These days, our desks define our lives. And for the creative professional who spends an upward of eight hours a day parked before the screen, this is seriously true. Besides laptops and iPhones, other things live on our desks too. And those graphic designer desk accessories sometimes come through in the clutch.
But what are the five key things that designers keep on their desks at all times? Here at HOW, we reached out to some of our design competition winners, and they shared snapshots and descriptions of their top five things. From Los Angeles to New York and beyond, here are some of the most clever, useful and downright fun graphic designer desk accessories.
Name: Patchara Charoensiri
Top 5: “I have to look at my desk every day so it should reflect who I am and inspire me. When my schedule is messy—I don’t want my desk to be messy. My desk has mostly black items, it’s just nice to look at and it’s easy! Most items come in black so I might as well just buy black to keep it simple. I’m an Art Director, so of course I art directed my desk. If I were to list my five must-have desk items, they would be a Wacom; I have been using this thing for quite some time and I can’t use a mouse anymore. They hurt my wrist and I’m terrible at using a trackpad. I also have my headphones (AirPods) because we all sit right next to each other, which is great, but sometimes I just need to focus. It’s also nice to move around without a wire attaching me to my desk. My desk also has my pencil case. My girlfriend and I make tool roll/pencil cases as a side-hustle project. I use it for many things: pens, pencils, markers, even chopsticks. I also have a Mohawk Keaykolour Swatch Book. We (Hybrid Design) made this last year and It has been such a useful tool for me. It helps me extend the possibilities of color decisions. Also, it’s beautifully designed (if I do say so myself) so it’s nice to look at, too. Lastly, I have Super7 Action Figures. Our sister company, Super7, makes cool throwback action figures. And guess what? They come in black.”
Name: Sagi Haviv
Profession: Partner and designer of Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, who has designed over 50 identity programs, including logos for the Library of Congress, Conservation International and Armani Exchange.
HOW Design Award win: HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards 2018
Top 5: Pencil, eraser, tracing paper, repositionable Scotch tape and scissors.
Name: Tracy, Saree, Pear, Lex, Kim, Kenny, Kathryn, Cedrik, Bernee, Alan
Profession: The collaborative team at Chen Design, a New York-based design “team of image makers, storytellers and creative influencers,” which are “hands-on designers; immersed each day in ideating, sketching, critiquing and crafting.” As the communications director Kathryn tells us: “This is a general desk at Chen design, a desk we use for interns and contractors when needed. We’re a highly collaborative studio so our team weighed in on what’s most essential. Each item you see is an actual item from someone’s desk.”
HOW Design Award win: International Design Awards Winners 2019 in Editorial
Top 5: “Digital tools (iMac & Wacom tablet), hand tools (pens, pencil, paint, Xacto knife), design books (Archetypes in Branding, Peace: 100 Ideas, Fingerprint), fun inspirations (Studio Arhoj ceramics, shape-shifting kneaded eraser) and living plants (as opposed to dead ones).”
Name: Jenna Klein
HOW Design Award win: International Design Award Winner, Best of Show 2019: Museum of Alternative Facts
Top 5: “I’ve attached a picture of my desk, and the things that are always on my desk are: multiple pairs of headphones, a reusable water bottle, sketchbooks, a copy of Ruben Pater’s book ‘The Politics of Design’ and a plant that survives on little to no water.”