30 gift ideas for designers

Some daughters ask for clothes or jewelry for Christmas… while I asked for fonts. True story.

As Christmas approaches in just a few weeks, I thought I’d pull together a fun gift guide specifically for designers. You’ll find tools to run your business, inspiration to drive creativity and some nerdy designer products mixed in. Feel free to pass this along to your friends + family, or snag some items to gift yourself. No judgement here!

Enjoy!

30 gift ideas for graphic designers — Christmas gifts, fonts, tools, freelance resources, etc. | Spruce Rd.
 

Products

  • Everlane backpack: The backpack I’ve used to tote my laptop around for 3 years, and still looks brand new. Love the minimal design, and the price isn’t too bad either.

  • Felix Gray glasses: Filters blue light from the computer screen. Great for anyone who spends hours behind the computer — it also helps eliminate headaches!

  • Ember mug: Controls the temperature of your mug specific to your preference, and lasts until the final drop.

  • Typeset Co.: Modern magnetic letters + letterboard. (and founded + designed by friend and Share-worthy Design student Ashley, Braizen Creative!)

  • Camera: Anything by Nikon or Cannon are a safe bet! There are loads of options depending on your needs (product photography, portrait, lifestyle, etc.). I recommend shopping from B&H Photo Video once you’re ready for the big purchase.

  • Ipad Pro + Pencil: Great for lettering + illustration. Design from the couch or even on the airplane. It’s such a great tool!

  • Macbook Pro: My recommendation for designers who like to work outside of home and on the go.

  • Headphones: A necessity to get in your creative zone.

  • Ugmonk products: Designer crafted products that are high quality and modern. I live in this crewneck sweatshirt year round.

Stationery

  • Appointed Co.: If you’re into minimal stationery + planners, you’ll find yourself adding Appointed products left and right to your Christmas list. I always have my Appointed blank journal with me.

  • Best Self Co. journal: Recently started using this journal to set quarterly goals, and love the system they’ve created.

  • Russell & Hazel: Anything from this store, can I get an amen? Love their high-quality minimal organizational tools. I’ve got my eye on this spiral planner.

Gift cards/subscriptions

  • Creative Market gift cards: Perfect to snag a new typeface, vector graphic or stock photo.

  • Stock photo subscription: Ideal to use for your own brand, or to supplement client projects (if you purchase the correct licenses). Some of my favs are: Kate Max Stock + Social Squares.

  • Co-working space gift card: If you enjoy working outside your home, a co-working space gift card would be a great resource for you!

  • Starbucks gift card: Always nice to have.

  • Panera Bread gift card: My workplace of preference when stepping outside my home. (Bacon Turkey Bravo, please!)

  • Adobe Creative Cloud subscription: Warned you there would be some nerdy designer items on the list ;). A must have subscription for graphic designers.

  • Spotify subscription: Listen to millions of songs, without the ads.

  • Parse and Parcel: Quarterly subscription of paper inspiration delivered to your mailbox. I subscribed one year and looked forward to the package each time! It’s a great resource not only for inspiration, but to peek behind the curtain of which paper was used for printed pieces, as well as the printing method. Education + inspiration mixed in.

  • Visa gift-cards: For that course you’ve got your eye on, or a typeface you’re itching to purchase ;).

Inspiration

  • Whitespace Magazine: Curated collection of designer inspiration + behind the scenes stories of your favorite artists.

  • In Progress, by Jessica Hische: See inside Jessica Hische’s notebook full of lettering + illustration.

  • How to style your brand, by Fiona Humberstone: A great read on how to create a brand identity — along with lots of designer inspiration in the process.

  • Brand brilliance, by Fiona Humberstone: Another must-have as a designer. Fiona walks through creating powerful messaging and strategy behind your brand (beyond visuals). All the while sprinkling in some design inspiration along the way (with a couple of Spruce Rd. photos mixed in!)

  • Thinking with Type, by Ellen Lupton: The definitive guide to using typography in visual communication, from the printed page to the computer screen. A great reference when working with type!

  • Start with Why, by Simon Sinek: A must-read for any business, and one that brought a lot of clarity to my own brand.

  • Belong Magazine: Celebrating creative collaboration, while providing resources to grow your business. Love this magazine, the design and learning from our peers.

  • Print Magazine: Design tips, education and resources. It’s my go-to magazine to peruse while at Barnes & Noble.

  • How Magazine: Another magazine I’ve perused since my first elective graphic design class back in 2007. How magazine provides inspiration, while also focusing on the business side of design. A staple in our industry!