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Should Designers Buy a Wacom Tablet? (and more!)

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In this week’s question time I talk about whether I’d recommend designers to buy a Wacom graphics tablet; whether I’ve looked into 3D design applications like Maya or Blender; and how manage my clients, do I take on multiple clients at once or work on a first come first served basis?

This week’s questions

  • Have you used a Wacom tablet? Do you recommend it?
  • Have you ever used the 3D tools in Illustrator or Photoshop for a project? Or tried out 3D software like Blender or Maya? Just curious if your design interests extend to those areas.
  • When you get client work in do you do first come first served basis or switch between clients on projects?

Interesting design links

How To Get Sign-Off For Your Designs

Common elements used in interface button design

How To Draw a Vintage Polaroid Camera Icon

Ask a question

Have a question in mind? Fire it over to me on my Formspring account and I’ll drop in my text based answer. Every couple of weeks I’ll pull out a hand full of questions to expand on or talk about in more detail in video format.

Ask a question for the next episode

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30 Comments

  1. Jorden Tually says:

    I have a wacom, it took me a while to save up but i got it :)
    great questions and amazing answers Chris !

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  2. Arvin says:

    Personally to me not only should designers absolutely get Wacoms but they should as quickly as possible upgrade to cintiqs. Yes, they’re pricey at $1000USD+ but so are, say, DSLR’s, and the upgrade in quality and practicality of upgrading to a cintiq is as big as going from a point and shoot camera (or a phone’s camera) to a DSLR.

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  3. Jon Whelan says:

    Yes I have a Wacom. Two in fact. The old Graphire and a new Intuous 4. I don’t use a mouse any more. Love having it and using it… I highly recommend it!

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  4. Jo says:

    Nice video, chris. Yes i recommend them for all levels of design. Have one myself.

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  5. Rachael says:

    I have a Wacom Bamboo tablet. Took maybe a couple of days to get accustomed to it but now I use it all the time and I find that I get less hand cramps when I have been using a computer for hours on end. To use a mouse these days feels like wielding a rock!

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  6. Yes! I don’t even own a mouse now. I use it for everything and it’s done really well. Don’t see myself having to upgrade or replace it anytime soon.

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  7. Imran Sheikh says:

    I really like that post. Do continue with good work.

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  8. Ed says:

    You people crack me up. Go to Monoprice.com and get a tablet for $40. Works fine.

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    • Gustavo says:

      You are a lifesaver! I been thinking on replacing my old Graphire and through this company I can get a nice 10 x 6.25 inches tablet for about 50 bucks!!!!

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  9. Andy says:

    I have a wacom that I’ve had for several years and I like to working with it. I’m not really an illustrator so it gets more use in Photoshop when I need to get right down to the pixel with masking and touch ups. A regular mouse just feels mushy.

    When I started at the company I work for now, they asked me if I wanted a Wacom and I jumped on it. Again..same situation, but it’s about making my job easier…everyone performs one action differently..this is how I do it.

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  10. Krishna says:

    Absolutely! A Wacom tablet is indispensable for my work. I’ve been using their tablets for more than 10 years. They are great to draw on, and very durable. I can’t imagine not owning or using one.

    I’m very interested in the Cintiq, but it’s out of my price range. C’mon, Wacom – drop the price down!

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  11. vig0 says:

    I’ve been tossing the idea around about getting one. Thanks for helping with my decision.

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  12. Linzi says:

    I have a Wacom tablet and was really surprised at how easy and quick they are to learn how to use and get used to. Definitely a worthwhile tool to get for anyone serious about graphic design.

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  13. Toni says:

    I’m looking forward to purchasing my first Wacom soon. Can’t wait and from everything said here it will be a good investment.

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  14. david says:

    Nice vid bud! I have a Wacom 3 like this: link to tinyurl.com
    But I never have really used it for web or apps. I find it easier and more accurate to use a mouse. I think Wacoms would be really good for cutting out and illustration work (also airbrusing photos). But as a web designer and app maker, it was not my best buy. So I’m going to sell it if anyone is interested in it. just tweet me at @FTWcreative on twitter. (sorry for the hijack Chris :o )

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  15. I used to use a Wacom Intuos 3 at work. Very nice but there is a bit of learning curve if you are used to a mouse. Didn’t help that I use a pen in my left hand but a mouse in my right!

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  16. robnilas says:

    Hi Chris… Thanks for the answer and I guess i have to break the piggy bank and buy one…

    All the best and see you around

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  17. Hera says:

    I guess it depends on how you feel more comfortable and what your designing process goes. As I come from an artistic background (Art University, Art Highschool) I feel more comfortable drawing everything on paper, and the transition is much easier with a tablet. I don’t necessarily feel a great difference between different tablets in means of pressure levels and the such, but the more familiar moves of the hand working on a tablet do help a lot. I don’t think I would be able to do illustrating work without one.

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  18. Stephen says:

    Loved This Question Time, My First Piece Of fame On The Web Scene!

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  19. Joe Howard says:

    I love my wacom! I’m on my second version. Intuous 4 currently. I grew up drawing and using a pen is completely natural to me. It took a few days to get my mind used to using a pen to click and navigate, but now I could never go back to using a mouse. I originally thought they were pricey, but after using one for years now I couldn’t imagine not buying one no matter the extra price.

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  20. Nitesh Ahir says:

    I am PHP web developer & CEO of web development company. Right now, I am learning web designing to sharpen my work & handle team effectively. I did not aware about Wacom but Google for it & found such a great product. I watch full video & suppose to buy new one. Thanks for your good information. Will it help me for daily task of designing or not?

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  21. TheFreeDeal says:

    Great collection of blogs I find it easier and more accurate to use a mouse. I think Waco’s would be really good for cutting out and illustration work. I feel more comfortable drawing everything on paper and the transition is much easier with a tablet. I am going to post a link to these on my blog if that is ok with you. I know that my followers will love these. Thanks so much!!

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  22. Hi Chris ! i liked the topic of today , that was very useful… :)
    But i got a question for you : I am a graphics designer and i’m going to extend my skills to “web designing”… i designed a lot of webs (psd only) such as this : link to fc02.deviantart.net
    But since i heard of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Coding ..and all that stuff, i got a little concern of what should i be learning first ? and, do you recommend any tuts helped you before ? I really need your help ;)
    maybe you can answer it next week on your awsome “time question” Good Luck !

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  23. Valeka says:

    Hi Chris! Great blog and it really encouraged me to think more seriously about web design and freelancing. I just wonder what do you think about Flash animations in web design. Did you ever use it and is there any future for flash in web design?
    Thanks!

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  24. VG says:

    When my budget allows, I will be getting the Intous4!!! Saw a demo and tried it out! Oh wow!! Awesome!! There are certain functions I can’t do with a mouse and with a tablet! Can not wait for the day!!

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  25. luminari says:

    i think its necessary for helping our work …

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  26. goldenboyz says:

    nice from you to take the time to answer all these questions. in my experience wacom only helps when you need to brush hair and repetitive stuff like that.

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  27. Karla says:

    Using a mouse is like going back to holding hands!

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  28. JAT Source says:

    Nice video…….

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  29. Nick says:

    I have a wacom for about 3 years now and have only used it maybe 25 times.. I’ll try a lil then go right back to the old trusty mouse.I am one of the rare birds I guess but when using the pen tool for silouhettes I just don’t feel as much in control as I do with a mouse. I always feel I get the best selection when i use a mouse, get more detail. And I use indesign a lot too and not really sure if a wacom is really useful there.. So I have just stuck with a mouse, but after hearing all these posts I’m thinking maybe just go full on wacom for a week and maybe I’ll change what do u guys think?

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