The Tools We Need To Create The Products You Love

10 DAILY DESIGNER NEEDS (EMPIRE GROUP EDITION)

Many lists have been made telling you the necessary tools you need as a designer. An exceptional computer, great software, a drawing tablet, and so on. We’re here to share with you some of the unconventional tools that keep our creative juices flowing and get us through the work day with smiles on our faces. (Number 10 is the main contributing factor to smiling faces.)

1. SNACKS

Lets just get this one out of the way. No one is getting through the day without the risk of becoming "hangry". Here at Empire, we are prepared (some of us more than others) with a variety of snack options. Ryan's snack drawer is thoroughly stocked at all times and is no match for staving off snack time hunger. Below are some of our absolute favorites. 

Lets just get this one out of the way. No one is getting through the day without the risk of becoming "hangry". Here at Empire, we are prepared (some of us more than others) with a variety of snack options. Ryan's snack drawer is thoroughly stocked at all times and is no match for staving off snack time hunger. Below are some of our absolute favorites. 

2. BEVERAGE VESSEL

It might be a morning wake-up or a mid afternoon pick me up, but we all have those sleepy moments that are easily solved with a hot cup of coffee, tea, or perhaps a refreshing glass of water. It’s important to stay hydrated! And of course, a favorite mug makes each sip taste just a little bit better. Did I mention we like coffee? We really like coffee. 

It might be a morning wake-up or a mid afternoon pick me up, but we all have those sleepy moments that are easily solved with a hot cup of coffee, tea, or perhaps a refreshing glass of water. It’s important to stay hydrated! And of course, a favorite mug makes each sip taste just a little bit better. Did I mention we like coffee? We really like coffee. 

3. FAVORITE PEN

There is nothing better than ink flowing smoothly across a fresh sheet of paper (smudge free). It may have taken weeks, months, or even years to find that perfect sketch pen, but we all have one. Unless you're Chris. His favorite pen is whichever one is closest to him. 

There is nothing better than ink flowing smoothly across a fresh sheet of paper (smudge free). It may have taken weeks, months, or even years to find that perfect sketch pen, but we all have one. Unless you're Chris. His favorite pen is whichever one is closest to him. 

4. DESK TCHOTCHKE

As designers, it is hard to avoid collecting beautiful or quirky objects. It may be an action figure or a paper weight. We keep these tchotchkes, or "design mojo" on our desks to brighten our day, provide design inspiration, or maybe even as a conversation starter! MINI DRONE: Can be found flying around the office from time to time, weaving through obstacles and skimming the tops of heads. Jeremy has become the master drone captain, improving his speed and agility with each flight.  SQUISHY CAT: Can be found lounging on several desks and computers. If you're feeling stressed just give squishy cat a poke. You can't help but smile.  OBIE'S DESIGN MOJO: Can be found atop Obie's computer monitor. At all times.  RELAXED STORM TROOPER: Can be found aiding with hours of CAD work after a night of galactic battle.  WIZZLE: Can be found making Kazoo like noises from time to time. It's one way to blow off steam, get through a design block, or entertain your co-workers! I'm sure they'll thank you. 

As designers, it is hard to avoid collecting beautiful or quirky objects. It may be an action figure or a paper weight. We keep these tchotchkes, or "design mojo" on our desks to brighten our day, provide design inspiration, or maybe even as a conversation starter!

MINI DRONE: Can be found flying around the office from time to time, weaving through obstacles and skimming the tops of heads. Jeremy has become the master drone captain, improving his speed and agility with each flight. 

SQUISHY CAT: Can be found lounging on several desks and computers. If you're feeling stressed just give squishy cat a poke. You can't help but smile. 

OBIE'S DESIGN MOJO: Can be found atop Obie's computer monitor. At all times. 

RELAXED STORM TROOPER: Can be found aiding with hours of CAD work after a night of galactic battle. 

WIZZLE: Can be found making Kazoo like noises from time to time. It's one way to blow off steam, get through a design block, or entertain your co-workers! I'm sure they'll thank you. 

5. CALIPERS, CUTTING MATS AND MORE!

We all keep a set of essential desk tools. This usually includes calipers, an X-Acto Knife and maybe a cutting mat. Measure twice, cut once. Right? Calipers are a daily necessity at the office. Precise measurements ensure that parts are modeled accurately. A lump of clay often comes in handy when you want to quickly visualize a design concept.

We all keep a set of essential desk tools. This usually includes calipers, an X-Acto Knife and maybe a cutting mat. Measure twice, cut once. Right? Calipers are a daily necessity at the office. Precise measurements ensure that parts are modeled accurately. A lump of clay often comes in handy when you want to quickly visualize a design concept.

Lets not forget about the actual desk! At Empire we all have standing desks. It's a nice change of pace from sitting all day long. Scott definitely takes advantage of his balance board throughout the day and you can even see him doing a trick from time to time. 

Lets not forget about the actual desk! At Empire we all have standing desks. It's a nice change of pace from sitting all day long. Scott definitely takes advantage of his balance board throughout the day and you can even see him doing a trick from time to time. 

6. EYE LOUPE

Maybe you’re familiar with this one, maybe not. An eye loupe is a magnification tool that does not have a handle. This comes in handy when you need both hands to closely examine a small object. Some loupes have marked measurements on the lens and can be used by our graphic designers when trying to determine an unknown line weight off screen.

Maybe you’re familiar with this one, maybe not. An eye loupe is a magnification tool that does not have a handle. This comes in handy when you need both hands to closely examine a small object. Some loupes have marked measurements on the lens and can be used by our graphic designers when trying to determine an unknown line weight off screen.

7. SKETCHBOOK

If you’re a designer, chances are you have purchased quite a few sketchbooks over the years (because we can’t resist a shiny new blank book). You fill it to the brim with doodles, notes, and light bulb moments. Nothing gets ideas flowing like jotting them down on paper.

If you’re a designer, chances are you have purchased quite a few sketchbooks over the years (because we can’t resist a shiny new blank book). You fill it to the brim with doodles, notes, and light bulb moments. Nothing gets ideas flowing like jotting them down on paper.

Scotts_Sketch.jpg

8. HEADPHONES

When you get in the zone, sometimes you want to block out the world and focus on the task at hand. There are a few ways to do this but headphones always seem to do the trick, even if you aren’t listening to any music (We've all done it 😉)

When you get in the zone, sometimes you want to block out the world and focus on the task at hand. There are a few ways to do this but headphones always seem to do the trick, even if you aren’t listening to any music (We've all done it 😉)

9. MUSIC

At Empire, we are lucky enough to have an in-house DJ (Ryan) who keeps us entertained with great Spotify playlists all day long. Studies have shown that listening to music can improve not only your mood, but your quality of work as well!  

At Empire, we are lucky enough to have an in-house DJ (Ryan) who keeps us entertained with great Spotify playlists all day long. Studies have shown that listening to music can improve not only your mood, but your quality of work as well!  

10. CHINCHILLA(S)

Last but far from least, a Chinchilla! Ok, maybe you won’t add this one to your list, but you’re missing out. Chi Chi, the Empire Chinchilla is a very necessary and much-loved addition to our list of design (and company) needs. It’s important to take a break every now and then, and we can’t think of a better way to spend our down time.

Last but far from least, a Chinchilla! Ok, maybe you won’t add this one to your list, but you’re missing out. Chi Chi, the Empire Chinchilla is a very necessary and much-loved addition to our list of design (and company) needs. It’s important to take a break every now and then, and we can’t think of a better way to spend our down time.