We all get a little stuck picking presents for friends. A great gift should be one that is both creative and useful. Find out what to get designers and artists for Christmas this year with this list of twenty great gift ideas and one terrible one you must avoid.
There’s a new brick on the block and these little bricks will be a big surprise for your friend. Nanoblock look like Lego but they are many times smaller which lets you create high-detail objects. If the person you know is into pixel art, they’ll love Nanoblock because it’s a great way to convert their pixel art into real tangible objects. Nanoblock sets can easily be found at many stores including Toys “r” Us, Amazon, and eBay, but if you’re going for the larger and more expensive sets, you might save money by buying it straight from Japan on Rakuten or Plamoya.
Approximate Price: $8 to $200
Artists love new tools so create a custom stationary with high-end tools like the Lamy Safari fountain pen or a set of Faber-Castell brush pen set. There are many quality tools available and the best way to see what they are using now and finding better versions. Add some Moleskin notebooks and finish the present with a beautiful hand-made pencil case from Etsy. Alternatively, you can get this cool Keyboard Stationery Set that’ll match their workspace. When adding everything up, it can get pretty expensive so adjust your items to fit your budget.
Approximate Price: $20 to $100
A pen tablet, like the Wacom Intuos, is one of the most practical and fun items you can get for any designer, artist, or even photographers. But be sure to ask for a gift receipt because not everyone will find it useful. For something more affordable, go for a tablet from Monoprice.
Approximate Price: $100 to $2400
These cute and quirky printable paper craft models by TaraHandmade from Etsy are great looking desk decorations and they sell at a great price. You will have to print the files out yourself because the purchase includes the PDF, but that also means you can customize them with the receivers name for an extra personal touch.
Approximate Price: $2 to $7
For the crafty friend, this cutting machine will be their favorite tool. It is like a printer except it cuts out any shape you like and you can create an sell your own custom cards. They also have an online store where you can buy premade templates instead of creating them yourself. This gift is perfect for scrapbookers and card designers.
Approximate Price: $120 to $270
Have a friend into photography? Why not get them a mug in the shape of their favorite lens! When these mugs first came out, there were only one of two lens you can get. Now there are plenty of different styles including mugs with stainless steel barrels and more secure lids.
Approximate Price: $15 to $35
Lomo cameras can be cheap or expensive depending on which camera you get. They embrace their flaws to create nostalgic looking photos. The original Holga 120N
and Lomography Diana F+
are some of the more popular Lomo cameras. There are a lot of other fun lomo cameras so be sure to check them out before you buy. Almost all lomo cameras use film so remember to add a pack of film if it is not already included.
Approximate Price: $20 to $250
It’s amazing what you can create with just a paper. An origami set (not just the papers) is a great present to get if you know they’ll be using it. In particular, the Origami 2014 Page-A-Day Calendar with some origami papers is a nice gift that will last the entire year.
Approximate Price: $10
Architect or not, every designer will love these LEGO sets. They differ from your standard LEGO sets with the all white & clear bricks. Some of them can be difficult which is why they have a 16+ labeled as the recommended age. If you’re chipping in with many friends, the LEGO Architecture Studio set is a wonderful gift. It comes with 1210 LEGO pieces and a nice thick book.
Approximate Price: $20 to $320
Anyone with a good 3D printers can create surprisingly intricate designs that would otherwise be too costly using traditional jewelry making techniques. Nervoussystems is known for their contemporary jewelry that mixes geometric and nature shapes together. The holiday order deadline is December 18 so get them fast!
Approximate Price: $30 to $400
By far the most expensive and coolest gift you can get is a 3D printer. But because the printer and the material go for over $1000, this isn’t the gift for everyone. But if the person you are giving to is ambitious, motivated, and love 3D work, a 3D printer will give them endless hours of fun. Currently, the 3D printers from Cubify seem to be popular with a lower end model for $1300, the higher resolution model for $2500, and the top-of-the-line 3 colors/print model for $4000. The fun of printing every 3D object you can download doesn’t last long and if you don’t learn how to make your own products, the $1000+ gift can easily turn into dust collector.
Approximate Price: $1300 to $2500
If nothing works for you, a gift card is the safest present you can get. Find out what your friend frequently uses and get them a gift card for that! I know many designers (including myself) use Creative Market. If your friend has the ambitions to learn a particular software, a card from lynda.com will be perfect. But like any gifts, be sure that they will actually use it.
Do you have a gift idea?
Send us your gift ideas by leaving a comment on this post! Your idea could help others who can’t decide what to get for the holidays. If it’s good, we’ll add it to the list :)