14 Christmas gift ideas for printers feeling festive
By Jenny Roper Thursday, 13 December 2012
From DVDs about the sector to websites that make good old-fashioned newspapers, the digital age welcomes print with open arms - as will friends and relatives when they see these irresistible festive gifts
Linotype: the Film DVD
$24.95 (£15) www.linotypefilm.com
To spend Christmas Day watching James Bond fist-fight atop a speeding train, or instead watch men shuffling – and talking about shuffling – tiny bits of metal around? It might seem a no-brainer. But the latter, arguably more understated flick, Linotype: the Film, shouldn’t be underestimated. While letterpress might seem a fairly dry topic for a film (even for those in the trade), you may well be surprised at how much human interest surrounds this revolutionary and – in certain circles – still cherished technique. In the words of James Chase, reviewing the film for PrintWeek when it premiered back in February: "Essentially, it’s one glorious piece of footage after another of the most naturally gifted, genuinely interesting, passionately crazy storytellers – and they are mostly very funny, too."
Mug £11.95, cup and saucer £17.95, www.bigtomatocompany.com
Struggling for small-talk at the coffee machine? Well, struggle no more. Armed with one of these charming typographic mugs from the Big Tomato Company, you’ll have a fascinating fact about when a certain font was invented to impress colleagues with. Pick your favourite font from the range’s 13 typefaces (we know – how could you possibly choose?) and go for either a coffee mug or espresso cup. Or go mad and adorn your kitchen at home with Bodoni, Helvetica and Bauhaus. Your other half will be so pleased.
Olympic & Paralympic stamps
£75 each, £125 for both the Olympic and Paralympic sets, www.royalmail.com/goldmedalstamps
Okay, so what’s more impressive – running 10km in 27-and-half-minutes, or working through the night to print tens of thousands of stamps ready for post offices only a day after the featured photos were taken? Yeah, you’re right, it’s the running. Still, the work of those ‘secret six’ printers, revealed in November, is worthy of celebrating with one of these stylish framed gold medallist stamp collections. You’ll have to make like Mo Farah and be speedy in snapping one up, though. After 31 December, the stamps will no longer be available from Royal Mail. So get your (Olympic figure-skating) skates on.
Screen printing workshops
Print is trendy. Fact. The proof? That east London hipsters are flocking in their droves to have a go at the screen printing workshops run by Print Club London, based in the heart of hipsterville, Hackney. To get involved with the fashionable face of print, start dropping hints about taking part in one of the Print Club’s day-long courses (or start casually referring to your intentions to have a go on the kitchen table; this should quickly produce the desired effect). Workshops run 11am-4pm on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year and cost £45. On the courses, you will be talked through the history of screen printing and shown how to prepare your design for a screen, along with tips on how to use different inks and squeegees to print a small run with a vacuum table. Tip: don’t tell anyone else on the course that you’re a printer by trade. You can then lap up compliments about "how quickly you’ve grasped the principles" and "what a natural" you are.
The biggest advantage of printed books over e-books? They can be proudly displayed in your home to show everyone just how refined and literary your tastes are. Even better, why not request one of these attractive Spineless Classics pieces to show off how very cultured you are. The framed pieces incorporate every word of a novel on one page, with a whole range of works available, from Romeo and Juliet to children’s classics such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Most of the posters are either 100x70cm or 84x119cm in size, but the company behind the pieces (www.spinelessclassics.com) are open to printing multiple page posters onto one long sheet. They are also open to suggestions of books not already in the range. Alternatively, you can order one of the current range from stockists including Selfridges, Foyle’s and John Lewis.
Masters of the Post: The Authorized History of the Royal Mail by Duncan Campbell-Smith
With today’s debate over the future of the Royal Mail just the latest chapter in the colourful and often contentious history of this service, Masters of the Post: The Authorized History of the Royal Mail could prove a surprisingly riveting Christmas Day read. The book details the entire history of the service, from the first ‘Master of the Post’ in 1512 to today’s vast network. It also highlights the remarkable feat of developing an institution that, for the best part of two centuries, was the wonder of the world. The story of the Royal Mail is brought to life by accounts of the dominant personalities involved in its history, alongside remarkable anecdotes: all present and correct are the Great Train Robbery of 1963; the Post Office engineers who helped the wartime code-breakers of Bletchley Park; and the mail coach guards with the right to shoot anyone suspected of being an escaped French prisoner-of-war.Pantone cufflinks & leggings
Cufflinks £49.95, www.notonthehighstreet.com, Hex Colour leggings £48.80, www.blackmilk clothing.com
Just when you thought PrintWeek had, in successive Christmas gift guides, uncovered every Pantone-themed product possible, we’ve only gone and found some more. You lucky things. These jaunty Pantone cufflinks will be perfect for turning heads at next year’s PrintWeek Awards ceremony. Less perfect for this particular occasion, unless you’re feeling particularly daring (gents?), are these leggings from Black Milk Clothing. Pictures of printers kitted out head-to-toe in all of their Pantone gear are of course gratefully accepted at PrintWeek Towers.
Fujifilm’s Astalift cosmetics
The Discovery Collection costs £45, www.astalift.co.uk
"Finally, a non-print-related Christmas present," your other half may well think as she opens this Astalift Discovery Cosmetic Collection, including Complete Make-up remover Oil, Replenishing
Day Cream, Regenerating Night Cream, Jelly Aquarysta Rejuvenating Concentrate and Nurturing Eye Cream. But little will she know that the Astalift range has been developed by Fujifilm and incorporates astaxanthin, the same natural antioxidant used in photo film technology. This antioxidant works on skin in much the same way as in photo development, says Fuji. While anti-oxidation ingredients prevent active oxygen from causing colour fade on film, they apparently also help to protect skin from UV damage and enhance luminosity. Just don’t go rubbing photo development chemicals on your face for the same effect.
Paper: An Elegy
Paper: An Elegy by Ian Sansom
If you can ignore a sense of the topic being a bit too close to home, this rumination on the history of paper and its diminishing role in modern society proves a thoughtful and witty read. The book encourages contemplation of just how pivotal the humble piece of paper has been in helping humans make sense of their world and questions how its use will evolve. Reassuringly, Paper: An Elegy explores areas where paper and print’s popularity are unlikely to wane, such as for wrapping paper, packaging and official documents. Those Christmas crackers being waved under your nose as you’re
trying to read should prove reassuring, too.
From Newspaper Club www.newspaperclub.com
You could take this present two ways. In this age of celebrity, where immortality via the pages of the tabloids appears to be the dream of every teenager, you could give the teen in your life a taste of reality by putting their misdemeanours down in newspaper form. For £42, you could print 20 copies and really ramp up the embarrassment to get them hankering after a boring desk job in no time (though, of course, this may backfire if they absolutely love it; PrintWeek accepts no responsibility when your loved one ends up eating the undercarriage of a kangaroo on I’m a Celeb...). This may not be very Christmassy, but it would be quite amusing for the rest of the family. On the other hand, you could be a lot more pleasant this Christmas and print off a nice newspaper that showcases the achievements or talents of a relative, or more gently pokes fun at them. Put it in a frame and it’s arguably just as good as a photobook as a commemorative gift. Whatever you decide, Newspaper Club can accommodate you. Founded in 2009 by the Really Interesting Group, it has grown into an international newspaper operation that helps thousands of people and organisations from over 20 countries to print more than a million newspapers. You’ll need some half-decent skills at laying out the pages, mind you.
Uh oh. Have you got carried away and thrown out all of your old, decorative leather-bound books in a moment of Kindle-induced madness? Don’t panic – all is not lost when it comes to restoring a suitably learned air to your study or living room. This Antique Bibliotheque wallpaper, coming in 760x53cm rolls, with a repeat pattern every 21cm, helps you do it the cheat’s way. And with its light, shadows and wrinkles, alongside the depth and tone of real leather books, you may well be able to trick guests into thinking it’s the real thing. Cue many hilarious moments where people try to pick up the fake books.
Augmented reality puzzle
It’s a lovely idea that quality family time, and the satisfaction of patiently creating something, is reward enough for completing a jigsaw. A lovely idea, but a misguided one. So, with its augmented reality puzzles, games maker Ravensburger has offered an extra incentive for spending hours shuffling identical bits of sky around the table. There are four puzzles to choose from: a Paris cityscape with a hidden night time view, unlocked when scanned with an iPad or iPhone; a springtime fjord scene that transforms into a winter snowscape; a safari jigsaw that can be brought to life with animations; and an underwater scene with a hidden bonus game. Perfect material for a little Christmas day sermon on how "print and digital can work together in perfect harmony".
Rubber stamping sets
Brainwash – sorry, encourage – your kids to become print fanatics from an early age with a lovely rubber stamping kit from Fred Aldous. Five-stamp sets cost £22.99 and come in a wide range of themes – including farmyard, sea, circus, city and beach. Also available are one- and two-stamp sets for £13. Whether in birthday cake, Christmas tree or heart designs (for Valentine’s), these cater for plenty of occasions. Just try keeping away the big kids, who will almost certainly want a piece of the action.
Attractive and practical – not something you can say about every Christmas present (certainly not about the ubiquitous Christmas jumper or rubbish shaving set, anyway). But these fetching matchboxes from letterpress and litho craft printers Archivist Gallery certainly deliver on both fronts. They are available in a whole range of designs, from witty cartoons of people setting BBQs on fire to eye-catching, vintage-inspired images and ‘Keep Calm, It’s Only Christmas’ slogans. Absolutely perfect, then, for ill-advised lighting of the Christmas pudding.
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