Last Updated: 3rd January 2016
Cool Christmas Gifts For Designers
It’s that time of year again. Yup! The holiday season is fast approaching. Buying gifts can be a tough task, but finding the perfect present for a graphic or web designer can be extra tricky – we’re a special breed. If you’re struggling to find the perfect gift or stocking stuffer or just want to treat yourself, check out this list for some awesome ideas.
Books are, in my opinion, a great gift for anyone involved in design. These are some design books that I believe are a must have for anyone trying to kick start a career in design.
This book is top notch and one of my personal favourites. It’s got a no-nonsense style and is loaded with all sorts of useful and practical information. Although it’s geared towards recent design graduates and students, designers of almost any calibre can almost certainly find something useful within its chapters.
If I had to recommend a single book on graphic design, this is my personal choice.
Also, if you’re in to web design then Know Your Onions Web Design is definitely worth checking out too.
Make Your Own Luck is an informative memoir and guide book offering some great insider advice on breaking in to the graphic design industry. It covers all sorts of topics from art school to finding an agent, and is packed with loads of useful advice.
As a freelancer, it’s books like these that I find to be the most insightful and I’d definitely recommend Make Your Own Luck to anyone beginning their career.
The Freelance Design Handbook offers some really great advice for any designer looking to begin or improve upon their freelancing career. It covers a wide variety of subjects and design disciplines from the viewpoint of a freelancer.
This book is indispensable for anyone looking to develop a long term career as a freelance designer.
The 3Doodler lets you draw in 3D using heated plastic that cools solid instantly. Just draw in the air and you can make anything you want. Although not strictly a designers tool, it looks like this thing is capable of making some really cool stuff.
The Sharpener Jar was originally designed to measure your creative output via the pencil shavings. But I think it makes for a pretty cool desk accessory for any designer creatively procrastinating by sharpening every pencil they own.
Kerning Wear is a t-shirt brand created by designers, for designers. If you’re looking for a cool design-related t-shirt then you definitely want to check out Kerning Wear.
The Carve-A-Stamp Kit by Yellow Owl lets you carve your own stamp blocks. It comes with everything you’ll need – a stamp block, carving chisel with multiple detachable blades, an ink pad, and a set of templates. A great weekend project, you can expect to find custom stamps on everything come Monday.
Equipment & Supplies
Sometimes it’s hard to justify spending money on supplies that, although nice to have, may not be useful for your commercial projects. This is why they make great Christmas presents – you don’t have to justify the cost with practical reasons.
If you’re like me and were initially reluctant to use a drawing tablet – preferring the familiarity of a mouse – then getting one of these can be a great way to get into using a drawing tablet.
Wacom’s Intuos Manga drawing pad and pen has the features of a high end design tablet, but at a cheaper price, making it great for students, enthusiasts, or anyone interested in giving a design tablet a go.
On a day to day basis, most graphic designers won’t be painting. In fact, many graphic designers can’t paint or haven’t even tried. That said, painting can be a fun and creative hobby for a lot of designers and it’s definitely worth giving it a go.
Other Winsor & Newton Paint Sets
For the more practical minded designer, these useful items can help keep you organized and focused.
Just like the name would suggest, Field Notes are pocket sized notebooks intended to be carried around and used in a variety of environments. These pocket sized notebooks come in graph, ruled or plain paper and are perfect for taking notes when you’re out and about. I recommend picking up the mixed set to get one of each paper types.
I like to keep to-do lists to keep myself organized and motivated. Designed and manufactured right here in Australia, this pocket sized notebook helps keep your tasks organized and helps you to get shit done.
Tile is a small tracker that you can attach to your keys, phone, wallet, or anything else that you always seem to be misplacing. All you have to do is open the app and it will point you in the right direction. If you’re like me, you probably lose your keys all the damn time so this can be amazingly useful.
A regular old stapler is limited by its length. However, this is not a regular stapler. This stapler by Quirky has a detachable base that allows you to staple paper of any size, making it perfect for large sheets of paper, posters or zines.
Did this list help you? Do you have anything to add? Post your suggestions in the comments below!