by Emma Butler

Gifts for the Discerning Graphic Designer in Your Life

three presents wrapped in blue, teal, and yellow wrapping paper

If you’ve had the pleasure of working alongside (or living with) a graphic designer, you’re aware that they can be picky creatures — especially when it comes to items they deem worthy of introducing into their carefully designed workspaces/living rooms/wardrobes.

Luckily, the members of Kick Point’s “Design Island” are here to help! Here are some items we’d be proud to welcome into our lives this Christmas — or anytime, for that matter. Of course, taste is unique to the individual, but we hope that this list helps you put a smile on a designer’s face.

Super Sweet Pins by Super Team Deluxe

Pins from Super Team Deluxe (a pocket knife, pencil, and skull)

As a leader in daily pin-wearing — and owner of several pins from Super Team Deluxe already — Emma can vouch for the quality and attractiveness of these pins. Whether you’re shopping for a lover of Adobe Illustrator or a web design wonder, there’s a pin to suit the person.

At the very least, you have to check out the website — those hovers! That navigation! 😍

Buy Pins

Cabin Poster Series by DKNG

three cabin prints by DKNG

DKNG have long been purveyors of awesome poster design, and their latest “Cabin” series is no exception. Featuring three distinct cabin designs in tasteful minimal colour palettes, this set of prints would make a fine addition to any architectural-loving designer’s home. Better yet, buy them as a set and get a pin and patch as well! If cabins don’t fit the bill, how about bikes? Or campers?

Purchase Posters

Blackwing Pencils

three Blackwing pencils

Blackwing are the best pencils, as officially voted by Design Island. With a slogan like “Half the pressure, twice the speed” how could they not be? We go through these fairly quickly, so receiving a box of them as a stocking-stuffer would always be appreciated, and we’re sure other designers would agree. Pair it with a Moleskine notebook to really tip this gift over the edge!

Purchase Pencils

Desk Shelf System by Grovemade

two pictures of the Grovemade desk shelf system

An organized workspace leads to increased productivity — it also makes a creative’s desk look extra cool. Help the designer in your life get organized with these beautifully designed shelves, stands, and accessories from Grovemade. From their site: “Our Desk Shelf System brings clarity and intention to your workspace. It gives you global control of clutter, and a place for everything you need to work.

Buy Desk Shelf

Glass Ruler by Areaware

glass ruler on an open notebook

For the creative with a love for unusual stationery pieces, this glass ruler will make an excellent addition to their workspace. Let’s face it — it’s less of a ruler and more of a conversation-starter: “A crystal glass ruler? Does Time Magazine know about you?!”

Buy Ruler

The Slate by iskn

a person's hands using the Slate drawing apparatus

Touting itself as “the only multipurpose tool that’s compatible with all creative types”, The Slate combines the traditional experience of drawing on paper with the benefits of digital technology. Users can draw on paper via The Slate and then transfer sketches straight to design software, or use The Slate as a graphic tablet, directly drawing within their favourite software.

Its ease of use, range of drawing options, and dual functionality make this a great choice for designers who love to draw.

Buy The Slate

Uptown Backpack by Timbuk2

three views of the Uptown Backpack by Timbuk2 in light grey

Laptops, tablets, phones… creatives sure can carry around a lot of gear, right? Help them out by introducing the Uptown Backpack into their lives. Underneath it’s simple outer design is some supreme functionality — in particular, its laptop and tablet-specific fold-out pocket is excellent for quick access at airport security.

Buy the Backpack

“Hegarty on Creativity: There Are No Rules” by John Hegarty

Cover and page spreads from Hegarty on Creativity book

This book is important. Concise and inspiring, it belongs on every creative’s bookshelf.

Buy the Book

Prints by Simon Stålenhag

An image of the print

Simon Stålenhag has been a long-time favourite in the Kick Point office. His illustrations of various scenes from an imagined dystopian future society are intriguing, captivating, and always thought-provoking. These are perfect for a designer with a sci-fi lean, and bonus: you can purchase Stålenhag’s illustrations as prints and posters in whatever size you choose.

Purchase Prints

Hatchet by Best Made

three hatchets from Best Made Company (red, yellow, blue handle accents)

File this one under: “for the designer who has everything”. Imagine this perfectly-crafted hatchet mounted on the wall above a desk — what a show-stopper! The design of the tiny axe is impressive, the colour options are many, and the best thing is that if the designer in question is into camping, you’ve given them a good-looking gift that is also practical!

Buy Hatchet

Leather Micro Sleeve Wallet by Bellroy

three views of a Bellroy wallet

Bellroy make some of the best wallets out there! For the designer with a love of minimalism, this leather micro sleeve wallet is both attractive and sleek. With space for cash and your four favourite cards (Credit, Debit, I.D. and Shoppers Optimum card, of course), this wallet slots nicely into a jeans pocket without adding any bulk.

Buy Wallet

Logos by Cruz Novillo

view of the cover and an inside spread from Cruz Novillo's logo book

This book is a comprehensive guide to the logos of Spanish designer Cruz Novillo, who was responsible for the identities of many Spanish public services including the post office, national police, and railway system. His style favoured the use of thick lines and striking iconography, which will no doubt appeal to fans of Aaron Draplin.

Buy Book

Drink Bottle by Pantone

Pantone water bottles (PANTONE 012, PANTONE 229, and PANTONE 2150)

Is a list of gifts for designers even legitimate if it doesn’t include at least one Pantone product? Better to be safe than sorry.

Buy Bottle

Bonus: Sites for Design Gift Inspiration

  • — as it states on the homepage, “Canopy is Amazon, curated.”. No kitschy items here; just an endless list of thoughtfully designed products and a fair amount of “I never knew someone needed that!” items.
  • The Coolector — “cool things from around the universe”, including fashion, design, technology, and more.
  • Jessica Hische — what can we say? We’re big fans, and her work is just so good!

Have you recently hit it out of the park with gift-buying for a graphic designer? Share your gift ideas with us!

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