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9 Pieces of Equipment Worth Investing Into for Beginner Designers

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Image: unsplash/ Nikita Kachanovsky

If you are into graphic design, you know that this job comes with a cost. One needs proper equipment, hardware, and software, as well as gadgets. Luckily, you do not have to buy everything right away. It is quite possible to start with some of the basics and grow your arsenal as you go.

After all, the most important part of it is your creativity and motivation. At essaywritingservice we like to say ‘with great effort, come great results’. If you want to start your career in graphic design, here are the tools you are going to need.

  1. Sketchbook

It might seem obvious but a sketchbook or notebook is essential to any creator. If you see something you’d like to turn into a design or art, you can sketch it quickly. It is also great to practice your drawing skills in your spare time. You can also translate ideas onto paper and intuitively create design layouts. And you don’t have to invest much in it, paper and a pen usually are quite affordable.

  • Tablet

This is essential equipment every designer should have. The graphic tablet allows sketching something digitally, creating art or complex collages. Overall, it is quite enough for beginners to start working on their skills. It is common knowledge that the majority of professionals prefer Wacom tablets and gadgets. They are known for their excellent quality and, most importantly, precision.

Less advanced tablets do not cost too much. But they are to be used with a laptop or PC. And it is better to have a great monitor with a good resolution. If you cannot invest in all of that now, there is another option.

iPad can be a good choice for beginners. First of all, it allows working just with the tablet. There is software usually to help to learn drawing and sketching. And it is more flexible – you can work anywhere.

Tablets are good for digital art, drawing, and sketching. But you’ll need a computer to create truly complex and unique pieces.

  • Stylus and a glove

Of course, when working with a graphic tablet, you’ll need a good stylus. It should be responsive and precise to show the smallest details. The majority of tablets go with one or have recommended styluses listed. If you use Wacom, choose their stylus, if you use an iPad – do accordingly.

Another great addition to the equipment is an anti-fouling glove for digital artists. The main idea of it is to prevent any smudging or unnecessary friction when you are working with a tablet. With such a glove, the only friction comes from the stylus but not other digits.

  • Laptop

You can choose a laptop or PC, depending on your budget and needs. But there is no way around it – complex software and design can be used only on something more powerful than a tablet. There is no way one can run Photoshop or Adobe CC on a graphic tablet. Many professionals choose iMac Pro mainly because it is the first operating system that allowed digital typography.

But nowadays, there is no need to actually choose a specific brand, you can buy an excellent laptop or PC from any other brand, as long as they have good specifications and are powerful.

  • Monitor

The next step in one’s equipment list should be a high-definition monitor. If you have chosen a PC over a laptop, you can select a proper monitor on the previous stage. What is important to look for? Well, good definition, proper width, and, of course, resolution. It is best to choose something along the lines of UHD (3840X2160 pixels) or a QHD resolution. The size is a personal preference.

Another factor to consider is the way the monitor transfers colors. It might not be the first thing a beginner will buy, but when you work on your skills and want to get better at it, this is a necessity. Having a perfect monitor can drastically improve your designs.

  • Hard Drive

This might not seem obvious, but an external hard drive is what you need. First of all, it will extend your computer’s memory. In case if your laptop is not very powerful, it will help. Secondly, it is a perfect backup tool that can save a lot of files from disappearing. Digital art depends on many variables like external software and files; that’s why it is crucial to back everything up. And it is portable, so you can take it anywhere and make sure that none of your projects go missing.

  • Cloud Storage

It can be an alternative to the previous one. Cloud storage is another safe and sound way to protect files and extend your laptop’s memory volume. The best thing is that it doesn’t really cost much often, and the subscription can be scalable. It means that the more storage you use, the more you pay. But if you use a little storage, it is going to cost less. And one can access cloud storage from any place and any device at any time. It is a flexible solution when it comes to protecting your work and saving it all properly.

  • Monitor Calibrator

In some time of working on clients’ orders, you’ll need this tool. It is a great way to ensure correct monitor calibration. In this process, you adjust the monitor’s colors to appear the same way as they will appear on the print (according to the standard RGB color scheme). It is essential to make sure that in the end, your design looks exactly as you’ve planned and executed. This tool also helps to prevent any errors and overall helps to be better at color coordination. When you see the colors as they are, it is easier to work with them.

  • Good Chair

You are going to spend a lot of time in this chair, so it is better to be comfortable and ergonomic. It means proper back support, adjustability, and your personal preference. There is nothing worse than back pain from sitting for too long in an uncomfortable chair. And you might think that as a beginner it is not something you should worry about. But trust us – this is one of the most vital pieces of equipment in your studio.

In Summary

As a beginner, you do not need to buy the best tools if you don’t have a budget for them. There are many good laptops, tablets, and gadgets that are both affordable and functional. What you need is a proper computer, digital drawing tool, storage space, and a good chair.

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Earth Observation Data Could Represent A Billion-Dollar Opportunity For Africa

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Earth observation [EO] data provides a billion-dollar opportunity for economies on the African continent, one that could create jobs and build new resilience after COVID-19.

The newly released report Unlocking the Potential of Earth Observation to address Africa’s critical challenges lays out the multiple economic benefits from EO data. The report was written in collaboration with Digital Earth Africa, an initiative that is a world first in providing freely accessible data that maps the entire African continent.

This report marks the first known time the potential impact of EO for Africa has been quantified. According to estimates, EO could be worth up to $2 billion a year thanks to:

1. A strengthened EO industry. Improved use of EO data could lead to an extra $500 million in yearly EO sales along with new job opportunities and increased fiscal revenues.

2. Boosted agricultural productivity. Better data could potentially be worth an extra $900 million a year, thanks to water savings and productivity gains for farmers, not to mention reduced pesticide usage.

3. Better regulation of gold mining activity. Data allows countries to crack down on illegal mining, providing a potential savings of at least $900 million from reduced environmental damage and fiscal evasion.

The report shows the opportunity available in EO data to strengthen economies and reach sustainability goals. EO data can help governments make more informed decisions regarding water, agriculture, food security and urbanization. Advancing new collaborations between public and private efforts can incentivize data sharing to develop EO industries on the continent even further.

Dr Adam Lewis, Managing Director of the Digital Earth Program welcomes the findings of the report as the first of its kind to quantify the potential benefits of the program. “Through collaboration with key partners both within Africa and across the globe, we have made significant progress in turning this potential into a reality. Over the last 12 months the program has met a number of milestones in improving access to data and services within Africa. Working with Amazon Web Services as well as international space agencies and the private sector, we have been able to provide access to locally stored analysis-ready satellite data within Africa.” Adam said.

“We are proud to support Digital Earth Africa’s efforts to make Earth observation data more easily accessible to African nations,” said Ana Pinheiro Privette, Lead for Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative. “Through the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative, Amazon is making available petabytes of Earth observation data, which provide valuable insights for communities to manage climate impacts including increased floods and droughts.”

Valuing the impact of EO is an emerging practice globally, with recent reports covering the Asia Pacific, Australia, the European Union and the UK, but this is the first such report for Africa. The report was developed following examination of the readiness of African countries to effectively and efficiently grow their geospatial capabilities, integrated with study of the potential economic benefit of EO data adoption on specific sustainable development focus areas.

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Data-Driven Operations Are Key to Future of Manufacturing

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In the near future, manufacturing companies will collaborate in hyperconnected value networks in which data-and-analytics applications drive productivity, new customer experiences and societal and environmental impact. A new white paper, Data Excellence: Transforming Manufacturing and Supply Systems, released today presents the challenges for manufacturers and provides the steps to overcome them.

According to the report, nearly three-quarters of 1,300 surveyed manufacturing executives consider advanced analytics to be critical for success and more important today than three years ago. However, only a few companies capture the full value that data and analytics can unlock to address manufacturers’ most pressing challenges. Less than 20% of surveyed participants prioritize advanced analytics to promote either short-term cost reductions or longer-term structural cost improvements. Only 39% have managed to scale data-driven use cases beyond the production process of a single product and thus achieve a clearly positive business case.

Surveyed manufacturers cited various challenges that impeded their efforts to further scale and implement data-and-analytics solutions within their plants and across networks:

  • They struggle to prioritize the right value-adding use cases from a broad range of applications
  • They have not put in place technological enablers, such as data security or advanced algorithms
  • They lack critical organizational enablers, such as skills and capabilities and effective internal governance

This study by the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), features insights from a unique community of 40+ manufacturing organizations and leading academics and public sector representatives, identifying six priorities to capture value from data and analytics in manufacturing:

  • Define a data-to-value strategy and roadmap
  • Incentivize internal and external ecosystem partners
  • Build capabilities to capture and use data
  • Implement an open platform to unlock data silos
  • Enable connectivity for low-latency, high-bandwidth data flows
  • Ensure data security and privacy

“These findings will help accelerate our journey to support companies in devising a path forward to reach the next level of data-based manufacturing excellence, build trust among manufacturing, suppliers and customers, and unlock new value through the development of new data-driven ecosystems,” said Francisco Betti, Head of Shaping the Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Production at the World Economic Forum.

“Manufacturing is on the verge of a data‑driven revolution,” said Daniel Küpper, Managing Director and Partner of BCG and a report co-author. “But many companies have become disillusioned because they lack the technological backbone required to effectively scale data-and-analytics applications. Establishing these prerequisites will be critical to success in the post-pandemic world.”

As a next step, the community is co-developing a Manufacturing Data Excellence Framework, which comprises value-adding applications as well as technological and organizational success factors. Companies will be able to leverage this framework to accelerate the development of globally connected manufacturing data ecosystems.

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World Bank Group and CES Announce Global Tech Challenge Winners

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image: ces.tech

World Bank Group and CES announced the winners of the Global Tech Challenge at CES®2021.

The result of a partnership between the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and the World Bank Group, the Global Tech Challenge was launched at CES 2020 to reward scalable and innovative technological solutions in three main areas: digital health in East Africa, resilience in India and gender equality around the world. Technology solutions that helped communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic were also prioritized.

Selected among over 1,000 applications, three winners were selected for gender equality, 10 for resilience and 17 for digital health. More details about the selected innovations can be accessed here for health, resilience and gender equality.

Global Tech Challenge winners will have the opportunity to access financial and/or technical assistance to pilot and scale their solutions on the ground with private sector companies, governments and within development projects financed by the World Bank Group, one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries.  

“From closing the digital divide to building resilience in the face of natural disasters or pandemics, innovation can solve some of the most pressing development challenges. The World Bank Group is pleased to support impactful programs focused on bringing equal access to connectivity to women in developing countries and to recognize cutting-edge solutions such as AI-enabled robots to rebuild homes in post-disaster areas. Now is the time to scale up solutions that have proven effective, so that no one is left behind in the new digital era,” said Makhtar Diop, the World Bank’s Vice President for Infrastructure.

“Disruptive technologies are a fundamental driver of economic growth and job creation—and key to solving development challenges around the world. At IFC, we are proud to support the private sector in bringing these technologies to emerging markets, with innovations that range from portable ultrasound devices that can detect COVID-19 to medical tools that provide real-time cardiac diagnoses even in remote areas,” said Stephanie von Friedeburg, Interim Managing Director and Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer at IFC.

We are thrilled to be continuing our work with the World Bank so the world’s best and brightest innovators at CES can collaborate with the World Bank Group to enter new markets, provide solutions and aid in development,” said Karen Chupka, EVP, CES, Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

Owned and produced by CTA, CES 2021 will be an all-digital experience connecting exhibitors, customers, thought leaders and media from around the world. CES 2021 will allow participants to hear from technology innovators, see cutting-edge technologies and the latest product launches, and engage with global brands and startups from around the world. For over 50 years, CES has been the global stage for innovation, and CES 2021 will provide an engaging platform for companies large and small to launch products, build brands and form partnerships.

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