The perfect gift guide for that graphic designer in your life, or yourself! (You’ve been good this year.) 24 gifts to choose from – one for each of the 24 days until Christmas. Prices range from $4.97 to $108.99.
PANTONE Stationery Set
Thank you cards are a must during the holiday season. There are so many people I’m thankful for that think of me during this time of year, and it’s important to thank them. You could send an email, but getting something in your mailbox is a lot more special. I’ve had this stationery set for a while now, and it’s by far my favorite. I love sending these cards to other graphic designers, but my family thinks they’re pretty neat too. I think my favorite part is the paper that comes with the kit. It looks like the PANTONE chips were torn from their original books, arranged, and scanned in for the back of the paper design. There’s this imperfection to each of the rows in the pattern that adds a humanistic quality. It’s a great stocking stuffer, and I’m sure you’ll get some use out of it.
MAGMA SKETCHBOOK: Design & Art Direction
The MAGMA specialized design books are fantastic. They provide brief sections of reference material while also giving you the tools to save time and keep organized in your field. For graphic design, I love the Design & Art Direction book. Though I have a copy, I’m waiting to use it for my thesis. It has calendars and grids already printed in the book to hold my sketches and keep my projects on track. Also, I always forget there are 72 picas in one inch and this book reminds me. It’s a one-stop place for all your creative work.
Now You See It And Other Essays On Design
by: Michael Bierut
Michael Bierut released his new book, “Now You See It And Other Essays On Design” right before the holidays! I received this as a late birthday present, and I’m loving it. One of my favorite things about Michael Bierut is that he’s a fantastic writer as well as an inspiration to the design community. His voice is one of a kind and has inspired me to be less clinical in my writing. Design is a very personal thing that impacts every person differently. This book is filled with essays he’s written over the years that give insight into everything – from his humble beginnings in Cincinnati to all of the reasons designers choose a typeface. If you’re a reader and a designer, this book is definitely for you.
The Artists Socks Gift Set
Calling all art history buffs! Have you ever found yourself wishing you could have Andy Warhol on your toes? What about Van Gogh or Frieda Kahlo? It may seem like a weird concept at first, but these socks will keep you warm through the winter months, and make for a cheeky stocking stuffer.
Westcott Stainless Steel 6″ Ruler
I know this feels like a weird thing to have on a holiday gift guide, but this ruler is fantastic. I bought mine this year, and it has changed my life. When you’re comping a design, using a 12″ ruler to guide you through cutting a bunch of tiny lines is grueling and cumbersome. You have to keep flipping the ruler and it’s so much easier to flip 6″ rather than 12″.
PANTONE Christmas Ornament
Okay, so $29.81 might be a bit much for only one of these PANTONE Christmas Ornaments. To a true fan of the PANTONE Universe, it’s a sure fire way to brighten their holiday season. Pick out your favorite color, or buy the corresponding PANTONE Color of the Year to commemorate to look back on how memorable 2017 was. Year by year you’ll be able to put together a PANTONE collection to add a bit more spot-color to your tree.
The Logo Board Game
I get so much enjoyment out of playing this game with other graphic designers. It’s an entire game where you guess logos, and answer questions about company’s identities. Keeping this in mind, I have pretty much memorized every card. If you’re in the same boat I am, they just came out with another version of The Logo Board Game. It’s structured exactly the same, only featuring all new brands. I own both, and am patiently waiting for a third edition…
OMG Posters: A Decade of Rock Art
by: Mitch Putnam
“OMG Posters: A Decade of Rock Art” is the coffee table book you need to kick off the new year. It’s filled with posters made from a myriad of different talented artists. This is definitely on my reading list, considering it’ll serve up inspiration for years to come. In a way, it reminds me of my “Ladies of Letterpress” book. I purchased it because I was about to take a screen printing course and I wanted to read about powerful women in the medium, but the work inside of it inspired me and pushed me to make something special. I feel like “OMG Posters” is bound to do the same thing for poster designers.
Fred Obsessive Chef Bamboo Cutting Board
If you’re a fan of comping your own projects and have excellent craft, this cutting board might be the thing for you! Sure, it’s not the classic green mat, but it does take your love of craft from the office to the kitchen. Fred’s Obsessive Chef cutting board features similar grids and angles that you’re used to seeing on your design workspace. Trade in your Xacto blade for a kitchen knife, and make something yummy! The best part? It’s not covered in 3M, or any other rogue adhesives for that matter.
X-ACTO Standard Knife Set
To me, having the full X-ACTO knife set just feels like a good idea. As I get more experience under my belt in graphic design, I’ve begun to notice how many weird materials I’ve collected in my closet – as well as the different tools I’ve needed to cut them. You never know if you’ll be building a huge mockup out of foam core, or a little mockup of an environmental design; but, having different blades in your arsenal make your job easier and faster.
PANTONE Color of the Year 2017 Mug in Greenery
What better way can you think to end 2017 than sipping piping hot cocoa out of your PANTONE color of the year mug? Greenery was chosen as 2017’s color of the year due to a recent fascination with nature and health. Personally, I’m very excited about this mug even though it’s a bit pricey (that’s PANTONE for ya). I love the minimalist color blocking on it and I think it makes for a great way to look back on your year. How do you feel about Greenery?
Fred Letter Pressed Cookie Cutter Stampers
When you get baking with the family this holiday season, bust out these Letter Pressed cookie stamps and be the neatest type-nerd in the kitchen. When I saw these, I was immediately thrilled. Over the summer I was reading about potato-stamped lettering, and I want these cookie stamps so I can try something similar, only with sugar cookies! It’s already great that they resemble old metal type pieces, but now I’m inspired!
Never Use Futura
by: Douglas Thomas
“Never Use Futura” is an insightful book pointing out the typeface that’s literally everywhere. It’s a sometimes playful, but mostly informative account tracing Futura from the moon landing and its humble beginnings in the Bauhaus to the big screen in a Wes Anderson feature. If you love typography or just want to learn more about this staple in the design community, you won’t regret adding “Never Use Futura” to your wish list. It’s definitely on mine this holiday season!
“Bad Kerning” Unisex T-Shirt
I love puns. Really, that’s my only excuse for having this shirt included in this gift guide. A double-edged type joke? Oh man, that’s why I get out of bed in the morning. If you are as cheesy as I am, jump on this shirt. No one walking down the street will understand, but you’ll look so cool. At least I think so.
“For Big Mistakes” Eraser
We make big mistakes – we’re only human. That being said, feel free to make as many as you want, because this is probably the last eraser you will ever use. I’ve had mine for about four years now, and I haven’t even used it to the half way point. This eraser is GIANT, and effective. I turn to it relatively often because it never smudges what I’m trying to erase, and let’s be honest, it’s kind of hilarious.
Prismacolor Premier Double-Ended Markers
I remember when I received my first Prismacolor Marker Kit. My first graphic design advisor gave them to me as a high school graduation present right after we’d gotten back from competing in a national graphic design competition. There, I used them to sketch, but since I’ve used them in a few of my drawing classes and in a lot of my sketches for my client meetings. Usually, when I draft my preliminary thumbnails to sell a concept to my client, I like to add bits of color into my sketches just to push the concept further. I love the washes of color these markers provide and they rarely smudge my pencil marks. This is the perfect gift for any avid drawers.
Print Magazine Yearly Subscription
Staying up to date on current design trends and current events is just part of being a graphic designer. Print Magazine has always been such a treat for me because I always love seeing what other design firms are up to and getting ideas for my own work. For a student, a Print Magazine yearly subscription is a bit pricey, but it’s incredibly helpful. If you’re a college student just starting your career, put this on your holiday wishlist. Maybe Santa’s a design enthusiast, and will snag a subscription for you!
Graphic: 500 Designs that Matter
Graphic: 500 Designs That Matter is the perfect gift for a graphic design history buff. I first discovered the book in my Graphic Design: 20th Century & Beyond course, and I found it to be an ideal textbook, though it wasn’t required. The book is relatively small in size making it VERY thick. It’s filled with examples of key designs that reacted to and changed the world, but they’re printed smaller than I would’ve liked. If you’re looking for a book that prints in high detail and doesn’t take both hands to keep open, this might not be the book for you. If you’re more interested in a thorough history on the subject, go for it! I sincerely enjoyed it.
Type Anatomy Mug
Well, this is just about my favorite mug. I’m pretty sure I got it for my birthday last year, but I still use it all the time. I loved that it broke down the anatomy of type. When I was first learning about typography in high school, I remember scribbling down pages of notes trying to remember the difference between a spur and serif. If I had this back then, I feel like life would’ve been a little easier. Typographers beware! You’re about to fall in love with a mug.
Uni Mechanical Pencil
Kuru Toga Pipe Slide
For my anniversary this year, my boyfriend of six years gave me a pencil…and I loved it. The Uni Mechanical Pencil is a Japanese pencil that sharpens and rotates your lead every time your pencil touches paper. I know it sounds too good to be true, but your days of having to turn your pencil from the dull side to the sharp side are over. It’s something I never knew bothered me until I got this pencil a few months ago. The lead inside is strong so it’s not breaking all the time, and you can actually watch the lead turn through the transparent grip. It sounds silly, but I may never use another pencil again.
MT Washi Masking Tape Set
I use masking tape for painting, package design comps, exhibit design comps, experimental publication comps, etc. It’s a basic necessity for me, so investing in fun tape makes my work a little more enjoyable. For such a low price, getting 10 different colored rolls is just a steal. It’s a simple present that’s sure to make the holidays a bit more merry and bright.
Gold Quotation Bookends
Elegant and clever, these quotation bookends are a must-have for any designer’s library. They’re gold painted and incredibly durable. So durable, in fact, they could be a statement piece for your bookshelf, or the heavy blunt objects at the scene of your murder trial. Kidding aside, they’d make a great gift for any type-enthusiast.
The Starving Artist Cookbook
by: Sara Zin
I was so angry when I saw that this book existed! For the longest time, I wanted to make an illustrated cookbook, and I was so upset that Sara Zin beat me to it. Naturally, I immediately bought it and fell in love. Her illustrations are heavily detailed and charming. After following one of the recipes, I noticed her illustration looked way more beautiful than the hunk of food I produced. Illustrations aside, this book is so satisfying to me as a graphic designer. Her typography is minimalistic and structured, and she did an excellent job organizing the material. If you appreciate good design and good food, I’d pick Sara’s book up immediately.
This is the ideal present for anyone obsessed with calligraphy or drawing. I’ve always been a fan of the Wacom Tablet, but my old boss, Alyssa, turned me on to this as well. It feels very natural to use, and there are Adobe programs available on the iPad Pro that make for an easier transition between iPad to computer. This item is more of an investment, but it’ll help you create beautiful handwritten typefaces and give your work a more humanistic feel to it.