This is the first in a 3-part series on what to get for the advertising professional who has everything. Today: The Designer.
Designers can be tough to buy for. Most of them are high-strung and temperamental and they tend to lash out when provoked. And since they don’t usually wear ties to the office, that old standby is out. So maybe try one of these suggestions this year.
1) Pantone Swag
Pantone, the color matching system, is ubiquitous in the design world. It’s how a designer let a printer know exactly what color they want to see on a printed page. And along with numerous color match books that designers use to spec colors, they also sell a line of accessories that let a designer show off their “street cred” with coffee mugs, iPhone cases, and my favorite, cufflinks. Very cool gift.
2) A Whack on the Side of the Head
No, I don’t mean you get to take a shot at that designer that keeps giving you static about making the logo bigger. I’m talking about the book by Roger von Oech. It’s one of my all-time favorite books on creative thinking and it has tons of tips on how to train yourself to think outside of the box.
3) Cintiq 24HD
How much do you love your designer? Do you love them $2500 worth? Because if you do, they Cintiq 24HD is kind of gift that makes sure your projects rush to the top of their task list every day. It combines the best of Wacom tablet technology and a 24″ HD display so you can draw directly on the screen. I’m an old-school mouse kind of guy, but I’d love to take one of these for a spin.
4) Designer’s Guide to Color
Most designer start a collection of design inspiration books when they get their first job. Books of logos. Books of business cards. Books of web sites. They can be great sources of inspiration and are fun to read, but I rarely pick them up anymore. Not a lot of repeated reading value. But the one series of books I use all the time is the Designer’s Guide to Color. A five-part series of small paperback books, they are basically a color combination cheat sheet. They have pages and pages of two and three color combos. When I find myself in a “blue rut,” I’ll grab one of these books and find some grey and orange combination that I would never instinctively reach for.
5) A Lynda.com Subscription
On the rare occasion that we have some downtime in the studio, I love to browse through the tutorials on Lynda.com and pick up new tips and tricks and they have tutorials for pretty much every software package you could want. Want to learn to program websites from scratch? Lynda has a video. Want to learn a 3D fundamentals in Photoshop? Lynda has a video. I highly recommend checking them out.
Next up: What to get the Account Executive who wants has everything.