25 Awesome Gift Ideas for Designers & Developers
The holiday season of 2009 is upon us and if you’re not sure what to get your designer or developer friend, family member, and/or significant other, we’re here to help.
Be sure to add your own wish list for this holiday in the comments if they’re not on here!
Gear and Gadgets
1. iPhone ($99 – $299)
The iPhone will probably be the most requested gift of the season, but there’s a chance your designer or developer already has one because of its popularity in the industry, so make sure to check before you get one.
2. The Smashing Book (~$30)
The Smashing Book will be one of the most influential web design and development books to hit the market and will be a wonderful book to add to any designer or developer’s book collection.
3. Macbook Pro (starts at $1,199)
Apple’s new Macbook Pro is leaps and bounds above any other laptop in the market and is a favorite amongst the web professional crowd. It comes in three sizes: 13inch, 15inch, and 17inch.
4. Kindle 2 ($259)
The Kindle 2 lets you read e-books on its digital screen. It conveniently carries around your favorite books so that you can access them anytime and anywhere.
5. Notebooks: Moleskine (~$12) or Field Notes (~$10)
These fanatically followed high-quality notebooks are popular gifts for creatives and can be used for numerous purposes such as sketches, idea gathering, and task management. They come in a variety of formats: lined, grid/graph paper, and lined.
6. A Wacom Tablet (starts at ~$200)
The Wacom tablet, a computer input device that features a pen and a drawing surface for digital illustration, is far superior to the traditional mouse when it comes to complex designs.
7. Magic Mouse ($69)
Apple’s revolutionary new multi-touch mouse is a great present for Mac users that will satisfy their functional and aesthetical demands.
8. USB coffee heater (~$9)
Designers and developers often love caffeinated hot drinks such as coffee and tea, and what better way to keep their drink warm than a portable USB-powered liquid warmer that plugs into their computer.
9. Paper Email (~$4)
Geeks who love writing on paper can find appreciation in this "old school" notebook that’s creatively designed as an email message.
10. App Pillows ($15)
These unique pillows are modeled after the icons of popular designer/developer desktop applications such as Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Illustrator.
11. G-drive (starts at $179)
G-technology makes outstanding external hard drives that are good-looking to boot, designers and developers can always use the extra hard drive space.
12. Typophile T-shirts (starts at $15)
Let your designers express their love for fonts and typography by giving them these trendy t-shirts.
13. IronKey (starts at $79)
IronKeys are secure portable USB drives that have a metallic-like, slick surface. They’re great for people who work intimately with computers.
14. Staple Free Stapler (~$10)
These staplers require no staples, and can be cool and environmentally friendly way of attaching paper together (such as invoices, sketches, wireframes, etc.).
15. Bose QuietComfort (~$300)
These headphones are truly high-end; they’re great for tuning out background noise when working in a noisy environment, and amazing for listening to music.
16. Lynda.com subscription ($375 a year)
Lynda.com is one of the best online resources available, with video lessons and how-to’s for popular web technologies and desktop applications.
17. .NET Magazine (~$113 for 13 issues)
.NET Magazine is the premier top-selling magazine for web designers and developers. Each issue comes with a CD that contains useful resources to supplement the issue’s topics.
18. Layers (~$50 for two years)
Layers is a magazine that focuses on how-to’s for the popular Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Flash, etc.).
19. Digital Arts (~$195 a year)
Digital Arts is another top-notch magazine for digital creatives, featuring tips, inspiration, and relevant reviews. Each issue comes with a CD containing demos and freebies (stock photos, vectors, fonts, etc.) to keep your designer fully stocked with digital art resources.
20. Threadless monthly t-shirt ($200)
Threadless is a popular online retailer that sells creative and trendy t-shirts such gaming tees, which is a pastime common among designers and developers. The subscription will send your designer or developer a shirt every month for a year.
21. iStockphoto.com subscription (starts at ~$970)
iStockphoto.com is a place to get stock photos, something designers can’t get enough of. This gift is on the higher end, but will be very useful for work-related purposes.
22. CSSEdit 2 (~$45)
By far one of the favorite CSS editors among designers and developers who use Apple computers, this application will give them great control over how their websites look.
23. Textmate (~$59)
Textmate is a simple clean text editor that is supported by multiple languages for Mac users. It’s handy and amazing as a source code editor, supporting languages such as HTML, CSS, and PHP.
24. Coda ($99)
Coda is a great integrated development environment for Mac users that’s intuitive to use for developing/designing websites; if your designer/developer doesn’t have it yet, this would be a wonderful present to give.
25. Things ($~50)
This Mac app will keep your designer/developer organized so they can be at the family reunion on time. It also has a gorgeously simplistic user interface.
Got more gift ideas for designers and developers? Share them in the comments!
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About the Author
This was published on Dec 8, 2009