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It’s that (most wonderful) time of the year again. The holiday season is upon us, and gift buying is likely already in full swing. We’ve put together this holiday gift guide for design thinkers and creatives to help you with your gift-giving. 

Whether you’re looking for a gift for the UI/UX designer on your team, your graphic designer roommate, your design-thinking brother-in-law, or for yourself, we hope you’ll find these gift ideas helpful.

Books for Designers

Arcade Game Typography: The Art of Pixel Type

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An Amazon #1 New Release, Arcade Game Typography: The Art of Pixel Type, showcases eclectic typography from hit games such as Super Sprint, Pac-Man, After Burner, Marble Madness, Shinobi, and more gems from the 70s, 80s and 90s. A book that likely qualifies under “something I’d never buy for myself, but would not-so-secretly love to have,” it’s sure to please the nerd that lives deep inside.

Do the F*cking Work: Lowbrow Advice for High-Level Creativity

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Sticking with the f-bomb theme of 2019 (see: Everything Is F*cked: A Book About Hope by Mark Manson, The Hidden Power of F*cking Up by The Try Guys, etc.) Do the F*cking Work: Lowbrow Advice for High-Level Creativity, is f*cking gold. With nuggets of wisdom written to teach you to embrace the journey of creation—trying, failing, learning, and failing again, this book provides 100 beautifully packaged pieces of advice for creatives. (Available for pre-order: release date December 30th 2019.)

Food Is Fiction: Stories on Food and Design

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Designers transform food into products that draw us in, inform us, and seduce us. Food Is Fiction takes a look at how food industry echoes the spirit of the times and anticipates social changes. This book will make you wonder, what is the future of food? 

User Friendly: How the Hidden Rules of Design Are Changing the Way We Live, Work, and Play

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In User Friendly: How the Hidden Rules of Design Are Changing the Way We Live, Work, and Play, the hidden rules of the designed world over the last century are revealed. After reading this book, you’ll never interact with technology the same way again. 

How to Have Great Ideas: A Guide to Creative Thinking

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This book from John Ingledew will help any designer change their constraints, and discover unexpected sources of problem-solving inspiration.

Tools for Designers

Pantone Formula Guide Set

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Every designer needs their own Pantone Formula Guide. This set includes two: coated and uncoated, and has over 1,800 colors and ink formulations. My personal favorite Pantone color is Rose Quartz (PANTONE 13-1520), which was the color of the year in 2016. 

Wireframe Deck

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The Wireframe Deck includes 80 2x2" double-sided cards of common website and UI elements. This deck allows UI/UX designers to quickly build and rearrange web page layouts in-person in order to discuss key decisions before moving to a design software. You’ll make your favorite UI/UX designer’s whole year with this one.

Graphic Designer Pencil Set

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This graphic designer pencil set is sure to spark joy with music inspired quotes that have a design twist. Quotes like, “I shot the serif” and “Crop it like it’s hot” will have someone singing in their seat while sketching away.

Big G Creative Bob Ross: Happy Little Accidents Game

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Designers don’t make mistakes—they just have happy little accidents. A great party game, let Bob Ross inspire you to turn whimsical squiggles into creative masterpieces. 

Designlab Short Course

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Want to give a Designlab course as a gift? We don’t want to spoil your surprise, so you can sign up with your own details, and include a note with the email address of the person you’d like to receive the course launch email. If they’re a design beginner, we recommend Design 101, our top-rated introduction to design.

Fun & Games For Designers

CMYK Tattoos

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...because who doesn’t need a CMYK tat? 

Gradient Puzzle

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These beautiful gradient puzzles look hard, like really hard, but designers typically love a good challenge. The best part about this is, you’ll be supporting a fellow graphic designer, Bryce Wilner from New Haven, CT.

Pantone The Game

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In this creative card game officially licensed by Pantone, you’ll use color swatches to represent characters and have the other players guess the character with as few hints as possible. You’ll use your brain, but also have a good bit of colorful fun.

Blank Slate Board Game

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The Blank Slate board game is particularly great for UI/UX designers, who need to keep their intuition sharp. In this clever party game, players try to predict what others are thinking. 

What’s Your Type? Font Pairing Game

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The perfect gift for budding graphic designers, these flashcards will teach you about fonts. Learn about font moods, dos and don’ts, and typography commandments to improve all of your designers.

Gadgets For Designers

Panoramic Time-Lapse Tripod for Smartphones

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A fun gift for any creative, this smartphone tripod is a big bang for your buck. The biggest selling point? It spins by itself so you can take cool timelapses and panoramic photos.

Wireless Charging Pad

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Does anyone actually have the time to even plug their smartphone anymore? Go wireless with this fancy charging pad.

Cyber Clean

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I’ve requested Santa fill my stocking 100% with cyber clean. As a remote worker who never turns off, my keyboard is filled with toast crumbs, sugary coffee drippings, and just general grossness. This high-tech cleaning compound gets in the cracks to catch it all.

Adonit Stylus

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For designers who like to sketch mockups on their tablets, a good stylus is crucial. Adonit stylus’ work on all touch screens and have a wide range of products and price points. 

Tile Stickers

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According to science, being forgetful means you’re actually a genius. Gift the genius in your life with tile stickers to ensure they never lose their car keys or TV remote again. 

Homeware For Designers

Sometimes I get emotional over fonts—Kanye West Tweet Mug

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Garamond gives me all the feels. Just sayin’. #DumbledoresArmy

Nordic handmade Venus Ceramic vase

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Give the creative in your life the gift of making their home a bit more like a museum. No need to go to Le Louvre, bring a miniature Venus de Milo to them.

Custom home illustration stamp

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This self-inking rubber stamp features a cute, sketchy, minimalistic portrait of your loved ones’ home, stacked atop the address in a clean, sans-serif font. Be sure to have a photo of the featured house and address ready when you order.

Floppy Disk Drink Coasters

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Floppy disks may be a thing of the past, but retro home decor will always have a place in the future.

Tea Subscription Box

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Give the gift of calm that keeps on giving with a tea subscription box. During Thanksgiving Week, use code GIVE12GET3 to give someone a year of tea and get a free 3-month subscription for yourself.

Illustration: Annie Devine

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Alexa Harrison

Designlab

Content Writer

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