It’s that time of year again! The holidays are upon us, and along with all the family, cheer, and hot chocolate, they bring the stress of finding just the right gift for that special someone.
Searching for a gift for your wife, your husband, your G-Ma, your great aunt, your third cousin on your mother’s side, or that one family member who isn’t exactly an uncle but you call him Uncle Bob can be difficult enough.
⚠️ But what about that unique individual in your circle constantly telling you what PMS color your shirt most closely resembles? The one trying to explain the difference between RGB and CMYK color modes when you didn’t even ask?
Yeah, that’s your Graphic Designer (insert relation here), and yes, we are a unique bunch.
So, how are you going to shop for someone when you have no idea what they’re talking about half the time? I honestly don’t know either, but I do know what we don’t want.
In order to help you on your shopping journey this holiday season, here’s a list of five things you should definitely NOT get a Graphic Designer. (No, seriously. Just put it down and walk away, delete from cart, or return to sender.)
“Because, you know, you like art.”
This is a fallacy, people. Designers are not fine artists.
Yes, it’s true, some of us do paint—and some of us are even good at it—but we don’t all sit up at night nursing aspirations of being the next Pablo (that’s right…we’re on a first name basis). We don’t attend art shows wishing someone would try to tell us French Impressionism was far more influential than Art Nouveau.
We get the gesture. In fact, it was very sweet—even thoughtful—but chances are those brushes will just sit in the drawer until we need a prop for the mini figurine on our desk to hold for its Instagram photoshoot.
2. A Terrible Graphic T-Shirt
Let me break this one down for you.
- First thing we’ll do is give it a proper critique: How was this printed? Is it quality? I wonder who designed this? Are the letters kerned properly?
- Next, hopefully, we’ll remember to be polite and thank you.
- Then, we’re going to give you a smile—maybe even a thumbs up if you’re lucky.
- Finally, we’re going toss it directly into the “Do Not Wear” pile.
If you have a designer family member, chances are they have a very purposefully curated collection of T-shirts that range from band and skate shirts to brands specifically chosen for their attention to detail or great design.
Please, do not insult us by buying us that Mr. Rogers “It’s All Good in The Hood” T-shirt you found at the mall kiosk. (If you’re reading this, sorry Sis.)
3. A Stability Ball
This gift has the right intention. You’re reminding us of a very real thing: that we sit on our tush all day and don’t move for a living. Inadvertently, you’re also reminding us how out of shape, in poor health, and in constant pain we are from hunching over unnaturally for long stretches of time.
Truth is, we just don’t need another reason to sit more. What we need is a reason to get up from our desk and explore. So, if you have a Graphic Designer friend or relative, maybe invite us to lunch or even to take a long walk by the river. That would be great. (No, seriously. Let’s hang out.)
4. Coloring Books for Adults
“Because you color for a living, right?”
Really? You bought me a coloring book? And no crayons to boot?
We are designers, people! We use gestalt principals, visual hierarchy, and other pretentious jargon to bring ideas to life.
Yes, it’s true, coloring can be a fun way to kill some time with the kids on a rainy day.
But let’s be honest here: Not only do most Graphic Designers have zero spare time to kill, but the precious little free time we do have is better filled interacting with real humans. We're trying desperately to have a functioning social life, and that doesn't involve meticulously coloring inside the lines of the latest mandala pages.
5. Anything that Features the “Brush Script” Font
Just below Comic Sans and right above Papyrus on "The Top 3 Worst Fonts" list lives Brush Script, the most widely used default script font in existence.
If at any point in the last 50 years you tried giving your printed yard sale sign a "hand-painted” vibe, had a jersey made for a regional baseball team, or picked up a menu at the local diner in The Middle of Nowhere, USA, you've seen Brush Script.
Not only do most Graphic Designers find this font genuinely offensive to look at, but it's been so overused that it's impossible to get away from. It's definitely on the unofficial Top 5 List of Fonts Designers Love to Hate.
So, if you’re thinking about buying your Graphic Designer relative that witty quote mug you saw on Zazzle, if it’s written in Brush Script, please…just don’t.
At the end of the day, we’re just people, people. We like the same things you like. New headphones, a gift card for Barnes & Noble, tickets to the opera (wait…what?) …you see what I’m getting at.
If you’re in the market for a sweet gift for your Significant Graphic Designer someone, this year, it’s okay to think inside the box.
What's on your wish list? An awesome new website? A targeted marketing strategy? The latest martech?