Is an artist only as good as the tools they’re given? Graphic designers have a wide variety of tools at their disposal. The most important one is the lens through which they create, through their computer monitor.
But what makes a good size for the best creative lens?
Color isn’t the only thing a designer should worry about. Size is also an important factor, as it can impact your workflow. Working on a monitor that doesn’t show you the full picture can be detrimental.
Let’s jump in.
What is the best monitor size for graphic design?
It’s tempting to say the biggest is the best when it comes to monitor size, but it’s not always the case. A 32-inch screen is the most solid option for creative professionals.
Displays of this size offer prime real estate for multitasking. For example, having Adobe Photoshop and a mood board or your design brief side-by-side. A 32-inch panel with 4k resolution also allows for better clarity when sketching in Adobe Illustrator.
Almost all 32-inch monitors today come equipped with 4K resolution. Creative professionals need a high resolution for their designs to fit client requirements. Print or digital, you’ll want the highest resolution, which is currently at 4K.
Also, consider dual monitors. A dual-monitor setup has been shown to increase productivity. Being able to switch between applications quicker, better collaborate with coworkers via Zoom or Slack, and keep style guides up for reference.
It’s important to note if you do decide to go with twin 32-inch monitors, you’ll need a sizeable desk to compensate. You should be looking at desks that are at least around 45-50 inches in width for optimal space.
Points to Consider Before Buying a Graphic Design Monitor
When you’re looking to buy a new monitor for graphic design work, there are some questions you should ask yourself before making a final decision.
What type of graphic design work will the monitor be used for?
Depending on your graphic design specialty, you may want to look for a display that fits your specialty.
Designers who work in printed material will need high resolution and color accuracy. Those who work with the web are able to get away with a lower resolution, as vector images scale regardless of resolution.
Consider the graphic design work and your typical client requirements before making a purchase. It’s also important to remember this is an investment in the tools of your trade, and not a regular purchase.
What ergonomic features do you need?
Since the bulk of a designer’s workflow is spent staring at a screen, it’s important the display is comfortable to look at for long periods of time.
Do you prefer a monitor with height adjustment and tilting, to prevent neck strain? How important is a VESA mount to rotate the monitor on the fly to collaborate in person?
What are your dealbreaker, must-have features?
When you’re looking for a new display, there could be designer-related features that are not available on most models. If you’re the kind of creative who enjoys watching design tutorials, get a monitor with built-in speakers.
Graphic designers will often look for displays that support high resolution and color support, regardless of their specialty.
If they need to have a monitor that can connect to their Wacom tablet as well as their MacBook Pro, they want a display that offers a built-in USB port. Some may prefer more ergonomic stands or VESA mount support.
Best Graphic Design Monitors
We think 32-inch monitors offer some of the best bang-for-your-buck when using Sketch, Photoshop or Illustrator. Our recommended monitors are listed below.
You can find our entire list of the best graphic design monitors here.
Best 32-Inch Graphic Design Monitor
ViewSonic’s monitor is a color-pallet killer display with unmatched color accuracy, but does it live up to its claims of being “perfect for designers?”
Graphic designers and photographers sing high praises of this display’s color accuracy. ViewSonic supports Pantone Matching System for the utmost accuracy for designers.
Yet, there are reports of the monitor’s edges suffering from light bleed. This can affect the quality of the picture for those who need to use each pixel during daily use. At the end of the day, light-bleed is not a deal-breaker for most graphic designers since it’s not noticeable during design work.
It also comes with a 90W powered USB C and a 4-port USB hub, offering even more connectivity options. Those who use drawing tablets will enjoy the powered USB C port, and it can even charge your MacBook.
There are concerns with the durability of the monitor. Folks experience issues with damaged or cracked screens along the bottom bezel.
Best Budget 32-Inch Graphic Design Monitor
A budget variant for graphic designers which still offers professional color accuracy. LG’s unique VA panel offers a better color range than the traditional IPS panel.
This monitor has DCI-P3 95% color accuracy fitting with most standards for ranges of viewable colors. However, some users report washed-out colors when viewing the display from different angles.
For designers who also enjoy blowing off a little steam, this display also includes AMD’s FreeSync technology. FreeSync helps games achieve seamless, fluid graphics while gaming.
Some users have mentioned LG’s panel doesn’t fit VESA mounts, which can be a dealbreaker for some desk setups. You need to check if your VESA mount fits this monitor’s need for a 100mm mounting plate.
Questions about graphic design monitor size? We have the answers.
Most of the time, a 24-inch monitor is too small. While this size is acceptable for regular office work, creative professionals need a larger display.
Having a bigger screen allows better multitasking (such as keeping a style guide handy), and offers higher resolutions so that you don’t miss a single pixel of detail.
A good 27-inch display is passable for some designers.
These monitors don’t look stellar with standard 1080p resolution, which can be a pain when creating. 27-inch monitors can be passable for everyday use, but they need to sport a high resolution.
A 27-inch monitor that has at least a 2k resolution can pair together for a stellar dual monitor setup. Having dual monitors is proven to make a massive increase in productivity.