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30 of the Best Gift Ideas for Graphic Designers on Etsy

We have been looking for things to add to this year’s Christmas list and we were struggling! Browsing the web, all the “top gift lists” seemed pretty boring and weren’t sparking any joy… We knew we had to rethink our strategy. That is when ETSY came in!

Do you remember when you were little and you circle pretty much everything in the toy advertisements? That’s how this list makes me feel! I hope you love it too.

Let’s dive in!

1. Pantone Enamel Pin

For only $8.00 you can bring your Pantone obsession to the next level with this fun Enamel pin. Pin it anywhere to sport your favorite Pantone color! Mine will definitely be going on my backpack!

⮕ Order one now.

 


2. Artsy Fartsy Comfy Tee

Did anyone else get called “Artsy Fartsy” all the time? I’m pretty sure that it could be my middle name! This cute comfy tee comes in a variety of colors and features hand-drawn type by Carly Wilkie. Spend over $35 and get free shipping!

⮕ Heck Yes, I need this!

 


3. Typography Ampersand Tee

Graphic designers LOVE their ampersands, so naturally, this had to make our list! This graphic tee features 30 variations of our favorite type character. Bonus points if you can name all the typefaces used.

⮕ Order it here.

 


4. Retro Microsoft WordArt Patch

Okay, this one genuinely makes us crack up. Perhaps your first look into “graphic design” was using these awful WordArt styles. I have to admit, my mom’s saved some of my old projects, and although advanced at my age, there were some hideous design choices I made back then. This is sure to make any designer giggle, making it the perfect gift for graphic designers.

⮕ Make everyone laugh with this patch

 


5. This is the FUTURA Tee

If you’re reading this list and you’re not a graphic designer, you could be confused by this one. FUTURA is a very popular typeface and it’s a classic design pun to say “This is the Futura”. A graphic designer would love to rock this tee!

⮕ Get your Futura Shirt Here

 


6. Handmade Ampersand Necklace

All these gifts make me SO HAPPY and this one is no exception! A handmade ampersand necklace could be the most adorable thing on this list of the best gifts for graphic designers. We love that it’s handmade too!

⮕ Order your Necklace Here

 


7. Making Cool Shit for A Living

Another funny gift that could actually appeal to more than just graphic designers, but artists and makers too! This one comes in the baseball style tee, but you could get it in a tank style too!

⮕ Order your “Making Cool Sh*t Tee”

 


8. Design-Nerd Tote Bag

Every designer needs a design-worthy bag to carry all their goodies, right? We just love illustration around here, so seeing how well this is designed makes us give it 2 thumbs up. What designer wouldn’t love receiving this at a gift? So Handy!

⮕ Order your Tote Here.

 


9. Graphic Design Nerdy Craft

Okay, we might be artsy fartsy around here, but we couldn’t resist this fun cross-stitch kit. It would be so fun to hang on the wall of your office and a real convo-starter. We feel like this is perfect for the quirky and/or crafty graphic designer.

⮕ Get your Kit here!

 


10. Overloaded on Tabs Travel Mug

Oh, Crap… maybe it’s time we come clean and admit that we have a bit of a cup/mug obsession. #sorrynotsorry. We love how this one uses an illustrative style and is actually etched into the mug. Be honest, how many of you constantly have too many tabs open and too many things “open” in your brain? Is that just a designer thing, or do a lot of people run into that? That said, we really like that it’s a travel mug which means we can add a reusable straw.

⮕ BRB, while I go order one this one in TEAL!

 


11. Photoshop Keychain

This is a great gift to be paired with something else on our awesome Graphic Designer gift idea list! It may be something small but it would definitely bring a smile to a graphic designer’s face. Heck, even a photographer would love this gift too! Everyone needs some Adobe swag in their possession.

⮕ Get it here!

 


12. Artist Power Lapel Pin

This is a great gift for an illustrator or graphic designer. It can be added to your computer bag or sport it on your pencil cases full of all your favorite pens and sketching materials. Artists unite with this ARTIST POWER pin!

⮕ I need this!

 


13. Pantone Coffee Glass Mug

Another mug that is TOTALLY worthy of our list. Both coffee-lovers and Pantone-lovers unite on this one. We also love that there’s some more options like a wine, mojito, and whiskey version. We challenge you to find a graphic artist that wouldn’t love this gift… maybe only if they don’t drink coffee!

⮕ I want it!


14. Lorem Ipsum Shirt

Lorem Ipsum is becoming a lot more popular these days. But when we were in college the concept was a little foreign! If you’re not familiar with Lorem Ipsum is placeholder text commonly used in the graphic, print, and publishing industries for previewing layouts and visual mockups. It’s a handy tool for graphic designers to layout mockups and definitely makes it a funny gift that a designer would appreciate.

⮕ Get it Here


15. These bags are designer comfy crew

This was a common phrase back when we were design students staying up all night working on projects. If you, or the designer you’re looking for a gift for, spent most days staying up working on design homework, this sweatshirt is relatable! It may also connect with those self-employed entrepreneurs out there working around the clock.

16. “I’m a designer” Hipster Tee

Classic “Graphic Tee”, right?! How fitting to have a hipster design nerd on a tee. I will say they character on this shirt is done really well! It’s pretty hipster, but also pretty spot-on!

17. Snarky Soy Candle

Now, this gift is for the sarcastic, funny, graphic designer who jokes that their job sucks (but actually loves it!). This would make a great gift for the office Christmas party or your best friend who laughs at that client who always seems to be asking for just. one. more. revision. Honestly, this gift would be hilarious for a lot of people, not just graphic artists.

⮕ Order your Snarky Soy Candle

 


18. Pantone-Inspired Muppet Decor

This particular gift would appeal to the graphic design parents out there. It’s such a fun way to decorate your child’s bedroom and starts the children off with a solid design foundation! You can select your favorite character or snag the whole set!

⮕ Take your decor next level, buy here.

 


19. Alignment Icons Poster

Here’s another pretty nerdy gift idea which some of you might not get, but a graphic designer definitely would! These are the icons used for aligning your objects in Adobe. Pretty much one of the MOST USEFUL tools in the entire Adobe toolbox. We probably use these hundreds of times in a day. What we love about this design decor is that it’s really abstract so you can nerd out about it without getting too cliche.

⮕ Aligning Print Poster

 


20. Pantone Enamel Pin

You might be sensing a pattern that we, in fact, most graphic designers, love their Pantone colors. So much so that we’ll drop 100+ on a Pantone swatchbook. Here’s a really great lapel pin the shows off your Pantone and LBGTQ Pride!

⮕ Pantone Enamel Pin

 


21. I’m Silently Judging your Font Choices Tote

A graphic designer knows this feeling all too well. The world is full of poor font choices… While some might call you out on it, others may keep their thoughts to themselves and silently judge your font choices! (Reminder: no more than 2-3 typefaces per design!)

⮕ Get your tote here!

 


22. Illustrator

We talked about bags already, but we didn’t talk about pouches to hold ALL. THE. THINGS. This little pouch is available in 3 sizes which is great and you can store all your drawing tools and/or charging cables. We hold our mouse in a little pouch like this and it’s great to know where it always is when we’re on the go!

⮕ Get your bag now!

 


23. Sweet tooth Pantone-Inspired Mug

Another Pantone gift? We know, we know… There’s just so many great options out there. This gift idea is perfect for the sweet tooth out there! Donuts, Candy, Cookies… All the yummy things!

⮕ I need this mug!

 


24. Pantone Sugar Cookies

For those of you who follow @pixelstosugar, you know that sugar cookies are Carly’s little passion project. While we’ve made a few “design” sets, we’ve never actually done Pantone cookies! (We’ll be sure to update this when we do) BUT you can now get the ultimate Graphic Designer cookies on etsy and it would make a perfect gift for any Pantone lovers out there.

⮕ Get some yummy Pantone Cookies

 


25. Pro-craft-inator Pin

We’re really digging enamel pins these days AND there are a few of our favorites in this list of gifts for graphic designers. This pun-ny pin makes us giggle thinking about all the designers who are procrastinators. Let me tell you, success under pressure really does exist!

⮕ I need this! I’m a Pro-craft-inator!

 


26. Creative Juice Enamel Pin

Let’s keep this enamel pin party going with this “Creative Juice” cutie. We love to add pins to our laptop bag to give it a little character, so we feel like you can never have enough pins. Or you could also use them as tacks on your bulletin board!

⮕ Get your Creative Juice flowing!

 


27. Ampersand – Risograph print

Another Ampersand piece that we love… This Risograph print is artfully done and will be a nice statement piece on your wall!

⮕ Order your Ampersand Print

 


28. Illustrator Street Sign

We think this would be a really great addition to your swanky agency flat, your in-need-of-a-refresh cubicle, or even your home office. Street signs can be seen everywhere, but wouldn’t it be cool to have an illustrator sign?

⮕ Get your Illustrator Street Sign

 


 

29. Creative Juice Wine Glass

A graphic designer can NOT live without their creative juices! Figuratively, but also… we love our wine! If you know a graphic designer who loves wine, this gift would be perfect for them!

⮕ Order yours here

 


29. Brass Letterpress Charm Necklace

All the typographers will flock when they see this fun and unique gift! Ya’ll we LOVE this necklace, we’ve never seen such a lovely thing in such a little package. You can choose which letter, or ampersand, you’d like and you can even get in customized if you’d like! If you buy one, please tag us so we can see how cute it is!

⮕ I need this Necklace

 


 

If you know of any good items we missed, let us know and we’ll add some bonus “Reader’s Picks” at the end!

 

Did you love our list? Be sure to Pin it to your Pinterest account!

 

 

 

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How did we get started freelancing? Our Story, Part 1

How did we get started?

I don’t think I’ve ever received any question more than this one. So we’re here today to answer the question everyone’s been asking. Every entrepreneur or freelance graphic designer has a different story and that’s why we’re excited to share with you our story, and how we came to be. Read on to hear “part 1” of our story…

It’s funny, when I graduated college, I always used to dream about running my own shop. But I was in college, young, and had no clue what that meant… Our friends and classmates were always chatting about how cool it would be to run our own studios. We often thought about what life would be like and how much fun it would be to work on creative projects and run the show. It was always a dream, but never really knew how to execute it or where life would take us.

The college I attended, UWSP, had an amazing design conference every year called NowHere. Through NowHere our dreams starting to flourish. We got to see amazing designers across America (and Internationally) doing what they love and making a living at it. Some of these designers work for large well-known agencies while others were entrepreneurs and running their own business. It was always inspiring to see what creatives were doing in the real world and it was always something we looked up to.  I learned so much from the NowHere Conference (and UWSP in general)…we were just a small design school, but it was an amazing blessing that we were able to bring in famous designers. #unbelievable. This is where my entrepreneurial daydreaming began.

After graduation, I decided to take a little break and went on a mini vacation to see a good friend who lived in Reno, Nevada. Being fresh out of college the world was my playground.  I decided it was important to take some time to myself before I went out into the world. Knowing the time would come and I’d have no time for vacations and real life became all too real.  I took a three-week vacation to visit my friend Dorothy and we had so much fun hiking, my first (and only) time snowboarding, and visiting some really awesome spots. Yet, the best part of all was that I was going to see my good friend who happened to be a year older than me, and also a designer from UWSP. She was the best, and I had always looked up to her as a mentor and friend.

We had such a blast, and it was great spending time with another designer and close friend. I took the time to enjoy myself and didn’t think about job hunting until my return…

When I got back to Wisconsin, it was time to start filling out applications and sending out resumes. I was a bit selective in what I was applying for because I knew that I had a good talent and design strengths. (perhaps also a bit stubborn and didn’t want to settle :P)

I met with a talent agency called C2  that focuses on people in the creative field. As part of their process, I had to go in for an interview and also take a design program evaluation.  I’m naturally a pretty shy person so interviews always intimidated me,  however, I knew that to have the most success I had to be myself.  What I was really terrified of, was the design test. We went through a series of questions and different Adobe programs. When finished I found out that I was doing pretty good! The man who was running the test had said that students out of Stevens point always scored well on the program testing (yay, UWSP!).

I had gotten a couple inquiries about job positions through C2. One position, in particular, sounded really interesting, AND was in my hometown! The next week was a whirlwind… On Monday, I had heard about the job. Tuesday, I had sent in my application. Wednesday, was my interview. Thursday, I excepted the job.  And Friday, was my first day.

Having a full-time job was an interesting experience that I learned a lot from, but this company was just not for me. I got to work on some incredible projects, meet incredible people, but eventually knew I’d move on.

While freelancing on the side, I had always dreamed of something bigger, and something better…

Then one day, life changed forever. I got word that I was being let go.

Was I excited? Was I pissed? To be honest I wasn’t really sure.

But what I did know, is that this was meant to be, and I had no excuse but to launch myself headfirst into the freelancing world. Later discovering what would become my dream, Sprout Studio, LLC.

Was I terrified?  Heck yes. Did I know what I was doing? Not entirely.…

I begin building up my freelancing work and started to get the word out that I was freelancing full-time. Ideally,  it would have been really helpful to start building this up ahead of time and saving up for the leap of faith. (Not to mention I had just purchased a brand new car… not the smartest investment if I had known I’d be jobless months later.)

I started reaching out to people in the industry I already knew… a lot of them are still clients today and we love dearly.

After about a month, I was contacted by my good friend, Kayla, who is working in New York City. They were looking for a freelance designer to help with packaging for the NUK brand products. Seemed pretty crazy right? Could I really move to New York for a couple months and work for a national brand in The Big Apple? We were excited to try!

Within two weeks my bags were packed, and I was on my way to New York City!

I had never been, I had no clue what I was getting myself into, but I was so excited for this experience and was so blessed that life had led me here.

Working with NUK, literally changed my life. It was the launching pad for my career. I was able to work directly with the marketing team and one of my best friends — A dream come true!! While navigating the ins-and-outs of product packaging, we jumped into some product graphics, which later became the first designs we had on the shelf. (see excited Carly photo below) Working with Kayla and NUK, I was also able to hone my skills in Illustrator. I quickly became obsessed with the program and honed my digital illustration and iconography abilities.

We loved working in the baby industry, even today, we love designing for children!

What happens next!? Stay tuned to find out!