Designers are probably not the easiest people to buy for – especially if you have no idea of what they actually do! Here we are suggesting some gifts that designers would kill for, would like but may not know they want it, or gifts that would bring a smile to their face when they unwrap it. Hopefully you will be inspired by this list of gifts for designers, ranging from extremely expensive to very low cost.
Ideal Gifts for Designers
I have attempted to find the selected gifts internationally. Please be aware that some of the featured items are not identical in each country.
Boogie Board LCD Tablet
Say Goodbye to Paper! The original Boogie Board 8.5 inch LCD writing tablet that started a revolution. Ultra light (4 oz.) and thin (1/8"). One just isn't enough. Get one for on the go, in the office and multiple places around the house. Almost anywhere you'd keep memo pads, sticky notes or scrap paper. The Boogie Board tablet's pressure-sensitive LCD writing surface creates lines of different thickness based on how hard you push - just like paper and pen!
Available from Amazon sites worldwide: $35.20 £26.99 €49.89
The Inkling digital sketch pen captures a digital likeness of your work while you sketch with its ballpoint tip on any sketchbook or standard piece of paper. Designed for rough concepting and creative brainstorming, Inkling is ideal for the front end of the creative process.
Available from Amazon sites worldwide: $199.95 £134.83 €137.28
Website Stencil Kit
Brainstorm website and app ideas with ease using this precision cut Website Stencil Kit. Wireframe quickly and efficiently with the most commonly used iconography and interaction techniques.
Available from IU Stencils $26.95 (will ship worldwide).
One Man Tied
Don’t you hate all those untidy computer cables, lamp cords, and extension cords snaking throughout the house? Mr P tidies your cables in his own quirky manner! Mr P is about 4” tall and is available in blue, white and orange.
Dragon Voice Recognition Software
Dragon speech recognition software makes it easier for anyone to use a computer. You talk, and it types. Use your voice to create and edit documents or emails, launch applications, open files, control your mouse, and more. Quickly and easily capture your thoughts and ideas while Dragon helps you get more done faster.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium for Windows – download from Nuance $179.99 £149.99 €199.00
Dragon Dictate for Mac OS – download from Nuance $179.99 £179.99 (not currently available for other European languages)
Pantone Swatch Books
These guides are an ideal way to visualize, communicate and control colors for type, logos, borders, backgrounds and other graphics treatments. Compatible with today’s digital workflows. Screen tint percentages are provided to enable accurate color reproduction. Printed using bio-friendly, ISO-certified inks. Text weight paper is used, to match popular print specifications. Includes color index, lighting evaluation tool and design software. Set of two guides, coated and uncoated.
Scratch n Scroll Mousepad
Scratch-n-Scroll is a mousepad with an erasable writing surface, for all those times you’re working at your desk and can’t find a pen to jot down a phone number or reminder. Simply jot notes on the mousepad using the included plastic stylus. You can erase your notes at any time by flipping up the Scratch-n-Scroll’s semi-transparent top sheet (like the childhood toy Magic Slate).
Moleskine Pocket Notebook
Moleskine notebooks have been in production since 1997, and the design was based on the notebooks used by such famous people as Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway. Moleskine produce many other products nowadays, but the plain-paper pocket notebook is the best choice for designers. They are durable with their hard covers, and of course, remain one of the trendiest tools for a designer.
Available from Amazon worldwide $9.60 £8.14 €8.06
The idea of a stapler that doesn't use staples is so obvious that it's hard to believe nobody thought of it before now. In fact, the idea was patented back in 1910 and it's taken until now to perfect them and make them popular. The staple-less stapler works by punching out a small strip of paper and then folding that strip back over and through the sheets, forming a buckle stitch. For a few sheets of paper, this works just as well as a regular stapler, with less mess. There are significant environmental and financial advantages to using a stapless stapler. By not having to purchase staples, you cut down on the amount of money and energy that needs to be spent manufacturing and shipping them. Also, paper is easier to recycle when you don't have small pieces of metal embedded in it.
Available from Amazon US and UK $6.16 £3.99
Adobe Creative Suite 6 Design & Web Premium
Adobe Creative Suite 6 Design & Web Premium is the ultimate toolkit for professional design and web development. Craft compelling graphics and images, lay out high-impact print pages, build HTML5/CSS3 websites, and design for tablets and smartphones — all with greater speed and precision than ever before. Includes Photoshop CS6 Extended, Illustrator CS6, InDesign CS6, Dreamweaver CS6, Fireworks CS6, Acrobat X Pro, Bridge CS6 and Media Encoder CS6... in fact, everything every designer needs! There are, of course, less costly alternatives, such as a less recent edition or buying any of the programs individually.
Available from Amazon US and UK $1,800.00 £1,627.00
Henry Desktop Vacuum Cleaner
That big smiley face of the famous Henry vacuum cleaner now comes in a mini version, just right for your work desk! Watch those crumbs disappear in one fell swoop with Henry the vacuum cleaner. Battery powered so you aren't limited by pesky cords. Hetty also available.
Available from Amazon US and UK $15.90 £9.30
Star Wars Stormtrooper 4GB MIMOBOT USB Flash Drive
"Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?" Well, maybe, maybe not - you'll just have to unmask these white-armored soldiers to see for yourself! Concealed beneath their helmets is either Jedi-to-be Luke Skywalker, or Han Solo, smuggler of exotic spices and princesses' hearts. Stormtrooper Unmasked MIMOBOT is presented as a blind assortment character with a 50/50 chance of receiving either Luke or Han. Many other stylized flash drives available.
Available from Amazon US and UK $16.05 (currently on offer) £18.99
Dry Erase and Cork Combination Board
So practical and so necessary, a whiteboard and a pin board in one... I am guessing that most designers would want more than one of these!
Available from Amazon US and UK $11.70 £9.99
The Tangle Therapy is more than your classic Tangle toy. Larger than the original tangles, this is a twisty and fun way to get hand, joint and muscle therapy and stress relief all in one – perfect for every designer.
Available from Amazon US and UK $12.99 £4.39
Magic Cube Virtual Laser Keyboard
The Virtual Laser Keyboard (Celluon Magic Cube) is a revolutionary accessory (The only keyboard that operates in total darkness) for iPhone, iPad, Smartphone, PDA, MAC & Tablet PC and any device that operates Bluetooth HID.
The Celluon laser keyboard acts exactly like any other "ordinary" keyboard: A direction technology based on an optical recognition mechanism enables the user to tap on the projected key images, while producing real tapping sounds.
Available from ColorApples who will ship worldwide $168.99 £113.92 €142.63
Here are some links to more ideas for gifts for designers:
A Good Read
A designer can never have too many books on the various design subjects, and Creative Bloq have put together a list of must-read graphic design books.
Have you considered buying the designer in your life a subscription? Whether it be to a magazine or a blog or website, a subscription is a wonderful gift, and AnythingGraphic have compiled a list of Freelancer Subscription Must-Haves.
An Apple a Day?
Of course, all designers have or would like to have i-products. You could, if you are feeling rich, buy the products themselves, but there are also many accessories for all i-products, and you can find them in the Apple Store - there is a link at the bottom of the page to Change Country and shop from any of Apple's 41 online stores.
Photoshop plugins are time saving and inspirational for designers, and there are many free and premium plugins available. Smashing Magazine have compiled a round-up of Useful Photoshop Plug-ins – some of which are free, others are priced between $10 and $349 for downloadable versions.
A New Computer
Perhaps you really want to push the boat out and gift a PC or laptop to your designer. Dell allow you to customize the computer to suit your needs and your pocket. Dell have a huge list of countries where you can buy your computer online.
I hope this list has given you some ideas for great, original, practical or comical gifts to present to the designer in your life, and if you are the designer, maybe your Christmas list is now a little longer!
Do you have in mind any gifts for designers that we have missed from this list? Please share your links and comments with us in the section below.