How Much Storage Does a Graphic Designer Need?

By CreativB Studios – 06 May 2022

The amount of storage a graphic designer purely depends on the type of graphic designer you are, if you are a motion designer then you would require more storage as motion design requires a hefty amount of storage whether it is long term or short term.

But if you specialize in visual identity then the amount of storage needed isnt that high. 

In order to completely answer this question, we will look into:

    • Types of Storage and How they Help in Graphic Design
    • Minimum Storage Requirements for Different Software
    • Does Storage have an Effect on the Performance of a Software
    • Storage Tips and Accessories 
    • Cloud Storage: Free Storage Device Alternative

Types of Storage in a Computer

Let’s start by not being too technical and using scary words.

There are two types of storage:

  • Primary Storage
  • Secondary Storage

Primary Storage:

A Primary Storage device is a medium that holds data only while it’s being used. These include, RAM, ROM, Flash Memory, And cache. 

RAM – Random Access Memory is used to hold data and instructions that are currently in use. For Example, the ability to use or run multiple documents simultaneously without any loss of data.

The more RAM a computer has, the more data and program instructions it can hold simultaneously.

As graphic designers, we should focus more on RAM as it is responsible for the overall performance of your laptop/computer and how fast it can run a software.

Secondary Storage:

Secondary Storage is a device that holds data until it is deleted or overwritten. These include HDD, SSD, USB, etc. The ones we will be focusing on are HDD and SSD.

HDD also known as Hard Disk Drive, can either be internal or external and is typically used to store long-term data like memorable pictures or videos, important documents, music, etc.

SSD also known as Solid State Drive, does exactly what HDD does but better. As SSD doesn’t have any moving parts (unlike HDDs) it makes them more reliable compared to HDDs. 

SSD’s access time is 100 times greater than HDD, meaning it can run or perform a task 100 times faster than HDD.

So, which one should you consider?

Both, The amount of storage a graphic designer should consider when opting for either an SSD or an HDD will depend on the work they do but having a combination of HDD and SSD is, in a way, more economical and beneficial in terms of performance.

As SSD provides faster access time and HDD allows for more storage at reasonable prices and the fact that HDD can be external adds a level of security.

How Do These Storage Help Graphic Designers?

Having a combination of SSD and HDD increases the ability to run complex designs and heavy software.

Primary Storage (RAM) would allow you to run multiple software, or perform complex tasks such as visual effects, 3D modeling, etc. much faster and smoother.

Secondary Storage (SSD & HDD) will enable you to store large amounts of data such as software, Pictures, and other file formats. The more storage you have the faster your accessing time (SSD), the more resources you can store.

Photo Credit:

Minimum Storage Requirements for Different Software

The minimum and recommended storage a graphic designer needs to run creative software have been listed down below in the comparison to different software.

Minimum Storage

InDesign4 GB~3.6 GB of available space
Photoshop8 GB~5 GB of available space
Illustrator8 GB~3 GB of available space 
Premiere Pro8 GB~8 GB of available space
After effects16 GB~15 GB of available space
Final Cut Pro4 GB~3.8 GB of available space

Recommended Storage

InDesign16 GB~3.6 GB of available space (SSD)
Photoshop16 GB~5 GB of available space (SSD)
illustrator16 GB~3 GB of available space (SSD)
Premiere Pro16 GB~8 GB of Available space (SSD)
After effects32 GB~15 GB of Available space (SSD)
Final Cut Pro8 GB~3.8 GB of Available space (SSD)

Does Storage have an Effect on the Performance of a Software?

Well in a way, Yes.

RAM directly impacts your system’s performance depending on the usage and the software.

When your RAM can no longer hold more data, your CPU is forced to read data directly from the virtual memory area. 

What is Virtual Memory?

Virtual memory is a common technique used in a computer’s operating system (OS). Virtual memory uses both hardware and software to enable a computer to compensate for physical memory shortages, temporarily transferring data from random access memory (RAM) to disk storage.

And if your storage has reached max capacity then you will start observing lagging.

In conclusion, the more RAM and Storage you have the faster your access time will be and the smoother your operation will be when using softwares simultaneously.

Storage Tips


  • Install your Operating System on SSD – Faster Access Time
  • Store essential Software and Games in SSD
  • Regularly Clean your storage
  • Invest in an External HDD


  • Don’t Defrag your SSD – defragging an SSD is not only unnecessary but bad for the drive as well.
  • Don’t Fill to Full Capacity –  may suffer performance issues, especially in writing speed.
  • Don’t Wipe the Drive –  it is going to degrade your SSD life by making unnecessary write cycles.

Accessories That Can Help in Speed Performance

Some storage devices can help with the performance of your system as well as add a level of security to safeguard your important data.

Seagate BarraCuda 2TB Internal Hard Drive HDD - PC

Having a large storage capacity for important documents and files that arent regularly used can be stored on an HDD in order to keep your SSD free of space.

Digital Storage Capacity2 TB
Compatible DevicesPC
Hard Disk InterfaceSerial ATA

External storage is just as useful as an internal HDD, Freeing up space on your system by allowing you to store data that is important but not regularly used such as pictures, videos, etc. 

Digital Storage Capacity5 TB
Hard Disk InterfaceUSB 3.0
BrandWestern Digital
SeriesMy Passport

SSD as mentioned above have a faster access time that is 100 times faster than HDD, having an SSD can improve loading speeds exponentially.

Hard Disk InterfaceSerial ATA
Series870 EVO
Connectivity TechnologySATA
Hard Disk Form Factor2.5 Inches
Hard Disk Size1 TB

Cloud Storage: Free Storage Device Alternative

A free storage device alternative is cloud storage, it does not require any physical device because it basically store files online in something called “The Cloud” 

The Cloud is a computing model that stores data online through a cloud computing provider that manages and operates data storage as a service.

Advantages of Cloud Storage:

  • Don’t have to physically purchase or carry any devices along with you.
  • Free but limited storage is provided in the free plan.
  • Can Access anytime from anywhere
  • Incase of virus, your data is secure on the cloud

Disadvantages of Cloud Storage:

  • Data can be hacked on the cloud
  • Monthly Subscription for more storage
  • Require Internet Connection to access data

Google Photos is a photo-sharing and storage service developed by Google. You will get 15 GB of storage for free using your google account.

But to get more storage you will have to subscribe to their subscription plan.

Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service developed by Google. It can be used for pictures, videos, word documents, and other file formats.

Like Google Photos, this also has 15 Gb of free storage but once you reach that limit you will have to apply for their subscription plan for more cloud storage.


OneDrive is a file storage service developed by Microsoft, like google drive it can be used for pictures, videos, etc.

But unlike others, you only get 5 GB of free storage and once you have reached that limit you can purchase more for $5/monthly

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