Welcome to summer! In the spirit of the season, we’ve highlighted 10 ways to take your graphic design work out of the home and into the daylight.
Dress for the weather
One of the main challenges that comes with summer is dealing with the heat. If you are planning on taking your design work outside, its especially important to think about. No one wants to be working on their laptop with sweat pouring down their face. One great approach is to wear minimal clothing, then throw a sweatshirt in your backpack so you can adjust as the day progresses.
Where to sit
Unfortunately the outdoors don’t often come equipped with your favorite ergonomic work chair. With some thinking ahead however, this doesn’t need to be an issue. Try bringing some simple and portable furniture to your next outdoor work session. Some good ideas to start with are a hammock or a fold out lawn chair. Alternatively some coffee shops have outdoor seating – a perfect compromise for the outdoor work experience.
Stretch and move around
Because your posture won’t often be perfect working outside ond a laptop, it’s important to get up and stretch periodically. It’s also not a bad idea to switch positions every 20-30 minutes. You could try laying down in some grass on your stomach for a while, then lean your back against a tree or if you are outside a coffee shop you could simply take a walk around the block.
Don’t forget sun screen
This should be a no-brainer, but just in case you are new to working outside in the summer, sun screen is important. Without it, you could get a sunburn and end up in agony for days following while trying to do important design projects. Plus, it’s all to easy to get deep in the creative flow without noticing the sun is hitting an arm or a leg. Take a second to lather up. Alternatively spray bottle options are available.
Shade is a powerful resource to designers trying to work outside. Not only does it regulate temperature, but it allows you to actually see your computer screen – which is pretty important for a designer. Good places to find shade are under trees, under beach umbrellas or even next to tall buildings. A good spot in the shade goes a long way, so don’t be afraid to take time finding a comfortable spot.
Seek design inspiration outside the computer
Working outside doesn’t necessarily mean bringing your computer outside. As a substitute for Pinterest, try finding some local fabric stores, art shops, or galleries to explore. You might just find that tangible objects are more inspirational than pixels!
One little known fact is that exercising can actually give you more energy! If you are going outside to begin with, you might as well use this to your advantage. Try biking to a cafe, hiking to a shady tree or even just walking to a grassy field. This might just be what you need to sink deep into a graphic design project.
Go out prepared
So you’ve settled into your shady spot and are finding your work groove until suddenly you get hungry and thirsty! Don’t make this mistake. Pack a bag with enough water and snacks to buy you at least a few hours in the outdoors.
Save some outdoor time for non-work
One major struggle of working outside is trying not to let your laptop make you feel like you’re missing out on nature. It can feel like a barrier. To counter act this, make sure to spend some quality laptop-free time out in nature during the week.
A great alternative to bringing your computer outside is to bring a drawing pad, sketch book, or even a smart phone. These are all creative tools that are less cumbersome and easier to to use outside than a laptop. After all, a big part of the design process is brainstorming, sitting, thinking, and being creative – all things which don’t necessarily require a computer.
How do you enjoy the summer weather while still getting your design work done? Share in the comments!