Designer, Developer, Copywriter, Mac Operator … whatever field your creative works in, chances are they are going to be difficult to shop for. Creatives have very specific taste, and often spend a lot of their own money on aesthetically pleasing things for themselves, so you can be left with little idea of what they actually want or need.
Never fear, we've compiled this list of 25 great gift ideas for designers, developers, copywriters and other creatives. From books and DVDs to gadgets and stationary, there is something here for every taste and budget. Happy holidays!
1. Helvetica DVD
Who else but a creative would be interested in a feature-length DVD about a font? Not just any font, Helvetica is perhaps the most important font in history, influencing everything from urban design to advertising to the music industry and fashion. While there are no explosions and the love story is mainly between a bunch of bespeckled designers and this font, this is an engaging documentary and even non-typeophiles will learn a lot how vital fonts are in our everyday lives.
2. Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Camera
Designers crave inspiration, and inspiration comes from the world around us, so it's no surprise that designers are usually compulsive documenters. And what your designer needs is a super stylish camera. The vintage design and fact that this is a film camera appeal to designers with a love of retro aesthetics, and a high-performance flash, AE light receptor and large LCD screen will help your designer take some stunning shots!
3. Pantone Universe Twin Marker Set
Imagine a whole box of dual-tip markers in pantone colours? How amazing would that be? Well, here you go – an ideal gift for the colour-enthused designer in your life. Each marker contains fast-drying, permanent ink and both a soft brush tip and fine point marker tip – all your designer needs to produce a wide range of strokes.
4. The Graphic Designer’s Business Survival Guide, Lawrence J. Daniels
Do you know a graphic designer who longs to go out on her own? Is the graphic designer in your life always talking about the day he starts his own agency? Well, maybe it’s time to give them a nudge in the right direction with everything they need to know about the business of design. Give the gift of business knowledge this Christmas!
5. Creative Cloud Pillows
It's like resting your head on a cloud … a cloud of creativity, that is. Get these Adobe Creative Cloud pillows for your favourite designer – great for decorating the office or building a snoozing fort behind the desk. The print is sublimated for a soft touch.
6. Mustard NG1104 Pixel Mouse
Web creatives stare at pixels for so many hours each day, it's a wonder they don't start seeing the whole world in tiny coloured squares. This quirky mouse design mimics the pointing hand of old-school computers. The perfect gift for the designer or developer in your life who is impossible to shop for.
7. Improper Kerning T-Shirt
You'd have to be a designer or type-geek to get this one. Luckily, you happen to know just such a person. Available in several styles, colours and sizes, this "improper kerning" t-shirt will have your designer in stitches. Seriously, this is quite a funny joke.
8. Clients from hell: A Collection of Anonymously-Contributed Client Horror Stories from Designers, edited by Anon.
The Clients From Hell website has a cult following among designers and agency folk. If your designer has been in the business long, she will have encountered her share of clients from hell. Help her to see the funny side with this book of inexplicable, unbelievable and utterly hilarious stories of the world's worst clients.
9. Letter Press Cookie Cutters
The holidays are all about fresh-baked smells from the kitchen and stuffing yourself with non-healthy foods. Get your designer into the baking spirit with these fantastic letterpress cookie cutters. Bake a batch of cookies that will really make a statement with this deluxe set that includes all 26 letters, an exclamation point and an ampersand.
10. Floppy Disk Sticky Notes
There was a time where designers didn't have Dropbox or USB drives, a time where all your files had to be stored on floppy discs. Designers love anything vintage, and these sticky notes fit about the same amount of info on them as the original 3.5-inch discs did. A great stocking stuffer for designers and computer geeks.
11. 50 Shades of Grey Poster
Has your designer been secretly reading E. L. James' erotic trilogy behind her desk? Well, she'll get a kick out of this Pantone-themed 50 Shades of Grey poster, that profiles literally 50 shades of grey. A titillating and tantalizing exhibition of the hottest and most risqué shades of the grey spectrum, this high quality poster is presented in full, gloriously neutral colour.
12. Megaphone IPod Amplifier by En&is
Italian design company En&is are bringing the horn out of the Viking age and into the modern designer home. If your designer loves listening to music while she works, this ceramic iPod amplifier will provide a clear, beautiful sound, while looking awesome sitting on the desk or windowsill. The amplifier does not require electricity, as it relies on the megaphone principle to amplify sound. Compatible with iPhone & iPod Touch.
13. Eye Exam Chart Tights
Did you ever think optometry could be this cool? Your designer will love this eye-catching design featuring bold typographic numbers. The print is silk screened by hand onto 100 denier microfiber tights – so these beauties are durable and warm for winter. Your designer will definitely make a statement with these unique tights.
14. Stendig 2014 Wall Calendar
The Stendig calendar was designed in 1966 by Massimo Vignelli, and features alternating months of black/white ground. This is the 2014 version of that same calendar, and will help your designer organise his life and keep all his appointments in order. Each page is perforated to allow the passing months to be torn neatly away.
15. Pantone iPhone Cases
Every designer has an odd fetish about Pantone colour swatches, so it's no surprise that they want to Pantone everything. Of course, the company itself has cottoned on to this trend and has started supplying Pantone iPhone cases in a variety of colours – from Imperial Purple to Astronaut to Candy Pink. These cases are durable hard-shell cases compatible with iPhone 5.
16. Helvetica Acrylic Necklace
The classic design mantra is "Give me good typography, or give me death." Is your designer obsessed with the class Helvetica font? Then keep her looking stylish with this fun typography necklace, cut from 3mm black acrylic. The same designer also offers a range of other typographic acrylic jewellery and cufflinks.
17. Livescribe Smart Pen
The perfect gadget for the copywriter in your life, the Livescribe Smart Pen records every word written and sends them wirelessly to your copywriter's tablet or smartphone for instant storage in digital form. The pen will also record audio – perfect if your copywriter conducts interviews or writes the minutes for creative brainstorming sessions. This is such a seriously cool gift, it's top of my Christmas list this year.
18. Net Magazine Subscription
Designers and developers love to keep up-to-date with the latest innovations in their field, so your creative would love a subscription of Net Magazine – the premier publication about the world of the web. Issues come in print and digital form, and include a free CD of programs, resources and apps to support the articles. Subscriptions are a great gift idea, as your creative can continue to enjoy their gift throughout the year.
19. 8-bit sleeve
Your designer can define the resolution with the all-new 8 bit sleeve series. This 8-bit envelope is made from premium synthetic leather with matte finishing and soft fibre interior to protect your classy device, and comes in a variety of sizes to fit various tablets inside snugly and safely. Your designer will get a kick out of this retro gift.
20. Three Beans Coffee
Designers need their daily caffeine fix, and you can feed their addiction this Christmas was a blend from Three Beans Coffee. Founded by owner Jonny McKessar in 2010, Three Beans are a boutique coffee roastery based in Auckland, New Zealand. Their taste is full-flavoured and unique, and their packaging is fun and zany and will definitely appeal to your designer. With names like "Raging Rhino" and "Gangster Rabbit", you know these beans are going to be unique.
21. Serif Tote Bag
Does your designer love to look fashionable? Does she lug around huge design books and digital devices? She'd love a stylish Serif Tote Bag. A serif is the structural details on the ends of letters, and on this bag the handle extends down to become the serif. Made from heavyweight 16oz cotton waxed canvas, this bag will hold several i-devices and a thermos of coffee.
22. iPhone UI Stencil kit
Every good design begins with a few good – and not-so-good – mock-ups. This precision-cut stainless-steel stencil and mechanical pencil set allows your designer to quickly draw up ideas for iPhone interfaces with this handy tool. Great for the developer who is branching out into app design. And the good news is, this stencil fits easily into a Christmas stocking!
23. Behind the Scenes of Real-Life Projects, by Smashing Magazine.
From the creators of Smashing Magazine and the Smashing Books comes one of the most coveted design/development books of 2013. Explore the workflows of various designers and developers and take a look at how projects are shaped, from initial stages through to completion. Chock-full of handy advice for creatives on a whole range of topics, from usability to typography, coding to marketing principles. A great holiday read - especially if your creative is looking at improving skills or branding out next year.
24. Typeface Periodic Table Wall Decal
If your designer or creative has a studio, then he'll love some fun art for the walls. And what could be more appropriate than this typography Periodic Table decal? Made from matte vinyl, the decal won't leave permanent residue or damage the wall. It will definitely make an interesting focal point in your designer's office or studio space.
25. Moleskine Peanuts 12 Month Daily Planner
No creative ever leaves the house without a Moleskine notebook tucked under his or her arm. This limited-edition Peanuts planner offers some of Snoopy's most cherished advice: "Learn from Yesterday, Live for Today, Look to Tomorrow, Rest this Afternoon". The planner features Peanuts designs silk-screened on a white cover, inner pocket, themed flyleaves, a bookmark ribbon and elastic closure, and a new page for every day of the year. Your designer will be doing the snoopy dance after unwrapping this gift!
Do you have any fantastic gift ideas for creatives? Share them in the comments below!