Here is what you’ll need at a minimum to get started.


Every student will need to have a laptop. See this page for details and discounts (there is a small Apple discount and huge discount for Adobe).


CCA students are eligible to get radically reduced subscriptions to Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop and Illustrator).  Use  your CCA email to login to this site here:

Students of CCA can receive a 50% discount here:
Please make sure to use your email address and you may scan or take a photo of your CCA acceptance letter until you get your CCA ID

Creating videos and taking photos are great skill to cultivate. You will be taking photos of your work, documenting research and creating visual elements for presentations.  We recommend getting used to taking photos and video with your phone and a DSLR or small video recorder if you already have one.  Creating videos with iMovie or other simple video creation tools will also be a key skill to have in the program.


Below is the list the essentials in your design kit.  These are the things we will assume you have with you at every class, these things will help you hold charrettes and brainstorms with your teammates.

  • Cache of post-its in a variety of colors/sizes (for collaborative doing design anywhere)

  • Sharpies, several weights, light, medium, chisel (You will overtime discover your favorite pens, "twin-tip" Sharpies will almost certainly be among them, in addition, some folks also swear by Staedtler triplus colored pen set)

  • Highlighters in a few colors

  • A few grey Prismacolor or Copic chisel/fine dual-tip grey markers

  • Drawing pencil/eraser

  • Ruler/straight edge

  • Drafting dots (to hang and display your work)

  • Camera (to capture whatever inspires you, hi-res phone works fine most of the time)

  • Loose paper for drawing (grab from a recycle bin or keep a pad you can tear off).

  • Correction Tape

  • 5X8 Index cards (Unruled) - Great for paper prototyping

  • Push Pins - Black or White best

  • White board marker and eraser

  • Dongles for your laptop


  • Presentation Remote

  • Computer Mouse 

  • Flash drive


A great sketchbook to get is spiral bound, unruled and has a hard cover.