15 Great Gadgets and Gifts for Designers

by on 9th November 2011 with 27 Comments


The holidays are quickly approaching, which means it’s almost time for the annual awkward tradition of giving and getting gifts. Whether you’re shopping for a designer or you are a designer working on your wish list, these fifteen gadgets and gifts are so awesome that you won’t want anything else.

Chopsticks, pens, gloves, these all sound like every day boring items but wait until you see the amazing high tech versions we found!

Drawing and Sketching

Cintiq 12WX Pen Display

Let’s start this list out right by being honest about what designers really want: a multitouch drawing tablet. Wacom has a whole line of these bad boys with prices ranging all the way up to $2,600, but why not be a little more conservative and go for the small but beautiful 12WX? You’ll never work with Photoshop the same way again.

Price $999



Though roughly 1/5th of the price of the previous gadget, this one is arguably even cooler! In fact, the Inkling is definitely at the top of my personal wish list. Instead of relying on a touchscreen tablet, the Inkling lets you sketch the way you’re used to sketching: on paper. The images are recorded and transferred to digital files compatible with Illustrator, Photoshop, etc. You even have complete layer control while you sketch! This is one seriously awesome gadget and $200 isn’t a half bad price point.

Price $199


Dry Erase Whiteboard Paint

Who needs fancy high tech drawing solutions when you can just draw on your wall! You’ve seen chalkboard paint but this goes one step better by creating an easily erasable whiteboard surface. Skip the chalk dust and turn your entire office into a blank canvas for ideas, todo lists, mockups and more.

Price: $174.99


Messograf Caliper Pen

Looking for a cool gift under $30? This pen doubles as a functioning caliper! Designers and artist will go far beyond simply recording measurements and find this to be an immensely helpful tool for getting proportions just right in a sketch. At the very lest, they’ll think it looks cooler than any other pen they already own.

Price: $24.99


Website Stencil Kit

The website stencil kit is an awesome little tool that makes UI wireframing a breeze. Lots of web designers like to hash out their ideas on paper first and this speeds along the process by helping you quickly create tabs, icons, sliders and other standard UI elements.

Price: $26.95


Walls Notebook

This gift is super quirky and super awesome. It’s a book of photos containing walls in New York City that provide a blank canvas for some grunge-filled graffiti inspired creativity. This is perfect for getting your brain into a creative mode for outside the box thinking.

Price: $16.95


For iDevice Lovers

Sock Dreams Smart Glove

These gloves are equipped with special capacitive thumb and index finger tips, which allow you to operate your multitouch smartphone. They’re cheap, they’re fashionable and they let you use your iPhone or iPad in the cold! What’s not to love?

Price: $8


The iPhone SLR Mount

This one is crazy, but in a super awesome kind of way. Your iPhone already takes great pictures, but what if you could transform it into a multitouch SLR? With this unbelievable but very real product, you can do just that. It’s basically a Canon or Nikon lens mount attached to an iPhone case. You’ll love taking Instagram photos at f/2.8!

Price: $249


IPEVO Chopstakes Pair of Multitouch Styli

This is either the best idea ever or the worst. These guys have decided to reinvent the stylus by borrowing from the familiar form factor of a pair of chopsticks. It looks 10x harder than simply using your fingers but as a novelty gift it’ll definitely be a good conversation starter.

Price: $34.95


Belkin Conserve Valet

Designers are typically fairly tech-minded people and therefore always have something that needs charging. This is a handy little Belkin docking station that can handle up to four USB devices at once. The coolest part though is that it’s a smart charger that actually deactivates once your devices are full of juice. It also has a convenient cord storage section.

Price: $39.99


Retro Fun

The Instax Mini 7s and Mini 25 Instant Cameras

Designers love anything retro and stylish, they also love great images. Put these interests together and just about every designer will be thrilled to get an instant camera. There’s something completely satisfying about taking a photo and having it spit out right away. We’ve lost that with digital imagery but these gadgets brings it back!

Price: $90.00 and $124.00



While we’re talking retro cameras, the Lomokino is another solid gift idea that just oozes cool. It shoots short, 144 frame 35mm movies that look straight out of yesteryear. It’s good clean retro fun.

Price: $79.00


Designer Clocks

Qlocktwo Touch By Biegert & Funk

Designers can’t settle for everyday objects and decorations. We need something that’s as beautiful as it is functional. The Qlocktwo Touch is a ridiculously overpriced alarm clock with a matrix of letters that illuminate to tell you the time. You won’t buy one, but you’ll definitely want one.

Price: $599.00


White and White Clock

This super stylish digital clock couldn’t be anymore minimal. It’s basically just a big set of light up numbers that hang on any wall. I’m not sure it’s worth $150, but I love the clean lines and streamlined aesthetic.

Price: $154.80


Cheap But Useful

Electronics Cleaning Putty

This one doesn’t really fit in with the categories above but it’s handy and cheap enough that I thought it would make a fun gift. It’s basically a specially formulated glob of goo that cleans your electronics. It’s It’s non-toxic, biodegradable and can really reach down into hard to clean crevices. How cool is that?

Price: $8


What’s On Your List?

Now that you’ve seen our collection of fifteen gadgets and gifts for designers, leave a comment below and tell us which is your favorite!

Also, if you see any other cool gadgets online that designers might enjoy, toss a link and brief description into your comment so we can check it out!

Comments & Discussion


  • http://www.timerrr.com Tom

    Messograf Caliper Pen looks great and it is not that expensive

  • http://www.contestheat.com Giannis

    I love those geek gloves!

  • http://webdesignfm.com zohaib

    some cool gifts to choose, specially the drawing and sketching ones..

  • http://fotoshopped.de Jörg Fischer

    Since yesterday it’s the inklink from wacom but the others are surely cool.

  • http://www.cgbaran.com cgbaran

    Great collection but iphone slr? come on:D

  • http://www.astawebworks.com Lenard

    I like the iphone plus lens mount . :D I would look silly taking pictures from the crowd. Looks unreal but it is real!

  • TM Larch

    “IPEVO Chopstakes

    This is either the best idea ever or the worst…. but as a novelty gift…..”

    Why do geeks never think about those with disabilities?

    This could an awesome tool for some people. Not a ‘novelty’.

  • Joshua Johnson

    TM, interesting point!

  • Ivy

    I luv the instant pic cameras!!! I have always wanted on of the old ones

  • http://www.knockknock.biz Reggie’s a Cool Gift Expert

    Paper tweets or social media citations from @knockknock would really hit the spot on this list. I know I, personally, spent way to much time on the twitter when I should be working.

  • http://www.elvisinmybasement.com Kmuzu

    Please in the name of everything good and beautiful do NOT get the iPhone SLR mount. Let the iPhone be as it was intended – a phone that plays music and can capture blurry, dark pictures. If you want to take pictures – I think the Canon T2i is going for around 400 dollars.

  • tim

    Fair notice that white board paint is as toxic and bad for the planet as burning Styrofoam (a little exaggeration but seriously its really bad stuff, as ungreen as fall foliage)


    You should disclaim the Wacom Inkling is not available. Wacom had it as “Available Mid-October” until a few weeks ago since which time it’s been billed as “Available Mid-November”. Of course that’s now and it’s still not available.

  • http://denikurniawan.com deni

    website stencil kit looks great..

  • http://tenml.com Ash

    i love the iphone plus lens mount…
    It so innovative, Steve is a legend and the apple Iphone is just wordless to describe!

  • Jammy

    I like the cyber clean…if it really works on a dirty key board!

  • http://www.charmhandbags.com Chanel

    Nice. There are some very useful things. I love them. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://Www.treasureforlittlepeople.com.au Evanism

    You could also include the Pulse Pen. It stores everything you write onto the pan when can them be transferred to scree. Cool!

  • http://Www.treasuresforlittlepeople.com.au Evanism

    Sorry, I meant LIVRSCRIBE. I use one for my designing. Our site is based on cartoons and it makes it easier than a tablet.

  • http://gvsparx.blogspot.com/ GvSparx – Inspiring lives

    I really need that SLR mount for iPhone!!! :D

  • http://meyerpublications.com Chris

    this is really neat cool gadgets!

  • Emily

    Those gloves are genius! I go to school in the mountains so in the wintery snow gloves are a must, and these gloves would help a LOT to answer phone calls from home across the state to the coast. All of these are fantastic and I want every one of them for Christmas.

  • http://www.relatieproblemenoplossentips.com Relatieproblemen Oplossen

    How awesome is that iphone SLR Mount! I want!

  • http://www.linksparrow.com/ ddeveloperz

    all are awesome

  • http://www.luca-demo.blogspot.com CoolAndCreativeStuff

    Awesome list and some really great tools for artists and the casual sketcher. Some great designs on that list too (notably the qlocktwo touch)! My websites got a few cool gadgets if you want to check them out and add them to the list!

  • http://www.uvdesigns.ca Toronto Freelance Web Designer

    Gotta get myself some of those gloves for next winter lol…
    also the putty is good especially for my keyboard at work lol

  • http://www.anacondawebhosting.com Hosting en Chile

    Awesome Gift NOT just for designers!

    Thanks for sharing!


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