Sharpie Permanent Markers Ultimate Collection

Best Christmas Gifts for Designers in 2020


To say that 2020 has been a tough year would be a cinch to win the Understatement of the Year award. With all of the things that have been going on around the world, we’ve finally reached that time of year where people can start thinking of the best gifts to get the ones they love.

Being such a stressful season already, we thought we’d put our Santa hats on and play a little Secret Santa and help you pick the best gifts for the graphic designers on your list this year.

Grab that list and let’s get going!

Best Christmas Gifts for Designers in 2020

Buying a gift for a graphic designer is a lot like buying gifts for someone who works in construction. Namely that whatever it is, it needs to be useful and that it’s something that they will be sure to use just about every day. With these prerequisites in mind, we thought we’ve come up with a pretty good list this year.

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Best Christmas Gifts for Designers in 2020

 

Sharpie Permanent Markers Ultimate Collection – $84

Never look for a pen again

While it may be a bit ostentatious, the Sharpie Permanent Markers Ultimate Collection comes with over 100 different markers in assorted colors. From fine tip markers, ultra-fine, and chisel tip to twin tips, neons, and even metallic, this collection of Sharpie markers is truly the ultimate choice for anyone who may even remotely use Sharpies in their work and can even be a great gag gift.

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Sharpie 1983255 Permanent Markers Ultimate Collection, Fine and Ultra Fine Points, Assorted Colors,…

  • Make your own masterpiece with the vividly bold Sharpie Ultimate Collector’s Edition
  • Proudly permanent ink marks on paper, plastic, metal, and most other surfaces
  • Remarkably resilient formula dries quickly and resists fading and water; AP certified
  • Endless marking options: Fine tip for impressively bold marks, ultra fine tip for ridiculous detail, chisel tip for broad and fine lines plus versatile twin tip markers
  • The ultimate collection: 40 fine, 42 ultra fine, 8 chisel and 12 twin tip coloring markers in unforgettable original colors, 5 luminous neon markers, and 8 shimmering metallic markers

 

Sony WH-1000XM4 – $278

Sony WH1000XM4

The best headphones just got better

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 8.95 oz | Cable length: 3.94 ft | Frequency response: 4Hz to 40kHz | Drivers: 1.57-inch | Driver type: Dome-type | Sensitivity: 104.5 dB | Impedance: 47 ohm | Battery life: 30 hours | Wireless range: 30 meters (98ft) | NFC: Yes

If you’ve ever read some of our other articles, you’ll know that we love the WH-1000XM3 headphones from Sony and didn’t think anyone would be able to dethrone them. Turns out, their younger brother the 1000XM4 has done just that. While aesthetically, they don’t look all that different from the previous version, the XM4 comes with some new features including multipoint pairing, conversational awareness, and autoplay/pause using a built-in sensor make these the headphones to buy this Christmas.

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Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones with Mic for…

  • Industry-leading noise canceling with Dual Noise Sensor technology
  • Next-level music with Edge-AI, co-developed with Sony Music Studios Tokyo
  • Up to 30-hour battery life with quick charging (10 min charge for 5 hours of playback)
  • Touch Sensor controls to pause/play/skip tracks, control volume, activate your voice assistant, and answer phone calls
  • Speak-to-chat technology automatically reduces volume during conversations

 

Wacom Cintiq 22 – $1149

Wacom Cintiq 22

The best drawing tablet overall

Active drawing area: 19.5 x 11.5in | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Pen pressure sensitivity: 8,192 levels | Connections: HDMI, USB 2.0

With its combination of a huge drawing area, highly sensitive stylus, affordable pricing, and excellent drawing experience, the Cintiq 22 from Wacom is by far the best drawing tablet in 2020. Bundled with the Pen Pro 2, the stylus has 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, and the screen comes with an anti-glare surface so they can work outdoors without any issues.

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Wacom DTK2200 Cintiq 22HD 21-Inch Pen Display Tablet, Black

  • 22 inches HD display features a wide format, full HD resolution and extra wide viewing angle
  • Work naturally and intuitively directly on screen; Sketch, paint, design and edit directly on the surface of the screen
  • Wacom’s most advanced pressure and tilt sensitive pen technology replicates the natural effects and experience of working with conventional tools such as pens, markers, and brushes
  • Time saving express keys, work easier and faster with customizable express keys, 1 touch access to your favorite shortcuts

 

Apple iWatch Series 6 – $379

Apple iWatch Series 6

Perfect for anyone with an iPhone

OS: watchOS 7 | Compatibility: iOS | Display: 1.78″ OLED | Processor: Apple S6 | Band sizes: Varies based on watch size | Onboard storage: 32GB | Battery: 18 hours | Charging method: Wireless | IP rating: Water-resistant to 50m | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, LTE

If you have a graphic designer on your list that swears by all things Apple product, especially their phone, then the iWatch Series 6 is the perfect addition to their “collection”. While not a complete upgrade from the previous model, the new features can be handy such as the blood oxygen monitoring and a chipset that has been upgraded. If you have an Apple-lover on your list, you can’t go wrong with the best watch the company has made yet.

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Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription – $52

Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription

The perfect addition to any designer’s toolbox

While pens and pencils can certainly help a graphic designer in the short run, where they make their bread and butter is through the use of computer programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, or even After Effects. This is why an Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription is such a great idea. A 12-month subscription that auto-renews, there are more than 20 apps that they can use plus the subscription includes access to Adobe Fonts, Behance, and access to the Creative Cloud Libraries. With all this packed neatly together, you’ll definitely win Christmas this year.

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Logitech MX Master 3 – $68

Logitech MX Master 2s

The mouse recommended by Jacob Cass himself!

DPI: 4,000 | Interface: Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless | Buttons: 7 | Ergonomic: Right-handed

Ok, we know what you’re thinking. A mouse is a mouse correct? Au contraire mon ami. Customizable buttons, a design-build to fit ergonomically in their hand, a thumbwheel, and at its lowest price, the MX Master 3 from Logitech is truly an extension of a graphic designer’s arm. On top of all of the specs and features that the mouse contains, it is also the preferred mouse of choice by our very own Jacob Cass. If you’re looking for a great gift, pick the one that already comes with a ringing endorsement.

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Logitech MX Master 2S Wireless Mouse – Use on Any Surface, Hyper-fast Scrolling, Ergonomic Shape,…

  • Cross computer control: Game changing capacity to navigate seamlessly on 3 computers, and copy paste text, images, and files from 1 to the other using Logitech flow
  • Dual connectivity: Use with upto 3 Windows or Mac computers via included Unifying receiver or Bluetooth Smart wireless technology
  • Advanced ergonomic design: Perfectly sculpted, hand crafted shape supports your hand and wrist in a comfortable, natural position
  • Auto shift scrolling: Speed adaptive scroll wheel auto shifts on the fly from click to click to hyper fast scrolling; Wireless operating distance: 10 m
  • Battery: rechargeable Li-Po (500 mAh) battery. Rechargable battery: Upto 70 days of power on a single charge; Number of buttons: 7

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra – $1049

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

The best smartphone for creatives. Period.

Weight: 208g | Dimensions: 164.8mm x 77.2mm x 8.1mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.9-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 3088 | CPU: Snapdragon 865+ | RAM: 12GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB | Battery: 4,500mAh | Rear camera: 108MP + 12MP + 12MP | Front camera: 10MP

If you’re looking to buy a graphic designer a new phone for Christmas, you owe it to them to get the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra from Samsung. Cheap, it is not but for the money, it’s well worth the price. An amazing phone for creatives, they can scribble, draw, or even take notes throughout their day. Thanks to the removable S Pen stylus, all of this is possible. We haven’t even mentioned the camera yet – the Note 20 Ultra includes a versatile camera that is capable of shooting in 8K. All in all, you can’t pick a better phone.

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Samsung Electronics Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G Factory Unlocked Android Cell Phone, US Version, 128GB…

  • S Pen & Samsung Notes: Pen precision meets PC power with S Pen & Samsung Notes; So responsive, it feels like you’re using a real pen; Jot notes, sketch ideas, then convert into Microsoft Word or…
  • Intelligent Battery & Super Fast Charge: Adaptive power that meets your needs with an all-day intelligent battery that learns from how you work and play to optimize battery life; Plus, Super Fast…
  • Display & Gaming: The best Galaxy mobile gaming and display experience yet; With a breathtaking screen refresh rate, adaptive Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, Galaxy 5G support & advanced processor, you get…
  • HyperFast Processor: Multitask with Samsung’s fastest Note processor yet; Hyperfast process speeds transform your gaming and binging with less interruption; Catch every idea, knockout work, score…
  • Point to share: With point to share technology, you can share information directly with other compatible Samsung devices; Simply select the pictures, videos or documents you want to share, then point…

 

AmazonBasics Backpack – $33

AmazonBasics Backpack

Their very own Santa’s sack

Material: Canvas| Size: Fits up to a 17-inch laptop

Our Christmas list features a lot of tech and they’re gonna need something reliable to lug that around every day. Made from a lightweight canvas, the Basics Backpack from Amazon is a quality backpack with enough room for all of their stuff. A padded back helps keep things comfortable while padded straps keep the pressure off their shoulders. While it may not be as high-tech as some other options that are out there, the combination of price and quality that only Amazon can offer makes this a must buy.

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AmazonBasics Travel 17 Inch Laptop Computer Backpack

  • Multi-compartment laptop backpack equipped with one large packing compartment, separate laptop compartment, tablet holder, and front pocket organizer
  • Fits most 17-inch laptops; separate padded laptop compartment with zippered side entry for easy access and velcro strap to keep laptop in place
  • Built-in padded tablet holder next to the laptop compartment for easy storage; fits iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4, Samsung Galaxy Tab S2, Google Nexus 9, Amazon Fire HDX, and other tablets up to 12 inches
  • Padded shoulder straps and back padding offer extra back support and comfort; top loop handle for a secure hold when picking up or moving the backpack
  • Internal cell phone pouch with headphone port; water bottle pouches; removable key ring

 

Apple iMac Pro 27″ with 5K Retina Display – $8199

Apple iMac Pro

The “Great White Buffalo” of Christmas gifts

CPU: 8 to 18-core Intel Xeon W | Graphics: Radeon Pro Vega 56 – Radeon Pro Vega 64 | RAM: 32GB – 256GB DDR4 ECC | Screen: 27-inch 5K (5,120 x 2,880) Retina display (P3 wide color) | Storage: 1TB – 4TB PCIe 3.0 SSD | Dimensions (H x W x D): 65 x 20.3 x 51.6cm

If your goal at Christmas is to wow the person you’re buying a gift for, then you can ignore all the other options on our list and pay attention to this right here. The iMac Pro from Apple is at the top of the mountain when it comes to workstations for creatives. Not only does it boast a 27-inch 5K display that looks insanely gorgeous but has the most powerful hardware inside that Apple could fit. While all that is impressive, so is the price. So if you’re really thinking about wowing someone not only this year but for the next few years, get them the Rolls Royce of computers.

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reMarkable Paper Tablet Digital Notepad and e-Reader – $444

reMarkable Paper Tablet Digital Notepad and e-Reader

The best gift for a bookworm

If you know an avid reader who loves technology, then the reMarkable Paper Tablet Digital Notepad and e-Reader may be the perfect choice for them. While it’s a little more expensive than a Kindle or Fire, the reMarkable comes with 100,000 pages that they can use to sketch, write, and scribble all of their notes for their latest projects. On top of that, the pages feel like real paper, reducing any discomfort that someone may have switched from a pad of paper. Plus, they can read their favorite books on it as well. Which makes our next gift even better.

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reMarkable – The Paper Tablet – 10.3″ Digital Notepad, Paper-Feel with Low Latency and Glare-Free…

  • The reMarkable paper tablet – a digital device for writing, reading & sketching that feels like paper.
  • No other tablet in the world gives you an experience so close to paper as reMarkable.
  • Here to replace your notebooks, printouts and documents. A groundbreaking device that changes how people work.
  • Super low latency, 226 DPI CANVAS display. You’ve never experienced anything like the CANVAS display.
  • In the box: reMarkable, Marker, 8 extra Marker tips and charging cable. Original reMarkable Folio (sleeve) NOT included.

 

Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull – $19

Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmul

Best gift for a graphic designer stuck in a rut

Ever heard of Pixar? You know, that little animation company that every movie they’ve made has been gold? Ed Catmull, one of the co-founders of the company, has authored a book that should be read by anyone whose goal in their work is originality. The book takes a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at Pixar and at its heart, it is a book about the creative process and how those ideas and practices make the best in us possible.

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Apple iPad Air 4 – $599

Apple iPad Air 4

The iPad Pro in Air form

Weight: 458g | Dimensions: 247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1mm | OS: iPadOS 14 | Screen size: 10.9-inch | Resolution: 1640 x 2360 pixels | CPU: A14 Bionic | Storage: 64GB/256GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: Up to 10 hours | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 7MP

The newest version of the iPad Air is an iPad Pro in sheep’s clothing. Although it has a cheaper price than the Pro, it certainly resembles one with its all-screen front and like the iPad Pro, it supports the second-generation Apple Pencil and the Magic Keyboard. The internal chipset, the A14, is the same one that is in the new iPhone 12 and actually newer than what is currently in the iPad Pro. With four powerful speakers, a decent screen, and good battery life, the iPad Air is a great tablet, plus it comes in a wide range of colors. Something the iPad Pro definitely does not do.

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Herman Miller Aeron – $1919

Herman Miller Aeron

A throne fit for a king

While the world of office chairs comes with many options that a graphic designer can choose to sit in, the one that we keep coming back to is the Aeron by Herman Miller. The mesh design and clean design lines that contour to a person’s body makes this chair a thing of beauty. Made to be 94% recyclable, the Aeron comes with a wide variety of customization options. Even though it was originally released 26 years ago, it still stands as one of the best chairs ever made.

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Herman Miller Aeron Ergonomic Chair – Size C, Graphite

  • Your purchase includes One Herman Miller Aeron Ergonomic Chair – Size C, graphite color
  • Chair dimensions: 43″ H x 28.25″ W x 18.5″ D. Seat heights: 16”-20.5”.
  • Tilt Limiter lets you set the recline range at one of three postures. Tension control lets you adjust the amount of effort needed to recline comfortably. Seat Angle Adjustment changes seat angle from…
  • Try the Adjustable PostureFit Sacral/Lumbar support. Two individual pads flex independently and can be adjust to fit the curve of your spine
  • Fully Adjustable Arms adjust from a height of 6.8” above the seat to 10.8 inches above the seat, slide backward and forward over a range of 2.5 inches, pivot 15 degrees outward and 17.5 degrees…

 

Microsoft Surface Book 2 – $1940

Microsoft Surface Book 2

The ultimate laptop for graphic designers

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15-inch PixelSense (3240×2160) | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

While it’s not the newest iteration of the Microsoft Surface Book series, Book 2 is an incredible 2-in-1 laptop. Perfect for any designer who also draws, the Intel quad-core Coffee Lake processor and 16GB of RAM make this laptop incredibly powerful and fast. The versatility of Book 2 is where it shines. Use it as an editing workstation on the go or detach the screen to use it as a tablet. While the newest version has all the latest bells and whistles, Book 2 is a great choice at a significantly cheaper price.

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Microsoft Surface Book 2 15″ (Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 256 GB)

  • Microsoft Surface Book 2 Features a 8th generation Intel Quad Core i7 Processor, 256 GB of storage, 16 GB RAM, and up to 17 hours of video playback
  • Enhanced Graphics performance with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 discrete GPU w/6GB GDDR5 Graphics Memory
  • The fastest Surface Book yet, with 4x more power
  • Vibrant PixelSense Display: Now available with a new 15″ touchscreen
  • Four versatile modes of use and new USB C port; Contrast ratio: 1600:1

 

 

LED Word Clock – $99

LED Word Clock

The perfect quirky gift this holiday season

We’ll just come out and say it – graphic designers can be a bit quirky and what’s better than getting them a gift that’s not only unique but can also appeal to their quirkiness. The LED Word Clock is a great gift for someone who likes to decorate their home office a little differently. While it doesn’t tell the exact time, it is pretty close but the gift isn’t about the accuracy. It’s about style and if you know a graphic designer with a unique sense of style, this will go over big.

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LED Word Clock – Displays Time as Text – Powered by AC Adapter (12″ x 12″ Aluminum)

  • Forget numbers, this unique clock has a matrix of words which are selectively highlighted to display the correct time.
  • The time is displayed as text in five minute intervals, with 4 LED ■ Indicating the minutes
  • Beautiful Aluminum Clock Face, Wall mount or desktop with built-in stand.
  • NEW! Brightness Adjustment: Set the Clock Brightness on Low to use in a bedroom at night
  • Dimensions: 12” x 12” – Includes AC adapter/ Unit will operate on AC power only

 

Best Christmas Gifts for Designers in 2020

While our choices may not fit all of the names on your gift list this year, we think that if you decide to choose one of the gifts we featured as the best gift for graphic designers, there will be a lot of smiles on Christmas morning.

Happy Holidays!

Cover photo by Gareth Wood



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