The countdown to the festive season has almost begun. And if you’re anything like me, some small stirrings of gift buying panic is setting in.

And it’s not just buying gifts for others that’s stressful – the inevitable deluge of requests from relatives and friends asking you what you would like are probably starting to trickle in now too.

So! To help spark your inspiration for both buying gifts and having some suggestions on hand when your loved ones come knocking, I’ve compiled a list of my gift must-haves for designers this 2016:

Leuchtterm 1917 notebook

Leuchtterm’s are my absolute most favourite notebook for work.

leuchtterm 1917 notebook

The type I get are the dotted grid ones, because I find they allow a lot of flexibility for both sketching and writing if needed. The notebook comes with a hard cover and stickers so you can label the notebook well. The papers are thick so your pens don’t bleed through to the other side.

They also come in loads of different colours so you’ll definitely find one that suits your aesthetic. Dare I say it but I think these notebooks are waaaay better than Moleskine’s.

Patternity: The Inspirational Power of Pattern

patternity, a new way of seeing book

I bought this book when I happened to come across it in my local bookstore a few weeks ago and I was hooked instantly. The book is a wondrous showcase of the world of patterns and how they are used across the world in all manner of applications, both natural and manmade.

If you’re looking for your next inspirational reference guide for designers, you’ve found it.

Build Better Products: A Modern Approach to Building Successful User-Centered Products

Build Better Products by Laura Klein

This book, by Laura Klein, is a hands-on, step-by-step guide that helps teams incorporate strategy, empathy, design, and analytics into their development process. The book will help you to develop products and features that improve your business’s bottom line while dramatically improving customer experience. Sounds just right!

If that doesn’t float your boat, other books from the publisher that look really interesting are:

And excitingly, I’ve managed to get a 20% off promo code (!!!) for you on any of these books. Just use the code RMGIFT2016.

Letraset promarkers

Promarkers, particularly the grey markers, are one of the most invaluable things in my pencil case. Why? They add depth and visual hierarchy to the quickest sketch or wireframe. They also dry well so you don’t get any ungainly streaks!

letraset promarkers example

I’m always pleased to get these as a stocking filler (hint hint loved ones!)

Conjure your creativity tip cards

conjure creativity cards unstuck

This deck of 30 cards is designed to help whenever you need to summon more creativity — when you’re stuck coming up with a creative solution, the cards can help you diagnose what has you stuck so you can find the right tips and start taking one bite-size step at a time.

Other sets of cards that I like are:

  • IDEO method cards – a set of 51 cards that showcase methods IDEO use to inspire great design and keep people at the center of their design process. The cards are a design tool meant to explore new approaches and help you develop your own.
  • Branding cards – a set of cards to help you identify your brand’s characteristics. The cards have different attributes that you can use to sort into “You are” and “You are not” categories to help define how you want your audience to perceive your brand.

Seb Lester prints

seb lester typographic prints

If you haven’t been following Seb Lester, check out his Instagram right now! His typographical prowess and beautiful work speak for themselves. His store sells a selection of his prints at a number of different price points, all of which would make insanely good gifts.

Apple book

Apple has released a photo book that looks back at the last two decades of Apple design, covering products from the first iMac in 1998 all the way to the Apple Pencil in 2015.

apple book

It’s an eye-watering $199 for the small version so this ain’t cheap. But if the gift-buyer has the cash and you’re a hardcore Apple fan, this would be a must-have item.

And thats my list for 2016! I hope that this festive list serves you well in the upcoming few weeks! 🙂


Design lead, watermelon addict, Leuchtterm notebook obsessive. I just enjoy designing great experiences for people that just work, writing about my craft and connecting with designers everywhere. Find me on Instagram, Twitter and Google+.

Write A Comment

%d bloggers like this: