Christmas is right around the corner, so I wanted to make a few gift (slightly humorous) suggestions for the designers in your life. Whether it's for a birthday or Christmas, I'm sure you'll get at least one idea!
1. Coffee - Designers have early nights and late evenings, and we may need some caffeine to help us power through! Some designers can be picky about their coffee, but me personally, not so much. Cappuccino from a keurig, Starbucks chai tea latte, QuikTrip pumpkin spice cappuccino.... I'll drink any of it. (As you can tell, I don't drink REAL coffee.)
2. Software or courses – Being a freelancer has many perks, but there's also the struggle of learning how to balance all your business tasks, since we wear MANY hats in our business. Maybe your designer needs accounting software, project management software, or if they need to start from the very beginning and get everything set-up, then get them Stress Less & Impress.
3. Yoga pants - Working from home equals the freedom to wear whatever we want all day. It varies from person to person, but I know most people like to have at least some level of comfort while working. I mean, not having to wear a business appropriate outfit each day is one of the best perks (at least for me)! Yoga pants are one of the best pieces to have in your wardrobe - no need to change when it's time to workout! (Just be sure they actually work-out.... as Beth warns in her blog.)
4. Typography books - I don't know a single designer that doesn't love getting a new design or typography book to "ooh" and "ahh" over, of course, while sipping their cappuccino (and wearing yoga pants). Just head to your nearest Barnes and Noble, locate the art and design section, and try to find the book with the most well-designed cover. (Taking another designer with you to consult may be necessary.)
5. Anything with an ampersand on it - okay, I'm a little partial to this one. (but I know I'm not the only designer who loves ampersands...) If you're really not sure what to get a designer, just head to Michael's or Hobby Lobby and pick up an ampersand. Whether it hangs on a wall, stands on a desk, lights up, is magnetic or sticky - just choose one!
6. Pantone paraphernalia - Another solid option for designers if they don't like ampersands or have too many, is Pantone items. there are notecards, mugs, Christmas ornaments, pillows... And probably much more. Again, hit up your local arts and crafts store, or check online for a larger variety of items.
7. Sticky notes - I write myself notes all the time. I try to keep more important notes in a notebook so they are all in one place, but sometimes you just need to write a quick note! Some people would say sticky notes are sticky notes, but some are better than others. Most of the "cute" ones (from the target dollar bin) peel off weird or don't stick very well. Bonus tip: the larger sticky notes with lines are even better!
8. Money/gift cards for fonts - if you don't live near your designer, and want to avoid the pains of shipping costs, this is a great option! A designer can never have too many fonts in their library. Myfonts.com is one of the most popular websites out there to buy fonts. Another option is creativemarket.com, that sells fonts, vectors, wordpress themes, and more!
9. Planner - We all need a good planner to help keep our heads on straight. But, it can't just be ANY planner, it needs to well-designed (pretty) with inspirational quotes, and plenty of room for doodles and making lists. Good options are the Day Designer planner, Emily Ley's planner, or (target planner).
10. Gym membership and/or become their workout buddy - One downfall of working at home is not having a large office building to walk around, or coworkers to go visit across the hall... So we end up sitting for six hours straight. Being active is important, even if it's just taking a walk around the park. Bonus tip: sitting all day can also cause major back/neck problems - recommend the Timer+ app, it'll send reminders to get up and walk around!