Every great design contains a gestalt of rhythm, harmony, color, and form. The best monitors for graphic design unify disparate qualities and features to become a perfectly honed tool for creation. In one day a modern graphic designer might tweak a web icon in Illustrator, adjust a RAW photo’s color palette in Photoshop, prepare a brochure for CMYK print in Indesign, and add type to a 3D animated TV advert. It might be surprising to the uninitiated, but these different tasks will often demand different color spaces and screen specializations: some of which most regular computer monitors wouldn’t be able to touch.

Top monitors for graphic design do a great job with accurate colors in a wide color space so that you don’t have to speculate as to how a T-shirt will look when it comes back from the printer. Their screens get bright enough so that lighter colors will pop and darker colors will recede into true blacks while lighting up uniformly without flicker. Great monitors for graphic design will also be highly detailed, with resolutions above HD; they won’t be able to distinguish individual pixels with the naked eye. Most design monitors are also large.these are our picks:

  • Best overall: ASUS ProArt Display PA279CV
  • Best professional: Apple 32-inch Pro Display XDR
  • Best for gaming and graphic design: GIGABYTE M27Q 27
  • Best reference: Eizo ColorEdge CG319X
  • Best budget: SAMSUNG U28E590D

Best Monitors for graphic design

Let’s get down to business: when it comes to screen quality, you’re looking for something that’s going to make your life better.

So how do you choose? Well, as a digital artist and graphic designer myself, I love it when large projects take me into the weeds. Whether I’m matching a color from Photoshop swatches to a Sherwin-Williams color book to determine what color we should paint an exhibit wall or I’m restoring photographs to incorporate into slides, it always comes down to the details. When I bought my last laptop, I spent about a month scouring the internet comparing screen quality, so when writing this list I wanted to make sure that I did the topic justice.

I researched numerous monitors from leading manufacturers, taking into consideration professional reviews, peer suggestions, and user impressions—and then comparing the specs to classics and brand-new models alike. I outlined some of the criteria below:

The first thing to know about color accuracy is that it’s a complicated issue.

Color accuracy is the key to getting precise prints, and a monitor can affect your results in several ways. Color accuracy is affected by lots of variables, including consistency, gamut, and bit depth. But one of the first metrics to find when assessing a screen is its Delta E metric (ΔE <X), which measures the difference between two colors in a quantified color space—generally, the CIEDE2000. The accuracy of this metric is measured in mathematically quantified color space used in color science. Smaller scores signify less space between input and a standard. A Delta E score of under 1 is generally considered unperceivable, while a score of under 3 is generally unperceivable to most laymen. Monitors with very low Delta E scores, such as ΔE <2 or ΔE <1 are highly accurate for color-critical work.

Color gamut measures the breadth of the color space that can be rendered on a monitor. Color spaces do better with greens and teals, while others do better with reds, russets, and browns. Certain color standards are useful for specific scenarios. For example, sRGB is the most “basic” color space of the digital age, as it contains the standard colors used on the web.

Bit depth measures the millions or billions of possible colors displayed on a monitor. The standards you’ll want to look for are 8-Bit and 10-Bit monitors, which cover all of the colors usually available in SDR—or more (in the case of 10-Bit). For most of us, 8-Bit is good enough, but 10-Bit can be worth it in the right application.

There’s a lot to know about screens! First, you’ll want to know whether your monitor is an IPS (In-Plane Switching) or TN (Twisted Nematic) model. TN models have historically been associated with better color consistency across the whole screen, while IPS models tend to display colors differently at the bottom and top of the screen.

Next, you’ll want to make sure that your monitor has a high brightness rating—the higher the number, the easier it will be for you to see what’s on your screen in bright settings. For example, if you’re trying to read a book at night and your monitor isn’t as bright as it could be, then the text won’t appear as clearly as it should.

Finally, you’ll want to make sure that your monitor has an HDR compatibility score (HDR10+ is preferred). HDR10+ screens are capable of producing brighter whites than previous iterations of HDR, as well as darker shades that make for more contrast between light and dark areas.

Resolution is one of the most important factors when choosing a monitor. It tells you how many pixels are displayed on your screen, which determines how detailed and clear things look. The standard for monitors is 4K, or 3840×2160. This is higher than HD (1920×1080) and offers more detail than you can see with your eyes. Screen size also matters; a larger screen allows you to see more information at once without scrolling down or across multiple windows.

I use a variety of different monitors depending on what I’m doing at any given time: working on my computer at home, watching TV, playing video games like League of Legends—there’s an endless variety of tasks that require different types of displays and resolutions.

Things to consider

Budget

Graphic designers spend their days in front of the computer, creating digital art and designs. A good monitor for graphic design is a must-have item. If you’re looking for your first monitor, it can be a bit overwhelming because there are many different types and features available. Here’s our guide to finding the best monitor for graphic design!

As with most technology that is purpose-built for a specific niche task, the best monitors for graphic design get expensive quickly. While you shop, it’s important to consider your budget alongside the specs you want. While a leading design studio that works in color-critical animated type for Hollywood will need a true best-in-class reference monitor, a designer working with web-based icons won’t need a monitor with a veritable V10 engine. It’s a good idea to set a budget goal before you wade into the market.

Gaming 

If you’re looking for a monitor for graphic design, you might be surprised to learn that most great monitors aren’t also purpose-built for gaming. But if you’re looking for a good gaming monitor, you shouldn’t let that stop you from getting what your eyes need.

Most good gaming monitors have a quick screen refresh rate above 60Hz (Hertz)—a common screen refresh rate for IPS monitors that excel at color accuracy. If games are for you, look for a monitor with at least 60Hz, but probably more. Some monitors also have nice features like adaptive sync, which syncs your screen refresh rate to your graphics card, to reduce tearing and stutters.

Connectivity 

In the modern era, it’s all about connections. The connectivity of your monitor and laptop will play an important role in your monitor’s performance. If you want to work on 4K video with zero lag on a 4K monitor, it will be important that the hardware and ports you use to connect that monitor are top quality as well. Many monitors are capable of connecting over HDMI or USB-C. If you’ll be using USB-C, consider checking whether your computer has a Thunderbolt port or one of the newest USB-C standards. Some will also want extra ports on their monitor, or the potential to daisy-chain other devices, consider these needs before you buy.

If you’ll be using a USB-C port on your monitor, make sure that it has enough bandwidth (the speed at which data travels) so that it doesn’t drop frames when playing back a video at 4K resolution without stuttering or lagging.

Great Color accuracy

Color accuracy is a key trait in graphics design monitors. Accurate color means that the content you view on it will be a reasonably accurate example of what the same content will look like on other monitors, or when your work is sent to print.

Most modern monitors deliver reasonable color accuracy, but some remain much better than others. The good news? You don’t have to spend a fortune to see top-notch results. Our top pick, the $3,499.99 Asus ProArt PA32DC, has color accuracy on par with our runner-up pick, the $249.99 NZXT Canvas 27Q.

The Best Monitors for Graphic Design:

Best overall: ASUS ProArt Display PA279CV

Best professional: Apple 32-inch Pro Display XDR

Best for gaming and graphic design: GIGABYTE M27Q 27

Best reference: Eizo ColorEdge CG319X

Best budget: SAMSUNG U28E590D

1.Best overall: ASUS ProArt Display PA279CV

Asus Best Overall Monitor

Specs

  • Resolution: 4K
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Display Size: 27 inches
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz
  • Price: $449.99

Pros

  • Color accurate ΔE <2
  • 100% sRGB, Calman verified for color accuracy
  • Bright with some HDR coverage and good contrast
  • 4K resolution

Cons

  • Not the best in DCI-P3 or AdobeRGB color spaces
  • Some issues with motion graphics and ghosting in game settings

The ProArt PA279CV is a great 4K panel for anyone designing for the digital space. What it’s missing is great authority for print and film design. The panel’s color gamut falls short in the DCI-P3 color space and the Adobe RGB color space. Still, its impressive accuracy in sRGB outshines some more expensive monitors for those specializing in web design, where those additional color gamuts could confuse the process.

The ProArt Display PA279CV is an excellent choice for designers working in the digital space because it excels at providing 100% coverage of sRGB, with a Delta-E score of below 2. That means that the difference between the digital color on this monitor and the standardized digital color is imperceptibly different to all but the color-scientist expert (and maybe even them). It has a 4K resolution that’s extremely crisp and bright, with excellent contrast, and limited HDR, with 10-Bit color. With its proprietary “flicker-free” IPS panel, it’s also noticeably consistent in brightness and color across the whole panel.

The ProArt PA279CV is a great 4K panel for anyone designing for digital.

2. Best professional: Apple 32-inch Pro Display XDR

Best Apple Monitor

Specs

  • Resolution: 6K
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Display Size: 28.3 inches (32-inch diagonal)
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz
  • Price: $5499

Pros

  • Extremely high resolution
  • Extremely high brightness and contrast
  • Excellent local dimming for deep black
  • Extra-wide color gamut in DCI-P3 and AdobeRGB with a Delta-E score below 1

Cons

  • Less than 95% of sRGB color gamut coverage
  • Very expensive
  • Stand and adapter are sold separately (and very expensive)

The Apple 32-inch Pro Display XDR is a true professional-grade monitor that you can’t put in your toolbox and use to make the perfect burger. It has a price tag that puts it out of most people’s reach, but if you’re already dropping thousands on Apple’s new Mac Studio desktop for creatives, what’s a few thousand more?

Looking at the Pro Display XDR, you’ll immediately notice the monitor’s jaw-dropping vibrance and detail. With a 6K screen, this monitor is incredibly pixel rich, sporting a resolution that would have sounded like fiction a few years ago. That resolution is put to good use, with exceptional brightness and precise local dimming, for one of the highest contrast HDR experiences around (Apple likes to call it XDR). This gorgeous contrast supplements a deep propensity for color. The display clocks nearly 99% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space and nearly 97% of Adobe RGB. Its Delta-E score is below 1, meaning that this vast color book is also authoritatively accurate.

If you’re in the market for an ultra-high-end workstation display—and who isn’t?—the Pro Display XDR.

The Pro Display XDR is an exceptional monitor, but it’s not for everyone.

If you have the budget and need exceptional color accuracy for print and film, this is the monitor for you. While it has some downsides, like its limited coverage of the sRGB color space and its hefty price tag, the Pro Display XDR is worth it if that’s what you need.

3. Best for gaming and graphic design: GIGABYTE M27Q 27

Gaming Gigabyte Monitor

Specs

  • Resolution: WQHD (2560×1440)
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Display Size: 28.94 inches
  • Refresh Rate: 170Hz
  • Price: $359.99

Pros

  • Extra-wide color gamut with 95% AdobeRGB
  • Good contrast
  • Super-fast screen refresh rate and free sync capable of high frame rates gaming
  • Flicker-free tech

Cons

  • Not 4K
  • 8-Bit color

If you’re a graphic designer, you know that it’s all about the details. You have to make sure your text is legible, that your colors are bright and vibrant, and that every pixel is accounted for.

So when you need a monitor that can handle all of these details with ease, look no further than the GIGABYTE M27Q 27-Inch IPS Gaming Monitor.

This monitor has the color accuracy and brightness you need to create stunning images without sacrificing speed or refresh rate. The screen resolution is WQHD (2560 x 1440), which means your image will be crisp and clear even when working with high-resolution graphics. And since this monitor uses IPS panel technology, it will give you accurate colors that won’t wash out in bright sunlight or when working on a sunny day.

Its 350 nit brightness means this monitor won’t require any extra lighting during work hours or late nights at home—you’ll be able to see everything clearly right away. And its 8-Bit color handling capabilities mean this monitor will handle HDR-level contrast without issue—and because it uses AMD FreeSync Premium technology, it won’t get blurry or choppy when running movies on Netflix or YouTube!

4. Best reference: Eizo ColorEdge CG319X

Eizo Coloredge Monitor

Specs

  • Resolution: 4K (4096×2160)
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Display Size: 28.94 inches
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz
  • Price: $5,839

Pros

  • Exceptional clarity and color coverage with true blacks
  • Self-calibrate monitor’s color settings with built-in sensor
  • ColorNavigator network sets the color profile across the company network
  • Accurate reproduction of multiple color spaces, including CMYK, ISO-coated, Rec.2020, DCI-P3, and AdobeRGB

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Not as bright as some

Behind the “Stranger Things” intro sequence, behind the Geico logo’s surprise appearance after the advert punchline, there’s most likely a reference monitor. The Eizo ColorEdge CG319X is a pro-level reference monitor that’s precise enough to rely on when color grading is of the utmost importance. Designed for video editing and CGI, this monitor is also an excellent pro-grade tool for graphic design.

The ColorEdge offers a lot of colors. With an extra-wide color gamut, it delivers 99% AdobeRGB, 98% of the DCI-P3, and Rec.2020, while also doing a stellar job with the majority of what can be represented in print CMYK and ISO-coated printing. It easily cycles between different color profiles and can even be calibrated across a network, so big studios using Eizos can be sure that their projects are consistent, even when bouncing results from multiple computers. The monitor even comes with a physical sensor that automatically monitors its color profile. Its contrast ratio is 1500:1, segueing with 10-Bit color to produce deep blacks and radiant lights in over a billion hues.

The Eizo ColorEdge puts a premium on reliability.

5. Best budget: SAMSUNG U28E590D

Samsung Monitor

Specs

  • Resolution: 4K
  • Panel Type: TN UHD (Twisted Nematic)
  • Display Size: 28 inches
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz
  • Price: $287.99

Pros

  • Good contrast with rich darks
  • Excellent color for a TN panel
  • Free-sync with a quick TN response time and good motion graphics
  • Great detailed resolution

Cons

  • Issues with color accuracy in different parts of the screen and viewing angles
  • No HDCP 2.2 means some movies won’t play

The Samsung U28E590D is a solid choice for graphic designers who stick to internet-based content. It’s not the best choice for projects that bleed into print, but it’s still a great crossover monitor that does a solid job for both digital design, media and gaming.

Often touted by reviewers as possibly the best affordable monitor for graphic design around, this Samsung monitor is a mixed bag. While it is a 4K screen with close to 400 nits of brightness and a 10-Bit color palette that does an especially good job for a Twisted Nematic (TN) screen, it doesn’t beat out a good IPS panel. That TN panel also means this monitor gets the free-throw every time you’re gaming—with a free-sync enabled 60Hz screen and better than average pixel response times. But that TN panel also creates some issues: It has limited viewing angles and suffers from imprecise color at different points on the screen.