MP Design


Michael Puttock Design Blog – Quick, snappy updates on my latest design projects and knowledge. Look out for some freebies!


Here are a few products that aid my work and I highly recommend to any other Graphic Designer. I have focused on physical items rather than software, and tried to include less obvious choices...except the first one, but it's a must!


1. TROIKA Mechanical pencil - Sketch ideas

All my ideas begin on paper. It's important to be able to visualise concepts quickly, and there's no quicker way than using a pencil & paper. Of course not just any pencil will do, I was given the TROIKA mechanical pencil as a gift. The lacquered brass body gives it a nice weight that makes you want to keep picking it up. The added bonus of measurements etched on the side, a capacitive stylus, plus a neat cover to hide the embarrassment of a used eraser, makes this my weapon of choice.

Buy from Amazon


2. Garmin Forerunner 225 - Get moving

Sitting down is great, but graphic design work can treat you to too much of it at times. My Garmin GPS watch motivates me to get up and has become a vital part of my design process.

For me, running clears my head and has sparked some of my best design ideas. The change of scenery, fresh air and endorphins work wonders. This watch tracks your running route, time, speed, calories and even reads your heart rate. All of that juicy data can be uploaded to a very intuitive app, which makes you want to log more and more runs.

Buy from Amazon


3. Wall Prints - Inspiration

I've always been a fan of using desktop computers for the majority of my work. Portability is an issue with this though, meaning the area around my desk must be pleasant. That's why I've included wall prints on this list.

Mine aren't put up purely for decoration, but inspiration. Here is one I have in my office, a high impact graphic illustration of the lecture centre at my old university, Brunel. The illustration style is inspiring itself. Whilst I rest my eyes after staring at the screen for too long and take a look at this, I am instantly reminded of my student days and my enthusiasm to develop design skills (...and drink too much). Surround yourself with design that inspires you!

Buy from Dorothy


4. 642 Things to Draw Calendar - Sketch again...AND AGAIN

February is the month I go shopping for a new calendar. I love a bargain. This year I came across 642 Things to Draw. Each day it tasks you to draw something new, you can treat it as a doodle or spend hours on it. When the next day comes, tear off your masterpiece and file it in the bin, or put it on the wall (see item 3 on this list). Although I often sketch for projects, this challenges me to draw things I never normally would, from "a jellyfish" to "four stinky cheeses on a plate". Not only has it improved my drawing ability, but it has provided me with a few ideas to add to my projects and is genuinely fun to do.

Buy from Amazon


5. Steel cup - Drink up

Good design is thirsty work, stay hydrated! This high quality steel cup holds 30oz (0.85l) meaning you will drink plenty, and won't need to keep leaving that design zone your in for refills. It boasts double wall insulation with a sealed lid, so you can skip while carrying it and keep your drink hot or cold for longer. The cup also satisfies me with it's subtle and sleek branding.

Buy from Amazon


I hope you enjoyed my list, it would be great to hear which products you would recommend for Graphic Designers in the comments below.