Best Christmas gifts for freelancers
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, we've rounded up the best Christmas gift ideas for freelancers. We've got gifts in four price ranges, from under £20/$25, right up to over £150/$125, for big spenders – use the quick links opposite to navigate to your price bracket.
You can't go wrong with a book – we've got an innovative monograph, a colour harmoniser, and a rallying cry. There's a sweary poster to boost motivation when times are hard. There's a gadget to monitor posture and prevent committed freelancers from turning into hunchbacks. And, for when all else fails, there's a robo-kettle to make the tea.
Christmas gifts for freelancers under £20/$25
01. Rolling Stones Limited Edition Moleskine
Add some rock'n'roll to your notes.
The Rolling Stones tongue-and-lips logo is one of the greatest pieces of design of all time. It features on this limited edition series of Moleskines. The range includes covers made from the key elements of your average Keith Richards outfit: silk, denim, velvet, and leather. It's perhaps the coolest Moley collaboration ever. Satisfaction guaranteed.
02. The Design of Dissent (Expanded Edition)
The galling truth.
Design legends Mirko Ilic and Milton Glaser argue the case for activist graphic design in this new expanded edition of The Design of Dissent. Tony Kushner's foreword says there has to be "some galling truth … imprisoned beneath the surface of public discourse."
This is what really gets the activist designer going. Through a series of over 500 images – Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, Donald Trump – the book examines those galling truths in a book that acts as a "testament to the power of imagery but also as an urgent call to action."
03. The Complete Color Harmony: Pantone Edition
Advice for creating harmony from the kings of colour.
In The Complete Color Harmony: Pantone Edition – a new, completely revised edition – Leatrice Eiseman (executive director at the Pantone Color Institute) talks you through a different colour "mood" in each chapter, all based on and matched to with Pantone colours. It is the brand's "most comprehensive colour reference to date" and a must for every serious designer's desk.
Christmas gifts for freelancers under £50/$75
04. Personalised headphone stand
Beat headphone tangle rage.
Easily the worst of all first-world problems is Headphone Wire Tangle and the inevitable Headphone Wire Tangle Rage that follows. Sort that out with one of these: a personalised, handmade, solid oak headphones stand. It also has space for phones, cards, keys, and an "optional secondary hidden message." Interesting.
- Price: $30
'Believe in your f****** self. Stay up all f****** night. Work outside of your f****** habits. Know when to f****** speak up. F****** collaborate.' And on and on it goes in all its beautiful, foul-mouthed wisdom, a print that is the work of the US-based company called, unsurprisingly, Good F****** Design Advice. If your freelancer is easily offended, buy the f***** a different f****** gift.
06. Two-Dimensional Man
One of the most influential designers of his generation, Paul Sahre was always going to do something a bit different in his monograph: this "part memoir, part art book, part meditation on creativity" features personal essays, artwork, and stories from a 30-year career at the top of his game.
Sahre shares the moments that have "informed his life as a designer and artist, and proves that humour and meaning can be found anywhere, if you're only willing to look."
Christmas gifts for freelancers under £100/$125
07. Lumo Lift
Sort out that slump.
Your average freelancer sits like a geriatric chimp with a lumbar spine condition. Help them sort it out with this little gadget. Lumo Lift Posture Coach and Activity Tracker tracks posture, steps, distance, and calories burned.
Vibrations from the sensor "gently remind you" to sit up, to stand up straight, and to generally stop slumping and start moving more. It works with an app on your phone, which is free.
08. Smarter iKettle
Top tech for a freelance essential.
The Smarter iKettle, as we see it, has a couple of key benefits. It means you don't need to waste valuable procrastinating time waiting for the kettle to boil and you can cut back on the amount of money you spend at that cafe down the street. It's simple: remotely boil your iKettle from anywhere using an app on your phone or tablet.
09. David Hicks Scrapbooks
Scrapbooks from a lifetime in design.
Late, great designer David Hicks (1929–1998) wowed the English was revolutionised the world of interior design. Whether you're interested in that particular field or not, it shouldn't effect your enjoyment of this book.
Hicks documented every moment of his life in 24 volumes of scrapbooks. It includes notes, drawings, and photos of clients (Jackie Kennedy, Grace Kelly, Andy Warhol), all put together lovingly by Hicks son. A fascinating read.
Christmas gifts for freelancers over £100/$125
10. Personalised leather travel tech case
Travel in style with all your tech.
GQ and Vogue recently featured this leather travel wallet. It includes a powerbank charger and cable, a foldaway plug set, and 32GB memory stick – plus room for your own gadgets, notebooks, passport and travel tickets, all that suff. It comes with gold foil or blind embossed initials and is made with "butter-soft Spanish leather and Italian suede lining."
11. Prynt case
Print smartphone photos any time, anywhere.
The Prynt Case lets you print photos from your smartphone. You attach your phone to the case, press the shutter button to take a shot, and print out the photo in seconds. It doesn't need ink cartridges either. It's good way to make moodboards, to get ideas and inspiration laid out in front of you, rather than flicking through images on your phone.
12. Anti-theft backpack
A stylish backpack with added security.
Hawthorn of London hand-makes high-end backpacks that are "built to last a lifetime" using tough 18oz waxed canvas, organic cotton, and proper leather. This model has a several cool features, the best of which is that the zip is on your back, so the only way to open the bag is to take it off. It comes in a few different colours and is naturally water resistant, to keep your laptop and gadgets dry.