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The Wishlist: Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide

The design buff might just be one of the most antagonistic gift recipients on the planet — and no matter how warm and receptive they seem, they’ll always judge a book by its cover. After all, it’s in their nature to spot the things that most people wouldn’t. The truth is, they have an affinity for the finer things in life — the grandeur of a well-designed item, or the single, minute detail that may ruin an entirely immersive experience. An item must always serve a definitive purpose, and if it doesn’t pair form with function, it’s likely to fall to the wayside.

The bright side of buying a gift for the designer is that when you get it right, you really get it right — because, beneath all the line work, font spacing and complementary colors, they’re just nerds who have a passion for a well thought out product. And once you’ve earned their trust, they’ll welcome you into their meticulously orchestrated life with open arms. So strap in, because we’re about to break down the true Golden Ratio of gift giving — and this time, it’s for one of our favorite individuals: the Designer.

Inventery Pocket Fountain Pen

Inventery’s brass precision pocket fountain pen utilizes a super sharp Schmidt FH241 ballpoint and nib, extender and converter, and classic brushed chrome plating. It’s the perfect companion for any designer who’s worth their weight in salt.

Purchase: $135+

Toji Junmai Ginjo Sake

Toji produces some of the finest designer Japanese Sake, pairing a beautiful, robust taste with classic logos and layout — perfect for architecture and graphic designers who appreciate a well thought out, original, and handsomely packaged spirit.

Purchase: $33

HOW TO By Michael Bierut

A must-have coffee table book by Michael Bierut that outlines the importance of graphic, industrial, and visual design throughout modern and contemporary society.

Purchase: $33

Braun ET66 Reissue Calculator

Dieter Rams is one of the greatest designers of all time, and his 1987-released ET66 is a certified design classic. Braun has taken the liberty of reintroducing the famous ET66 calculator with this stunning reissue.

Purchase: $48

Craighill Desk Knife

Craighill makes exceptional design-centric, everyday objects, and this minimalist desk knife is another perfect tool in a long line of purposeful products.

Purchase: $60

The Visual History of Type

This graphic illustration and design book is perfect for connoisseurs of typography and visual design elements. The engrossing read outlines the history of typography and its use in a variety of design markets.

Purchase: $85

Craighill Nocturn Valet Tray

Aside from their practical everyday gear, Craighill also makes a stellar valet tray for putting your EDC essentials on display in a beautiful way when you’re home.

Purchase: $88

Nomad Base Station Charging Hub

Nomad is well known for their minimalist industrial design elements. This Base Station charging hub is perfect for desktop and workspace use and has one of the best modular designs we’ve come across.

Purchase: $100

Warby Parker Ames Eyeglasses

Warby Parker is a renowned name in eyewear, especially among cultured eyewear connoisseurs who want the best, impeccably styled optics. This classic Ames silhouette provides the perfect functional look for any designer.

Purchase: $145

Opposethis Invisible Backpack

Opposethis has produced a beautifully imagined invisible backpack that’s built with industrial and architectural design in mind. The invisible backpack is perfect for a designer who wants a durable, waterproof pack but also wants to look good while carrying all their essential gear.

Purchase: $164

TID Black Leather Wristwatch

TID is no stranger to beautifully designed and conceptualized watches. The Black Leather Wristwatch will match a designer’s everyday wear with its minimalist stature and two-tone colorway.

Purchase: $225

This Is Ground Dopp Kit 2

The Dopp Kit 2 is the perfect all-in-one carry kit from This Is Ground. It’s the perfect piece store all your design mention-ables and classy EDC in one, premium leather zip-up.

Purchase: $230

Schoolhouse 1960’s IBM Standard Issue Clock

Schoolhouse is one of our favorite design houses producing exceptional hand-assembled clocks in Portland, Oregon. This clock features an iconic standard design from the 1960s with a quartz movement and continuous sweep second hand.

Purchase: $249

Kodak Ektra Smartphone

Kodak has produced a photography-first smartphone built with utility in mind — utilizing simplicity, texture, and design components to bring a perfect classic silhouette to modern photography-oriented phones.

Purchase: $260

KNNOX Lighter

The KNNOX lighter is a beautifully designed, precision machined brass tool for light with a bespoke sliding mechanism that’s perfect for aesthetic utility with its signature open flame.

Purchase: $286

Grovemade Desk Shelf System

This handsome Grovemade Desk Shelf system provides a minimalist workspace, wooden accents, and roots in industrial design. It’s a clean addition to any workspace and home entertainment area.

Purchase: $395

Apple Watch Series 4

Apple’s most capable smart device is a designer’s dream. It’s the perfect everyday-wear companion that helps streamline tasks and workflow, as well as provide endless utility through a slew of downloadable apps.

Purchase: $399

Google Home Max Speaker

Google makes one of the best home speaker smart devices for the designer, whether it’s playing music, accessing your calendar, or setting a reminder — the Google Home Max is a minimal industrial design companion.

Purchase: $400

Welsh Mountain Rolltop Pack

Welsh Mountain’s beautiful premium Double-tanned Latigo with solid brass buckles, copper rivets, and a lifetime warranty is perfect for the on-the-go designer who wants to look suave, protect his gear, and accent his style.

Purchase: $545

Shinola Runwell Turntable

Shinola’s Runwell turntable is the quintessential music device. It speaks to class, taste, and pure design aesthetics — the perfect addition to an already impeccably designed office, room, or living space.

Purchase: $2,500

Barcelona Chair

The Barcelona chair needs no introduction, and GQ even crowned it the Rolex and Rolls-Royce of the 20th century. Designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, this iconic chair it’ll fit right in with any designer’s impeccable home or office space.

Purchase: $5,991

The Wishlist: Technophile's Holiday Gift Guide

Now that you’ve got a decent grasp on what it takes to please the designer in your life, go ahead and add some much-needed quality of life upgrades to their repertoire by perusing the 20 best gifts for the technophile. Because nothing makes a designer more ecstatic than a smooth workflow.