There are many different occasions for which to give gifts during the year, regardless of what exactly you celebrate. On top of gift-giving holidays like Christmas or Hannukah, there are plenty of additional gift-giving occasions to be thinking about: birthdays, graduations, and other rites of passage.
Whether or not you’re a designer, we’ve got you covered with a wide range of gift ideas for graphic designers and developers that range from super practical to a little goofy, but all that would certainly be appreciated.
Books for Designers
If you’re looking for Christmas or other winter holiday gifts, you might consider the gift of education. After all, New Year’s Resolutions are just around the corner!
The Design of Everyday Things is a book that transcends many different types of design to focus on the concept of usability. It inspires to reader to diagnose potential usability issues in the objects they interact with, while also finding appreciation for objects that are genius in their simplicity of use.
Building on to the concept of usability, Don’t Make Me Think offers guidance specifically with regards to the field of web design. The book is a quick read and separated into easy to digest chapters and really should be considered a must-read for any designer who creates for the web.
Who’s the greatest graphic designer of all time? Besides you, another top contender is Paul Rand, who’s credited as the designer for well-known and iconic logos that include IBM, UPS, and ABC. Though the original text was written in 1947, it still manages to be relevant today, even after many new technical advances in graphic design.
Many artists experiment with different mediums. Sometimes inspiration hits when you get away from your norm. As such, adult coloring books can make for the perfect gift for the creative designer in your life. This particular option is “optimized” for stress relief—ideal for decompressing after a day of client work gone wrong.
Give your designer giftee the gift of on-demand learning with a subscription to Envato Elements. In addition to stock photos, graphic assets for projects, and lots more, your giftee will receive access to 170+ ebooks, from favorite designer publishers that include Smashing Magazine, Packt Publishing, and A List Apart.
Practical Gifts for Designers
If you’re the practical gift-giving type, there are plenty of gifts for graphic designers that you can give to make their lives a lot easier or help them to be more productive in their work.
Quick turnaround design projects can mean neglecting everything around you to finish up on time. Help a designer in your life pick up the slack with the gift of someone else cleaning up their house or apartment. Handy is a great marketplace for cleaning services around the United States.
In a similar vein as the above designer gift idea, a gift card to your recipient’s favorite meal delivery service might mean the difference between them eating well or not eating much at all in the middle of a tight deadline. Grocery delivery would also fall under this category as a nice gesture for the busy designer.
I can’t count the number of times my tea has gone from piping hot to cold with nary a sip during an intense project. Ensure that the designer in your life always has a piping hot cup of their favorite beverage when they need it by gifting them a mug warmer (bonus points if can plug into their USB slots).
The usefulness of this tool will vary by type of designer, but it’s certainly something any of them can appreciate. If the designer in your life is involved in web design, you might also consider the same company’s Website Stencil Kit.
What’s coming up in a day or a week? This mousepad literally puts this information at your favorite designer’s fingertips. The brand behind it, Knock Knock, offers other fun notepads and organizational tools, like this similar week organizer.
If you’re not a designer, it may surprise you to find that many online designs start on paper. Specialty notebooks, like the dot grid books offered by Dotgrid.co, provide a structure for sketching out designs. Note that the company is based in the UK as far as shipping.
Tech Toys for Graphic Designers
Don’t commit to buying your favorite designer any big technologies unless you’re a rich millionaire with money to blow—specialized equipment (like a fully loaded iMac) can quickly add up to several thousand dollars. Instead, consider these affordable luxuries that any designer would be excited to receive as a gift:
Most designers know of Moleskine, who’s journals provide another option for drawing designs before manipulating them on a computer. This particular notebook allows you to turn hand drawn elements into fully functional digital files through a smart connection to Adobe Creative Cloud. It’s amazing what technology can do these days.
Most designers own multiple screens, if only to be able to test their work across devices. Give the gift of organization (and a consistent full charge) with a smart charging station. The best ones have USB ports built in.
Not all designers are photographers, but most can appreciate the enjoyment of creation—regardless of the medium. Clip on smartphone lenses make it easy to take beautiful photos outside of the normal smartphone standards. Unlike lenses made for bigger cameras, clip on smartphone lenses are quite affordable.
Card Decks for Designers
What is it with designers and card decks? There are so many on the market to choose from! Here are a few games and practical card decks for designers:
If this doesn’t make sense to you as a gift giver, “The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog” is the text used for previewing how a font will look, because it includes every letter in the alphabet. This card game is a typeface memory game, perfect for the designer in your life who nerds out about fonts.
This card deck is perfect for the color-obsessed designer you’re shopping before. How gorgeous would a game of poker look using this set?
These aren’t cards to play with, but rather to send to others. These are perfect for the designer in your life who still sends snail mail.
These cards aren’t a game, but rather a tool for mapping out the information architecture of a website. They’re perfect for the web designer or UX designer in your life.
Apparel for Designers
Whether introverted or extroverted, most designers want other people to know what they do. These articles of clothing will help them shout their profession to the world.
It probably doesn’t get more nerdy than this WordPress ugly Christmas sweatshirt. As a bonus, it’s super warm and comfortable, capable of covering even the most persistent holiday food baby.
It’s a modern day love story, told on an appropriate medium: a t shirt. Bonus points if purchasing a matching pair of 2 for a designer couple.
This shirt will definitely resonate more with a developer than a designer, but we’re all nerds here.
Gifts for Graphic Designers and Developers
If you’re scrambling to find gifts for graphic designers and developers in your life, the good news is that you now have plenty of options to choose from.
What other gifts for graphic designer and developers would you add to this list? Let us know your additions to this list in the comments!