Design is Christmas Ready

This week is Christmas! I thought it would be fun this week to do a little list of last-minute gift ideas! With the holiday only a few days away everyone is starting to realize that they only have a little bit of time left to get gifts together. As designers, we are super lucky because we can use our talents and art educations to save the day and create gifts instead of running to the crowded mall.

I am a very picky gift-giver. The gifts I give either need to be very useful or very sentimental; I take this very seriously. So here are some ideas that I have thought of (and might possibly working on but don’t want to give away any surprises) that can be personalized for any family member or friend. People love home-made gifts and they save us college kids money!

  1. An Illustrated Family Portrait: This also works for friend groups! Use one specific photo or many for reference. You can make it really detailed, on Illustrator, or just make little smiley faces with the right hair styles. It’s not about the exact likeness, it’s about capturing personalities!
  2. Personalized Initial: This works nicely for younger family members but you can either cut out the letter or buy it from a craft store. It’s been done before but adding your designer touch can make it really cool. Bonus points for creating a personalized letterform over just the ordinary block look.
  3. Stationery: This is a really simple idea that works nicely for people that you may not be as close too. Just buy some blank envelopes and you can cut the card-stock yourself. Use their initials or just a small symbol that you can easily recreate on a stack of cards. Then you can tell people to write to you!
  4. Mug: Ok I know this is not a new idea, but when you add your designer flare to this project it is fun to design on the curved plane of the mug. Sharpies and a dollar-store mug do the trick and you can find out the rest with a quick google search. Plus, your receiver will use the mug often. You can also fill it with coffee grounds packs or hot chocolate mix.
  5. Family/Friend Infographic: You may not be able to finish this before Christmas but it is still a fun idea. You could take the concept in many ways but I think you could ask your friends and families random questions and illustrate them infographic style. Seeing everyone’s favorite foods or amounts of coffee they drank that week all designed and mapped out will have the whole party passing it around to see!
  6. Personalized Coloring Book: This also is probably too big of a project to finish by Christmas, but adult coloring books are huge right now. People are excited about the commercial books so think about how excited they would be to have a coloring book about them and their life. This is at the bottom of the list because it is the most difficult technically but all you really need is paper and a blank pen/marker.

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