How much money do you have? Nah, that’s the wrong question. How much money are you willing to spend for a gift? That’s better.  The catch is that your friend is a graphic designer, so usual stuff like socks or a bag won’t work. So what do designers love?

Few Bucks

Look over her shoulder to see which software she uses. Then, buy stickers of that software Sketch, Adobe, whatever.

sketch stickers

Sketch stickers, $3.99. A way to say “I haven’t opened Photoshop for years”; even if you do it in secret after a short struggle with Sketch’s bitmap editor.

Hint: look for some new or niche products.

  • Framer is good
  • A sticker of her favorite color picker has some humor value

Dozens of Dollars

Inspirational books, not necessarily from the same design field. Buying architecture books for a graphic designer is okay.

brutal world book

Brutal World by Peter Chadwick is so cool, as well as the rest of the Wired’s list.

Avoid buying theory. Although most graphic designers (including me) would benefit from some education, we don’t take these hints well.

$20 or $200

May I suggest Icons8? There are 50k icons like these:

I work there, yeah. There’s a special offer for Quora users:

  1. Get the subscription activated on the date on her birthday
  2. Get a full refund if she’s like “meh”.

Just talk to our support team and refer to this article.

$300

Designed by Apple in California

apple book design

The book of design by Apple. I find it cheesy and overpriced but irresistible.

$100–500

Pantone palette or set of palettes

Coated + uncoated are ok ($155). If he’s a UX designer, don’t sweat it; anything goes. We don’t use them, but hey. We’d still like to look like real designers!

set of palettes

If you’re short of money, steal them from a local print shop. Hint: never trust a designer who says he never stole a Pantone palette.

Thousands of Dollars

Wacom Cintiq, as Matthew Hartman suggested. It’s such a cool gift that I won’t link it; it’s too expensive. Let’s admire the photo instead.

cintiq wacom

About the Author
Ivan is a founder of Icons8. He got his first job after drawing a banner with CTR of 43%. After years of creating icons, he specializes in rapid prototyping and backlog grooming.