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Best 27 Inch Monitor For Graphic Design

Using a 27-inch monitor for Graphic Design has so many benefits. But with the plethora of models and specs to choose from, it can be overwhelming. How do you choose the best 27-inch monitor to meet your needs?

If you are looking for a new monitor for design, chances are you care about display size, resolution, and color accuracy. Thankfully with so much competition amongst major manufacturers, monitor technology is quickly improving and becoming more affordable. 

After tons of online research, reviewing specs, reading user reviews, and my own experience designing on a variety of monitors, I have compiled a list of 5 of the best 27-inch monitors for Graphic Design.

In this article, we will go over what you should consider when looking for a new 27-inch monitor. Then we will provide our recommendations based on a couple of use cases and budgets. Let’s go!

What To Look For When Choosing A 27 Inch Monitor

We will get into the nitty-gritty details later in the article. But if you are in a hurry, here’s a quick summary of what to look for in a 27-inch Graphic Design monitor.

Features & Specs:

  • Size: 27 Inch
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: Ideally, 4k 3840 x 2160. If on budget WQHD 2560 x 1440.
  • Panel Type: IPS Panel. *Do not get a TN Panel for Graphic Design.
  • Screen Surface: Matte finish. Do not get a glossy screen.
  • Color Accuracy: Adobe RGB and sRGB higher the percentage the better (90% and above).
  • Color Depth: 8 Bit. 10 Bit only if your work requires it.
  • Contrast Ratio: Minimum 500:1, better 1000:1.
  • Brightness: Common spec between 300 -350 cd/m2. It depends on your work environment.
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz is good for Graphic Design. 100Hz, 120Hz, or 144Hz if you work on motion graphics or play games on the side.

Other considerations:

  • Monitor Types: Avoid curved and ultra-wide screens for design work.
  • Multiple Monitors: Two is better than one. Two 27’s is ideal.
  • Connections: Make sure your GPU has compatible ports for your monitor(s). Most modern Monitors and GPUs support multiple connections such as DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, and VGA.

Best 27-Inch Monitors For Graphic Design

EIZO Coloredge CG279X

Best Professional 27-Inch Monitor – With Flawless Color Accuracy

PROS
  • Perfect color accuracy
  • Built-in calibration tool
  • It comes with a monitor hood
CONS
  • Very expensive for non-4K
  • Chunky bezels

Specs:

  • Screen Size: 27-Inch
  • Resolution: 2560 x 1440
  • PPI: 109
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Color Accuracy: 99.9% sRGB, 99.9% Adobe RGB, 98% DCI-P3
  • Brightness 350 nits
  • Contrast Ratio: 1300:1
  • Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
  • Connections: 1 DisplayPort, 1 HDMI, 1 DVI-D, USB Type-C, 
  • Viewing Angle: 178 degrees

If you are a professional designer who needs flawless color accuracy, this is the monitor for you. The EIZO Coloredge CG318-4K display is simply stunning. The screen comes with a resolution of 2560 x 1440, an impressive contrast ratio of 1300:1 and a brightness of 350 cd/m2. In addition, wide gamut covering 99% of the Adobe RGB color space and 98% of the DCI-P3 color space.

The LCD panel with IPS (Wide Gamut) technology enables a wide viewing angle, ensuring that hues and contrast remain consistent for viewers.
It features an integrated calibration sensor that ensures you achieve maximum color accuracy. In addition, EIZO’s build quality is solid, backed by a 5-year warranty.

If you need perfect color accuracy, extra precision of 4K resolution, and money is no object, the Eizo ColorEdge CG319X is the best 4K monitor for design professionals period.

DELL Ultrasharp U2718Q

Best budget 4K Monitor

PROS
  • Ultra-thin bezels
  • Good color accuracy for the price
  • Great ergonomics and adjustability
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty
CONS
  • Greys can be sometimes inaccurate
  • No USB-C Connectivity

Specs:

  • Screen Size: 27-Inch
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • PPI: 163
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Color Accuracy: 99.9% sRGB, 75% Adobe RGB, 80.7% DCI-P3
  • Brightness 350 nits
  • Contrast Ratio: 1317:1
  • Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
  • Connections: 1 DisplayPort, 1 Mini DisplayPort, 1 HDMI, 4x USB 3.0
  • Viewing Angle: 178 degrees

The Dell Ultrasharp U2718Q 27-Inch 4K monitor is right in the sweet spot for Graphic Designers who are on a budget but want quality and reliability. It has a stunning 4K display and great ergonomics. Not to mention, it looks as good as it performs with an ultra-thin bezel-less design. Another important thing to note, the Dell U278Q is VESA compliant for monitor arm mounts.

On the other hand, if you have a higher budget and need perfect color accuracy, this probably isn’t the monitor for you. The reason being, while 99/9% sRGB is fine for most designers, those who need perfect color accuracy won’t be satisfied with only 75% Adobe RGB coverage. In addition, our online research has found a few reports of inaccurate greys.

If you like Dell as a brand as much as I do and want a monitor with perfect color accuracy, check the Dell Ultrasharp UP2718Q that features 100% Adobe RGB coverage. If you are on a tighter budget, the U2718 is still great value.

ViewSonic VP2785-4K

Professional color accuracy at a reasonable price

PROS
  • Amazing color accuracy
  • Thin top and side bezels
  • Great ergonomics and adjustability
  • Built-in ambient light sensor
  • Flexible connectivity with USB Type C
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty
CONS
  • Large external power brick
  • Tricky to put together

Specs:

  • Screen Size: 27-Inch
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • PPI: 163
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Color Accuracy: 99.9% sRGB, 99% Adobe RGB, 96% DCI-P3
  • Brightness 350 nits
  • Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
  • Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
  • Connections: 1 DisplayPort, 1 Mini DisplayPort, 2x HDMI, 4x USB 3.0, 1 USB Type C
  • Viewing Angle: 178 degrees

The ViewSonic VP2785-4K 27-inch monitor is the right choice for designers who require professional color accuracy and precision but don’t want to break the bank on a more expensive EIZO or Dell. ViewSonic has improved its appearance with a more elegant design featuring slim bezels while maintaining excellent build quality.

The VP2785-4K produces stunning picture quality with 4k resolution and color accuracy that rivals more expensive displays. This professional monitor offers 99.9% sRGB, 99% Adobe RGB, 96% DCI-P3, and accurate shades via its 10-bit interface with a 14-bit LUT.

If you are an Apple user and want to connect to a separate monitor, this ViewSonic offers USB Type C connectivity. Just keep in mind, there different types of USB Type C cables, most are simply for charging. Where-as you would need to choose the USB Type C cable that works for audio/visual.

BenQ SW271 27 Inch

Professional color accuracy

PROS
  • Amazing color accuracy
  • Thin top and side bezels
  • It comes with a monitor hood
  • Flexible connectivity with USB Type C
  • Hotkey puck allows for quick color mode switching
CONS
  • No image adjustments in HDR mode
  • Relatively expensive

Specs:

  • Screen Size: 27-Inch
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • PPI: 163
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Color Accuracy: 99.9% sRGB, 99% Adobe RGB, 96% DCI-P3
  • Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
  • Brightness 350 nits
  • Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
  • Connections: 1 DisplayPort, 1 Mini DisplayPort, 2x HDMI, 4x USB 3.0, 1 USB Type C
  • Viewing Angle: 178 degrees

The Benq SW271 is a high-end 4K monitor built for photographers or anyone who demands color accuracy. This monitor gives you spectacular color and grey gradation via a 14-bit 3D color lookup table. This is ideal for Photographers and designers working in RAW or HDR formats.

If you are an Apple user and want to connect to a separate monitor, this Benq SW271 offers USB Type C connectivity. As mentioned above, there different types of USB Type C cables, most are simply for charging. Where-as you would need to choose the USB Type C cable that works for audio/visual.

Overall, if you need accurate colors, but can’t quite afford the EIZO, it’s between this and the ViewSonic VP2785-4K. Both are similar in specs, and amazing monitors for photographers and Graphic Designers alike.

LG 27UK650

Best budget multipurpose 4K monitor

PROS
  • Good color accuracy for the price
  • Thin top and side bezels
  • AMD FreeSync
  • USB Type C
CONS
  • Stand lacks swivel
  • No wide color gamut
  • Low HDR contrast ratio
  • No local dimming feature

Specs:

  • Screen Size: 27-Inch
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • PPI: 163
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Color Accuracy: 99.9% sRGB, 99% Adobe RGB, 96% DCI-P3
  • Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
  • Brightness 350 nits
  • Contrast Ratio: 1196:1
  • Connections: 1 DisplayPort, 2x HDMI, 4x USB 3.0, 1 USB Type C
  • Viewing Angle: 178 degrees

The LG 27UK650-W is another great choice for designers. It features a beautiful 27-inch 4K IPS display with respectable color accuracy. Reviews are unanimous stating that this monitor performs best in average lit rooms. In darker lit rooms, blacks can appear dark-grey.

This LG 27UK650 is marginally better for almost the same price as the Dell U2718Q. However,  the Dell U2718Q has better adjustability/ergonomics, and build quality. But really, there’s not much difference between the two. If will likely come down to your preference of brand.

How To Choose The Right 27 Inch Monitor For Graphic Design

Panel Type

You might be wondering what is the best panel type for Graphic Design. That answer is IPS panel. But let’s quickly go over the other panel types.

  • IPS Panel (In-Plane Switching)
  • TN Panel (Twisted Nematic)
  • VA Panel (In-Plane Switching)

TN Panels are the fastest in terms of response time and high in refresh rate (ideal for gaming). VA Panels have long response time, highest refresh rates, and great contrast (good for general use).

IPS Panels have slower response times than TN panels. But faster than VA Panels. But none of that really matters for Graphic Design. What’s important for designers is that IPS Panels have the best, most accurate color. In addition, color and sharpness is consistent and still looks good when viewing from all angles. This is ideal for presenting your work to others, who are sitting off to the side, not directly in front of the screen.

Color Accuracy

It goes without saying, Graphic Designers need their colors to be accurate. No matter whether you are working in print or digital, an inaccurate monitor can lead to unnecessary revisions. Thankfully monitor technology has improved so that, even on a tight budget, you can get a monitor with 90% to 100% RBGs coverage.

It is important to note that what separates a budget monitor from the more expensive, in terms of color accuracy, is the color space they cover. Most budget monitors fully cover the RGBs color space (100%). On the other hand, more expensive monitors cover RGBs and the Adobe RGB color space.

Best-Cheap-Monitors-For-Graphic-Design-Color-Space

If you are a perfectionist who works in photography and print, you probably don’t want a budget monitor to begin with. For most Graphic Designers on a budget, having 100% Adobe RGB color coverage is not needed. Having 90% to 100% RGBs is suitable for print and displays correctly for the web, which is more than sufficient.

Color Bit Depth

Monitors typically come with 8bit and 10bit color depths.  Bit depth is either the number of bits used to indicate the color of a single pixel, or the number of bits used for each color component of a single pixel.

Bit depths are known as bits per channel. 8-bit RGB uses 256 levels per channel, while 10-bit jumps up to 1,024 levels per channel. This means a 10-bit image can display up to 1.07 billion colors, while an 8-bit photo can only display 16.7 million.

color bit depth

More colors is great and all. But in order to truly work in 10 bit, your hardware and software needs to support it. For example, even if you have a 10 bit monitor and you are working on a jpg, png, or rendering mp4, you won’t get the benefits of 10 bit because those file formats display color in 8 bit.

If you work with RAW files or HDR video, it is likely that seeing a wider color range is important. If this is the case, getting a 10 bit monitor would be a must.

Also note, your Graphics Card will need to support 10 bit output. For professional design work, we recommend Quadro or Radeon Pro cards. If you want to learn more about GPUs, check out our article on Graphics Cards For Graphic Designers. 

Brightness

Brightness in monitors is measured in cd/m2 (candela light intensity, per meter squared). The higher the number, the brighter your monitor will be. Monitors that are good for graphic design tend to fall in the 300cd/m2 – 350cd/m2 range.

If you work close to large windows, and the environment is generally bright, having a brighter monitor is beneficial.

Contrast Ratio

It can be confusing with all the marketing talk around dynamic and static contrast ratios. What designers need to know is that static contrast ratio is the most accurate measure. 

IPS panel monitors for Graphic Design should have a minimum 500:1. But ideally 1000:1 and above.

Refresh Rate & Response Time

For Graphic Designers, the common 60 Hz refresh rate is more than enough. You only need a higher refresh rate if you are a motion designer or gamer, who need smoothness and accuracy when fast objects are moving. All the 60Hz monitors we recommend in this article are for graphic designers and photo editors.

Pixel response time describes how long it takes a pixel to switch color. Lower response time is better for motion designers and gamers, as it allows fast movements to be displayed without artifacts and ghosting. Overall, as a Graphic Designer, you don`t have to worry about response time.

Connections

Graphic Design Monitors Connections Ports

Monitors should come with HDMI, DVI ports, and DisplayPort 1.2. As long as the monitor comes with these three ports, you should be in good shape. However, I would check the back of your computer to see what kinds of ports would be compatible.

Ergonomics

Often overlooked, ergonomics are important for those who spend long hours working on the computer. You want to be able to easily adjust the position of your monitors so that your body and eyes are in the optimal position.

When choosing a new monitor, you should look to see if it has the ability to pivot, swivel, or just move in any way. Also, if you are using monitor arms, you will want to check if your monitor is VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) compliant. This will ensure your monitor features a standard hole pattern used for mounting and ease of attachment.

Monitor Resolution For Graphic Design – 1080p vs 1440p vs 4k

At this point, professional designers should not use 1080p monitors. Especially at 27 inches. There are simply not enough pixels per inch to give a clear and accurate representation of your work.

UHD or 4k monitors with 3840 x 2160 resolution is preferred for Graphic Designers. 4K can display your work in great detail and clarity. 4K (3840 x 2160) is four times the pixel density of 1080p

If you are on a tight budget, you should consider a 1440p monitor. They have a 2560 x 1440 resolution, which is half the pixel density of the 4K. If you are in this camp, check out our recommendations on the Best Cheap Monitors For Graphic Design.

Why Is 4K Resolution Best For Graphic Designers?

Simply put, 4K is better because you get more pixels per inch. This means a sharper image.

Those who have worked on a 4K monitor will tell you that 1440p just isn’t sharp enough. I used to work on a 1440p monitor for years and I thought it was great. But when you go 4K, there’s no going back.

Another benefit is you save a lot of zooming and scrolling. Designers who have worked on a 24-inch monitor know what I’m talking about. All the zooming and scrolling is super annoying. 4K at 27 inches, means you can have a 1920 x 1080 size canvas at 100% scale in photoshop with all your panel visible. No zooming to view at 100%.

Why Are Some 4K Monitors More Expensive Than Others?

4K monitors are becoming more affordable. Yet you might notice a massive price difference between high-end and entry-level 4K monitors. The main reason for the price jump is higher-end monitors are designed specifically for color accuracy.

That said, entry-level 4K monitors are fine for most designers. They usually cover a high percentage of the Adobe RGB and sRGB color spaces. Plus for further accuracy,  you can invest in a color calibrator. 

If you need color to be 100% accurate, and the price is no object, the best monitor for graphic design is the 31 Inch Eizo ColorEdge CG319X. But the reality is, most designers don’t need that level of accuracy (and spend that much). There are other options that will satisfy most Graphic Design professionals. Let’s get back up to our list.

Conclustion

In the end, buying a monitor for design purposes is tricky. There’s so much to consider. But knowing what specs matter to you depends on your use case and budget. I recommend thinking about how you will use the monitor short and long term. Then go back over each option to review the pros and cons. I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions, please leave a comment.

If you are building a PC for Graphic Design, check here:

Other related articles for Graphic Design hardware:

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Camden Taylor

Author Camden Taylor

Camden is Arturth's founder. A Senior Graphic Designer from the Pacific Northwest, he has a passion for art, design, and bringing people together through the creative process.

More posts by Camden Taylor

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