac Studio will not appear with M2 or M3 chips.
I gave back my Mac Studio for an MacBook to travel. Otherwise the Mini M2 Pro would have been perfect for me (maybe before I started video editing).

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iiyama ProLite 27in LCD Computer

What type of graphic design are you doing? Can you be more specific to your needs? Web/print/animation/gaming/video/3d rendering???

I am mainly creating designs and separations for screen printing t-shirts. I also color correct a lot of images, but just for web. I’m really tired off the glossy screen on my Thunderbolt Display and not having it on a mount. I have have a Huion 22 pro on am ergo arm that’s used for a 2nd monitor and I just pull it down when using as a drawing screen.

My main requirements are:

  • Matte screen - Realized how much a prefer a matte screen when I set up the Huion beside the TBD
  • 30–32" inches (although I haven’t tried one see see how I like the scaling) so also considering 27"
  • Color accuracy
  • Brightness - How many nits enough for a fairly bright office.

The Dell U3223QE is now $750 (100% Rec 709, 100% sRGB, 98% DCI-P3) No mention of Adobe
RGB but this is always in the top 5 recommended for artists.

All of my research got me wondering what designers are using these days with all of the options out there. Very interested in the comments.

BenQ PD2700U or Dell UltraSharp U3219Q

If I was you and it was my decision.

Thanks for the input. I see the U3219Q mentioned a lot. Same price as the U322QE so I’ll have to check the specs on those and see what the difference is. I originally planned on buying the PD2700U or the PD2705U but I’ve read that the brightness is pretty low so not great for a bright room. I guess there’s no way of knowing until you have it set up on your desk.

The upside: they’re a bunch monitors on the market. Downside: It’s really overwhelming!!

Well, your room and setup will affect things to a degree - but you can setup to counter.

Daylight is a must
Monitor perpendicular to the window
Don’t use fluroscent lighting - if you do you can get a diffuser
You could something like a desklamp of 5000k or 6000k
Others already pointed to colourimeters earlier

Probably a few other things you can do.

Thanks for the tips. I think I’ll be able manage the light okay, just hate the strong reflections from the Thunderbolt display now.

I’m leaning towards the U3223QE for $750. Has a ton of ports and 90w of charging power so I don’t need to buy a Caldigit or OWC dock, which was on my list.

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Displays with a 100% coverage of the sRGB color space alone are unsuitable for print design due to an insufficient coverage of the CMYK color space:

You need a display with a high coverage of Adobe’s color space, such as the CS2731-BK.

I still don’t see the point of a $1000-plus display with lots of color adjustment and calibration possibilities unless that display can be calibrated to a specific output device for jobs that demand high precision.

Even then, the color from a display generating its own light can never be the same as what one sees from reflected light off a printed surface — they’re fundamentally different things. Even when working in CMYK mode, the display is simulating CMYK on an RGB display.

Add to that how one’s brain automatically compensates for color discrepancies. For example, under fluorescent lighting, the colors one sees in a room are skewed far more than one realizes. The results from old film cameras using daylight film indoors make obvious how far off the indoor colors really are, yet are brains adjust to the difference as though it’s hardly there. Walk outside, and our eyes and brains adjust in seconds. Walk outside on a bright day, then walk inside. Again, our eyes and brains adjust to the value differences.

Use a high-end display that’s been calibrated to some calibration tool’s standard, then send the exact same job to different printing companies — there will almost always be a difference. Print the same job on different kinds of paper and the differences become even more apparent.

My point is that the things I’ve mentioned cause differences that dwarf the fine-tuning one imagines they’re getting by calibrating today’s higher-quality, wider-gamut digital displays, which are already pretty consistently accurate right from the factory. We don’t live in the old CRT days when monitor color changed significantly as the tube aged.

The only situations where I see any substantive benefit from calibrating a reasonably good digital display is in, for example, a prepress environment where the ambient lighting is controlled and the display can be calibrated to the output device. For general-purpose graphic design in a room with lighting that differs throughout the day and where the designer rarely knows for sure where the job will be printed, I’m convinced that calibration to some arbitrary standard doesn’t make much (if any) difference.

This subject reminds me of audiophiles who insist their gold-plated connectors will somehow improve the quality of the sound from their expensive speakers capable of reproducing 25 KHz frequencies that the human ear isn’t capable of hearing.

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The Dell covers 98% DCI-P3 which is similar to Apple’s Studio Display. They don’t list Adobe RGB, but a l see a lot of other brands don’t either.

This should cover a wider gamut and close to Adobe RGB.
Although for what you’re doing you don’t really need Adobe RGB gamut - really.

If you do think you need it
UP2716D (about $200)
BenQ SW271 (mentioned earlier) (about $800)
ASUS ProArt PA32UC-K (99.5%) ($expensive)

Eizo is about $1000

Choices are there for budget to mid range to mind blowing.

Similar gamut to Adobe RGB veers to yellows - where Adobe RGB veers to green and blue.

Huge no no - I wouldn’t see to many instances of a major issue.
DCI is very common these days.