GAID Digital Tools

The Graphic & Interactive Design program at Tyler School of Art and Architecture  is committed to excellence in design and the full integration of technologies within our discipline to best educate and prepare our students to become leaders in this field. A thorough understanding of the changing nature of design and the integral role that technology plays in it, is essential for all our design students. In order for our students to be active participants in this ever-changing environment. 


These are our minimum laptop requirements. If possible, a larger screen for graphic design is always better, and Apple’s lineup includes 14” and 16” (M1 Pro or Max) options as well. More RAM is typically better when speccing your computer. However, with the new Apple M1 chips, anything over 16GB of RAM is considered unnecessary for our purposes. 

MacBook Pro 13 inch M1 laptop 
Purchase through Apple Education Store 

Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine 
8GB unified memory
256GB SSD storage
13-inch Retina display with True Tone
Magic Keyboard
Touch Bar and Touch ID
Force Touch trackpad
Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports 

Backup Drive 

We suggest the Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1TB Portable External Hard Drive for Mac USB 3.0 or the equivalent. It is essential to backup your files to both  an external hard drive and cloud-based storage (see recommended software). 

Optional (helpful) hardware: 

Color, Photo and Document Scanner 
Color, Wide-format Printer 
A Mouse, wired or wireless (while the trackpad on a MacBook is great, it’s no substitute for designing with a mouse) 


Adobe Creative Cloud (supplied by Temple University for free to students) 
Microsoft Office 365 is available to Students at no charge. 

Strongly recommended software 

DROPBOX yearly subscription (for auto backup of your computer and files): 
AppleCare+ for Mac (this is critically important protection) 
Norton Security (Standard)  
Temple University OneDrive (a shared drive) 

Students who are unable to purchase a laptop will have access to loaners during class time and can use one of the available systems in the working lab outside of class. 

Students with any technical questions about hardware or software should email Bryan Satalino, Associate Professor.