The Ultimate Guide to Gifts for Designers and Creatives

Designers can be hard to shop for (especially when “shopping” for each other). We like things like ampersands. We get excited about color palettes. We’re hyper-opinionated about our tools. And we really, truly, do not want another notebook. (Well, not unless it’s a really nicely designed notebook.) This wide-ranging round-up of gifts for designers will suit every creative on your list (and sure, that can include yourself).

For the politically engaged designer

Posters for Change: Tear, Paste, Protest
The collective effort of dozens of designers from around the world, this gathering of 50 unapologetically opinionated posters is designed to be seen and heard. Each poster in the book has perforations for easy removal.

gifts for designers posters

 

Don’t Sleep: The Urgent Messages of Oliver Munday
Leading graphic designer Oliver Munday uses graphic design to provoke change. Don’t Sleep is as much a bold statement for action as it is a reflection of Munday’s philosophy, personal background, and skill for producing design that speaks out in today’s political and social climate.

gifts for designers dont sleep

 

Cheesy Pizza Chalk Set
Whether you’re protesting, building awareness, or fundraising for a cause, chalk is a must. But it’s so much better in the form of pizza. Each “slice” is four inches long.

 

For the designer who sees a future artist in every kid

Frank Lloyd Wright Wooden Puzzle Set
This set of wooden puzzles contains six fun challenges for kids and adults. Each brightly colored puzzle contains 25 pieces and forms a square.

gifts for designers wright puzzle

 

Baby Art Gallery: Turn Your Baby Into An Art Critic
The box cheekily says, “The perfect gift for over-achieving parents!” But really, these black and white flashcards make a fun gift for anyone who loves sharing art with kids. One box contains eight double-sided cards.

gifts for designers baby art gallery

 

World Map Coloring Tablecloth
With 10 washable markers and a map of the world, kids can scribble, learn, and eat all in one place—a good skill set for design school.

gifts for designers world map

 

Seeing Science: An Illustrated Guide to the Wonders of the Universe
This isn’t your average science book. Seeing Science takes a quirky perspective into the natural world, exploring biology, geology, and physics with charming illustrations and smart, easy-to-grasp analogies. See what happens in an ocean when a whale dies. Understand the nitty gritty of glaciation with a Snickers bar. Figure out how mirrors work. A great gift for older kids who learn better with pictures.

gifts for designers seeing science

 

For the typography geek

The Visual History of Type
Weighing in at nearly 7.5 pounds, this treasure chest of a book is packed with more than 300 typefaces. Presented chronologically, the typefaces are shown in their earliest forms and come with brief descriptions about their historical context.

gifts for designers visual history

 

For the designer obsessed with color

Color Wheel Pin
This lapel pin “complements” everything. RGB and CMYK earrings are also available.

gifts for designers color wheel pin

 

1,000 Colors Puzzle
This 1,000-piece puzzle contains exactly 1,000 colors, each in a different color.

 gifts for designers 1000ColorsPuzzle

 

Color Library
Color Library is the result of the nonprofit Color Library project that launched in 2014. With dozens of color combinations (including metallics and pastels), this book is sure to serve as both reference and inspiration.

gifts for designers ColorLibrary

 

For the hero-worshipping designer

Design: Vignelli: Graphics, Packaging, Architecture, Interiors, Furniture, Products
This 408-page volume is the definitive monograph on Massimo and Lella Vignelli. Showcasing the Vignelli’s iconic designs as well as rarely seen items, this book is a huge, bright orange delight to behold.

gifts for designers DesignVignelli

 

Oliver Jeffers: The Working Mind and Drawing Hand
Funny, quirky, touching, thrilling only begin to cover the emotional depth of Oliver Jeffers’ work as a painter and picture book maker. This delightful monograph contains never-before-seen pieces and several tipped-in items, as well as notes on Jeffers’ personal history.

gifts for designers OliverJeffers

 

For the vintage nut

Art Deco notecards and envelopes
With gorgeous patterns foil-stamped in gold on black, this lavish boxed set of 10 blank note cards (with elegant envelopes) adds Gatsby-esque posh to any occasion.

gifts for designers ArtDecoCards

 

The Olivetti Pattern Series Pencil Set
The newest addition to the Olivetti Pattern series, which includes an Olivetti patterned notebook and boxed notecard set, this set of 12 pencils keeps your desk looking sharp. Printed with patterns created by the Olivetti typewriter, these soft graphite pencils arrive in a stylish box.

gifts for designers OlivettiPencils

 

For the newspaper junkie

New York Times Custom Front Page Reprint
Commemorate someone’s special day with a framed front page reprint of “the gray lady.” Choose from over 57,000 pages.

ny times gifts for designers

 

Chicago Tribune Custom Birthday Book
A collection of front page news on The Chicago Tribune since your lucky recipient’s birthday. Other newspapers are also available, such as The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News, The Washington Post, and The LA Times.

ChicagoTribuneBook gifts for designers

 

For the designer who likes making things without pixels

The Art of the Fold
With clearly diagrammed step-by-step instructions, Hedi Kyle’s legendary book designs are made accessible and fun in this “how to” book for all skill levels. With photographs of finished single-sheet books, bound books, pockets, cases, and more, The Art of the Fold makes fingers itch to create something.

TheArtoftheFold gifts for designers

 

For the creative in a rut

Spark Creativity
Shake things up with this giant matchbox filled with ideas (printed on fake matchsticks) to kindle creativity. With suggestions such as “Try doing things with your non-dominant hand,” “Eavesdrop. What do you learn?” and “Give yourself a complete change of scenery,” these ideas are sure to inspire and reignite curiosity.

gifts for designers SparkCreativityMatches

 

For the designer needing a boost in spirit

Your Brightest Life: A Creative Guide to Becoming Your Best Self
This cheerful and empowering workbook guides you through explorations in self-awareness to building your resilience and setting intentions. Through its beautifully illustrated, thought-provoking exercises, you’ll doodle, write, and dream your way to a more confident mindset and a deeper view of your creative potential.

gifts for designers YourBrightestLife

 

Draw and Be Happy: Art Exercises to Bring You Joy
Bright and bold, Draw and Be Happy is filled with wacky and intriguing prompts designed to uplift, delight, and refresh your perspective on the world. Perfect for any skill level, from the casual doodler to the professional muralist.

gifts for designers Draw_BeHappy

 

For the infographic wizard

The Minard System: The Complete Statistical Graphics of Charles-Joseph Minard
From the flow map of Napoleon’s 1812 march into Russia (made famous by Edward Tufte) to illustrations of the dissemination of ancient languages, The Minard System covers the work of infographic pioneer Charles-Joseph Minard. With 60 color graphics accompanied by explanations of Minard’s process, this book offers a fascinating view into the earliest days of infographic design…as well as the economics and sociology of the Industrial Revolution.

gifts for designers TheMinardSystem

 

Observe, Collect, Draw!
From your clothing to your swearing, purchases, and complaints, draw your daily patterns in the form of infographics. A visual journal that helps you visualize the data of your life, this fun activity book helps you to explore different infographic formats and offers helpful drawing tips.

gifts for designers ObserveCollectDraw

 

For the meticulous designer

The Go-To Notebook with Mohawk Paper
With 27 project planning/tracking templates and 192 numbered pages, a ribbon bookmark, and a storage pocket, The Go-To Notebook is a stylish, practical choice for anyone who juggles multiple projects. Available with dotted or lined pages, and with slate grey or persimmon orange covers.

gifts for designers GoToNotebook

 

Grids & Guides Pencils
A set of 12 pencils in black and blue makes for easy design and annotations. The newest addition in this ever-popular series of gridded stationery items (including notebooks, notepads, and a drawing pad), these pencils come with a ruler die-cut with shapes for tracing.

gifts for designers Grids_GuidesPencils

 

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