Some people are hard to buy for, others are surprisingly easy. Knowing what people are into makes the gift buying process easier, but you still want to make sure you’re not getting something they already own or have no use for. Finding good gifts for graphic designers is actually not too hard, thanks to the magic of the internet.
Designers are creative people by nature so getting them a creative gift should be a safe bet.
For starters, a lot of designers are into anything related to typography, art, or technology. Unfortunately, if you’re not a designer yourself, it’s difficult to know specifically what to get. They probably already have a lot of the popular design books, and they might have a very specific set of tools they use for their work. So how can you get them something that will be a safe bet?
Here is a list of the top ten gifts for graphic designers that are unique, creative, and they will ultimately love.
There are plenty of design books that would be excellent gifts for graphic designers, but this one is a bit more unique. It’s also still usable even if it’s a duplicate item.
The Graphic Design Playbook is essentially a workbook for designers with a variety of activities that cover the topics of typography, posters, signs, and identity. It’s basically just a fun activity book that would be an absolute joy for a designer to receive as a gift.
I recently bought this book and published a review post. Basically, I loved it. You can check out my review of the Graphic Design Playbook here.
Here is something every graphic designer will always need more of; grid paper. Or more specifically, a notebook with dot grid paper. Dot grids and square grids are pretty much the standard for designers, though many designers prefer the versatility of a dot grid.
Dot grids are used for sketching logo concepts, layouts, geometric illustrations, and making notes. Because they are useful for so many things, designers go through them fast. Therefore, a dot grid notebook is probably one of the safest gifts for graphic designers.
If you want to get even more creative with your gift or if you know that the designer you’re shopping for does a lot of different types of design work, consider a notebook full of different grid styles like this one.
For a coffee, a peppermint tea, or even a secret morning mimosa, mugs are fun. A Pantone mug subtly says ‘I’m a designer’ in a fun yet functional way. There are plenty of colour options to choose from so try to gift one in a colour the designer you have in mind would actually like; or even better, a colour that closely matches their personal brand or company logo.
To build upon this gift, add some chocolates and candies inside the mug, some hot chocolate, or even some unique writing utencils.
This is something I’ve wanted in my office for a long time for a futuristic aesthetic. Colour-changing led lights placed strategically under the desk, around the ceiling, and behind a monitor can look so great in an office. Designers spend a ton of time at their computers with many of those hours falling well into the night. These lights add a little futurism to those nights and can really add to the aesthetic of an office or workspace.
This is one of those gifts that people who spend a lot of time at their computers always wish they had. A small desktop fridge is really convenient for designers who get so into a project that they forget to actually leave their desk to drink water or eat. I’m not saying it’s a particularly healthy thing, because breaks are important; but it is convenient.
If you want to take this gift to the next level, stock the fridge with beer or energy drinks, or a fancy mini-champagne.
Skillshare is an educational community of designers, artists, and creative thinkers. If you’re still not sure what to gift a graphic designer, this would be a great gift, assuming they aren’t already a member.
Skillshare has a bunch of amazing classes for designers who want to learn new skills, or for amateur designers looking to learn more in general. This makes an awesome gift for any designer or creative person in your life.
Check out the 10 Best Graphic Design Classes on Skillshare.
Hopefully this gift won’t insult anyone, because every single designer I’ve met could really use one of these, including myself. Graphic designers spend a lot of time sitting at a computer, every single day. We just aren’t actively aware enough of our slouching to consciously correct it as often as we need to. We can get hours deep into a branding project, then take a coffee break only to then realize the back pain we’re experiencing when we stand. It’s a legit problem and this should fix it, as long as we remember to wear it.
Markers are something that designers will need often because, well, they get used and dry up. But don’t get just any markers. Designers and illustrators are very particular about the type of markers they use, and the good ones are expensive. For this reason, you don’t really need to go all out. Just pick a decently priced set of markers that work for the designer’s main uses.
A designer who does a lot of branding work might need neutral coloured markers for sketching concepts, so a set of black or grey markers would be ideal. A designer who does a lot of illustrative work might find use in a small but colourful marker set. If you’re not sure, opt for black markers because they’re useful for designers for a variety of tasks.
This is one of the more high tech gifts for graphic designers, though it’s probably a good gift for anyone in your life that has more than one mobile device. Graphic designers tend to have a lot of devices that require charging, so having them in one place, aesthetically laid out, is great.
Not all designers are as organized as this, but the ones who aren’t need something like this the most.
That’s right, Lego. Everyone loves Lego, especially creatives. We don’t often get to work with our hands in such a tactile and creative way, so the opportunity to play is a welcome one.
I’ve worked in offices where there was Lego sitting in each meeting room because it helped with creativity when coming up with project ideas. This box, specifically, is a really great Lego set for graphic designers because it’s more open-ended and geared more to organic creation rather than following instructions to make one specific thing.
Unique Gifts For Graphic Designers – In Summary
Graphic designers can be pretty hard to shop for. We have specific aesthetics we like, already own a ton of books, and prefer to use very specific products for our work. That being said, I hope this list of gifts for graphic designers helps you out in finding the perfect gift for a designer. If all else fails, opt for chocolate. Everyone loves chocolate.
Are there other gifts for graphic designers that should be added to this list? Let me know in the comments below!