Gift giving has long been a tradition associated with the holidays, birthday or Christmas. When it comes to gifts for designers you have to be very careful. Designers, creatives and artists, in general, don’t like gifts that are uninspiring and useless. If you’re a designer, one of the best things you can do to stay productive and to be creative is to craft your workspace into a place that you will be excited to work in everyday. That mean that what is around inspire us. So it’s very important to make gifts that are really matters and keep designers life uncluttered.
As a corporate identity designer, web designer and mobile app UI/UX designer myself I know how hard this article is for people who is outside of the designer’s world. For several years I was googling for gift lists and articles that will make my life as a designer easier. But most of them were useless, outdated and didn’t provide information I wanted to see. That’s why I have decided to create this article based on different budgets, designer creative fields (Graphic Design, Website Designer, UI (User Interface) or UX (User Experience) Designer etc.), product reviews and my personal experience to provide best gift list for designers.
If you want to make an effort this year by giving the best Gifts for Designers for the Holidays, Birthday or Christmas I suggest you the list of the best holiday gift ideas for designers and creatives. Getting them one of these presents below will make you and the designer friend’s life more happy. Don’t forget to share this link and I hope you can get the hint.
Essential tool for every designer. But there are a big variety of pencils to choose from. Here are some of the best choices.
Rotring 600 – 0.5 mm ($33)
I think that all designers will love this pencil, because of the perfect design. You also may like the Black edition. It’s a great mechanical pencil and worth every penny.
Uni Kuru Toga – 0.5mm ($17)
It’s also worth checking Pentel Graph Gear 1000 – 5 Sizes Set ($77). This set is very helpful to have in different sizes for different type of sketching and details.
Second essential tool for every designer. Great paper and portability makes design even better. I would recommend Moleskine sketchbooks. Personally I have lot of moleskine notebooks and use them for different type of work and situations.
Tip: Make sure that paper layout is plain (not ruled or squared) or dot grid. Dot grid paper is best for ux / ui designers, website designers, logo designers and mobile app designers.
You can choose from other moleskine notebooks. There are plenty of colors and collections.
Field Notes Skethcbooks (from $10)
Inspired by 1930s American agricultural memo books, these notepads are beautiful and a well-crafted to take with you on the go. Be inspired! Made in the U.S.A.
Dot Grid Book ($16)
Other notebook alternatives to moleskins.
Stylus for Tablet
Today, the iPad stylus takes another step further and closer to expressive creativity tool.
Tip: Before buying it’s worth checking which tablet use your designer for compatibility reasons. Some styluses may won’t work on Android /Apple devices or features will be limited.
Pencil by FiftyThree (From $49)
Pencil’s design and function is very intuitive, and it’s used in a way nearly identical to that of a real pencil. This product has awesome reviews, and designers love having creativity at their fingertip.
Adonit Stylus (from $20)
Music & Sound
The right mix of tunes is an essential part of the designer’s workflow. Music makes working and inspiration process even more pleasing.
Shure SE215 Earphones ($99)
This is an amazing quality earphones. They are isolated so you won’t hear any noise that will distract your working process.
Spotify Premium ($10 / month)
Spotify is the great way to access music these days, and it’s certainly how most of us in the office access. The reasonable $10 a month ($99 Year) Premium account is probably the best way to go. No commercials, accessibility to music offline and availability on all of your devices.
Sketch 3 ($99)
It’s relatively new product, but already has received a lot of fans. This app can’t be directly compared to Photoshop or Illustrator. It has their own niche and features organised into a clean and intuitive interface. This app would be a great gift for UI, UX, Web designers.
Blue Yeti USB Microphone ($118)
Great quality microphone for communication with your clients. Perfect for vocals, interviews, field recordings, conference calls. Plug ‘n play – Mac and PC compatible.
Music & Sound
As alternative I would recommend Portable Guide Studio. You can get additional swatches (Metallic, Pastel & CMYK) packed in the great bag.
Smartwatches & Wearables
Apple Watch (From $349)
Moto 360 (From $249)
Great smart watch for everyday use. Never miss an email from the clients or any other important notifications. Only one downside of this smartwatch it’s a short battery life. You will get 1-2 days of use on a single charge.
ASUS Zen ($149)
LG G Watch R ($299)
Samsung Gear S ($350)
Wacom ($310 – Large Size )
Designed for creativity – This innovative pen tablet combines Wacom’s finest pen capabilities with intuitive multi-touch gestures and gives you the precision and control you demand when using professional software and time-savers to speed your workflow.
Today smartphone (Android phone or iPhone) can replace your your compact digital camera, scanner, calendar, gps, calculator, flash drives, remote control, radio etc. I don’t want to go through comparison of Android vs iPhone (iOS). They both has their own pros and cons. I’m big fan of stock android interface because of its look and feel and iPhone (iOS8) for their amazing devices design. From that point of view I will recommend some models to choose from.
iPhone 6s (from $649 – unlocked)
Motorola Nexus 5x (from $349 – unlocked)
Motorola Nexus 6p (from $649 – unlocked)
Tablet is great tool for presenting your work or portfolio to potential and existing clients.
iPad Air 2 (from $499)
In addition it’s worth to consider Smart Covers This will help you to protect your device if you travel a lot. Also it useful for more comfortable typing and screen viewing.
HTC Nexus 9 (from $399)
Aeron Chair by Herman Miller ($760)
Herman Miller Aeron chair is “the most well-known ergonomic office chair ever made”. Aeron accommodates both the sitter and the environment. It adapts naturally to virtually every body and looks very stylish.
For those who needs a larger screen and want to get perfect colors and crisp display for their design work.
Apple 15.4″ MacBook Pro (From $1000)
A macbook sits at the root of the designer’s tree, a strong base of inspiration and creation.
Another great way to go outside and get inspiration. Sometimes free your mind and do some physical activity.
Road Bikes (From $1000)
Mountain Bikes (From $1000)
Whether you’re shopping for a graphic designer, ui, ux, web or mobile app designer or you are a designer working on your wish list, these gifts are so awesome that you won’t want anything else. Please feel free to add your own gifts in comments below.