10 Creative Gifts for Designers

Roberto Baldwin's picture

10 Creative Gifts for Designers

The designer is more than just a person with a computer. The designer creates almost everything you see no matter where you go. That billboard on the way to work, a designer created that. The can that holds your favorite beverage, a designer created that as well. Your favorite book, your favorite album, your favorite video game, a designer created the visual aspect of all those items. With that in mind, it can be difficult to figure out what to give a designer for the holidays. Do they want crayons? Do they want a crate of pens? Well they probably want those too, but we have compiled a list of 10 items that we believe will bring a smile to the designer in your life. 

Wacom Intuos4 tablet

A mouse is great for selecting items. When it comes to drawing though, nothing beats the real-pen feel of a tablet and pen. The Intuos4 features 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity force. Try getting that sort of sensitivity from your favorite HD pencil. The tablet's pen fits into a weighted pen holder that houses up to 10 pen nibs. For painters who pine for the days of old, the pen's orientation dictates the angle of the pen brush in popular graphics programs. Throw in an OLED display and a radial menu and you have the best tablet to help designers create the best designs.

 

Pantone Color chart

Designers can stare at the screen all day. It won't help them figure out if the colors they're using will match their client's curtains. Thanks to the power of Pantone, designers can have actual swatches at their desk that'll help them please that client who can't seem to be able to determine the difference between green and teal. Pantone color guides are available for CYMK, spot color, web and other color environments. Matching colors, it's a magical world.

 

Epson Artisan 810

Designers need quality prints. They also need a copy machine, a fax machine, and the ability to scan. Fortunately, Epson has the Artisan 810 all-in-one printer to help designers accomplish all of their print, fax and scanning tasks without have a mess of wires and peripherals all over their desk. The Artisan delivers stellar prints quickly on a variety of paper stocks. Add Wi-Fi connectivity, a slick touchscreen interface and cram all of that inside a stark black device and you have an all-in-one any designer would be proud to place on their table next to their T-square.



Adobe CS4

We can talk about Adobe substitutions until we're blue in the face. The fact of the matter is, there's a reason that Adobe has the creative market wrapped up. With every update they've enhanced their core products, while finding ways to help the designer work faster and smarter. There is no gift you can drop on a designers desk that'll get them more excited than a brand new CS4 box set. Whether the designer is web based, a print designer, or a motion graphics magician, Adobe has a suite for them. If you really want to make someones year, drop the Master Collection on them. They'll explode with glee.

 

Adobe Font Folio

Eventually every designer falls in love with typography. The elegant beauty of the Q, the rigid base of the M. It's an art form that designers utilize to convey a message with only a word and style. With that in mind, it's important for a designer to have a large supply of quality fonts at their disposal at all times. Sure you could download free fonts from the Web with their tendency to be corrupt. Or you can get the designer in your life a Font collection like the one from Adobe. They'll have 2,200 glorious fonts that'll keep them happy and may inspire them to suck you into the Bodoni versus Time New Roman debate. You have been warned.

 

X-Acto knives

Just because a majority of design takes place on computer doesn't mean that a designer shouldn't have a well stocked arsenal of X-Acto knives. When a designer has a project that needs a bleed or a die cut, the X-Acto knife is their weapon of choice. To the average person, a box of knives seems like overkill, even a bit diabolical. But to a designer, it's mana from ultra-sharp blade heaven. Just be sure they have plenty of Band-Aids and Neosporin available.

 



Helvetica: The Movie

It's a move about a font. Before you roll your eyes and mumble about designers being obsessed about fonts and color, it's a great movie about a font. The feature-length documentary examines the most prevalent font in the world. The film will not only delight designers, it's also surprisingly entertaining for non-designers. So prepare the popcorn and Whoppers and get comfy, the Helvetica DVD will be documentary fun for the whole family.

 

The Art of Color: The Subjective Experience and Objective Rationale of Color

This quintessential book on color theory was originally published in German. Thankfully we can get Johannes Itten's masterpiece on color and how it affects us in English. This hardcover edition of the book will open designer's eyes on the emotional impact of color and objective color principals with the help of color reproductions in the book. Designers will never look at color the same way again after reading this book, and that's a good thing.

 

Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph

Illustration programs with their fancy stroke weight options have all but made the Rapidograph a quaint reminder of days gone by. That doesn't mean that designers don't still crave the ability to create precise lines with these technical pens. These stainless steel-nibbed beauties are forged in the mines of Mordor. Okay, they're not forged in the mythical land of Mordor, but their craftsmanship is exquisite. If you know a designer that still goes old school with their art and is tired of the not-quite-black and messy quality of the typical Sharpie, give them a Rapidograph set.

LaCie blue eye pro

Monitor calibration is critical for designers working with photographs and photographers. It can mean the difference between a glorious sunset and a muddy mess of orange and red. The LaCie blue eye pro calibration solution creates a hardware-to-software solution that is compatible with Apple's ColorSync software and all the major design applications. The kit comes with the colorimeter and a sweet ambient light diffuser/protective shell. It's like having a tent over your monitor. If the designer in your life is serious about color calibration, check out the blue eye pro.

 

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