Warning! Your browser is extremely outdated and not web standards compliant.
Your browsing experience would greatly improve by upgrading to a modern browser.


December 14, 2016

Written by

Kayla Davison

13 Gift Ideas Under $50 for Your Designer Friends

Estimated Read Time:

Do you have a friend or family member in the design industry? Whether it be graphic design, web design, web development or others, we can often be difficult to shop for, given our love of expensive technology and quirky jokes. To make it easier on you, 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

Clip-on Cell Phone Lenses

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

Development book gift ideas

These reputable books cover a wide range of topics, and have been incredibly resourceful for our Development team. This gift will not only spark our passion for what we do but will allow us to become better educated in our field and figure out new ways to exercise our skills.

Bonus: These books are usually about 100 pages long, so they are a quick but effective read!

3. Industry-Related T-Shirts | $25

Design T-shirts

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? Here are a few websites with more clever options:

4.Typography Memory Game | $23

Memory Game for Topography Nerds

Not only is this a fun game for your designer friends, but it can also be helpful when we’re stumped trying to find the perfect font to cap off a design. You might even find us playing by ourselves just to look at all the font possibilities. If you join us, be ready to hear our strong opinions on fonts we like and dislike!


5. Device Sketch Pad | $14

Sketch Pad that looks like mobile Devices

These sketchpads from uistencils are brilliant! Our team has drawn browser, phone, and tablet outlines countless times. Products such as these are great to bring to team and client meetings to speed up the conception phase while quickly illustrating your ideas.



6. 5 Professional Graphics or 1 B-Roll Video | $49

Package from Shutterstock

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 without leaving your desk or hiring a photographer. 


7. Pixel Ruler | $32

Ruler in Pixels

This pixel ruler can go hand-in-hand with the device sketchpad. This gift will improve the quality of your sketches while using a practical measurement that every graphic designer utilizes. No more converting inches to pixels, designers!



8. Browser White Board | $17

Browser White Sketch Pad

Much like the device sketchpads, this white board gives designers the correct parameters of a browser, making brainstorming one step easier. You'll never run out of paper with this gift, and it comes with two different colored markers.



9. Mug Warmer | $19.85

Mug Warmer

Speaking for most designers and web developers, coffee enhances any morning as we sit down to start our 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. This mug warmer is a great solution. It’s also practical, as it includes a clock and two USB ports for our extensive file libraries. It’s a win-win!

Bonus: Include a witty or 'punny' mug with this gift!

10.  Trackball Mouse | $27.99

Trackball mouse pad

Aside from the occasional email, designers spend most of their day with their hand on the mouse instead of the keyboard. This can quickly become a health issue if we don't have the proper ergonomic equipment. This trackball mouse is one of the most preferred in the graphic and web design industry. It allows for minimal arm and wrist movement, is cordless, and is still under $30.


11. Typography Scrabble | $49.99

Scrabble in different Typography

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.



12. Pantone's Color Palette Inspiration Book | $15

Color Palettes

During the concepting 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 have already placed colors together in palette's 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

USB Speaker

Cary Coppola, our CEO, and Co-Founder, personally recommends this Bluetooth speaker. He is also a member of our front-end development team and has been dubbed our office "D.J.", guaranteeing this is a great buy. Currently, this 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!


Author Thumbnail for Kayla Davison at Blue Compass
Kayla Davison

Kayla has been a Web Designer at Blue Compass for over four years. She is a Simpson College graduate with a triple major in Graphic Design, International Management, and Spanish. Kayla is always searching for user-friendly, unique designs that will promote products and services in a positive manner. She enjoys exploring new places and draws from her travel experiences to broaden her creative palette and desire to learn.