10 Gifts for Designers

By: Christian Watson

10 Gifts for Designers

By: Christian Watson

It’s getting later and later now and I am confident there are many of you needing little things for stocking fillers or bigger presents for the designer relative, friend, colleague or partner. So, here are few things ranging in price that I just love, and thought would be a good 2019 gift for a designer. Some gifts are for the designer-maker, some for the design classic lover and some for the all-rounder. Hopefully these gifts put a smile on a designer this Christmas.

Starrett KTX12-12ME-N 3.5m Measuring Tape

I am sorry to say, that not all tape measures are not made equal. Now whether you’re designing on the move, on site, or at home, this is handy. I actually carry it everywhere I go in my backpack! I love it, its small, lightweight, incredibly accurate and honestly, kinda darn good looking for a tape measure. I think people underestimate how many tape measures you need also. I have about 5. Useful.
This Starrett measuring tape has a nylon coated blade which provides twice the abrasion resistance than other tapes. Provided with a high impact resistant ABS plastic case which ensures extended case life, and rubber plastic overmoulding to improve grip while working. Steel belt clip included for those who deem that appropriate (I keep mine in the pocket).
You can buy this extendable ruler with fully retractable features from the below links:





Starrett 799A-6/150

More for the designer maker here but calipers are a must for any serious maker. Never trust a maker without a set! That’s what I always say. We carry them round with us just like the aforementioned tape measure. Now they’re going to set you back a fair but so this isn’t a sticking filler unless you’re very generous. However, this is precision engineering and that doesn’t come cheap!

Here are some features for the nerds:

Made in the United States, Starrett 799A-6/150 digital calipers are consistent, accurate and reliable.

They are made from precision ground, hardened, stainless steel and the buttons are made from hard plastic it is durable and hardwearing. When you slide the caliper to a new measurement it responds instantly for precision measuring and they can be set to zero at any position.

– Capacity 0-6 inch / 150mm

– Display resolution 0.0005 inch / 0.01mm (half thou inches / hundredths of mm)

– Measuring accuracy Inches +/- 0.001 inch at up to 4 inch, +/- 0.0015 inch at 4 inch to 6 inch.

– Measuring accuracy mm +/- 0.02 at up to 100mm, +/- 0.04 at 100 to 150mm

You can buy these calipers at the below links:




Pentel 205

The best cheap mechanical pencil out there. Ok well it’s not cheap cheap but in perspective it is. Rather than spending boat loads on a snazzy pencil go for the old school, classic mechanical pencil.
It’s lightweight, hardwearing and as pencils go, pretty badass looking. You can buy all sorts of colours which is a nice feature as well as the more practical element of being able to buy separate pencils with different lead sizes. I have one which I was given years ago where you can have all the different lead thicknesses in one, but actually that feature sounds good but isn’t all that.
One downside is that the rubber on the end is a little useless but it’s useful for when you’re not in the sort of place with plenty of rubbers to hand.
Weight: 10g | Dimensions: 0.89 x 14 x 0.89cm | Lead diameter: 0.5mm | Mechanism: Push-top button

You can buy this cheap not so cheap mechanical pencil from the below link:




BC02X Classic Travel Analogue Alarm

I’ve actually wanted one of these for a long time, but I actually have a clock on my bedside that I don’t want to replace. When it breaks though!! This bad boy will be the first on my list.

The iconic design of this Braun classic travel analogue alarm clock actually originates from the renowned AB 1, designed in the 80’s by Mr Dietrich Lubs. Its compact, lightweight and is the perfect travel companion for the people nostalgic about the good old days where you didn’t have a phone. ( I’m probably in that bracket)

For those not up to date with clock current affairs, this baby has been updated to include an improved movement and luminous tipped hour and minute hands, as well a snooze/light function. The clean simplistic dial and contrasting hands (with luminous tips) offers great legibility, and the quartz tick movement is quiet and precise.

You can buy the clock of yesteryear at the following link:




MUJI recycled notebook

Everyone needs a good notebook!!! Recycled paper for your bit towards helping the environment, 140 pages of smooth, dotted paper. It even has a nice little elastic band for holding pages and keeping it closed which, now I use it, couldn’t do without.

I have a weird thing about having the same notebook, I go through about 2/3 a year and keep them on my bookshelf, so I buy about 5 at a time to keep the shelf consistent. Weird I know, also, they’re just great so why would I change!

You can but this recycled little dotted pad at the below link:




Design as Art by Bruno Munari

‘The designer of today re-establishes the long-lost contact between art and the public, between living people and art as a living thing’

Wow, what a guy. One of the last surviving members of the futurist generation, Bruno Munari’s Design as Art is an illustrated journey into the artistic possibilities of modern.
Bruno Munari was among the most inspirational designers of all time, described by Picasso as ‘the new Leonardo’. Munari insisted that design be beautiful, functional and accessible, and this enlightening and highly entertaining book sets out his ideas about visual, graphic and industrial design and the role it plays in the objects we use everyday. Lamps, road signs, typography, posters, children’s books, advertising, cars and chairs – these are just some of the subjects to which he turns his illuminating gaze.
The above actually wasn’t even written by me. It just sums it up perfectly. Just read it, it will blow your mind.

You can buy this mini design bible from the below purveyors:






You know its a good magazine when the cover art is awesome right? Wallpaper* is the world’s number one global design destination, championing the best in architecture, interiors, fashion, art and contemporary lifestyle. It’s a great read, its is among the higher end of our price bracket for a subscription but it is well worth it.

Wallpaper* will keep you up to date with the latest and greatest in the world of design. That’s my favourite part, knowing what’s going on in the other design worlds. Love it.

You can buy this informative luxury magazine through the below link:




Original 1227 Anglepoise Lamp

Again, among the pricier of options but this is one for the design classics lovers. So they should be used to paying top dollar right?

Invented by the prolific George Cawardine for Anglepoise the original 1227 is an archetype of the lighting genre and available in a refined colour palette of jet black, dove grey and linen white.
An icon of the Anglepoise family, the Original 1227 Desk Lamp has set the standards by which desk lamps are measured, with unrivaled functionality in a timeless form.
As a side note, you can buy knock offs of these in Ikea and real ones in John Lewis but if you want a true Anglepoise you need to look for an original Herbert terry Anglepoise on ebay or flea market etc. If you’re not into the vintage though, then Conran is your best bet.
To purchase this awesome multi-use bendy lamp then click on the link below:




Bialetti Percolator

Now this is more one for the image right? Every cool designer needs to have the designer image and well, sipping coffee is part of that image. Go back to grassroots coffee and create handmade coffee with the classic design that hasn’t changed in 80 years. This is THE ONLY percolator, and the coffee really is worth it.

So for that designer with an image, you can purchase this DIY coffee set with the link below:




Swiss Army Knife

Design classic, the colour, the shape, Iconic. Tools. Survival. Cheap. Need I saw more? I mean seriously?

For the designers of the world who need to be ready for anything then take one of these with you. Since 1897, the Swiss Army Knife has been a trusted tool of adventurers around the world.

Become a designer adventurer and buy the career-defining tool at the below link:


As always, we’d love to hear what you have to say. So let us know what you think or if you have any questions or comments! You can email me or a member of the team via the website contact page or at make@christian-watson.com

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