Whether you’re in need of a gift idea for a designer friend or looking to buy yourself something nice; this list of 30+ items is sure to point you in the right direction. And for more gift ideas, check out my gifts for graphic designers pinterest page (180 items and counting) and 2014 gift idea collection.
Touchscreen Gloves: No more removing your gloves in cold weather to use your smart phone or tablet. Smart product, fairly priced and great reviews.
Pantone Coffee Mug: A mug fitting for any print designer. Available in a variety of colors.
Drawing / Light Table: Perfect space for sketching logo concepts, mapping out a website design, or illustrative work. If you’re looking for a less expensive and more portable option, consider a tracing light box.
iMac Stand: A cool product that allows you to add height to your iMac (or all-in-one computer) and save work space by storing a keyboard beneath.
Understanding Exposure Photography Book: Many designers these days have an interest in photography. This book really helped me. It’s easy to read and fairly priced.
Get Shit Done Poster: Designers love posters and they love getting shit done. This poster measures 18″x24″. It is a bit pricey though (currently selling for $30).
Lifetrons Multi-Tool: Convenient little tool allows for charging of multiple devices with the ability to sync at the same time. Charge devices via wall, laptop or computer.
iPad Dock: Ipad mini dock for inclined tablet viewing. Great for when watching videos, reading, or following a recipe when cooking. This hands free device is made of 100% bamboo and allows for horizontal or vertical viewing.
Projection Keyboard: Typing on a smartphone or tablet can be cumbersome. This virtual keyboard is suppose to solve that problem by giving you a full keyboard to type on, via projection on a flat surface. Works with the following operating systems: iOS4+, Android 4.0+, Mac OS X 10+, Windows XP+, Blackberry 10 devices.
Ampersand T-Shirt: “&” symbol displayed in Helvetica, shown with highlighted vector paths. Shirts on this site tend to sell out from time to time, but reprints are issued, so just check back if you’re not in a huge hurry.
Pixel Ruler: A neat little tool for designers wanting to know screen pixel increments while sketching out website concepts, etc. This ruler is made of heavy-duty gauge stainless steel with pixel increments shown along it’s edge (includes markers for mobile, widescreen and tablet sizing). Cost is currently $29.
Logo Design Book: A large collection of affordable hard cover books perfect for logo designers in need of a little inspiration. Each book in the series offers thousands of logo samples. (Image credit to “X3-Studios” via Flickr).
Cable Organizer: AppleCore cable organizer helps reduce cord tangles and clutter. Use for earbuds, laptop cables, smartphone chargers and more.
Helvetica Movie: Documentary discusses the history of the world’s most popular typeface, along with interviews from prominent graphic designers, detailing why they either love or hate this widely used font.
Beverage Warmer: No more cold coffee or tea. This cool device will keep your beverage warm and prevent those frequent trips to the microwave.
USB Flash Drive: Combining the tools of a Swiss Army Knife with a detachable usb flash drive (also available without the knife tools). High speed and high storage capacity (up to 128gb) allows for convenient file access on the go.
iMac Shelf: Save desk space by storing your external hard drives or other devices behind your iMac or Apple display. This steel shelf installs easily and has cable rails for cable management.
Cyber Clean: A non toxic, biodegradable, reusable compound that cleans just about anything, including your electronics devices. Gets great reviews online.
8bit Sunglasses: Go old school with these 8bit pixelated sunglasses. 100% UV protection and currently only $5.
Laptop Stand: Very cool product allows for increased viewing height, improved posture and ergonomics, and laptop cooling via it’s heat sync. This “mStand Laptop Stand” is compatible with any laptop less than 10.4″ in depth. Rear cable management hole hides away unsightly wires and prevents the cable ends from dropping to the floor. Gets great reviews and seems fairly priced at $44.
Dropbox Online Storage: Online file backup service to protect against hard drive failure, fire or theft. I’ve been a Dropbox user for a couple years now and highly recommend it. Features include: being able to access files from any computer and the ability to share files with clients, family or friends.
Portable USB Battery Charger: Very convenient product that allows you to portably charge your usb smartphones, tablets and more. Has two ports so you can charge 2 products simultaneously. Oh, and this battery charger gets raves reviews on Amazon.
Laptop Decal: Stylize and personalize your laptop with easy to apply and take off decals. Also choose from Iron Man, Snoopy, Despicable Me, nature scenes, etc.
Encrypted External Drive: For anyone who wants to protect important files. This encrypted external hard drive requires a keypad password to be accessed. A less expensive option is the encrypted flash drive.
Retro Digital Camera: Lecia X1 12.2 mega pixel, high quality digital camera with a retro film style. Features a fast wide angle lens, 3 frames per second shooting, raw and jpg, image stabilizer, fast autofocus. Many folks who have reviewed this camera online have only great things to say.
Headphone Splitter: This item isn’t specific to graphic designers, but I don’t know too many people who don’t listen to music. A cool little inexpensive gadget for sharing music.
Print Color Guide: A useful tool for graphic designers concerned about color consistency in print. For someone just starting out, I’d recommend the more versatile “Bridge Uncoated’ and “Bridge Coated” guides.
iPhone Camera Lens: 3 in 1 camera lens add-on for iPhones. Includes a wide angle, fisheye and zoom lens. Similar items are available for Android smart phones as well.
Power Saving Outlet: This “Belkin Conserve Socket” serves dual purpose. It not only saves on electricity, it prevents your devices from over charging and overheating. Great for laptops, phones, tablets, rechargeable batteries, etc.
USB Wall Charger With Holding Station: Charge any usb device directly from any wall outlet. Comes with surge protection and holding station to secure your phone or device while charging.
Typography Videogame: A Mario style video game that allows players to learn the history of typography while literally exploring it. Available for both iOS and Android.
Ampersand Light: Maybe a bit cliche at this point, but these ampersand lights still look cool to me. Measures 36″ tall, 30″ wide, 4″ deep.
Subscription To “Advanced Photoshop”: Popular publication offering tutorials on design and illustration, inspirational artwork, product reviews and more.
Desktop Dashboard: 4 customizable gauges for things like email, social media, calendar updates, personal fitness, traffic conditions and more. Compatible with most wi-fi enabled phones.
Portable WhiteBoard: Simple but genius idea. Instead of wasting paper, this portable “IdeaBoard” is great for brainstorming ideas.
Macbook Air Stand: This item obviously isn’t for everyone, but if you or someone you know owns a Macbook Air, I highly recommend this dock/stand. While a bit pricey, the heavy duty construction and solid feel make this a worthy investment. I like this stand because it saves desk space, prevents my cat from sitting on my laptop, allows for easy charging and is heavy enough to prevent the laptop from falling over.
Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard: This highly reviewed wireless keyboard gets stellar reviews online. Comes with quiet type keys that light up for easy typing in the dark. Built in bluetooth allows for use with just about anything you could need it for (pc, laptop, smartphone, tablet, gaming, etc).
Laptop Lap Desk: Lightweight, portable, ergonomic lap stand for laptops, writing or reading. Also acts as a chill mat, preventing heat transfer from human to computer.
Zipper Bookmark: Sure, you can save $6 and use a piece of paper as your bookmark, but it wouldn’t look as cool. An inexpensive novelty gift that arrives in a gift box.