Graphic Designer Christmas Gift Guide 2021
HO HO HO Designers! Hope you are starting to slay those eggnog cartons or really embracing that holiday spirit with a little bit of bourbon in your morning coffee.
This year for the Graphic Designers Gift Guide we thought about the work from home designer. Because it’s pretty likely that if you already didn’t work from a home office, you probably did again for a good chunk of the year. So, this one's for you.
We also set this list up from cost effective stuff you can put on your list all the way up to the stuff for your Aunt Helga who just won the lotto. Don’t forget to rub those painful burrs on her heel the next time she comes by, she might just give you a whole quarter.
- 313 Gifts - Cool Pattern Puzzles, but have a look at the Gradient Puzzle. That's a challenge.
- Henry the Desk Vacuum - $25 - this little sucker will help keep the keyboard tidy and the crumbs under control.
- 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings - $15 - Tips like asking “will this scale, no matter what it is”, interrupting someone's update, and then letting them finish”
- As Per My Previous Email - your guide to passive aggressive emails - $10
- Snoop Dogg Cookbook - from Crook to Cook - $25 - California Rollin’, baby got back ribs
Touch Screen Winter Gloves
- Communication Arts Magazine - I recently contacted a dozen incredible designers for the Print Design Podcast from this magazine.
- Juxtapose - A Quarterly Magazine all about arts and culture. Great illustration, art, and design throughout.
- Umber - A themed Graphic Journal highlighting the Black and Brown Perspective. I interviewed Mike on Episode 31 of the Print Design Podcast. Also a great piece for the designer who appreciates print. Full issue printed in only a few colors. Halftones, Duotones throughout.
- GDUSA - Published 6 times per year. It’s news, ideas, projects, people, trends, and information for Graphic Designers. And if you are a designer living in the USA, you are entitled to a free subscription.
- Blackwing Pencils - Great stocking stuffer, 4 core styles of pencils, high quality - from $27
Prints and Merch
- Moniker Press - Risograph Prints and Notebooks
- Porchlight Press - Awesome Greeting Cards, holiday cards
- Studio On Fire - Swear Cards, Incredible Playing Card sets.
- Nevermade - Powerful poster designs, slick looking merch
- Happy Impulse - Criticizing society through art, great art prints and enamel pins.
- Field Notes - ya’ll know field notes, great stocking stuffers, level up with the press sheets!
Warming Coffee Mug
- These should be updated every 2 years really. You can go big with the Full Studio Suite getting you 8 books. It’ll cost you a cool $1000
- Or scale back and just go with the Solid Formula Guide for $180.
Cozy Socks for the WFH or freelance designer. When you just don't want to get dressed up, stay cozy with a great pair of socks and get to work.
For the heavy Adobe Illustrator users looking to get more efficient and speed up some processes, go check out Astute Graphics’ Illustrator Plugins.
Amazing tools for all designers, great help for print designers, plus Aaron Draplin uses them and swears by them. So there ya go. $139 for the year.
Yeah sure the cloud is cool. But the security of having that SSD drive with your files ready with ya. That feels good. Plus if you are doing heavy design work it will be faster with one of these connected instead of drawing off that older spinning hard drive.
DIE + LASER CUTTING
- Cricut Die Cutters - Similar to the Glowforge laser machine, but instead of lasers, you are using little blades. But you can cut out your own sticker designs, your own greeting card designs. And bonus for the packaging designers out there...cut out your design mockups using the dieline. Pretty slick. Starting from $300
- Glowforge Laser Cutter - A great piece of tech to help you start cranking out your own merch, laser cut cards, any sort of good that you can design yourself. Pretty slick device. $5000 - $7000
- The MacBook Pro - just got a nice little refresh and new sizes. For designers, I’m recommending the 16” for that extra screen room. The 14” is still an upgrade from the 13” it used to be. When it comes to chips too, the new M1Max is flying! Plus the return or ports and MagSafe charging. This is a win for the designer slaying it in the coffee shop. From $2500.
Tesla Model X: Plaid Edition
- TESLA Model X - $150,000 USD, 0-60 in 2.6 seconds, Racing Yoke Steering wheel
Lego has been heavily promoting the “adult” lego sets, not like Nudie sets, but adult focused.
- Lego NASA sets - space shuttle, rockets, lunar landers - various prices
- Lego Car sets - Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti, and of course, the VW Bus RV! - various prices