Finding a gift for the designer in your life can be tricky. But never fear, we're here to help with a selection of extravagant gifts that are sure to delight many a graphic designer.
- Christmas gift guide for graphic designers under £20/$25
- Christmas gift guide for graphic designers under £50/$75
01. Hand-Drawn Map of Paris
Whether you live in Paris or have just fallen in love with the city, this meticulously hand-drawn map by illustrator Jenni Sparks is the perfect addition to your studio wall, and at 24 x 24 inches will certainly make a statement. The result of months of research into the city’s culture, the map features everything from high fashion houses to obscure cheese shops. Similar illustrated explorations of London and New York are also available, in A2 or A1.
02. Walnut Bike Rack
- Price: $140/£111.75
- Check out this gift at: Etsy
If you’re bike-obsessed and want to make your two-wheeled companion the star of your studio, this simple but stunning solid-walnut bike shelf will certainly do the job. Finished with natural oil, it’s a beautiful bit of craftsmanship and can mount up to 14 kilograms worth of bike on the wall, with handlebars up to 56cm wide.
03. Amazon Echo
There’s been plenty of buzz about this voice-controlled music system, which plays your favourite tunes from from Amazon Music, Spotify, TuneIn and more at your command, filling the room with immersive, omni-directional audio. The voice-recognition functions even in noisy environments, making this the perfect addition to any music-loving design studio. You can even link your Echo to your lights, thermostat and other connected devices.
04. Super Chunky Merino Wool Throw
For interior designers, Pinterest-lovers and lifestyle trend-spotters the world over, the word of the year has been ‘hygge’, the Danish concept of living simply and cosily. There’s no better exemplification of that philosophy than this super-chunky knit blanket, which can be fully customised to find the colour, stitch and size to suit you. Hand-made in Devon with soft merino wool using giant knitting needles, they come in over 30 colours.
05. Custom-Made Oak Book Rack
Handmade in Reykavík, Iceland, this is admittedly a pretty extravagant twist on a bookcase, considering what you can pick up in IKEA for a fraction of the price - and it’ll only display 12 books. But then, that’s not the point. Rather like the walnut bike rack featured above, this is about making an interior design statement for your studio. It comes complete with a set of 12 detachable pins, which also serve as bookmarks, and wooden support plates that are fully adjustable so you can line up different-sized books perfectly to display them.
06. Bamboo Bicycle Club Build Kit
Based on the long-running Bamboo Bicycle Club workshop, this kit contains everything you need to construct your own fully-functional bamboo bike at home. Whether you use the end result to commute to the studio or just for weekend recreation, this inspiring DIY project will keep you busy over the Christmas break and ready to hit the streets in the new year. Custom frame sizes are available to match your body, or choose standard small, medium, large, x-large frames for road, hybrid or track bikes.
07. VR headset
VR is the tech buzzword of the year, and HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are leading the pack so far, with plenty of head-to-head comparisons of the two headsets - including on our sister site Techradar, which concluded after an extensive review that “you really can't go wrong with either”, although it does come down to budget (the Rift is cheaper), and the type of immersive experience you’re looking for. We’ll let you have a read and make your own mind up which to invest in…
08. NODE Rugs
- Price: $1184/£950
- Check out this gift at: The Design Museum Shop
Available exclusively from the Design Museum, these NODE rugs are the result of an ambitious project to connect designers and artists all around the world with a fair-trade group of traditional Nepalese carpet makers, to produce a series of lovingly woven patterned rugs, made from hand-dyed, hand-knotted Tibetan wool. NODE is run as a non-profit social enterprise, and in addition to being paid fair wages, the employees also receive education and training. This particular design is by Irish illustrator and NODE co-founder Chris Haughton.
09. Moleskine Smart Writing Set
Moleskine's Smart Writing Set is made up of three elements that make it possible to edit and share what you create on paper in real-time without taking a photo, uploading files, or scanning documents: a Paper Tablet, which feels like a notebook but has rounded edges to feel like a tablet; the Pen+, a slim, aluminium pen with a hidden camera that traces and digitizes everything you write; and the Moleskine Notes app, where written notes and sketches are stored and can be shared, exported, edited, and searched.
10. Aeron Executive Task Chair
A truly iconic example of office furniture design, Herman Miller’s Aeron chair has been fine-tuned and updated in 2016 to make it even more responsive to different body types. Having first launched in 1994, the chair has sold more than seven million units in 134 countries and is fully height adjustable with pivoting armrests, forward tilt and vinyl armpads. The Executive version doesn’t come cheap, but it’s a real investment for your studio and your back will surely thank you.
11. Split Oak Ring Table
We conclude our gift list with another example of sustainable, beautiful craftsmanship that will make a real statement in any studio or home. Made from a split, hollow branch of an old oak tree that would otherwise have been discarded or used as firewood, every one of these made-to-order tables is totally unique. The natural split in the wooden ring has been securely fastened together with stainless steel inserts, and the table is topped with toughened glass that perfectly follows the contours of the ring.
Note: prices listed are based on exchange rates at time of publishing and are subject to change.