After days of research, catching up with some fellow designers, and more than 10 years of experience working as a graphic designer, I’ve picked out some of the best monitors ideal for graphic design.
Hi! My name is June. I’m a graphic designer and I’ve used different monitors for work. I find that using the same program on different devices can make a noticeable difference with different screens and specs.
My favorite screen display is Apple’s Retina display, but I’ve used monitors from other brands like Dell, Asus, etc and they are not bad at all! Honestly speaking, if you’re a Mac fan like me but on a budget, you could get a huge screen with amazing resolution from other brands at a much lower cost.
In this article, I’m going to show you my favorite monitors for graphic design and explain what makes them stand out from the crowd. You’ll find the best option for professionals, budget option, best for Mac lovers, the best value, and best multitasking option.
There’s also a quick buying guide with a quick explanation of the specs if you don’t know what exactly to look for when choosing a monitor for graphic design.
Not familiar with the tech specs? Don’t worry, I’ll make it easier for you to understand 😉
Table of Contents
- Quick Summary
- Best Monitor for Graphic Design: Top Picks
- Best Monitor for Graphic Design: What to Consider
Shopping in a rush? Here’s a quick recap of my recommendations.
|Best for Professionals||Eizo ColorEdge CG319X||31.1 inches||4096 x 2160||99% Adobe RGB, 98% DCI-P3||17:9||IPS|
|Best for Mac Lovers||Apple Pro Display XDR||32 inches||6K (6016×3884) Retina display, 218 ppi||P3 wide color gamut, 10-bit color depth||16:9||IPS|
|Best Value 4K Monitor||ASUS ROG Strix XG438Q||43 inches||4K (3840 x 2160) HDR||90% DCI-P3||16:9||VA-type|
|Best for Multi-tasking||Dell UltraSharp U4919DW||49 inches||5K (5120 x 1440)||99% sRGB||32:9||IPS|
|Best Budget Option||SAMSUNG U28E590D||28 inches||4K (3840 x 2160) UHD||100% sRGB||16:9||TN|
|Best Value UltraWide||Alienware AW3418DW||34 inches||3440 x 1440||98% DCI-P3||21:9||IPS|
Best Monitor for Graphic Design: Top Picks
There are many good monitor options out there, but which one is the best one for you? Depending on your workflow, workspace, budget, and of course, personal preference, here is the list that can help you decide.
1. Best for Professionals: Eizo ColorEdge CG319X
- Screen size: 31.1 inches
- Resolution: 4096 x 2160
- Aspect ratio: 17:9
- Color support: 99% Adobe RGB, 98% DCI-P3
- Panel tech: IPS
The most outstanding highlight of Eizo ColorEdge is its high color accuracy. This monitor covers a wide range of vibrant colors (99% Adobe RGB and 98% DCI-P3), which makes it an ideal choice for graphic designers, photographers, and even video editors.
It’s a good option if you often design for print because the color you see on the screen will be closest to the print version. It’s happened to me so many times that some colors from my print design came out different from what I created digitally. Not fun at all!
And if photo editing or video animation is part of your workflow, this is an option that you don’t want to miss.
Besides its powerful color support, its “unusual” 4K resolution is another key point to mention. It’s slightly “taller” than regular 4K screens, so it gives you extra space to move and arrange your work files.
The appearance of this monitor can look a bit dull, not sure if it bothers you. I’m not a fan, but it wouldn’t be a reason to reject this decent monitor considering other good specs it has. If anything to stop me from buying it would be the price.
2. Best for Mac Lovers: Apple Pro Display XDR
- Screen size: 32 inches
- Resolution: 6K (6016×3884) Retina display, 218 ppi
- Aspect ratio: 16:9
- Color support: P3 wide color gamut, 10-bit color depth
- Panel tech: IPS
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that if you have a MacBook. Mac Mini, or Mac Pro, you must get an Apple display, all I’m saying is that if you like Apple products in general, this is the best option for you.
I’m a Mac lover myself but I’ve used different monitors with my MacBook Pro and they worked perfectly fine. Resolution is the key. It’s true that the Retina display is hard to beat, but it’s too pricey for me to have the whole Apple package.
If you want to get a monitor from Apple, the Pro Display XDR is your only option at the moment. You can choose standard glass or nano-texture glass for the ultimate design experience.
What I love about this monitor is its amazing 6K Retina display because it shows vivid colors and its brightness level is extremely high in contrast. The peak brightness is 1600 nits, which is 4 times higher than typical desktop displays.
Its wide P3 color gamut shows more than a billion colors and it’s great for photo editing, branding design, or any project that has a high standard for color accuracy.
Having the adjustable strand and tiltable screen is another advantage of this monitor because you can view and show your work from different angles. It also allows you to adjust the screen to the most comfortable position for you to look at.
One thing that I don’t like about this option is that the monitor doesn’t come with a stand. The monitor itself is already pretty expensive, having to pay extra to get a stand doesn’t sound like the best deal to me.
3. Best Value 4K Monitor: ASUS ROG Strix XG438Q
- Screen size: 43 inches
- Resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160) HDR
- Aspect ratio: 16:9
- Color support: 90% DCI-P3
- Panel tech: VA-type
The ROG Strix from ASUS is mainly advertised as a gaming monitor, but it’s also good for graphic design. Actually, if a monitor is good for gaming, it should work perfectly fine for graphic design as well because it should have a decent screen size, resolution, and refresh rate.
The ROG Strix XG438Q is equipped with a 90% DCI-P3 color gamut that supports high contrast images and vibrant colors. Whether you use it for photo editing or illustrating, this monitor will show you high-quality visuals, and the 43 inches big screen is great for working on details or multi-tasking on different windows.
For those of you who have a spacious workspace, a large screen like this is certainly welcome. However, if your space is limited, looking at such a large screen isn’t the most comfortable thing and it can even cause visual fatigue.
On the downside, I’ve heard complaints from graphic design professionals that the color display isn’t the best for high-end designs. Makes sense, because it doesn’t have full-color coverage even though 90% DCI-P3 is already pretty good. I still think it’s a pretty good monitor for the price.
4. Best for Multi-tasking: Dell UltraSharp U4919DW
- Screen size: 49 inches
- Resolution: 5K (5120 x 1440)
- Aspect ratio: 32:9
- Color support: 99% sRGB
- Panel tech: IPS
The 49 inches Dell UltraSharp is the best option for multi-taskers not only because of the screen size but also its color display and resolution. Pretty impressive monitor.
It has 5120 x 1440 resolution that shows high-quality images so you can see every single detail as you edit images and create designs. To complement its high 5K resolution, this monitor covers 99% sRGB colors so it shows accurate color on the screen.
One interesting point to mention is that this monitor has a “picture-by-picture” (PBP) feature. It means that the 49 inches screen can be used as two 27 inches monitors side by side, but there isn’t a distracting border in between. This allows you to better organize your work windows.
Almost nothing to complain about, the only thing I can think of is the screen size. Some people like huge screens and others don’t or maybe the workspace doesn’t allow it.
The extra wide screen allows you to work on different windows freely. Dragging images from one program to another, etc. But it’s not for everyone, personally, a 49-inch monitor is way too big for me.
5. Best Budget Option: SAMSUNG U28E590D
- Screen size: 28 inches
- Resolution: 4K (3840 X 2160) UHD
- Aspect ratio: 16:9
- Color support: 100% sRGB
- Panel tech: TN
The SAMSUNG U28E590D has a 4K Ultra HD resolution for displaying realistic picture quality and supports 100% sRGB color space that shows more than a billion colors. Having these specs qualifies this monitor for any basic graphic design work from photo editing to print or digital design.
If you do high-end branding design or photography, I would say it’s better to get a monitor that supports AdobeRGB colors because it shows more saturated colors than sRGB.
If you’re looking for a budget option, this is the best monitor you can get. It’s affordable yet does the job. I would recommend this for any graphic design beginners who have a tight budget but want to get a good monitor.
This monitor has a relatively smaller screen than other monitors I’ve chosen, but a 28 inches monitor is more than enough especially when it meets all basic requirements for a graphic design monitor.
6. Best Value UltraWide Option: Alienware AW3418DW
- Screen size: 34 inches
- Resolution: 3440 x 1440
- Aspect ratio: 21:9
- Color support: 98% DCI-P3
- Panel tech: IPS
There are many other UltraWide options available but this monitor from Alienware is overall the best value option. It’s not too pricey, it has a moderate screen size, decent resolution, and color display.
Alienware is famous for gaming computers and as I always say, if a computer is good for gaming, it’s good for graphic design. This monitor is no exception.
One of the best features of Alienware AW3418DW is the color display because this monitor uses the new IPS Nano Color technology and it covers a wide range of 98% DCI-P3 colors. Together with the curved adjustable screen design, it shows vivid images from different angles.
Besides its pretty awesome display, my friends that are Alienware fans also comment about its exceptional responding time and refresh rate.
But it seems like nothing is perfect. Some users mentioned its brightness isn’t the best because it only has a peak of 300 nits brightness.
Best Monitor for Graphic Design: What to Consider
It’s important to know what you do for work when choosing a monitor because depending on the program you use and the purpose of work, you might focus on one spec more than the other.
Yes, I know you’re a graphic designer, but what’s your workflow? What kind of projects do you work on more often? Are you a multi-tasker?
For example, if you do branding design or professional photo editing, you’ll need a monitor with amazing color accuracy. If you’re a multi-tasker, getting a monitor with large screen size is probably a good idea.
A larger screen allows you to multitask better, so if you work on multiple projects or design programs at the same time, you can move and work on your projects with ease.
On the other hand, it really depends on how much workspace you have. For example, if you’re sitting really near to the screen, it’s not comfortable if the screen is too big and it’s bad for your eyes.
If you have enough space in your workstation, I would recommend getting a larger screen because it’s going to save you a lot of time scrolling through or zooming in and out the images while you work.
I would say a 24-inch screen is the least you should get as a professional graphic designer. The commonly chosen monitor sizes for graphic designers are between 27 inches and 32 inches.
Ultrawide monitor is also getting pretty trendy for graphic designers, and a lot of ultrawide monitors have curved screens. Some designers that work on animation and game design like to use them because the large and curved screen shows different viewing experiences.
Full HD resolution is already pretty good, but when the screen gets bigger, you might want better resolution for a better working experience. Today, most new monitors come with 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels or more) resolution and it’s a pretty good resolution for any graphic design work and even video editing.
A 4K monitor screen shows intuitive colors and sharp images. If graphic design is your full-time job, you should be looking for a 4K resolution (or higher) screen resolution when choosing a monitor.
You also have the 5K, even 8K options. If the cost is not a concern for you, go for the best resolution you can get.
Color is extremely important in graphic design, so getting a monitor with a good color display is a must. Most 4K resolution monitors have a pretty good color range.
The commonly used standards for specifying color accuracy are sRGB, DCI-P3, and AdobeRGB. But it’s recommended to get a monitor that supports AdobeRGB or DCI-P3 because they show more saturated colors than sRGB.
For professional graphic designers, you’ll want to look for a monitor that has full AdobeRGB that’s ideal for image editing. DCI-P3 (Digital Cinema Initiatives-Protocol 3) has been more and more popular as well.
Budget is another important thing to consider when choosing a monitor, especially when you’re just starting out as a graphic designer. Fortunately, there are good value 4K monitor options that are not crazy expensive and work just fine for graphic design.
For example, the SAMSUNG U28E590D model I chose for the budget option is affordable and has good specs for handling any graphic design work.
The overall cost also depends on the desktop you’re getting, you can decide on which one you want to invest more in. Obviously, a 5k monitor will cost you more than a 4K option, but if that’s not what you need for your job at the moment, then it’s a good idea to invest more in a better desktop.
You might also be interested in some of the questions below that can help you choose a monitor for graphic design.
Is a curved monitor good for design?
A curved monitor is good for photo editing because it provides different viewing experiences and allows you to see your images from different angles closer to the real-life version. Some users think a curved monitor is more comfortable for the eyes to look at because it has a better image display.
Do graphic designers need two monitors?
Not really. Some designers prefer having two monitors for multi-tasking but it’s more of a personal preference. You don’t need two monitors to do excellent work. One monitor will work perfectly fine especially if you have a big monitor.
Is full HD enough for graphic design?
Full HD (1920 x 1080) is the basic requirement for graphic design. It’s good enough for learning, doing school projects, but if you’re a graphic designer, it’s highly recommended to get a screen with a better resolution of at least 2,560×1,440 pixels.
Do graphic designers need Adobe RGB monitor?
Adobe RGB is a wider color gamut that shows vivid and vibrant colors. Many print labs use it for printing. But if you don’t design for print, you don’t necessarily need to get a monitor that supports the Adobe RGB color range.
How many nits are needed for graphic design?
You should look for at least 300 nits brightness when choosing a monitor for graphic design.
Some key features to look at when choosing a new monitor for graphic design are screen size, resolution, and color display. Depending on your workflow, choose the specs that support your workflow the best. It would say resolution comes first.
Although most 4K monitors have high resolution and good color display, you can decide on the color space it uses based on your workflow. If you work in a print lab, or design for print quite often, a monitor that supports AdobeRGB is a better option for you.
If you’re doing all types of projects, you’d probably want a large screen for multi-tasking or simply personal preference.
Which monitor are you using? How do you like it? Feel free to share your thoughts below 🙂About June Escalada