I spend more time at my desk than I do anywhere else (it’s a close tie with sleeping in bed). While a lot of my graphic design peers prefer working in coffeehouses, I’ve always found that having a solid battlestation helps me get higher quality work done faster. I love admiring the toolsets and workspaces of famous creatives, online and in books like LifeHacker’s How I Work, The Setup’s collection of interviews and The Writer’s Desk photo-book. Desks will reflect the personality of their users. Studying a creative’s workspace is much like peering into a sketchbook, in that it gives you a glimpse into how their brain operates.
Making the move into a new office in a new city gave me the opportunity to consider my old desk-making habits while also giving me the chance to design my workspace from the ground up.
My Old Desk
- My books and drawing tools were well within reach.
- Art/Design books nearby for instant inspiration.
- The chicken bookends are pretty cool.
- The desk was old and beat up, so I wouldn’t have to worry about banging it up.
- The markerboard, which housed all my to-do lists, was out of reach.
- It was extremely cramped. Usually, my tablet would have to sit over the side and my mouse didn’t have enough room to move around. If I wanted to sketch in my notebook I would have to clear off my laptop and tablet or go somewhere else.
- The sun came through the window behind me, so my hand would cast a shadow on whatever I was drawing.
- For some of the work I was doing, I needed more screen real estate.
- I am of the minority of tablet-users that draw with their tablets positioned directly in front of them (most draw with the tablet positioned to the right). Using a laptop makes this awkward because the keyboard is constantly in the way.
- The desk felt like it would fall apart any minute.
My New Desk
- Plenty of room for my tablet and mouse.
- The keyboard off to the left is available for hotkeys without getting in the way.
- The office has a wonderful skylight that removes all of my shadow-casting worries.
- Desktop computer with far more screen real estate.
- Designated space for analog work (sketching, thumbnailing, launching rubber bands at co-workers).
- The lack of chicken bookends will make me fall apart at any minute.
My Futuristic-Completely-Impracticable-Dream Desk
- The surface is a zen garden.
- The screen is just way too big (and maybe 3D?)
- Mood Board Hologram that I can move à la Minority Report.
- Infinite art supplies stuck in the sand. Elves refill ink cartridges and sharpen pencils in the night.
- Robot that helps me keep organized.
- Probably impossible (without robot overlords?)
- Elves constantly demanding cookies
Have you ever tried to redesign your desk, or are there any great desks you admire? Leave a comment or message me, @austin_breed.