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June 05 2011

10:00

5 Tips to Improve Your Home Office Setup

Your workstation allows you to work freely and think creatively while saying much about your personality in the process. Each setup has its own story and plays an important role in helping a graphic or web designer finish their work successfully.Since we spend a lot of time in front of the computer, it’s important to consider your working environment and how it affects both your mood and productivity.

While there are countless ways to organize your workspace, and no hard and fast rules for doing so, it is still worthwhile to explore ways to construct your office setup to maximize productivity. Through this article I will present 5 ways to do just that!

Storage boxes like these from Ikea are a simple way to organize your office and clean up clutter.

Clean Up Clutter

Disorganization and clutter can be a constant battle in your home office if you don’t have a system set up to manage it. Clean the desktop of anything you don’t use or need anymore. Set up a time each week/month where you clean out your office, too. Creating a proper schedule ensures your desk and overall workspace looks neat only for you but potential clients that may come through.

Use the storage features of your desk regularly. Check often to make sure there are no unused papers, files or other items that can make drawers or cabinets needlessly full. A messy look can reflect on your personality and capability – something to not look forward to when you have a deadline looming.

Include Sufficient Lighting

One of the elements that has a large impact on the overall appearance of your space, but is often overlooked it lighting.

  • You should try to incorporate two sources of light into your room – an overhead light as well as a task light.
  • If you prefer a natural feel and you have access to it, natural lighting can do wonders to improve your mood in addition to providing the light you need to get the task done.
  • Extra seating can also be highlighted by a floor lamp.
  • It’s easy to express your personality through lighting with a large variety of modern styles available today.
  • It’s also important to set up the lighting to reduce glare. Your desk lamp can use LED technology to consume less energy and be more efficient overall.
  • Use curtains or a lamp shade to reduce glare.

Sources:
Ikea.com

CB2.com
JustHomeDecor

Establish A Focal Point

Having a focal point that directs your attention can keep you focused on the task. Many home offices don’t have one but it’s to your benefit to establish one.

  • For designers this can simply be your MAC or PC at your desk.
  • To enhance the visual impact, offset your computer with some hanged grouped artwork in the background or installing a specialized wall treatment such as wallpaper or a mural.
  • Adding an area rug also grounds the space and adds a little something extra in the process.
  • A focal point is a necessary design element that grounds the space so take careful considerations in how you wish to organize it.

Choose the Wall Color

It may be beneficial to set up your home office and the materials you wish to include in it, then chose a wall color that compliments them as opposed to the other way around. Remember a room can be interesting without the walls screaming of color, so choosing a neutral shade with a touch of color may be to your benefit. It’s also hard to grow tired of a neutral color, which means less painting over the long haul. And remember that colors are often more intense than they are on a paint chip so you’re best bet is to move down a shade or two on the color card before finalizing.

  • Yellow is known to stimulate creativity, clarity of though, and mental activity – making it an excellent choice for a home office color.
  • Red is an aggressive color, so it’s good for those selling or making deals.
  • Blue-Green can be a soothing color – a great choice for writers.
  • Oranges encourage socialization – great for a small office using a team approach to management.

Here’s a guide on Color Psychology that can help in your decision.

Inspire Yourself

This is perhaps the most fun aspect of decorating your home office – inspiring yourself through:

  • Artwork
  • A whiteboard
  • Family photos
  • An inspirational quote that speaks to you
  • Fresh flowers that liven up the room can go along way in enhancing your productivity and keeping you motivated

Since a lot of web designers are freelancers who work from home, we have full creative control over what we place in our workspace to keep us on task. Use this category to express your personality and motivate yourself through visual encouragement.

Sources:

Wallwords

Showcase of Workstations

Joseph Lifrieri

This creative workspace by Joseph Lifrieri clearly makes use of a focal point in his home office workstation. Behind his PC’s are posters expressing his personal interests and lend to the overall style of the workstation very well.

Ignaty Nikulin

Ignaty Kikulin uses a creative mix of existing shelving and bought to create his workspace. Although there are trinkets, the space remains clutter free and still gives you a glimpse into the designer’s personality.

Jonas Lekevicius

This bare bones, modern workspace allows the designer the comfort and convenience of focusing solely on their work with this minimalist backdrop.

Matt Regan

The workstation of Matt Regan utilizes task lighting and the materials essential for a designer to get their work accomplished.

Brendon Grobler

Through the use of natural lighting, this workstation of designer Brendon Grobler utilizes a key element in maximizing productivity.

Jonathan Patterson

This slick, modern workstation for designer Jonathan Patterson is another example of a simple layout with a focal point – the Mac.

Dean Oakley

Through the use of posters and stereo speakers, the designer Dean Oakley achieves a personalized space effective for getting work done.

Additional Resources

There are websites that are designed to show you workstation setups. Check out Workstation Setups and also one of my personal favorites, Deskography. If you find another workstation setup that you would like to share, feel free to leave a comment about the website!

Conclusion

Here are some tips to take away from this article (and more to consider) in designing your new space:

  • Just because a paint color is on a chip doesn’t mean it should be on a wall
  • Incorporate something that inspires you, such as a piece of artwork, area rug, or accessory
  • Eyes 24-36 inches from computer screen and the top of your monitor should be below or at eye-level
  • Feet should be on a foot rest or planted firmly on the floor
  • Slightly reclined chair posture is best to reduce vertebrae pressure and minimize lower back pain
  • Enhance your focal point and offset it with a bookshelf, wallpaper, or decorative mural
  • Pick lighting that suits your personal tastes
  • Your office design can match your brand, have fun with it!

Your home office has a big impact on your productivity, creativity, and energy levels. Clutter as well as an uninspired space can deter your business goals, so taking these steps to enhance your home office setup can help your feeling of personal success.

February 11 2011

15:33

The Hotlist – Edition 5

PRODUCT

Noteslate

NoteSlate_white

Noteslate is low cost tablet device with true one colour display, real paper look design, long life battery (180h !), together with very handy usage and very simple and helpful interface for pen and paper. This easy, compact and portable gadget is used anywhere you want to make any notes, drafts, sketches, any ideas for future reference. Paper for everyone! Write a note and check it later, save it, or delete it. Maybe send it after. Just one colour is enough to express the basics. Keep your life simple. You will love it.

INSPIRATION

Fav Work

Screen shot 2011-02-11 at 9.30.01 AM

Favwork is open to anyone who has creative work they want to share. Web designers, logo designers, typographists, illlustrators, artists, and so on. There is no ‘invite only’ pre-requisite or exclusivity for joining, anyone can join and your work will appear on the home page if you get enough likes.

50 and 50 – State Mottos Project

NC_MattStevens

50 and 50 is a collective, curated project where fifty designers are invited to represent their state by illustrating its motto. A new piece will be posted every week day.

FONTS

Design Trumps Content in launch of first major news tablet

the-daily-on-ipad

Founded by the world’s most notorious media magnate, preceded by months of speculation and fanfare, and backed with unusually strong support from Apple, The Daily is the most anticipated digital publication since publications went digital. It claims to be the first daily newspaper designed specifically for the iPad. This is not an adaptation of an existing print publication, but an entirely new operation, built from the ground up within the age of digital delivery. So what does that mean for The Daily’s typography? Let’s take a look.

MUST READ

Profit, Lies, Theft, and Idiocy Andy Rutledge

Screen shot 2011-02-11 at 9.35.14 AM

“As a student of history, economics, psychology, and a 20-year businessman, I know a few things about how human commerce does and does not work well. In an effort to ward off widespread indulgence in bad business, I want to help educate and offer some advice to my peers.”

Writing vs. Writing

Screen shot 2011-02-11 at 9.48.36 AM

Shawn writes an awesome post about doing vs. thinking about doing. I also found that you could interchange the word writing for: designing, coding, creating or whatever pertains to you. Well written words we should all try and take to heart.

The Game Just Completely Changed

Screen shot 2011-02-11 at 10.08.13 AMSomething insane is happening in the creative industry and all of you need to know about it. Two recent events have completely changed the career prospects for Web Designers and Developers: 1) Frank Chimero’s Kickstarter project and 2) Natasha Wescoat’s live painting sessions.

KICKSTARTER

The Manual – Project by Andy McMillian

Screen shot 2011-02-11 at 10.16.15 AMThe Manual is a new limited-run print magazine published three times a year. Each issue will have six substantial, beautifully illustrated feature articles, along with additional rich and unexpected bonuses. Challenging, contemplative, playful, and visionary, the articles focus on bringing a greater depth and maturity to our craft and profession: design on the web.

The Shape of Design by Frank Chimero

Screen shot 2011-02-11 at 10.18.54 AMHi. My name’s Frank Chimero. I’ve spent the better part of the last two years writing and speaking on design and thinking about the topics that orbit the practice: storytelling, concept, craft, and improvisation. I want to take all of the ideas I’ve had and connected these past few months and capture them in a book format.

WORKSPACE

Jon Hume

4860552721_af33d61032_b

Super slick minimal desk setup. The mac fanatic in me is jumping up and down. The product design lover in me is loving the clean, screens and silver trim on all the matching products. Well done Jon, well done.

TUTORIAL

Illustrator Eraser Tool Veerle

eraser-tool10

Like with any software, if you work in it for many years you develop certain habits and working methods. Sometimes because of this you tend to make the mistake to overlook, or simply neglect some of the new features, not realizing that certain actions can be done in less steps. To give you an example, the Eraser Tool in Illustrator is a tool I never used much, and so because of this, and because of this I never paid much attention to it. Big mistake! Here is why…

SITE DESIGN

Beer Camp SXSW

Screen shot 2011-02-11 at 9.17.06 AM

Inception in a website. Yes, I know it’s hard to wrap your head around that idea but, visit the site and “just scroll”. All your questions will be answered young grasshoppah’.

DotVita

Screen shot 2011-02-11 at 10.02.05 AM“We strive to de-mystify the wonders of the web and make them enjoyable to everyone. Like in the early days of aviation, we want you to feel at ease when you’re up in the cloud.”

A beautiful site design with some wonderful little touches to play into the airline feel. Have a look around. You won’t be disappointed.

MUSIC

Shiny Toy Guns


Shiny Toy Guns is back, with an amazing teaser for their new album as well as having some previous members back in the group. The video is an awesome calling card for their new album.

VIDEO

Old Spice – Scent Vacation


Old Spice is back again with another amazing commercial. I’m wagering a bet this commercial is one continuous shot like the last one. I’m trying to figure it out in my brain and it hurts.

Chrysler Super Bowl Commercial – Imported from Detroit

With rebuilding, comes challenges… Chrysler has been faced with no shortage of them in the last few years. As a self proclaimed auto connoisseur I love the message and the feeling evoked from this spot. I’ve never been a fan of domestic cars but, this one really hit home with me. Someone did their homework and for that, I applaud you Chrysler. It’s also good to see some star power in the city getting behind a “rebuilding” message. (Their new Chrysler stamp on the car isn’t too shabby either!)

HAVE A TIP?

Feel free to send us a tip if you think you’ve got the hot stuff. ‘hotlist@fuelyourcreativity.com

Sponsored by

Made By Tinder

Advertise on Fuel Brand Network.
Fuel Brand Network 2010 cc (creative commons license)



The Hotlist – Edition 5

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