Computer and Software Recommendations
Incoming art and design students are not required to have their own computers. While the department of art & design does have a computer lab in the Wilson Art Center, the lab is predominately used for teaching classes during the day and some evenings.
If students decide to bring a computer to campus, we recommend selecting an Apple Macintosh computer (laptop). The computer should be capable of running the professional software (see below) used by the department of art and design.
We recommend memory/RAM of at least 1GB, but 2GB should serve students well in the art and design program. This is probably the single best investment in the performance of a computer. RAM affects the ability to run multiple programs simultaneously and can greatly improve the responsiveness of the computer. This upgrade should be chosen over most others if your budget allows.
The department also recommends a large hard disk/storage. “General” documents such as papers, spreadsheets and e-mail do not take up very much space. Movies, videos and large graphic files tend to eat up the bulk of storage. Therefore, anyone interested in video editing should get the largest hard disk possible. Remember that additional storage can always be purchased at a later date.
A computer’s screen size is typically a matter of personal preference. A larger screen size enables students to easily work on graphic and layout projects. However, a larger screen costs and weighs more, and can reduce portability.
Purchasing a fast processor can certainly make a computer faster. However, there are many aspects of computer use that are not bound by the speed of the processor. So, this is not always the most economical upgrade. If students have the budget, it never hurts to upgrade the processor. Adding memory (RAM) usually results in a better bargain.
There are several software packages that we suggest for art and design students. Below are the names of the packages. All software packages are available for purchase through the Adobe website with a student ID. Certain academic programs also may include additional requirements. Speak to your studio advisor for more information.
- Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Premium
- Adobe Creative Suite 5 Web Premium
- Microsoft Office Suite (free through a University license and ONU student ID)