Chinese characters

Presents for creatives and design lovers

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We creative types can be very picky when it comes to presents. Here are some ideas showing you how to please your arty loved-ones. As many of you fall into that category, you might like to drop some hints yourselves! In no particular order:

1  Pantone mugs

6 brightly-coloured Pantone mugs
These bone china mugs based on the iconic Pantone Color Swatch come in a huge variety of colours – you’re bound to find one that hits the spot. A snip at about a tenner each, these are useful as well as beautiful.

2  Curzon Cinema membership

Curzon Cinema Clevedon seating © Eilidh B at FlickrDepending on how much you love your friend, there are several level of membership. I would suggest the Classic membership for £60 which gives you 4 free tickets, discounts on all subsequent tickets for you and a friend, a nice little A5 quarterly magazine delivered to you and discounts in their shop and bar.

Photo © Eilidh B at Flickr

3  The Descent of Man

The Descent of Man book by Grayson Perry cover ‘GRAYSON PERRY FOR KING AND QUEEN OF ENGLAND. Imagine how BRILLIANT our country would look if he was.’
Caitlin Moran

Hear hear! I love Grayson Perry, he really is a man of the people, and I was hooked on his Channel 4 programmes about masculinity. This book explores the issues the series raised in more depth: what would happen if we rethought the old, macho, outdated version of manhood, and embraced a different idea of what makes a man?

Buy it for £16.99 or less and find out.



4  Reusable coffee cup

Reusable coffee cupMore than 8 million disposable coffee cups are used in Britain every day – that’s an astonishing 3 billion a year. Although the cups are recyclable, guess how many are actually recycled? About 1 in 40.

I am all for putting an extra 5p on top of the cost of a takeaway coffee if a disposable cup is used. But it would be even better if coffee-lovers would use a reusable coffee cup – there are a fantastic range available.

I like the mug illustrated here; it was a gift so I don’t know the price. I also have a Bodum Vacuum Travel Mug which is tactile and a thing of beauty, as well as being highly practical.

There are many others on the market, our favourites are the Kate Spade gold thermal mug, the Jococup and the BYOcup.

5  V&A membership

V&A membership packHaving been the lucky recipient of this for my birthday, I can tell you you will get an enormous amount of brownie points for giving this. As well as a seasonal magazine and newsletter, the member gets to go to all the special exhibitions for free, and without queueing! For an extra £20 you can upgrade your membership to take a guest with you each time – a bargain in my book. You can find details of current and future exhibitions here.

6 Colouring books and felt tips

Coloured pencils

Chances are that your artistic loved one will spend all day at their computers, thinking wistfully about the days they used to be hands-on. Take them back in time by buying them a colouring book and some lovely felt tips. I’ve written a separate blogpost on this which might give you some ideas.

7  Full text book posters from Spineless Classics

A Clockwork Orange, one of the Spinelesss Classics posters

Does what it says on the tin. These are very impressive in the flesh – the one illustrated here is 700mm x 1000mm. Bookmachine members (I know many of you are) get a 20% discount.

8  Chineasy book

A spread from the Chineasy bookOriginally intended to help students learn Chinese characters, the book became a cult hit when published a couple of years ago. Renowned illustrator Noma Bar ensures this beautiful book is a joy to own for anyone interested in design and colour.

9  Colour swatch calendar

Colour swatch calendarOK, I’ll admit that this one is for geeks, but I’m sure you’ll know one of those! Every week shows a different strip of tear-off matched colours (with their corresponding CMYK values) There’s a box to keep the swatches in, and bookbinder screws for assembling colour fans. Bliss! You can find it here.

If any of you have any more ideas on what to buy for design enthusiasts, I’d love to hear them.

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