Stock Giftography

The holidays are here, my friend - and if you're anything like me, you're pulling the covers over your head and wishing for spring. (Though not before cursing at the television, which is airing that Zales commercial for, like the 40th time.)

Luckily for us, the shopping part of the season can be accomplished entirely online. You don't need my help with that, but if you have a special graphic designer in your life, I have a few ideas for you - all sure to delight lovers of type and wielders of the mouse.

Inexplicably, I've actually heard some fortunate souls blessed with brand new 24-inch iMacs say the screen is too big. Impossible. It is a multitasker's dream. You've seen designers with two monitors: one for layouts and one for tool palettes and e-mail, right? They can take both of those suckers and the CPU to Goodwill, because this baby will do it all. And it's wrapped in the typically smart, sleek design we've come to expect from Apple. Yum. ($1,799)

OK, so your budget doesn't allow for a new computer. Well, hello iPhone ($399). I'll assume you haven't been living under a rock for the past year and leave it at that.

Maybe you're looking for something softer. Like software. Like Adobe CS3 Design Premium. This is the suite of all design suites, packed full of new bells and whistles; if, God forbid, your darling designer is still using Quark, now is the time to convert. The package includes InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash, Dreamweaver, and Acrobat for just $1,799 ($599 upgrade price).

I swear I don't work for Veer, but I wish I did -- assuming I'd get an employee discount. I love their type and I love their merch. You really can't go wrong with any purchase here, but these are a few of my faves:

  • Kern hoodie ($69). So clever. Your designer will be the envy of the office. There's a lot more sassy apparel here, too, like the "Swash Buckle" ($65) and the Serif's Badge T-shirt ($22).

  • Helvetica coffee mug ($18). The classic sans serif celebrated its 50th birthday this year with a film to commemorate it, a MOMA exhibit, and a lot of cool tchotchkes to boot.

  • Type City prints ($55). You know how something is so good that it hurts you because you didn't think of it? Type City slays me. In this collection designed to showcase and sell fonts, each illustration is created with single letters from typefaces that suggest the image. A buttoned-up serif builds the city hall, and a frilly script flows from a fountain. Brilliant.

  • This font ($99). The brand-new "Feel Script" has a beat you can dance to.

  • With little effort, you can send a thoughtful (read: free) gift to an e-mail buddy. Register with Veer and you can download unlimited desktop wallpaper, and in case went with my second suggestion above, you can download iPhone wallpaper now, too. The collection goes back five years -- I check back every couple of months or so for new inspiration.

    If you really want to impress your designer with a personal gift, have one of his or her own designs printed on a mug, mousepad, or canvas tote at It's cheap and easy -- all you have to do is provide a jpg of the design, and voila, you're in the manufacturing business.

    A few stocking stuffer ideas:
  • 10 credits at ($13)
  • Print's Regional Design Annual (on stands now, or purchase here) ($41)
  • This notepad from Binth ($18)
  • Pattern and Pallette Sourcebook 2 (and the first volume, too!) ($20)
  • A new Pantone Formula Guide set ($125), because their old one has probably faded

    And finally, wrap it all up with some lovely and modern gift wrap from Whimsy Press. Their holiday collection ($40) is fun and fresh, or you can make your own collection by mixing and matching individual sheets ($4.50 each). Watch out, though: The other gifts under your tree are going to be jealous.

    The best part? If your giftee is the generous type, you might even be tempted to come out of hibernation and share in the joy of those new creative toys.
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