With the holidays just a few weeks away, you might have finished your shopping or you may be stuck on what to get a certain someone. What about your designer friends, have you got anything for them yet? We’ve put together a list of 8 must have items for designers, and many of them can be purchased at the last minute for those of you who like to wait until the day of to get gifts.
Flickr Pro Account
Most “cool” designers and developers have a flickr account, and the more serious ones have Flickr Pro accounts, even if they don’t need the extra bandwidth. If you’ve got a friend who takes massive amount of photos or uploads a lot of work examples onto flickr, why not upgrade their account if they don’t have a Pro account yet? At only $25/year, it’s no big expense, and it’s very well worth it. Give it now.
With all the services 37Signals offer, most designers and developers have had at least some experience with at least one of their products. If you know someone who’s constantly getting involved in many projects throughout the year, why not consider getting them a subscription to Basecamp?. There are various services that 37Signals offers that could help organize individuals or businesses.
Digital Music Subscription
Most designers get inspiration from various sources, but one of the biggest being music. With just about everyone having an MP3 player these days, digital music subscriptions are an easy way to give the gift of music. Many of these services now have preloaded options like the Napster card, or some of them allow you to give a gift in form of an extra account balance to a friend.
Fresh Computer Gear
Having the right hardware is essential to productivity. I know first hand how much old computers can slow down production. My computer is almost 7 years old, and even with all my tweaks, designing on a 400mhz processor with 256mb isn’t very suitable these days. Photoshop will crash or not allow you to save if you don’t save often, and it’s extremely annoying to have to start over and over after crashes. If buying them a computer is too much, why not get them a gift certificate to a place that supports paypal payments? Buy.com and Tigerdirect are two of my favorites, and I’ve always had a great experience when purchasing from them.
Tablets can really help expose the artistic ability of anyone in digital form. I draw fairly well by hand, but using a mouse? Forget it. Tablets can help you not only create better designs with hand drawn details, but they can also help you organize by allowing you to quickly draw mocks and write notes. Wacom has some of the best, but they can be pretty expensive.
Another great option is to pick up a fee tees from threadless. Not only are you hooking your designer friend up with some cool gear, but you’re also supporting other designers at the same time. Wouldn’t they be proud? And these aren’t your grandmother’s shirts either, but some sick illustration based work by some awesome designers.
Send them to an event
If they’re serious designers and developers, what could be a better gift than to see some of their idols at various events and workshops. One that comes to mind is ALA’s Event Apart, hitting Boston in March. There are events like this around the world throughout the year – and just because it’s a gift doesn’t mean it has to be something that happens right away – you could get them tickets to a meet-up months away because it will be worth the wait.
Or Just Cash
Of course, if you simple don’t have time to get or gift, or you just have no idea what to get, cash is always an option. Whether you give it to them in a card or simply sending them some money through paypal or a similar service, they’ll be sure to appreciate your kindness.