What should you buy a designer for Christmas?

Rebecca Hossain

“The obvious choice would be a classic sketchbook, beautifully bound. But most designers use a particular sketchbook that they are loyal to throughout their careers, so I would treat a designer to the iconic Eames bird recreated by Vitra Design Museum – simple and as poised a sculpture as you will find. For more than 50 years, the figure of a black wooden bird has stood in the centre of the living room of Charles and Ray Eames. It was an artefact of American folk art that was evidently highly treasured by the couple, since it also appeared frequently as an accessory in photographs taken by Charles and Ray. For me it marries the purity of nature with good design, made from solid alder and coming packaged in an elegant box, which is important for a designer. It’s perfect for the traditional, retro or cutting edge designer in your life!”

Rebecca Hossain, retail general manager, Design Museum

Paul Middlebrook

I would buy them a book called Hegarty on Advertising (ISBN 978-0-500-51556-3). This is a fantastic book that summarises John’s 45 years of experience and his passion for creativity and ideas. His dedication to ‘message and meaning’ is profound – he inspires with good sense and humour and reminds us that we have to believe in something to stand out and make a difference. He lets us know that as designers it is our job to turn ’‘intelligence into magic’.”

Paul Middlebrook, managing partner, The Allotment Brand Design

Matt Baxter

When Sarah at Design Week asked me for a vox pop on this subject, I replied by saying that I’d ‘get my thinking cap on’. Which immediately got me thinking about thinking. And headgear. All designers need to think, right? Good, concentrated thinking time away from the distractions of email, Twitter, Instagram and the rest. But while a spell away from the Mac to have a good think is important, a lunchtime stroll in the cold, gloom and damp of British winter isn’t exactly appealing – unless you’ve got a hat to keep your bonce toasty, incubating those creative brainwaves. So that’s what I’d buy a designer for Christmas: a good quality titfer. The question is, are fezzes still cool? Or is 2015 more of a Stetson year? I’ll get my thinking cap on and go for a ponder.”

Matt Baxter, creative director, Baxter and Bailey

Simon Manchipp

We’ve been pretty busy this year – so we have an embarrassment of riches for designers: 

On the first day of Christmas – we’d arrange a luxury holiday from Sovereign (say, Barbados).

On the second day of Christmas – perhaps a new pair of glasses – or sunglasses – from Glasses Direct? 

On the third day of Christmas – a ticket to experience the new Thameslink trains. 

On the fourth day of Christmas – perhaps off to meet our friends at Gatwick for a trip to Africa? 

On the fifth day of Christmas – some flights to Africa with our friends at FastJet.

On the sixth day of Christmas – of course, we’d donate part of the price of the gift to Cancer Research UK to beat cancer sooner.

On the seventh day of Christmas – how about a ticket to the first European Games in Baku?

On the eighth day of Christmas – perhaps a little flutter on the Football Pools could help pay for it all?

On the ninth day of Christmas – a bottle of Chivas 25 will certainly help get the party started. 

On the tenth day of Christmas – we’d get you to help out with The Children Society (come on, you’ll feel so much better about yourself).

On the eleventh day of Christmas – you could Zapp a couple of new bargains in the sales 

And on the twelfth day of Christmas? Well, we’d probably make sure we’d settled up through Worldpay.” 

Simon Manchipp, co-founder, SomeOne

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  • Jon Baars November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Mr Manchipp, I love SomeOne’s work, some fantastic branding solutions on the last year, but this is not aa answer to the question, just a blatant plug of some of your work. could do better. I’ll put it down to a Christmas party hangover.

  • Simon Manchipp November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Dear Jon.

    Thank you for your comment. You are of course quite right. I didn’t really answer the question. I was messing around. (and recovering from yet another party)

    I have to buy designers presents every year. But frankly the gifts bear very little relevance to the persons profession. I buy for the person. Not the job.

    That said. There’s one thing I do believe in. As designers we should not follow the same path as the many. We should embrace the odd, the curious, the crazy and the extreme. That way we, as creative people — in positions where you are asked to develop unique things for often similar projects — have a deeper resource, a wider spectrum of ideas to choose from.

    So to answer this question directly I could say I’d buy someone an Owl. Or a tub of HubblyBubbly chewing gum. Or perhaps a vintage Rolex. Something with a story. Because ultimately that’s what we all get asked to do for brands. Tell their story.

    Perhaps that’s a better, if less seasonally connected answer to this question!

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