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Best Monitors for Graphic Design: The Definitive Guide

Best Monitors for Graphic Design: The Definitive Guide

Denis Leskovets
Denis Leskovets

Productivity Optimization Geek

High-end graphic design work, and often commercial design projects, require monitors that address the concerns of graphic designers. Client work for graphic designers can be challenging when the monitor has blunders with color accuracy, gamma, or contrast.

To help you find the best monitors for graphic designers we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to dissect the best models on the market today so that you can make an informed buying decision for your use-cases, budget, and features when working in Photoshop, Illustrator, Affinity, Sketch, and others.

Table of Contents

Best 32-Inch Monitor for Graphic Design

BenQ PD3220U

Size

This monitor is pretty massive. The visual scale of the PD3220U works wonders when there are multiple parts of the composition to be aware of at once. A 32-inch panel is such a timesaver for keeping color wheels, inspiration artifacts, sketches, rulers, project requirements open at once. It’s easy to take on your entire project at once.

Color

It’s so annoying when you submit work for printing or export the final master for review and the colors are off. It looks so wrong. The color specifications, which are listed as 95% DCI-P3, 100% sRBG, and 10-bit color, don’t just look good on paper, but actually work. This is unlike the competitors, namely the Dell U3219Q, which also has “good” specifications, but falls apart with corner tinting, inconsistent grays, and saturation oddities. “The BenQ is pretty much better in every measurable way”, states Greg, an Amazon reviewer. Now we’re talking.

Text Legibility

4K resolution is king for text legibility. The 4K panel on the PD3220U will display a load of legible text at once. Working up a lorem ipsum mockup for a paper column is highly satisfying when the text is this sharp. However small text can be a concern for reading with this unit if MacOS or Windows system scaling is not adjusted.

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Best 27-Inch Monitor for Graphic Design

ViewSonic VG2755-2K

Size

For a smaller option than the previous behemoth, the LG 32UN650-W is worth a shot. This monitor’s 4K definition has increased pixel density than the 40in. Its ergonomic stand and curved base are also great for conserving space and creating a comfortable viewing session.

For those who truly want a sized-down option to save space on a tight desktop, this option can be installed on a monitor arm for truly convenient use – push it away when you’re done with it, and pull it back in when you’re ready to use again.

Color

While not specifically designed for graphic designers, the ViewSonic team got the colors down quite well. The IPS panel has 100% sRGB coverage and an even brightness field which assists in color looking accurate since the dimming zones are equal across the panel and color doesn’t distort.

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Best 24-Inch Monitor for Graphic Design

ViewSonic VP2458

Size

The ViewSonic VP2458 is a size that will work for graphic designers looking for a smaller monitor. With 1080p resolution and LED backlighting it’s easy to design text on this monitor in any kind of lighting condition without straining your eyes or consuming too much energy. Most designers would pair this monitor with an additional unit because of its smaller size.

Color

IPS. 100% sRBG from the factory. Delta E<2 color accuracy. This monitor is the standard for graphic designers on a budget. The factory calibration is accurate out of the box with no tweaking required. This is a wonderful option for beginning graphic designers with a set-and-forget solution.

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Best Budget Monitor for Graphic Design

ViewSonic VA2719-2K

10-bit color. 99%sRBG. 1440p display. Affordable? Compared to the competition, yes.

This ViewSonic VA2719-PM has a 27-inch screen size, which works for graphic designers who want to have some room to see visuals side by side. This screen resolution of 1440p is right between 1080p and the high cost of higher resolutions offered by competitors.  The colors on this screen are accurate out of the box and it has a brightness rating of 300 nits, which is good for graphic designers who work in dim lighting conditions.

The monitor’s stand is detachable and it has a VESA mount, which is great for designers who might want to buy their own mount since this model does not have a height-adjustable stand. This model also comes with an HDMI cable in the box but lacks DisplayPort connectivity.  The response time on this monitor is higher than usual at 14ms, but 5ms with overdrive. Response times are mostly not a concern for designers unless the same monitor will be used for gaming.

Do you need a vibrant color space with a higher resolution panel than the norm for your design projects? Then the VA2719-2K is for you. If price is a key factor then the monitor’s other shortcomings like the design won’t matter as much.

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Best Graphic Design Monitor for Mac

LG 32UL950-W

LG is Apple’s monitor partner. In fact, the only monitor Apple sells officially, other than Apple’s own Pro Display XDR, which is actually the best graphic design monitor for Mac is not for it’s price, is an LG Ultrafine which has mostly similar components as the 32UL950-W we are recommending but with a higher price tag.

This LG monitor has a 32-inch IPS panel that is the right size for graphic designers.  It has a wide color gamut and the colors are accurate out of the box. This monitor is perfect for graphic designers whose work revolves around Illustrator, Sketch, Photoshop, and other graphic design apps.

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Best Dell Monitor for Graphic Design

Dell U2720QM

Dell offers a 27-inch monitor with a 4K resolution that is very sharp but lacks the top 1% edge in color accuracy. While we are splitting hairs here, if you need a Dell monitor with the highest color accuracy, the U2720QM is your model. Dell monitors are solid business class units with color generally being a secondary attribute.

The U2720QM supports 1.07 billion colors at 10-bit, 99% sRGB, and 95% DCI-P3. These color attributes are the norm for graphic designers. At 4K, this monitor works well for graphic designers that require more pixels to see the nuances of their designs before exporting them.

This Dell U2720QM has an anti-glare coating on it which helps cut down on glare alongside a higher-than-usual display brightness of 350 nits. If you need a Dell graphic design monitor, this model is for you.

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Best HP Monitor for Graphic Design

HP really tried on this one and they got it right. First off, this IPS unit has a brightness of 400 nits. About 25% brighter than most of the other graphic design monitors. Next is their factory calibration of the colors is really good from the get-go. The “Design for web” and “Design for print” color profiles are there you help you find a color-accurate setting for you. There is Certified HDR 400 as well. HP is really pushing the envelope here.

In addition to the attention to color science, HP didn’t forget the nice-to-haves like a USB-C connector for charging and streaming an additional display from a MacBook or Windows laptop, thin bezels, matte display coating, and a low blue light filter.

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Best Touch Screen Monitor for Graphic Design

Microsoft Surface Studio 2

Let’s be honest. This is a computer all-in-one and not a monitor. If you are looking for a designer touch screen solution and are tired of drawing on an iPad, consider the Surface Studio. If you are a Windows user, this is your total solution for graphic design needs. Is it cheap? No. Is it worth it for your graphic design business enjoyment and productivity? Yes.

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FAQs

Now that you have your pick of multiple different monitors that fit many graphic design scenarios and needs, here’s what to keep in mind while making your ultimate choice.

Do graphic designers need a 4K monitor?
What size monitor is best for graphic design?
Are curved monitors good for graphic designers?
Are curved monitors good for graphic designers?

So which monitor is worth it?

At the end of the day, a choice must be made. For the best all-rounder, I’m really enjoying the HP U28. Even its design inspires me to produce better outputs on my projects, not to mention all the other features going for it.