Best Gear for Creative Directors
Throughout the years of being a Marketing Professional, Creative Director and Photographer, many people have asked me about my setup. What tools do I rely on in my daily work life? So today i’ve decided to share what I consider to be the best gear for creative directors. This setup is my pre-covid setup when I went into office everyday. Just a bit of a warning; if you are an Apple hater you might want to stop here. I’m Pro Apple 🙂
With the current covid-19 situation we are all facing along with some personal matters, I’ve been stuck a far way from my office and have had to adapt with a few different tools, but i’ll save that for another post.
27″ iMac Pro 5K Display
Working in the creative industry requires powerful machinery to stay productive. There’s nothing worse than working to meet deadlines to realize your equipment is holding you back because it’s too slow or maybe even crashes because of the file size of a project or something simple like that. Let me tell you; I’ve been there and that was no fun. So I may not be a designer, but I still need to review things in detail, do quality control checks, or even do a quick edit for an ad campaign to get things exactly to the quality that I require. In 2012 I replaced my windows PC with my first Macbook Pro and never looked back. I love the crisp cleanness of the display, especially the 5K, you can see everything in great detail. I’ll be the first to pick-up when low resolution elements are used in error on a design or something like that. People always speak of my attention to detail and my eye for picking up imperfections quickly. To be true and fair, the 27″ iMac is my secret weapon.
Do your own research and get what suits you within your budget. Here’s a link for all the details so you can compare and make the best choice for your needs. The price for the Pro is a bit hefty, but you could always go with the top version of the 27″ iMac 5K Display as well for half the price.
Without a doubt any Apple 5K Display with some power behind it will be considered the best gear for creative directors.
Apple iPad Pro
I use my iPad with Apple Pencil for in person meetings where I may be presenting concepts to a client. Additionally, I find it extremely useful when providing feedback to my design and production team. It allows me to mark-up images and designs and do mock-ups of changes I’d like to see. This tool is my go to in the design process. Whether it be that I’m working on brand identity, websites, signage. This tool is great for getting things done efficiently.
By all means, feel free to explore other tablets that my have these capabilities as well. I personally love the iPad Pro and been using this in my design process since the 1st gen 12.9 pro came out.
Canon 6D Mark II w/ 24-105 lens (Wifi)
This 26mp full frame camera allows me the flexibility to shoot anything that might come up. From advertising and product shots, real estate and portraiture. I’ve done it all with this baby.
The wifi feature is amazing as it allows me to tether to my iPad Pro for client review while on the job. They can review and make their selections immediately which saves time and energy later on.
This makes for an overall professional experience for myself and the client.
Note that the bigger guns do come out for larger campaigns but this is a great camera to have to fill in when necessary if you aren’t a photographer and just need something for those one off situations. Look out for whats in my photo studio in a future post.
Leica D-Lux (109)
This 12mp camera is small but mighty and goes everywhere with me.
I specifically use this for location scouting and campaign planning.
The great thing about this camera is really that it offers all manual functions and the lens on this camera is amazing with an aperture of 1.7. It also has a hot shoe, and as a result have been able to do full out shoots with off camera flash on a whim with this gear. I highly recommend this camera as the best gear for creative directors in the planning process.
JBL Noise Cancelling Headphones
While I don’t use these very often; they do come in quite handy for certain situations.
Maybe you are listening with intent to a recorded ad that you need to approve, or you just want absolute silence and your undivided attention. I’ve tried using these for phone calls but I prefer my other headphones for that because I still like to be able to hear myself speak. These can also sometimes feel too clunky and cumbersome for certain situations.
These are my everyday headphones. I use these mostly for online meetings and phone calls.
In fact I use them so much, I’m about to replace them with the same ones again. Sure; there are newer models available that include wireless charging and noise cancelling, but i’m happy with this model. Feel free to explore and select your best wireless headphones that make online calls a breeze. I recommend this as the best headphones for creative directors.
Sonos One (Gen 2) – Voice Controlled w/ Alexa
I’m a music lover and I find that i’m most productive when I have music on.
The first thing I do, when I step into my office is to turn up the beat! Not Kidding….. it get’s me ready to get to work.
I wanted something simple with great sound and this speaker does the job.
Be mindful that this speaker operates on wifi so you will need stable wifi, otherwise this speaker may annoy the crap out of you.
On another note, if you have no wifi issues, then you will love this speaker. You will also love the fact that you can pair with additional Sonos speakers around the office.
To me any series of the Apple Watch is fine. I spent over $1,000 on my series 2 and have no intention of upgrading in the near future because it works just as well as the Series 6. Certainly a few features may be missing but I don’t really have a need for them. Sure it would be helpful to be able to take a call without having my phone, but when do I ever really not have my phone anyway. I’d say never so that’s not enough for an upgrade.
I like to have my apple watch when i’m working because it allows me to do certain things without having to reach for my phone. I find it most helpful when i’m in situations where I need to take a call but maybe i’m in the middle of something. If i’m on a photoshoot for example, I will take a call with my watch instead of my phone. Outside of that; I can quickly preview messages to see if they are urgent enough for me to stop what i’m doing or I can get back to them later.
My apple watch adds a lot to my daily life so much so that I have other watches that cost way more and get used significantly less because the apple watch offers so much. Quite often if i’m in a meeting or presentation and my phone is going crazy with messages, I can quickly look down at my watch and see whats going on without rudely distracting from the meeting. I can immediately know if it’s something urgent that i may need to excuse myself or I can simply ignore.
I left the iPhone as the last item on this list because we all need a phone in 2020.
If you are going to use an iMac, iPad, Apple Watch then you might as well have an iPhone too.
These devices all play really well together making your workflow as simple as possible which I think is essential for us creative directors.
I use an iPhone XS, but by all means go explore the world of iPhone and get the on you believe to be the best for creative directors
Summary of the best gear for creative directors.