Best Monitor for Visual, UI, and UX Design

As a designer, we like our space. The toolbox of today's designer is ever growing. Therefore, having just that extra bit of screen space can make a big difference in your day to day design work. However, with the increasing number of monitors it is getting harder to pick the best monitor for design.
The best monitor for designers

That’s where this post comes in. We’re going to provide you with a list of the features and specifications you have to keep in mind when you’re looking for a new monitor to do your design work on. We’ll also include a few of our own suggestions to help you out.

Table of Contents

Just as we did with our best laptop for designers post, we will start with providing you with a checklist to help you decide on your new monitor purchase.

Best monitor for designers checklist

Monitors have an incredible number of specifications to keep in mind. There are tens, if not hundreds, of things to keep in mind. We’ve broken down the list to just a handful of essentials. Take a look at the list below.

Are you not interested in the technical stuff? Skip to the end of the page to see our design monitor suggestion.

Monitor size

The size of a monitor is measured diagonally from the two opposite corners of the display. It is measured using inches. Most displays for design work start around 22 inches and can go up to well over 30 inches.

Keep in mind that bigger monitors are more expensive. Determining the right size for your needs also depends on the screen size of your laptop and whether or not you already have another monitor that you can use.

There is no ideal screen size. We use 27 inch monitors for our design work but that is in part personal preference.

Resolution

Out of all monitor specifications, resolution is the one that is most commonly known. You might have heard of terms like HD, 4K, 1440p, or 2160p. This is what determines the monitor resolution.

Resolution is measured by counting the number of pixels in a vertical or horizontal row. For example, 4K and 2160p are counted vertically.

In case of selecting a monitor for design work, bigger is better applies here. High resolutions result in a more crisp display of your design on-screen. The only thing to keep in mind is that higher resolution monitors require more from your GPU as well.

We suggest to go for at least a 1440p monitor.

Panel type

The panel of a monitor is what sits in the back of the screen. It determines the color depth and viewing angle of your monitor. Three common panel types are IPS, TN and VA. TN panels have a higher refresh rate, making them a better choice for PC gaming.

IPS is generally considered to be the best panel type for design monitors. It has the greatest color range and a big viewing angle. However, this makes monitors that have this type of panel more expensive than TN and VA panels.

We suggest monitors that have an IPS panel for designing.

Color depth

Monitors with a higher color depth can display a higher number of colors. As a designer, this is very important. The color depth of monitors is displayed as 8-bit or 10-bit.

The most commonly used color depth is 8-bit color depth. This means that your monitor can display well over 16 million colors. Monitors that have a 10-bit color depth can display over a billion different colors. These types of monitors are better suited for designing, watching movies, and video editing.

Our suggestion is to go for a 10-bit display if you can afford it. You can go for a 8-bit display if you’re on a budget.

Our monitor suggestion

We described a number of design monitor specifications. If you put them all together you will get the following list. Your next design monitor should be at least 22 inches in size, have a 1440p resolution, an IPS panel and at least a 8-bit color depth.

Take a look at our suggestions below.

The best monitor for designers

The best monitor you can get has specs that are slightly higher than the list we wrote about just now. For our suggestion, we’re going for a bigger screen that has a color depth of 10-bit.

Our suggestion for the best monitor for designers

The best monitor we can suggest for designers is the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q. It has a resolution of 4K on a 27 inch screen size. The monitor has a 10-bit color depth and a number of ports, making it compatible with almost any laptop.

You can get the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q on Amazon.

The best monitor for under 500 dollars

The monitor we suggest is well over 500 dollars. That’s expensive! Luckily enough, there are cheaper alternatives that will get you a quality designer monitor as well.

Take a look at the LG 27MK600M, for example. It is 27 inches in size as well and has an IPS panel. However, it does not have a 4K resolution.

For 200 dollars, it is the best monitor for design you can get at this price point. Check it out on Amazon over here.

Frequently asked questions

We’re currently writing answers to the most frequently asked questions in regards to monitors for designers. Please check back soon!

Further reading

It is important to have a good monitor when you are a designer. However, there’s more to a complete workspace than just the monitor. Have you considered getting yourself a laptop stand that’s good for your posture? Check out our post on laptop stands.

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