Do you have a friend or family member in the design industry? Whether it be graphic design, web design, web development or others, creatives can often be challenging to shop for, given their love of expensive technology and quirky jokes. To make it easier, our Design and Front-End Development teams have come together to form our top picks for Christmas gifts for the designer in your life. As a bonus, they're all under $50 to keep bank accounts happy and allow for the opportunity to donate to some organizations in need.
1. Clip-on Cell Phone Camera Lens Kit | $21.99
These Amir three-in-one clip-on lenses come highly recommended by a photographer friend and are perfect for designers on the go. These light, portable lenses can not only capture inspiration when we're away from our computers but also supplement blog posts or web designs.
Designers can capture high-quality photos without a professional camera and eliminate the need for purchasing stock photo account packages.
2. A Book Apart | $21 (hardcover) or $11 (e-book)
These reputable books cover a wide range of topics and have been incredibly resourceful for our Development team. This gift will not only spark your creative's passion but will allow them to become better educated in their field and figure out new ways to exercise their skills.
Bonus: These books are usually about 100 pages long, so they are a quick but compelling read!
3. Industry-Related T-Shirts | $25
Here is the aforementioned “quirkiness” coming into play. We graphic designers and web developers find inside jokes about our profession hilarious, and what better gift than a practical and comical combination, such as this graphic tee?
Spreadshirt.com is an amusing website with more web design t-shirt options.
4.Typography Memory Game | $25
Not only is this a fun game for your designer friends, but it can also be helpful when they're stumped trying to find the perfect font to cap off a design. You might even catch a creative playing by themselves just to look at all the font possibilities. If you join them, be ready to hear strong opinions about fonts they like and dislike!
5. Device Sketch Pad | $15
These sketchpads from are brilliant! Our team has drawn browser, phone and tablet countless times. Products such as these are great for team and client meetings to speed up the conception phase while quickly illustrating ideas.
6. 5 Professional Graphics or 1 B-Roll Video | $49
Designers are always in need of great imagery or background videos to enhance their creations. Shutterstock has a couple of options for packages under $50 to explore. Though some stock imagery can be overused, this is a less expensive way to obtain professional imagery in one place without hiring a photographer.
7. Pixel Ruler | $32
This pixel ruler can go hand-in-hand with the device sketchpad. This gift will improve the quality of sketches while using a practical measurement that every graphic designer utilizes. No more converting inches to pixels!
8. Browser White Board | $17
Much like the device sketchpads, this whiteboard provides designers the correct parameters of a browser, making brainstorming one step easier. They'll never run out of paper with this gift, and it comes with two different colored markers.
9. Mug Warmer | $9.99
Most designers and web developers agree that coffee enhances any morning as they sit down to start the creative process. If the designer in your life is anything like our team, they will soon be struck by inspiration, and their coffee will turn cold. A mug warmer is an excellent solution. It’s also practical, as it includes a clock and two USB ports for the creative's extensive file libraries. It’s a win-win!
Bonus: Include a witty or 'punny' mug with this gift!
10. Trackball Mouse | $23.39
Aside from the occasional email, designers spend most of their day with their hand on the mouse instead of the keyboard. Poor posture can quickly become a health issue without the proper ergonomic equipment. This trackball mouse is one of the most preferred in the graphics and web design industry. It allows for and wrist movement, is cordless and is still under $30.
11. Typography Scrabble | $49.99
Created by Andrew Capener, this designer's take on the classic game will be a hit with the designers in your life. In our office, I’m sure this would turn into a “name that font” game instead of “spell the best word” game. You can find Typography Scrabble in multiple locations, including The Colossal Shop.
12. Pantone's Color Palette Book | $15
During the concept phase, designers will inevitably come to a point where they need extra inspiration. This Pantone Color Palette Inspiration Book is a great idea to reignite a designer's thought process on a project! We love how they've already placed colors together in palettes instead of needing to piece them together ourselves.
Bonus: Here's another Pantone item your friend will love | $13
13. UE Mini Boom Wireless Bluetooth Speaker | $39.99
Cary Coppola, our CEO, and Co-Founder, personally this Bluetooth speaker. He is also a member of our front-end development team and has been dubbed our office "D.J.", guaranteeing this a great buy. Currently, the speaker is in stock and will arrive before Christmas!
There you have it; a designer’s dream Christmas list. With so many options, you’re sure to find something that will be just right. If you’re still looking for that perfect something for the artistic ones in your life, look no further!