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Design

Christmas gift guide — 2016

As it’s the festive time of year, I thought I would add to the lists of gifts that people are writing. December and Christmas in general is one of my favourite times of year. Not just for the gift giving, but it’s a time to relax and enjoy what surrounds Christmas. I’ve tried to gather a variety of things from books, stationery and electronics.

The list is suitable for everyone, but does have that ‘for the designer’ edge. There’s a mix of things with varying price points to cover every range. I’ve provided prices alongside them in the currency that the website uses. As exchange rates change so often, I thought this was the best approach.

Hopefully you find it handy, if like me you need ideas sometimes.

Tombow ABT dual brush pen — £2.95

Credit: Amazon

I’ve used quite a few brush pens and I’m not the most skilled. However, with the limited practice I have had using them, I found this to be the easiest to use. The reason I find it easier is this particular Tombow has a sturdier brush.

It also helps that it comes in huge variety of colours. I like to use a cool grey, to then be able to outline in a black with more control. If you’re after more colours, it may be more cost effective to buy a set.

View on Amazon

DDC: Pretty much everything — £19.99

Credit: Amazon

I’ve been learning much more about branding in recent times and I’ve bought a few books as a result. This being one of them. What made me buy this book was watching Aaron’s Skillshare classes, they are superb. He teaches with personality and enthusiasm, which makes his classes fly by.

I figured it would be true of the book and I wasn’t wrong. The book is inspirational like his classes and it has many great logos in it. Along with some personal stuff and you really get a feel for who Aaron is.

Buy on Amazon

Logotype mini — £12.95

Credit: Amazon

Similarly to the DDC book, this is another huge source of logos. It has a nice categorisation throughout so you can find similar logos, which may spark ideas for you. It lists the creators of the logos too, so you can go hunt out their websites and see what other work they have done.

Buy on Amazon

Let’s draw: Illustration school — £12.99

Credit: Amazon

I bought this a few of months ago out of curiosity. I was drawn to the whimsical style. It’s a nice way to approach learning.

If you’re wanting to be better at drawing or want a good way to practice, this book will be suitable. It’s not just aimed at beginners.

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Apple Watch – from £269

Credit: Unsplash

I got an Apple Watch last Christmas, and I thought I wouldn’t want one. It’s a handy extension to the phone and has little conveniences. People generally expect you to use it most of the day, which is fair, but it’s the wrong assumption.

I definitely don’t, the most useful stuff for me is Apple Pay, passbook, timer, stand reminders and being able to see messages/reply. I have the notifications for only important stuff, that’s a thing that can be abused by apps so easily and is.

The only thing I don’t recommend is getting a white colour strap. Mine got dirty very quickly!

Native Union Dock for Apple Watch – £50

Credit: Amazon

Still with the watch theme, it’s somewhat necessary to have a stand for an Apple Watch. I like how the feature sold is that it’s weighted. It’s quite a frequent occurrence when my watch is charging that I can accidentally knock the cable, or it gets detached from the magnet.

As an aside, Native Union make some nice phone docks too.

Buy on Amazon

Skillshare subscription – $96 year

A yearly Skillshare subscription is affordable versus other websites. If like me you don’t always have the time to learn on a monthly basis it can become costly.

Not only because of cost, but I find that Skillshare has more design material. In general design being taught is an area to grow over the coming months and years. If you hunt around you could probably get it cheaper than the $96.

Buy on Skillshare

Present & Correct stationery

Credit: Present & Correct

I didn’t pick anything specific from here as it’s too difficult. Everything has a distinct style, so it would be unfair to narrow it down to one thing. If you’re after any stationery, I recommend browsing.

Browse the website

Sandqvist Hege Backpack — €220

Credit: Sandqvist

A stylish backpack that’s not too small, but not too large and looks to cater to laptops. In last years guide I recommended a more travelling focused one. This is more suited for day to day.

Buy on Sandqvist

Umbra Toto Storage Caddy ~ £30

Credit: Amazon

A really neat and tidy desk storage. I really like the compartment that opens.

Buy on Amazon

Ecooe teapot infuser — ~£16

Credit: Amazon

I’m more of a tea person over coffee. This looks like a handy way to make loose leaves go further due to the amount of water it can hold. It’s also stove friendly so it can be kept warm for longer.

Buy on Amazon

Polaroid ZIP mobile printer – £99

Credit: Amazon

It seems to be gaining popularity small printers for printing pictures from phones. As no ink is required, just paper refills, they’re a nice way to make use of all the photos you take on your phone. The HP Sprocket is an alternative and similarly priced option to this.

Buy on Amazon

Fujifilm Instax mini 90 ~£119

Credit: Amazon

If you still want the polaroid style of camera and have the printing happen as you take the picture, this is a more modern take. There are a few variations, the mini 90 being the upper end. Polaroid do their own version too.

Buy on Amazon

Next to read

Christmas gift guide 2015

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