I was in the mall the other day, and amidst the mass hysteria of the H1N1 immunizations happening there, I saw Christmas advertisements. Yes, it’s that time of year already. Now, if you have a graphic designer in your family, you might be wondering what to get them. CS4 is too expensive. A pencil is too cheap. Well, never fear, because I am here with a list of the best holiday gifts for designers – no CS4 or pencils in sight. Or, perhaps, you’re here because you want to buy a little something for yourself for Christmas, or put something on your list. Who am I to judge?
Below are the 15 Best Holiday Gifts for Designers. Now, it’s not like these gifts are only available to members of some ultra top secret Designers Club of the Universe or anything – I picked them because they are either directly design-related, or the design of the object is something unique – a design that someone who is a design professional would most likely appreciate. If you want more, check out the 10 Cool Items for Your Design Workspace article too! Share, enjoy & subscribe to the RSS feed!
Directed by Gary Hustwit (also did the Helvetica documentary), this look into the minds of industrial designers will provide both entertainment and inspiration to any designer. BluRays are also available, but the DVD is $20.
I know – we would all love to rock two Apple Cinema displays in our workspace. Unfortunately, I do not sleep on a pile of cash at night and you probably don’t either (if you do, call me & let’s hang out). For those of you who are in the same boat as me, I present to you the Mimo Mini USB monitor. Tiny, USB-powered and useful, you can plug this in to your laptop or desktop computer and have another screen for items like your Photoshop tools, reminders, IM screens and such. $129-$229.
Hit the jump for more!
What fun is having a killer design workspace if you can’t decorate it a bit? Check out this beautiful floral typography poster – handscreened and $100. Various others in her store too.
Every designer has or needs a notebook, and near-every designer loves the Helvetica typeface. Well look here – two birds with one stone! $22.
Remember how I said near-every designer loves Helvetica? Well, if the designer you’re shopping for hates Helvetica, here’s an alternative – the Very Secret Sketchbook. $29 (because it’s $7 extra for the secrecy).
Us designers have to keep track of our hours or else we end up working for peanuts, which isn’t cool. Help keep track of time with this sweet analog Fossil watch – beautifully designed. $95
So I’ve become ridiculously picky with how my tees fit, and pretty much only wear American Apparel. I was getting tired of wearing design-free tees though, so I went online and looked around. I came across Timber t-shirts – hand-illustrated and screened by a guy on Etsy, and they are glorious. I have 4 now – the illustrations are amazing, the print job is fantastic, he gets orders out quickly, and the shirts are comfy as hell. Pick one (or four) up for between $18 and $27 each.
Seems that every person on earth either has an iPhone, or wants one. But the iPhone’s slick design means it’s viable to get busted up pretty bad if you drop it – enter the iPhone Felt Case, another Etsy find. Cute, affordable, practical and handmade – so order one quick. $40 – if it’s sold out, there’s others kicking around, or send the guy a message.
Manhattan Portage Messenger Bag
A messenger bag is a messenger bag, right? Nope. Wrong again. The beauty of this bag lies in its simplicity – no extraneous, bulky cargo pockets or any of that junk. Just a simple bag that works. I have the red one though, so don’t bite my style. $65
So you can fire your laptop in your new Manhattan Portage bag, but what happens if you fall into a pond? Or decide to swim a few laps and forget to take your bag off? Or any number of more realistic water-ruining-your-life situations. You could put your lappy in this drybag and save yourself a ton of heartache & cash by preventing water damage – $? (sorry, site’s all German – but dig around and you can find the cost).
Since we’re all designers and thus high rollers with fat wallets, why not pick up this rubber Nooka wallet? It’s expandable to hold all that mad coin you got from that last design job for your cousin the realtor. $35
Is it a cup? Is it a paper cup? Is it a porcelain cup? WHO KNOWS?!?! Well, actually, it says right on the box that it’s specifically not a paper cup and is, in fact, made out of porcelain. But whatever, it’s sweet. $18
Your print design work is sweet, so don’t present it in a cut-out-and-taped-together Miller Lite box. Try this gorgeous woodgrain portfolio from Veer – $179
For those who are looking for a more techy gift, check out the Iomega StorCenter. Cheap & feature-laden, it provides a ton of storage and Time Machine support. $279 (1TB)
The new year is almost here – keep track of all the awesome jobs you have booked in 2010 with the Pentagram Calendar. Pentagram the design studio, not the devil’s symbol, that is. $26 or $44.
There you go – 15 of the best gifts for designers (or yourself, if you want) this holiday season. If you enjoyed the article, please share it, subscribe, or buy me any of the above items as a token of your appreciation. Later!