Whether you're getting ready for the holiday season, a birthday or even without an occasion here's some graphic design related gifts that are on my wish list.
The gift that keeps on giving. What could be better than a subscription to PRINT: America's Graphic Design Magazine filled with trends, commentary, reporting and ideas.
Another magazine subscription worth considering is STEP Inside Design which tends to be a topical look at the current state of design. Each issue highlights creative people, design in the business world and hot design topics.
The Wacom Intuos3 9 x 12-Inch USB Tablet is an interface made perfectly for designers which allows you to access features and techniques in programs like Photoshop that you can't access any other way. This tablet includes shortcut keys and a five button mouse.
Pantone 100 Top Colors is an affordable (under $30) set of colors for quick reference. For the price you get a pretty decent set of 1,114 colors.
The "Hillman Curtis Designer Series" has short films featuring Milton Glaser, Paula Scher, Stefan Sagmeister, David Carson, James Victore, and Pentagram Design
The book "How To Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul" by Adrian Shaughnessyis a business guide to being successful in the field. This book isn't about effects or visual tricks, but the business of being a commercial artist. New designers are often surprised at how important the business side of their career is and how little they learned about this in their formal education.
"Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students", a book by Ellen Lupton, isn't about fonts but working with type effectively on the page. Update: Read the full book review.
In "Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop" by Timothy Samara the topic discussed is one of the most important aspects of design: grid layout. It seems like many designers are unprepared to deal with the grid and there is always more to learn. It's essential to learn how to handle the many elements you will be asked to include in your designs. Learn the rules and how to break them effectively.