If you're shopping for a designer this holiday season, we've got some bad news and some good news. First the bad: designers are seriously difficult to shop for due to their discerning tastes. What if they don't like the typography in the book you bought them?
But there's good news too. As designers ourselves, we know just what's on you design lover's wish list this time of year. Here is a round-up of the best holiday gifts. Even better, many of these are gifts your designer won't even know he or she wants.
Muji Body Fit Cushion
I know what you're thinking. Too old for a bean bag chair? Not this one. Muji's reputation for simple, well-designed household items extends to the comfiest, sink-in-and-sleep bean bag we've ever sat in. It's also specially made for cramped Tokyo apartments—perfect for the many tight-quartered cities we live in and love.
$190. Available online and at Muji stores in major cities on both coasts.
Copenhagen Wheel from Superpedestrian
Designers have few natural enemies, but the worst of them are steep hills. This motorized wheel from SuperPedestrian provides a boost for steep climbs and speeds up your commute. You just bike as you normally would.
$949. Pre-order here.
BB-8 from Sphero
The new Star Wars movie isn't even out yet. But everyone's already gone gaga for this adorable new droid, the BB-8. With its single, gigantic, almost puppy-dog eye, the BB-8 was engineered for maximum cuteness (hmm.) Control the Sphero-made toy with your iOS or Android gadget, or let it intelligently roam your house. You can even play augmented reality games with it.
$150. Available on Amazon.
If your designer friend has an iPad Pro, the Apple Pencil is a must-have. The souped-up stylus adds greater precision to a growing roster of powerful iPad apps. It's so precise, reviewers have called it the closest thing to drawing on paper. Fun fact: it's weighted so that whenever it rolls along your desk, it will stop with the Apple logo face-up.
$99. Available here.
Not buying for an iPad Pro adopter? FiftyThree makes a sweet drawing stylus that also works with all iOS devices along with Microsoft OneNote, Sketchbook Mobile and more.
$49. Available on Amazon.
Sex, drugs, Helvetica Bold t-shirt
For the designer whose Cintiq is also an ashtray. Perfect for bodega runs, Netflix binging and grabbing a beer with your creative director. Gift with caution.
From $19. Available on Amazon.
Left to right: the cultural shift from words to pictures
The digital age is not some abstract thing. It's here and now. We're leaning more on visual communication and relying less on words. If you've used emoji, you know what I mean. Left to Right by David Crow explores the shift toward pictures and breaks down the best ways to express ideas with images.
From $4. Available on Amazon.
Stoke an aspiring designer’s musical creativity. With Teenage Engineering’s Pocket Operator, you’re giving a cool looking toy that can create some serious tunes.
$59. Available on Amazon.
Microsoft Surface Pro 4
If the designer in your life is more Windows 10 than OS X, the Surface Pro 4 is worth a look. Microsoft continues to blur the line between tablet and laptop. This year's update brings bumped up specs and a bigger screen in the same package as last year's already-exciting Surface Pro 3.
From $899. Available here.
1000 colours CMYK jigsaw puzzle
Know someone who loves showing off their design chops? This CMYK jigsaw puzzle will put them to the test. Each piece is a single color in the CMYK color spectrum, so they should already have a sense where each piece goes.
$29. Available here.
This is the hottest gift you can't buy. The Lexus hoverboard left people with Marty McFly dreams after demos this summer. But it only works in skate parks with metal tracks, unfortunately not everywhere. So until you can rip through your commute on a real hoverboard, just keep dreamin'.
Not actually available. But check out some sweet demo videos here.
Need awesome visual content for your next campaign? The award-winning designers at Propoint have got you covered.