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It’s easy to see how the best computer monitors for graphic designers and artists can really help any designer and artist work better.
The extremely high resolution offered by 4K monitors allows for a level of precision in fine detail work not possible even a few years ago, and the color fidelity that comes from IPS (In-Plane Switching, which improves a screen’s color fidelity and visibility), along with other technologies, lets you really see what you’re doing with color choices, contrasts and complements, as well as very subtle gradation and shading.
But there are a bewildering number of computer monitors out there today, and all seem to have similar specifications – or even exactly the same specifications – so it can be really hard to find a clear answer to questions like:
Don’t worry – we’re here to answer these questions and more
Probably the most important things in choosing the best computer display for artists are:
But it’s not all about specifications. It’s quite common to see two different monitors with the exact same specifications look enormously different.
One will seem crisp, sharp, three dimensional and alive, and the other will look meh…
So while specifications and the latest technologies are certainly important, just as important is the quality of the components, construction and graphic design elements and, of course, a beautiful, bright, accurate and stable display.
That’s why I’ve decided to write this article, to help you decide between the seemingly hundreds and hundreds of computer displays that seem so great on paper, and find the ones that look so great on your desktop with your artwork proudly displayed.
Getting back to what I said at the beginning, it might be easy enough to understand how the right monitor would make any artist work better and up their game – with resolution and color fidelity being key, and other factors like eye comfort also being super important.
But there are other reasons why the right computer display for artists is so important to find and to have, and one is that the best monitors help you learn – and, believe me, you are never too old, or too experienced, or too knowledgeable, or too good and artist, to learn!
Really seeing exactly how colors interact with each other – when the colors themselves and their slight shifts and changes are perfectly represented – allows us to better understand color theory and practical usage of colors in our artwork, and so we get better and better, and more comfortable, using color in the future.
The same is true with detail. When we see exactly how textures, fine lines and the tiniest details affect the object and the overall composition – in terms of space, perspective and dimensions, balance and relationship, color and light – we learn more about composition, representation and much more.
We could also say this about screens with great brightness, accurate geometry, low distortion and other technical advantages – but again, really only when those advantages and advances are clearly seen not just on the spec sheet but on the display screen itself.
After looking at and testing lots and lots monitors, talking to friends, colleagues and other artists and graphic designers, and reading seemingly countless reviews from verified customers from Amazon and elsewhere, I have put together this buyer’s guide, intended to make sure you find the best computer monitor currently available for commercial artists, fine artists, animators and illustrators, professional and serious amateur photographers.
All of these monitors will be fully compatible with all platforms and current hardware, so if you’re running Apple macOS, Windows, Linux or something else you can choose any of these monitors and it will work perfectly.
It really comes down to what’s important to you, and what you can afford. All of the monitors in this review of best computer displays for artists have great color and resolution, depth, life and light, but as you go up in price they do look better and better.
So if your budget is somewhat flexible, and if, for instance, perfectly accurate color representation is vitally important to your work, spend a little more and the corresponding recommendation from my list will give you slightly better, and slightly better looking, colors. And the same thing could be said for resolution or other factors.
These are all great computer monitors for artists, though, and whichever one you buy will have the color fidelity, brightness and contrast, and resolution you need, will be a joy to look at and to use, will make you a better artist and improve your work, and will offer the best value you can get for the money.
I hope that you enjoy this article – The 7 Best Monitors for Designers and Artists in 2021 – A Detailed Buyer’s Guide and Review – and that you love your new monitor. Believe me, you won’t believe how much you’ve been missing!
BEST MONITOR FOR DESIGN AND ART
BEST VALUE PRICE RATIO
EYE CARE TECHNOLOGY
GREAT AND INEXPENSIVE
This is the most beautiful monitor I’ve ever seen, and if price were no object it would be absolutely my first choice.
A big 32 inch monitor with absolutely best-in-class brightness, contrast, color coverage and accuracy and, well, pretty much every other category – in fact, it is in a class completely by itself.
But all of that cannot possibly prepare you for the experience of seeing or working on the Apple Pro Display XDR – the life and depth of images, the breathtaking beauty, and the way you can see, and better work on, every single aspect of your art. In fact, if you have ever made a mistake on a piece of art and not noticed it until after you had professional prints made (or, more upsettingly, have submitted the work to a client!), well I daresay it wouldn’t be possible with this screen – you would see the mistake straightaway.
But you also see the beauty, quality and skill of your work, and also your own talent, in all its glory, and that is one of the things I love most about the Apple Pro Display XDR. It is such a stunning monitor, and makes my artworks look so good, that I always end up feeling like a better artist – and, somehow, I think this makes me a better artist.
Yes, that’s it, not just the confidence it brings, but every single thing about the Apple 32-inch Pro Display XDR with Retina 6K Display & Nano-Texture Glass will make you a better artist, and it is without a doubt the very best monitor for artists on the market in 2021 – and probably for a long time to come!
Now, is it worth almost six grand? Yes, absolutely! Whether you (or I) can afford it or not, well that’s another question… But don’t forget you’ll also need a Pro Display Stand, which is not included and costs more than most of the other monitors in this buying guide!
Apple Pro Display Stand – $994.00 (!)
The only monitor that can rival the Apple Pro Display above in terms of color fidelity, the EIZO CG279X is the perfect choice for professional artists and photographers who need absolute color accuracy, brightness and contrast – and for a much lower price.
A truly professional caliber monitor, the EIZO ColorEdge has a startlingly beautiful screen, with such depth and energy that any image will come through brilliantly, and it is very easy to do the most detailed work, make the most minute and subtle adjustments and fixes, and see exactly the effect of any retouching or editing work before you submit or print a piece.
Still an expensive monitor, the EIZO CG279X ColorEdge Professional 27” Color Graphics Monitor is an absolute necessity for top-level commercial artists and illustrators, photographers and animators and it is, at that level, is an amazing value.
A big, bold monitor, with super high resolution and bright, beautiful colors, the EIXZO EV3285FX is a favorite among professionals, and it’s easy to see why.
Full 4K UHD resolution, in combination with a 32 inch screen, makes even the most exacting, detailed work much easier and more precise, and 24 bit color, along with IPS technology, allows for the most accurate color display and control.
But the EIZO FlexScan is so popular among professional artists, illustrators, animators, photographers and video editors not just because of the accuracy and control they get, but because it is designed for long, detail-intensive work sessions – anti-flicker technology, high refresh rate, auto-brightness sensor, anti-glare screen and blue-light filters all provide maximum comfort and minimum eye strain.
Another superb monitor from a company that clearly knows commercial and fine artists and our needs, the EIZO EV3285FX FlexScan Professional 31.5″ Color Graphics Monitor is the best truly professional large format computer display for artists in 2021.
Surprisingly inexpensive for a professional monitor with this kind of over-engineering and this level of performance, the EIZO FlexScan EV2785 is fully up to the needs of even the most demanding commercial or fine artist.
With full 4K UHD resolution, superb contrast and brightness, this EIZO FlexScan looks noticeably better than even the best less expensive monitors that are designed for more normal consumer use, and like other EIZO monitors it is designed for long work sessions with a minimum of fatigue or eye strain.
With IPS switching technology and 24 bit color, along with the very best design, engineering and material quality, the EIVO FlexScan 27 inch monitor can display 16.7 million colors with superb accuracy and brightness, and is an idea choice for color-critical work, or for color-loving artists like myself!
And the ultra high resolution makes this a perfect choice also for even the most intense and precise detail work, giving an artist an almost unprecedented level of visibility and control.
Even at almost 1,200 dollars, the EIZO FlexScan EV2785 27″ Professional Color Graphics Monitor is an easy recommendation for the best value available today in a true professional monitor for artists.
It seems like some of the biggest and most well-known manufacturers of computers, monitors and accessories are starting to suffer from issues over lower quality and reliability recently, and their latest lines and models just aren’t what they used to be.
BenQ, on the other hand, seems to be going in the opposite direction, and their latest 4K monitors are absolutely superb – not only in performance, but material quality, construction and reliability. And BenQ is already famous for offering amazing value for the money.
This is all certainly true for the BenQ EW3280U 32 inch 4K monitor. Not just an ultra-high resolution monitor in specifications, this screen has a startlingly sharp and bright image, with such depth and life, and such true, rich colors.
While I would normally be a little wary of a computer monitor billed as a multi-media display, with obviously a lot of engineering and resources put into speakers and sound, it is clear that the same engineering has led to a monitor that has everything even the most serious or high-level artist or animator might need – and, somehow, at a true bargain price for this level of equipment.
A big, bright, high resolution screen that can be worked on for long periods of time without fatigue or eye strain, the BenQ EW3280U 32 inch 4K UHD Eye Care Monitor with IPS Switching is the best large format computer monitor for artists on the market today, and the best value.
The Dell Ultrasharp 27 inch monitor shows just how good of display quality we can get these days for not a lot of money.
With exceptional brightness, contrast, resolution, color depth and color accuracy all immediately obvious the moment you look at it, and more and more obvious the longer you work, the Dell Ultrasharp also clearly shows how certain great monitors, with the same specifications as others, can somehow look and work much better.
While it is not the least expensive computer monitor on the market, the Dell Ultrasharp is worth the money and more – a truly premium product in terms of material quality, workmanship and performance, and more than sufficient for all levels and kinds of art production, from amateur to serious professional. It is also a perfect monitor for the art student or newcomer to grow into.
Superb resolution, colors, brightness and contrast, and overall excellent quality, make the Dell Ultrasharp U2718Q 27-Inch 4K IPS Monitor the best mid-priced monitor for artists or photographers in 2021.
With a surprisingly beautiful, high quality picture – deep color saturation and great accuracy, strong contrast and brightness and exceptional sharpness – the LG 27UL500 UltraFine computer monitor looks much better than some monitors I’ve seen which cost way more money.
And somehow the LG 27 inch UltraFine still manages to offer the highest levels of quality and reliability, and looks and feels like a first-class product.
Artists can rest assured that the colors they are seeing are accurate, with the LG UltraFine monitor’s IPS technology, 8 bit color depth (plus FRC – a Frame Rate Control system giving even better color depth), and a full 98 percent sRGB coverage In addition, the Radeon FreeSync provides smooth, dependable motion – great for animators, and the wide viewing angle means that an artist doesn’t need to adjust to the monitor while working, preventing fatigue and increasing creative concentration.
The least expensive computer monitor I know that offers good enough performance for almost any artist on any level, the LG 27UL500 UltraFine 4K UHD IPS LED Color Monitor is an amazing product for the money, and definitely the best budget monitor for artists in 2021.
I hope this article has communicated how important I think it is to have the best monitor possible for your artwork, and how little we can trust specifications or even prices as guides to finding the best display for artists.
I am especially excited about all 7 monitors I’ve included in this buying guide, because they all have really beautiful displays – color, depth, contrast, brightness, sharpness and life – and because they are all really good values for the money – even if, for some of them, the money is considerable!
But mostly I’m excited because I know that if you choose one of my recommendations your new monitor will improve your working process and your art, make your creative sessions more enjoyable, and even make you feel better about yourself as an artist. After all, it’s not just the fabulous screen that makes your artworks look so amazing – you really are that good!
Thank you so much for reading this article – Best Computer Monitors for Artists in 2021 – A Detailed Buyer’s Guide and Review – and please check out my blog – Art Side of Life – for all kinds of artist resources – online courses, tutorials, reviews and a lot more.