Either you are a designer or chances are you need to buy a gift for one this year. Here are a few awesome gifts that all designers want to be more productive and creative.
1. A Bigger Monitor (or a second monitor) for Their Desktop
Take it from me, when I first started out, I designed all my websites on a single laptop screen. At a mere 11” viewing the entire website at once was hard. What I wouldn’t have given for a great big ole’ monitor or two on my desk. Not only does it help you be more effective in your designs, it helps you to be more productive in your work. The bigger the screen, the easier it is to see graphics, work on multiple projects at once, switch between files with ease, and see the colors the way they were really meant to be seen. Now, if you can add a second monitor to your workspace, think of how easy cross-browser testing will be! You always have both browsers (IE and Firefox etc.). open at the same time, no more jumping around to each one at a time.
2. A Lynda.com Subscription
If you are a designer or developer, you know the importance of keeping your skills fresh and your creative juices flowing. Lynda.com is a MUST HAVE subscription for any designer. With over 1, 100 courses in every subject you can imagine relating to design and development. It is sure to come in handy when at the last minute your client needs you to build them a shopping cart (which you’ve never built before). Well, classes are 24/7 and with a membership you can take whatever, whenever and get up to speed on a technique fast, so you can continually offer new products to your clients. Definite worthwhile investment!
3. A Drawing Tablet
What designer doesn’t love to doodle for fun, inspiration or to get that hand-drawn graphic look for a website? With a tablet you can draw out all your designs and doodles straight into your design software. Most tablets let you create works of art using a variety of digital media, including pencils, pens, markers, chalks, watercolors and oil paints. Think of the layers and depth you can add to your designs with one of these awesome tablets. Amazon has a variety of them for sale with user reviews and product videos so you can pick the one that’s right for you or the deserving designer in your life.
4. Books, Books and More Books!
I can think of about 100 off the top of my head that I really, really want but never got around to buying for my resource library. The best books for designers are inspirational books like fine art collections from the masters; historical books of graphic design, web design, typography or print design so designers know what they’re referencing when viewers may not. I personally go straight to Andy Warhol when I am looking for some inspiration. His bright colors, genius product design, and amazing skills always refresh my creative juices when I need them to POP. Finally those treacherous learning resource books that we all need to keep handy but hate to admit we use. O’Reilly is the pinnacle of web developer resource books, there isn’t a subject that they haven’t covered. They are all written by working professionals in the field and have a sprinkling of humor throughout, so you won’t feel like you’re suffering all the way through!
5. An External Hard-Drive
These are so inexpensive and such life savers, you can get a decent one for around $100. Not only does it extend the storage of all those large design files and photos designers works with, it gives you an extra level of security for your work. If you make copies/back-ups of your design work you can always have an extra one just in case your computer crashes, gah! Or if you don’t have a lot of memory on your computer at home, you can take all those large files off your system immediately after working with them and save some room on your system. This one is such a no-brainer!
Hopefully this list will get your shopping list completed for the designer in you or the favorite one in your life. Happy Shopping!