If you’re like us, there’s that one person on your holiday shopping list who’s difficult. The one who has great taste and a wonderfully curated collection of bits and baubles but is terribly …exact. You’re flummoxed.
You know. The designer. The creative. The artsy-fartsy type.
We get it. We can laugh at ourselves.
Let us take the headache of finding the perfect gifts for creatives. Here’s a handful of items that are sure to please the font-philes, the design nerds, and those who gravitate toward delightful design on your list, each item selected by TOKY’s team.
Hey, Big Spender ($100+)
A Better Book Light
Born from a love of origami and a Kickstarter, the Lumio lamp looks like an unassuming hardback book when closed, but opens up to become an incredibly unique lighting feature. Laid open on a table like a book, Lumio emits a warm glow. Opened 180 degrees, Lumio lights up like a paper lantern. Completely portable and water resistant, Lumio is great for on-the-go ambience or at-home creative accent for the design-minded literary lover on your list. Lumio, and many other designer-friendly pieces, can be found at MoMA Store online.
You’re never too old for LEGO and they know it. Make their inner child squeal with delight with a gift from the LEGO Architecture Series. Featuring iconic buildings from architecture legends like Frank Lloyd Wright, Frederick C. Robie, and Le Corbusier, each model of a modern masterpiece is perfectly sized to fit on a desk. Plus, who wouldn’t want a gift that lets you look like a responsible adult while still providing some stress-reducing nostalgic playtime? Just don’t step on a stray piece. They hurt. See the whole Architecture Series at the LEGO website.
Most professional panoramic shots are created by taking multiple images slight degrees apart and stitching them together in post-production using time consuming software. And they’re still limited to a horizontal plane! Panono has come up with a true panoramic camera that takes a 360 degree shot in all directions. We’re not entirely sure how we’d use it first, but we’re pretty convinced we need it. Indulge your photography-mad friend and grab a Panono cam at their website.
Oh, You Shouldn’t Have! (Under $50)
Popchart Lab is your one-stop for a cacophony of stylish charts and homegoods for the design nerd in your life. Covering topics like comics, cocktails, music, and more, there’s definitely something for everyone on your list. Our favorite print is their Stylistic Survey of Graphic Design (above). Featuring 63 graphic design expressions, the Stylistic Survey covers 200 years of design evolution. This poster and many other graphically beautiful designs can be found at Popchart Lab online.
Who Doesn’t Like Pi?
For the DIY maker brain who likes to take things apart and put them back together again, a Raspberry Pi might be the perfect solution. A tiny, credit card sized device, Raspberry Pi is used for a wide variety of digital maker projects and is as limitless as the individual using it. Raspberry Pi plugs into a monitor or TV and is also a great introduction to programming languages like Scratch and Python. Create a desktop arcade, automate a house, or build a robot – Raspberry Pi is essentially an boundless gift. Pick up the hardware from Raspberry Pi‘s site.
C is for Cookie
Dutch designer and maker, Wouter, creates sets of typographic cookie cutters on a 3-D printer for your foodie+designer friends. Available in Helvetica, Futura, Garamond, and Baskerville, that plate of cookies can be taken to the next level. (Don’t worry, there’s no Comic Sans.) Individual letters and sets can be purchased via Wouter’s Etsy shop, Printmeneer.
A Cross-Country Tour
For the artist on your list who’s always sketching in their trusty Moleskine, we suggest signing them up for the Sketchbook Project. Their completed notebook will travel around the country with the mobile tour and be housed in the Brooklyn Art Library with other participants, as well as digitized with a custom URL to be viewed anytime, anywhere. Learn more about the Sketchbook Project.
Project Managers help support a creative team by ensuring the communication flows smoothly and the clients (and fellow employees) feel understood and appreciated. That said, they often take the brunt of a clients’ frustration or a designer’s bad day. Let them know just how much you owe them with a cheeky pad of ready-made invoices for a day ruined. Instead of “services rendered” your favorite PM can now invoice for “cocktails to calm the nerves” after “guerilla conference-calling tactics”. We suggest adding a Costco-sized bottle of ibuprofen in the package. Buy Day Ruined Invoices from designer Jessica Hische’s site.
We know there are dozens of UI and UX software programs available to create wireframes, but sometimes a web designer needs to step away from the computer, clear their head, and sketch out ideas with a pencil and paper. Even if they’re not particularly artistic, they can easily create the necessary design flow and iconography needed to get their ideas across thanks to this UI stencil kit. Compact and complete, the kit fits easily in a bag or desk drawer and lets your favorite web designer get away from the monitor and keyboard – maybe grab a coffee at a sunny cafe? This UI Stencil Kit and other packs can be found at UIStencils.com.
Babina’s Society6 page.Archiquote series translates 13 quotes from famous architects into eye-catching signs reminiscent of Las Vegas’ heyday. If you look carefully, you’ll find traces of the architects’ most famous styles incorporated into the images. Babina’s site also showcases many other series with a nod toward mid century style and architectural appreciation. Prints of Archiquote and many of his other works are available through
Pantone Full House
Think of Spectrix as Rummy for those with a borderline OCD obsession with Roy G. Biv. The brainchild of Funnybone Games, each card is a color swatch and you win by laying down arrays of family color sets. Sounds weird. Isn’t. Snap up a copy of this game through Cooper-Hewitt Shop.
Bin 8 is a perfect example of clever and colorful Japanese design. In one wine bottle-shaped package, you get eight essential kitchen tools. From a funnel to an egg slicer, no piece of the package is left under-utilized. Perfect for starving art students or those with teeny kitchens. Small enough to tuck away in the kitchen but pretty enough you might want to show it off. Bin 8 can be purchased from the maker at Bento&Co.
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Get Your Sh*t Together
Favored by famous authors and professionals, Evernote’s archiving features have earned their laurels. For the cost of a latte, you can give a month of digital organization with Evernote Premium. Building on the already existing free app, Evernote Premium helps organize information, writing, and ideas in one handy place with multi-device compatibility. How they use it is up to them. But it might just help de-clutter a desktop and get those creative juices flowing. Gift Evernote Premium through their website.
Fancy a Cuppa?
If there’s a caffeine junkie on your list who turns up their nose at Folgers, grab them a subscription to MistoBox. Each month (or sooner) a box arrives with a different variety of artisan gourmet coffee that’s tailored to their unique palette preferences. You can select the coffees to surprise them, or let them pick their first batch. After all, something has to keep those creative juices flowing. Gift a subscription to MistoBox through their website.
What’s creative juices without a little snack to go with it? Artsnacks is a monthly subscription box featuring a random assortment of top quality art supplies. A monthly box includes four to five full size art products with ‘how-tos’ to inspire creativity. It’s a great way to try out new mediums and to challenge an artist to get out of their comfort zone and find a new favorite way to work. Plus, there’s an online community within the site that shares how they used each month’s items to further their creative projects. Previous months’ boxes are archived on the Artsnacks site as well, to get a better idea of what’s included. Sign up via Artsnacks.co.
Each box from Bespoke Post features a limited edition, themed collection of artisan goods designed to make life just a bit more refined. Bespoke gear is crafted with design and quality in mind and each box ends up being worth much more than the subscription cost. From grooming to cocktails, outdoor adventures to the finishing fashion touches, each month is a new way to up his game. While Bespoke Post is branded toward men, we know quite a few women who get the monthly boxes for themselves. Gift Bespoke Post or sign up for yourself (we won’t tell).
Did we miss the perfect gift? Let us know!