If you’ve ever spent time around this next guy on our list, you’ve probably been exposed to one or more of the following: the name-that-font game; conversations on additive vs. subtractive color modes; mistaking Roy G. Biv for a close friend; wagers on the over/under lifespan of the flat design trend. What’s Gaelic to them is Greek to us; the designer’s discerning eye can leave you feeling rudderless and depressed when it comes to gift buying. Suddenly you’re lost in the libraries of Hoefler & Frere-Jones, killing time by exploring the classified section of Architectural Digest. That’s a dark place, my friend. We’re here to help. Moral of this story: leave it to us. We know these people. We’ve sailed to the farthest corners of digital commerce to bring you the best selection of holiday gifts for The Designer.
Tubular Brno Chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
When is a chair more than just a chair? The short answer would be when it’s designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. This pioneering prototype chair, originally created to furnish the renowned Tugendhat House in Brno, Czech Republic, is an embodiment of modern design and the summation of Mies van der Rohe’s ideas. Mies’s reduction of an object to its essential elements is what makes this more art than furniture. The mirror-polished frame is a chrome-plated, 11-gauge steel with clean, seamless joints and hidden-drilled or countersunk holes that render the chair free of deformation. An inner hardwood frame provides more than enough support, while the Dymetrol seat suspension enhances the comfort level. We found you the perfect chair; picking the perfect color is on you.
Finding the right desk can be hard, especially when the doctor confirms that nagging suspicion about a torso disproportionately shorter than said torso’s legs. Perhaps that’s why we’re so fond of the NextDesk Terra. The Terra discretely conceals advanced motors that move the desktop up and down quickly and quietly with the push of a button. How quickly, you ask? A best-in-class 1.7-inches-per-second quickly. No jerking. No jolting. No spilling of the double latte. Alongside sophisticated design, NextDesk features solid natural bamboo, a recycled aluminum frame and not a drop of solvent-based paints — so the desk does come in green…just not the color.
Wacom Intuos Pen & Touch
The line where tangible ends and digital begins becomes more blurred every year. Doing their best Robin Thicke impression, Intous Pen & Touch tablets settled definitively…somewhere…in this gray area. The ergonomic pen feels like a traditional writing utensil, and, coupled with the super-slim, pressure sensitive tablet, provides everything you need to edit, perfect or just play around with digital images. But will it blend? You betcha. It’ll work with a host of popular apps. And with the Wacom Wireless Accessory Kit, you can even work in a cordless environment.
The Designer is well versed in the most recent technology, sure, but nothing can replace his book collection. The value he places on design-focused literature knows no bounds, and adding these three to his collection is sure to leave him smiling. Whether it’s the grownup side of LEGOs, origins of obscure punctuation, or an upbeat survey of products and ideas built to last, these are three must-haves.
Beautiful LEGO: $21Shady Characters: $18The Monocle Guide to Better Living: $47
Enamelware Dinnerware Set
A lot of things are over-engineered these days: 200-mph family wagons, cell phones with zillions of megapixels, Joan Rivers’s face. But a plate? A plate is as simple as it’s ever going to be. Simple and functional are the attributes West Elm took aim at with their Enamelware Dinnerware Set. This steel and porcelain-enamel finish dinnerware set is also shatterproof (read: kidproof) and dishwasher safe. Take note, Joan — these plates are an elegant approach to the KISS principle.
Nike Free Inneva Woven Sneakers
“Sock-like comfort” is a term you hear thrown around a lot in the athletic footwear world. Few companies have the goods to back it up better than Nike’s Free Inneva Woven SP. This lightweight men’s shoe is made with an intricate 360-degree weave that melds with the individual structure of your foot. Laces integrated with the textile weave tighten the entire upper to wrap the foot with unparalleled conformity; Nike leads the pack with this weave innovation. This is the shoe of the future, and he won’t want to take his off.
Jack Spade Geo Retextured Crewneck Sweater>
The Designer already knows a thing or two about aesthetics. Clean lines, rich colors and the reduction of complexity are all par for his course, and these acute senses don’t turn off with his Adobe products. Jack Spade’s Retextured Crewneck is 100% wool; its subtle print is Spade’s geometric Tangram design; ribbing at the cuff, hem and collar finish of a look that’s far from plain yet generously understated.
Criterion Collection Blu-rays
If you’ve got to know the classics (and you’ve got to know the classics), fewer places offer a more comprehensive solace than The Criterion Collection. Since 1984, the Criterion Collection has been dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning supplements. Masters of cinema like Renoir, Godard, Kurosawa, Bergman and Hitchcock grace the hallowed halls of this collection, and to date, over 150 filmmakers have etched their places into this sacred library. The Designer will appreciate that the Criterion Collection is curated by those with a discerning eye for one of the most dynamic mediums of all — the cinema.
The Regimen by Blind Barber
An acute awareness of the senses is, in part, what make The Designer the fastidious man he is. His time spent in the bathroom is necessary, but should be kept to a minimum, which is where The Regimen from Blind Barber comes in handy. This “regimen” is a handy three-step system to protect the skin from unforgiving elements that surround him. Combining their Watermint Gin Facial Cleanser, Shave Cream and Aftershave Soother, this trifecta of manly pampering is everything he needs to cleans and moisturize his skin while shaving.
Uniball Jetstream Ballpoint Pen
An artist is only as good as his tools. The Jetstream Ballpoint Pen incorporates Uni’s recognizable design in a sleeker, metallic color plastic body with specifically formulated fade- and water-resistant ink. A rubber grip and smooth feel ensure this is a pen any designer would be happy to make his mark with.
Twelve South Backpack
The heart and sole of the backpack is to carry necessities with ease. Transpose this idea in to the digital world and you get Twelve South’s backpack, which isn’t exactly what you’d wear on the first day of school. Instead it’s a small steel shelf designed to sit behind or underneath an iMac or Apple display and can hold up to 3.5 pounds of whatever you need to stow. Optional support pegs prop up vertically oriented objects (a Macbook, perhaps). It’s simple, adjustable and fool proof, just like a back pack ought to be.
NOCS NS2 Airplay Speakers
Most designers, like other creative types, use music to get in the zone. Nocs’s Airplay speakers cut the cord without sacrificing sound quality: the 3-inch speakers with kevlar-reinforced speakers boast dual magnets, the tweeters are 3/4-inch silk dome, and there’s a Class D amplifier and 32-bit DSP. More importantly, perhaps, for the design-obsessed owner is the fact that they’re handmade, with sleek rubberized exteriors that come in six different colorways.