2015 Holiday Gift Guide – Part One

Whether you’re shopping for your favorite creative pro, or compiling your own holiday wishlist, you’re sure to find something to fit the bill in the compilation below. From books to gadgets to productivity boosters, we’ve got designers, photographers, and all sorts of creative pros covered. And this is only Part One. Look for Part Two on Thursday!

Subscription to InDesign Magazine$59/year $29.50 for a limited time (new subscribers only). Use the discount code NEWDEC (expires 12/31/15)
If you use InDesign, you really ought to have a subscription to this monthly digital publication. Each issue is filled with tips and tricks, in-depth production techniques, and real-world issues—and wonderful solutions—we all have to deal with. And right now new subscribers can get it for HALF OFF the regular price, by using the discount code NEWDEC. Subscribers also get exclusive web content at InDesignSecrets, a template of the month, and other goodies. And if you’re thinking I’m biased because I write for InDesign Magazine, you might be right, so download a free trial to see for yourself!


iPad Pro – $799 and up
Let’s just put this one out there right away, shall we? The new iPad Pro is bigger, newer, shinier, iPad-ier! The large 12.9 inch Retina display gives you a ton of space for drawing, photo manipulation, designing, and looking at the internet’s kitten collection. Do want!


Grammar Police T-Shirt – $22
This t-shirt lists the job parameters for all members of the secret grammar police. You’re tempted, aren’t you? Notice the correct use of you’re, Your Honor.

Luma iPhone Nightlight – $9
If you’re afraid of the dark, or just need a little touch of home while traveling, the Luma iPhone nightlight is just the ticket. A very cute, very tiny ticket.

20 Ways to Draw a Chair – $20
20 Ways to Draw a Chair actually illustrates how to draw chairs, vases, sofas, lamps, and many other household items. In addition to showing 20 simple ways to draw each item, the book provides ample blank pages to fill with your own creations.

Camera Strap Buddy – $17
This clever little device attaches your camera strap to the bottom and side of the camera body, allowing the lens to point downward when carried. Just by changing the orientation of the camera, it reduces camera bounce and cuts down chances of having your lens smack into the occasional wall or drunk wedding guest. It’s the little things that matter.

Oh Crop! Mug – $10
This mug brings me back to the days before non-destructive editing and multiple undo. Don’t tell me you didn’t utter this phrase’s more colorful cousin back in the day. Ah, memories.

Level Camera Cube – $15
If you spend a lot of time in your photo editing software straightening out your shots, the Level Camera Cube might be your new best friend. The little gizmo attaches to any camera’s hot shoe and its three axes assure a level shot, whether you’re composing a vertical or horizontal shot.

Graphic Design for Kids – $18
This spiral-bound book explores the history and concepts of graphic design. From typography to color to layout, each topic is explained as part of the overall design process. This book would be great for the young designer-to-be in your family. Or for explaining to your parents what it is you actually do.

Moleskine Creative Cloud Connected Notebook – $33
Use this notebook favored by artists, travelers, and hipsters everywhere to easily bring your sketches into Photoshop or Illustrator. The special dots on the pages communicate with the mobile Moleskine app to convert the captured JPG to an SVG file you can then manipulate within Creative Cloud.

Graphite Quill Pen – $55
It’s a pencil that looks like a pen! This clever little collector’s item looks like a quill pen from ye olden days but is actually a solid chunk of graphite. In a way it’s also an eraser, because the more you use it, the less of the cute little sculpture you’ll have.

Luxi for All – $30
The Luxi for All is an attachment that fits any smartphone and transforms it into a professional quality light meter. Paired with the Luxi app—or any compatible app—the diffusion dome fits over your phone’s front-facing camera to capture and display incident lighting readings.

Western Digital 4TB Hard Drive – $115
To misquote Rudyard Kipling, “A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much digital storage.” Voted the best external desktop hard drive by The Wirecutter, Western Digital’s 4TB beauty is a no-frills workhorse. At less than $125, the drive provides ample room for Time Machine backups, your Photoshop files with half a bazillion layers, and every version of “Client_Layout_FINAL-FINAL.indd.”

Pantone Cutting Board – $36
If you want your dinner guests to know how much you love design, this Pantone cutting board just might do the trick. Made of glass and available in two sizes, you can choose from a former Pantone Color of the Year or indicate a custom color.

Art of the LP – $18
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for music lovers with an eye for great design—even if that person is yourself—check out The Art of the LP: Classic Album Covers 1955-1995 by Johnny Morgan and Ben Wardle. This hefty volume details 350+ iconic album covers by dividing them into categories such as art, politics, and death and, of course, sex, drugs, and rock & roll.

Apple Juice Power Pack – $40
Everyone can use a little energy on the go, even our myriad devices we lug about all day long. The Apple Juice Power Pack provides 2-3 full phone charges, all in a super portable juice-box inspired container, small enough to stick in your pocket or computer bag. And it’s even spill-proof!

Foldio Pop-Up Studio – $49-75
The Foldio Pop-Up Studio creates a self-enclosed way to quickly photograph small subjects against a nice white (or gray, or black) backdrop. The tiny studio comes in two sizes, each of which includes adjustable LEDs, for easy portability. For those about to Instagram your lunch, we salute you!

SCRABBLE Typography Edition – $50
In the category of “Because We Can” comes the Typography Edition of SCRABBLE. Letter tiles are emblazoned using twelve different fonts and the playing board features a new, sleek design. Besides mixing typefaces, I’m not sure I’d want to commit the mortal sin of displaying a word in all caps in a script. Not with other designers around, anyway.

I haven’t placed my iPad Pro order just yet, so I’ll just wait to see if one of you picks it up for me first. Happy shopping and be sure to check back Thursday for Part Two of our gift guide.

Posted on: December 8, 2015

Erica Gamet

Erica Gamet has been involved in the graphics industry for an unbelievable 30 years! She is a speaker, writer, and trainer, focusing on Adobe InDesign and Illustrator, Apple Keynote and iBooks Author, and other print- and production-related topics. She is a regular presence at CreativePro Week’s PePcon and InDesign Conferences, and has spoken at ebookcraft in Canada and Making Design in Norway. You can find Erica’s online tutorials at CreativeLive and through her YouTube channel. When she isn’t at her computer, she can be found exploring her new homebase of Seattle and the greater Pacific Northwest.

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