As a designer who loves to work in a team studio environment, working from home can be challenging. I’ve grown too attached to my office’s high windows with strong natural lighting, the material libraries that line our walls, and the productive project murmurs in the background.
Designers like to surround themselves with things and people as sources of inspiration to achieve that sweet spot of focus where the passing of time no longer exists. I am no exception. It’ll take a bit more adjusting at my home, but in the meantime our team at Lexicon Design has some tools to share that can help with making one’s home better suited for effective designing.
Getting Back to the Basics
The tools in a designer’s arsenal don’t have to be complicated or full of modern technology. Sometimes all it takes is your favorite pen or ideal desk layout to get you going.
If you already have your favorite pen but ran out, then stock up on some more. My personal favorite that balances value and qualitiy is the Bic Cristal. What I love about them is how versatile they are and if I give one away or lose one, it doesn’t place a dent in my wallet. Between the countless luggage and hardware concept sketches I do at Lexicon, I always reach for the Bic first.
When it comes to pens that never leave your pocket or desk, the Tombow Ultra Rollerball Pen delivers a high quality and smooth writing experience. The price point may be a bit high for a typical pen. But this is not your typical pen. With refills, the Tombow is a timeless piece that will make writing and sketching just a bit more enjoyable.
Now that you have a pen, you’ll need a good place to keep it on your desk. Grovemade makes beautiful desk pieces that will place you in ergonomic heaven. Made locally in Portland OR, their products bring a special kind of warmth to a designer’s work environment that can transform your home working setup. Spending hours cooped up behind your computer at home can place strain on the mind and body and every adjustment matters.
Finding Your Groove
Finding my design groove can be one of the best feelings in the world. And sometimes all it takes is a bit of music. With all the smart home tech and virtual assistants out there, it’s easy to find good options out there.
Without a doubt, the leading two choices are Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Home. Depending on your existing tech ecosystem, they can add that extra layer of interaction and productivity to your workflow.
Not only is playing music and boosting your productivity so much easier with them, but it helps take the edge of the pandemic loneliness when there’s someone (or something) there that talks back to you. Perhaps it’s okay that they’re actually listening this time.
Communicating Your Designs
Remote work has it’s limitations when it comes to collaborative team work. It’s hard to replace the feeling of being in a room full of designers brainstorming in front of a whiteboard or creating a sticky note mess on the conference room tables. Have no fear, there are a few digital tools that can get pretty close to that feeling.
By far, my favorite choice is Miro. They are an online collaborative whiteboard that makes everything in the design process so much easier to do when your team cannot meet in person. It’s never been easier to work in realtime with my team from working through the messy design process or developing refined works to share. With their free tier, there’s no reason not to use it for personal, team, or client work. Pro tip: download their desktop app instead of using their web platform.
These are just a few picks from the team at Lexicon Design to make your pandemic stay a bit more productive and enjoyable. Keep a look out for future tips and tricks from the team! Best of luck and stay safe.