Starting an agency requires talent, dedication, and a whole lot of energy. Fortunately, there are numerous tools out there to help you more efficiently and effectively produce your work. From the latest hardware to tried-and-true pen and paper supplies, get the scoop on the top 21 must-have creative tools as you start an agency.

Hardware: Tech Needed for Any Agency

16” Macbook Pro

Your computer is arguably your most important creative tool. Apple’s latest 16” Macbook Pro brings the right balance of performance and capability, key elements that are critical for any creative profession. 

12.9″ iPad Pro and Apple Pencil

A tablet is a must-have for sketching and drawing on the go, and Apple’s iPad and Pencil are the obvious choice when considering portability, capability, and available apps.

Expert Tip: We all know that technology evolves at lightening speed. If you’re afraid of making a large investment in the hardware you need, for fear of it becoming obsolete too soon, checkout Apple’s business leasing program. You will be assigned a small business team account manager who can help you identify all of your hardware needs. From there, you can lease your equipment at a low monthly fee, ensuring ease of upgrades every few years without breaking the bank!

Peripherals: Making Sure Your Work Looks Great

Wacom Intuous Pro Drawing Tablet

This lightweight digital drawing tablet is the gold standard of precision graphics tablets within the creative industry. Paired with Wacom’s Pro Pen 2, which gives 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt-response, this peripheral will support thousands of hours of design and illustration support all in a compact package.

Wacom Cintiq 22

The large digital canvas provides ample space for illustration, animation, video editing, and 3D design work. The HD display boasts 16.7 million colors and incredibly precise parallax movement.

Datacolor SpyderX Pro Monitor Calibrator

This must-have tool for creatives will ensure your monitor is accurately displaying colors. It’s easy-to-use, accurate, and incredibly fast, allowing you to rapidly calibrate multiple monitors to achieve color precision regardless of what device you’re working on.

Samsung 2TB Portable Solid State Hard Drive

Your work is valuable, keep it safe and backed up on an external hard drive.

Software/Cloudware: The Right Programs to Run Your Creative Team

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe has been producing industry-leading creative software for years. Their subscription-based Creative Cloud grants you access to their entire app ecosystem for one low monthly fee. This is a must-have.


Figma is like Google Docs, but for design. Collaborate with colleagues and clients on wireframes, prototypes, and designs in one easy-to-use environment.


ProtoPie is an intuitive design tool that lets you effortlessly create interactive prototypes. This is a must-have for anyone designing apps or other digital products and experiences.


This no-code web authoring tool lets designers build better, more dynamic websites faster and without code. Bring your design to life with clean HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript, all created within Webflow’s design system. Their simple export function enables you to host wherever you or your clients prefer.


Pose is a great, simple web app letting you experiment with different character poses and movements. This is a wonderful tool for anyone who illustrates characters.


Procreate is a powerful raster graphics app for the Apple iPad and iPhone. Create beautiful sketches, paintings, and illustrations on-the-go.


Save yourself the tedium and frustration of manually removing backgrounds from photos and let the AI-powered RemoveBG do that work for you, instantly. This is a huge timesaver for anyone working with photography.

Libraries: Not the Ones that House Books

Stock photos

  • Unsplash: One of the most popular royalty-free photo directories on the web.
  • Pexels: A decent alternative if you can’t find what you’re looking for on Unsplash.
  • Burst: One more free option.

Stock icons

  • The Noun Project: Over 2 million free icons created by a global community.
  • Flaticon: A decent alternative to The Noun Project.

Pen and Paper: You Can’t Start an Agency Without it

Uni Pin Fineliner Drawing Pen Set

Durable, water and light-resistant pens for all-purpose sketching. Ranging in nib size from .05mm to .8mm, there’s a pen for every purpose.

Pentel Arts Pocket Brush Pen

Portable, durable, and easy-to-use brush pen is ideal for painting on the go. Comes with refillable ink cartridges so you’ll never run dry when painting on location.

Field Notes Dot-Graph Paper Books

Pocket-sized notebooks that are perfect for sketching on the go. Carry it in your back pocket wherever you go.

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