Graphic designers might seem a bit weirdoes sometimes, but they actually have a great influence in our behaviors because they’re the creative minds behind all the visual elements we see in our daily life on television, the Internet, streets, books, museums, stores while we are shopping and so on.
They are the kind of people that might have struggled during their school years with history, literature or math, but they have for sure always enjoyed making things look good, and this makes them proud.
They love art and they are curious, and those two facts help them look beyond the surface of things, exploring at the same time and with a critical eye, both the details and the big picture in every moment. Learning is their passion, and their main goal is to always continue growing as professionals and as persons.
In their conversations about proportions, beauty and style, they usually mention names of artists, bands and books you have never heard of. Comic Sans is their worst nightmare and they even have a vocabulary all their own. In fact, they often use mysterious terms such as kerning or tracking, two words that refer to the important process of adjusting the spacing between letters to achieve a visually pleasing result; because letters improperly spaced are nails on a chalkboard for them.
On the other hand, they are often great multitaskers that love when their routine is like a juggling act, so full of family obligations, housework, job projects, and hobbies that they wouldn’t even know what to do with a day off.
I live with a graphic designer and every time I have to make him a present I start trembling, and I’m guessing that if you are reading this article, you’re in the same boat.
Designers pay so much attention to details that gifting here becomes more than ever an art of comprehending the other person’s taste and mindset. An art which demands thoughtfulness, consideration and a bit of humor and surprise.
To help you out in such a complicated task, I’ve prepared a list of gifts that the designers in your life are sure to love. If you follow my lead you might be able to get that extremely picky designer in your life something they’ll actually not make fun of behind your back for buying.
The Visual History of Type
It is impossible that a graphic designer will not appreciate this book. Not even if he/she already has it. The Visual History of Type is a comprehensive, detailed survey of the major typefaces produced since the advent of printing with movable type in the mid-fifteenth century to the present day. Arranged chronologically to provide context, more than 320 typefaces are displayed in the form of their original type specimens or earliest printing. Besides, each entry is supported by a brief history and description of defining characteristics of the typeface. Amazon
Plotted: A Literary Atlas
A stunningly illustrated collection of maps. Allows readers a unique look at their favorite fictional worlds. The perfect gift for that beauty lover in your life.
Andrew DeGraff’s stunningly detailed artwork takes readers deep into the landscapes from The Odyssey, Hamlet, Pride and Prejudice, Invisible Man, A Wrinkle in Time, Watership Down, A Christmas Carol, and more. Amazon
An amazing date type calendar with a fresh font for everyday. Your picky designer will just love it. Buy your Tipodarium
2018 Stendig Wall Calendar
Designed by Massimo Vignelli, your very elegant graphic designer will be proud to have one hanging in a wall at office or at home, or even both. Buy it on stendig calendar
Typo memory game
Made with love in Modena, this limited edition typographical memory game will keep designers busy in those rare free moments they have. Mix up the cards. Lay them in rows, face down. Turn over any two cards. If they match, keep them. If they don’t, turn them back over. With 32 pairs of cards, each pair presenting a different image, this is a very stylish and interesting typographic concentration game. Buy it on Officina Typo
The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog
Another typeface memory game with twenty-five pairs of cards, each presenting a different type family. The kit includes a typographical glossary with the main terms used in typography as well as a text about the evolution of type design, locating in history each one of the fonts used in the game. Amazon
This innovative design called the Ostrich Pillow offers a micro environment in which to take a comfortable power nap in the office, travelling or wherever you want. Research says that a short nap of about 20 – 30 minutes can seriously improve a person’s mood, level of alertness and performance. A great gift for a sleepy design lover. Put on your Ostrich
The Polaroid Play 3D Pen
A gadget that lets you draw 3D models with ease. The possibilities are endless and every creative and technology-savvy mind will simply adore it. Polaroid website
OneStep 2 i‑Type Camera
The OneStep 2 is a new Polaroid camera that blends classic design with contemporary style. It’s inspired by Polaroid’s original OneStep but updated to create a simple, easy-to-use instant camera that works straight out of the box. It’s got a high quality lens and a powerful flash to give you great photos every time, and its long-lasting USB rechargeable battery means you’ll always be ready to shoot, whether you’re on a brief excursion or a journey round the world. Buy this classic camera on Polaroid website
A minimal matte black pocket business card holder
A minimal matte black pocket business card holder. Looks far more sophisticated and professional than fishing around through a bag and pulling out a crinkled card. Start a meeting with style
Kickstarter Project: Obstructures Compact Aluminum Drawing Triangles
Lightweight set of compact nesting aluminum triangles with inking edge, measuring gradations and proportional systems grid. Times change but straight lines remain straight. Buy your aluminun sword
Kickstarter Project: Hexagonal ruler
A multi-functional and metallic hexagonal ruler that any graphic designer will want to have. If you are a ninja designer, you need it
Kickstarter Project: Grid Series One – Typographic Playing Cards
USPCC Bicycle printed poker playing cards inspired by international graphic design styles; a unique typographic playing experience Buy your cards
Pantone Note Pad
Hands up who does not have one of those unimaginative notepad blocks laying on the desk. But… where did you put the pencil? Pantone thinks that the pencil belongs inside the notepad. Simple, clever, and it comes in 5 Pantone colors. Pantone website
The NYCTA Standards Manual Compact Edition
In 1967 the New York City Transit Authority hired Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda of the design firm Unimark International to design a signage and wayfinding system for the New York Metro.The work they delivered, the 1970 New York City Transit Authority Graphic Standards Manual, became one of the world’s classic examples of modern design. Here where to buy it
Handheld Mobile Portable Document scanner
A pocket size scanner that permanently archive all your documents digitally, converting your color or black & white photos, receipts and books into digital files. Scan this
Electronic Cutting Machine Set
Graphic designers love home projects. They design things on their computers all day at work, but when they stop working, the creativity keeps flowing. These electronic cutting machines connect via USB to a computer and cut fabric or other materials to the exact drawings. It will be a perfect gift for them. Just cut it
A good quality kit of pens, pencils and drawing tools
Artists — and graphic designers are artists, no doubt — need pens that write smooth. A good percentage of what graphic designers do ends up on a computer screen, but most of their best ideas start on a notebook at the metro or on a napkin at a restaurant or at home on a quiet Sunday.
Designed by Giancarlo Fassina and Michele de Lucchi The Tolomeo Micro is famous for its repeatedly awarded design and its maximum flexibility. The adjustable arms with refined springs system are this delicate table lamp’s trademark. The diffuser is also adjustable in multiple directions. Ideal for flexible, direct lighting of monitor work spaces. Light me up
This book, the last one and the most important, is a must for a freelance and organized graphic designer. Amazon
Merry xmas and a well designed new year to you all!