It’s December 1, so you know what that means — it’s time for our annual Holiday Gift Guide! Can you believe this is the 6th gift guide we’ve done? If you’ve missed our other guides (or you’re just looking for some more good stuff to buy), check them out here.
This year’s gift guide features a lot of my favorites and tools I use, and I hope you’ll really love what we have to offer. Let’s get to the good stuff!
Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives — How Your Friends’ Friends’ Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do
Like it or not, we live in a world that is connected by social media. I love this book because the authors go deep in providing evidence on how our social networks influence our lives in several different ways. It’s definitely made me re-think my social media consumption and what I put out there in the world.
Revival: How I Rebuilt a Life for Longevity After Cancer, Burnout, and Heartbreak
Businesswoman and tech pioneer Angela Benton is one of the strongest people I know, and her book Revival really touched me unlike any other book I’ve read this year. It’s heartfelt, honest, and should be a must read for any entrepreneur out there. Angela has been through the fire and back and this is her story.
The Art of Thinking Clearly
I burned through this book on a recent cross-country trip, and I highly recommend it for entrepreneurs, UX designers, software developers…really anyone who wants to make better choices in their work and their life. I remember during an interview with Fredric Mitchell where he told me about the power of asking the right questions, and this book is a great start to making that happen.
The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative
You might wonder why a book about writing is on a gift guide for designers and developers. Well, it’s not the first time I’ve made such a recommendation, but I’ll keep saying this until I’m blue in the face — being able to write and articulate your thoughts will elevate your craft. This book specifically deals with crafting a personal narrative (I think marketers call that storytelling, right?), and you’ll find that it will help you with writing blog posts, case studies, proposals, emails…everything. Get. This. Book.
The Theory and Practice of Motion Design: Critical Perspectives and Professional Practice
This book by well-known designer R. Brian Stone is a must for front-end and motion designers. Topics here span interaction design, typography, narrative storytelling, and a lot more. We need more books from Black designers, so make sure to add this one to your library!
We Inspire Me: Cultivate Your Creative Crew to Work, Play, and Make
This book from Andrea Pippins is great for anyone that is looking to find their tribe. We Inspire Me features advice and anecdotes from dozens of doers and makers, including some past guests on Revision Path! We can all go further together, and this book is a testament to the power of having a creative crew.
Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan(s)
Adobe, starting at $118.00
Lightroom CC is Adobe’s solution to manage and edit all your photos whether you’re on mobile or desktop. In these special plans, you also get access to Lightroom Classic CC, Photoshop CC, and added storage! Choose from any of the three plans below!
- One-year subscription to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC plan + 1TB of storage, $118.88
- One-year subscription to CCPp + 20GB of storage, $119.88
- One-year subscription to CCPp + 1TB of storage, $239.88
AIGA Eye on Design Annual Subscription
There’s not that many print design magazines out there anymore, so I recommend getting a subscription to AIGA Eye on Design to help keep the tradition of design writing alive. You get three very well-designed issues, and they start shipping on December 5. Keep up with the latest trends and learn about the issues affecting the design community.
Interchangeable Poster Light Box
Urban Outfitters, $59.00
A light box like this is a great way to add some personality to your design space or your office. This light box comes with 10 poster panels (the blue eye is displayed above), and you can use your own art too!
Kano Harry Potter Coding Kit
I’ll be honest — Harry Potter was after my time, but my goddaughters are currently devouring the books and they’re huge fans. Their birthdays are also less than a month apart, and they’re getting to that age where they are starting to gain their own interests and think about what they want to be when they grow up. This Kano Harry Potter coding kit is the best overlap of these two specific situations! They can build their own wand while also learning about tech and some light programming. It’s a win-win!
Now if you really want to show off your work, this Meural Canvas is IT. I saw a few of these in a museum in San Francisco recently, and I was blown away. It’s not just a digital display — there’s ambient light which matches the room’s brightness, it comes in multiple designs, and you can change its orientation from landscape to portrait (or vice versa) by just rotating the canvas. You can add your own art, or subscribe to Meural’s service to have the world’s best artwork at the touch of a button.
Nimble 10k PD Portable Charger
We’ve had battery packs on our gift guides in the past, but I think anyone who has traveled by plane in the past few years knows how many airlines are cracking down on them. I really like Nimble chargers for a few reasons: they include fast-charging tech, you can charge up to three devices (USB-A and USB-C), and the charging cable magnetically attaches to the pack (so you won’t lose it). Also, Nimble chargers are made using recyclable aluminum and plant-based bioplastics, so they have less of a harmful impact on the planet.
Portable Aroma Diffuser
I travel a fair bit for work, so I’ve gotten used to bringing a few things with me on every trip to help make hotel stays feel a little more like home. This portable aroma diffuser is a new addition, and I love it because it’s compact, comes with its own carrying case (with space for a small bottle of essential oil), and it doesn’t need water. It also fills up a musty hotel room with aroma pretty quickly, and it can be used while charging with the USB cord (like you see above). It’s one of the best purchases I’ve made this year.
Sony WH1000XM3 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Over Ear Headphones
I’m a fairly recent convert to the world of wireless headphones, and these cans from Sony are my new must-haves for the airport and the plane. The noise cancellation is top-notch, the battery life is amazing, and because it charges via USB-C, there’s a good chance to you don’t need to bring an extra cable to keep it powered up. Ten minutes charges it for five hours of playback, which is astonishing. I don’t even mind that the headphones put a huge canyon in the middle of my hair — I just don’t take them off until I get to my hotel.
Time Timer MOD
Time Timer, $36.95
This is a new addition to my studio, and I really like it because it’s easy to set, but also gives you a strong visual representation of how much time you have left. This particular has a silicone cover, and it’s compact enough to use at home or at the office. (Sure, your phone has a timer, but it doesn’t look as good as this.)
2019 NeuYear Large Wall Calendar
I’ve been using the NeuYear wall calendars since I started Revision Path, and they are one of my productivity staples. You can get a dry erase version or a regular paper version, and at this large size it’s easy to see from across the room.
Arcane Bullshit Tarot
Arcane Bullshit, C$40.00
Don’t see the word “tarot” and think this is automatically about the occult. If anything, this deck takes those concepts and flips them on their head with creativity. And dick jokes. Make up your own meanings for the cards and impress and piss off strangers!
What if IKEA made furniture for pets? What if Nest had a chatbot? What if Fitbit had a free service? What if Airbnb went corporate? Innovatecards™ is a thought-provoking team game to get you in the innovation mood. It’s perfect for product teams, design sprints, and brainstorming workshops, but anyone can play! Anyone can play, and everyone will play differently! No game will ever be the same. Come up with your own rules, or use our questions to guide your discussion.
Kokuyo Pat-mi Diary 2019
If you find yourself going back and forth between a monthly and a weekly calendar, this Kokuyo Pat-mi diary is for you. It’s innovative layout combines a monthly and weekly calendar in 12 slim booklets, and each week expands out into daily slots.
The Five Minute Journal
Another writing tool? You bet. I really like the five minute journal because it’s a really simple way to start with writing and cultivating gratitude (or just to get random thoughts out of your head). The journal is specifically designed to help focus your attention and improve your mental well-being — something all of us could use.
Assortment Gift Box of 8 Cookies from Levain Bakery
Levain Bakery, $49.00
I had these when I was in New York a few months ago, and they were hands down the best cookie I’ve ever eaten. Get them for a client, or for yourself. I won’t judge.
Cup O’ Joe Mug
Urban Outfitters, $14.00
I can’t get over how fun this mug is! It’s also pretty huge; use it for coffee, soup, or whatever you’d like. Also makes a nice desk decoration.
Hinoki Natural Incense Holder and 24-Stick Refill Pack
I tend to burn through a lot of incense. It helps me when focusing or just trying to get to a zen state of mind. This Hinoki incense is my favorite for a few reasons: it’s lightweight (including the holder), it smells great, and it doesn’t leave behind a ton of ash. Bring a little bit of Japan with you wherever you go!
IZIPIZI #E Screen Black Glasses
I don’t need glasses, but with all the screens I stare at every day, I do need something to protect my eyes from getting strained. These glasses are super affordable, and they come in a variety of colors. The frames have a rubber texture, and the flexible hinges fit my big ol’ head perfectly. I like the black glasses in the #E frame type because they look pretty indistinguishable from other glasses, yet these filter out 40% of blue light and don’t make you look like an extra from Jet Set Radio Future.
Coloring Pins, $11.00
Sela Lewis, former guest to the show and design writer here, recommended this pin, and I love it. It’s a great mix of graphic design and “yes, I’m Black/Brown”, and it’s sure to start a conversation at your next design function.
Scrabble Tile Lights
These lights would be a fun addition to your bedroom or to your studio. Spell out whatever you’d like and then pop the tiles on this minimalist wooden platform to instantly illuminate them. Each set comes with 60 different mix and match reusable letter stickers.
what3words Outdoor Sign
Using numbers for your street address is so last year. The what3words project assigns a unique 3-word address for every 3m x 3m square on the planet, and now you can get an outdoor sign to let the world know you’re part of the special in crowd. With two sign sizes and eleven colors, you’re sure to find something to match your home. Great for gates, walls, and exterior areas.
Something from our pop-up shop
Revision Path, starting at $15.00
A wild pop-up shop appears!
For the next couple of weeks, you can cop some limited-edition Revision Path merchandise in our new pop-up shop!
We brought back two of our best-selling designs, our one-of-a-kind logo merch, and a brand new design based off my “Where Are The Black Designers?” presentation from 2015. You can even buy our new enamel pin at the pop-up shop!
From now through December 14, you can use the discount code giftguide at checkout and get 25% off all orders of $50 or more.
Go get your shop on!