All I want for Christmas is...

Our annual round-up of print-themed prezzies to suit all tastes and budgets.

Getting personal


Price From £1,500

If you know someone with an ego the size of a Christmas turkey – and assuming you have a similarly capacious wallet – Story Terrace has an offering that could really boost their delusions of grandeur: the company will ghostwrite their biography and produce it in hardback book form. The company will team your giftee with a sympathetic writer who will conduct extensive interviews with the assistance of a questionnaire, before starting the writing process. The company says the subject will have full control of text content and design, and an opportunity to proof-read the book before it’s printed. There are three levels of ego-stroking available; none of them are cheap. In each case the subject will receive four print copies plus a digital version. Compact costs £1,500 and includes 7,500 words, which will need to be spread fairly sparsely over the maximum book size of 60 pages, but you can also include up to 20 photos. Complete costs £2,900 and will comprise 12,500 words and up to 30 images across 80-90pp. Novella costs £5,250, but delivers 20,000 words, 125pp and up to 40 photos.

On the house


Price £50

For the opera or ballet fan in your circle, check out this recent collaboration between Pressed & Folded and the Royal Opera House. Pressed & Folded is the brainchild of husband and wife team, James and Malissa Brown. Combining their skills in textiles, design and illustration James and Malissa create cards, prints and other accessories. The company designs and produces a range of social stationery, merchandise and fine art prints using traditional printmaking techniques. In a recent collaboration, the firm teamed up with the Royal Opera House to produce a series of screen prints, bags and greetings cards characterised by bold, geometric and contemporary design. This limited-edition print depicts a stylised view of the Royal Opera House. Presented in shades of red, black and white, it showcases the grace and beauty of the performers as well as the architectural magnificence of the Paul Hamlyn Hall.

Maps and more


Price £19.90

CleverBooks is a company that creates augmented reality print products that are intended to be both educational and fun. This Geography World Map is a 60x86cm map of the world is aimed at kids of seven to 11 years of age and is intended to increase their understanding of the planet in a stimulating way. Using the free CleverBooks app on a mobile device with a camera (a tablet or smartphone) children can ‘reveal’ a world of additional information. A wide range of topics are covered by the AR app including famous buildings, local flora and fauna, weather, populations, geographical peculiarities and volcanoes.

Block heads


Price €22

“Panelki by Zupagrafika allows readers to assemble a genuine Soviet-era pre-cast block, panel by panel, while learning about the history of prefabricated construction systems commonly used behind the Iron Curtain.” Now, if that lure the kids away from all that plastic crap, I don’t know what will. Yes, this book will teach you all you need to know about Soviet pre-fabs plus offers the opportunity to build your own 270mm-high scale model from paper! The book opens with an introduction to mass housing in the Soviet Union, illustrated with photographs and posters, and includes 164 cardboard panels to press out and build a your own block. The panels feature detailed illustrations recreating the facades of post-war modernist housing units.

Be ear now


Price £19

Know someone who’s always unsure of their colour space but nevertheless appreciates fine jewellery? These “artistically mismatched” earrings from the Royal Academy’s shop will be a handy reminder of what happens when you mix, for example, cyan and magenta inks, or, conversely, red and blue light.

Donkey work


Price £8.09

Brexit is the gift that keeps on giving, even at Christmas. Sadly, it seems it will never end – Brexit is always with us. The passionate Remainer (or Remoaner, depending on your view) in your life will love this 144pp, hardback book, which relates the story of a nationwide guerrilla advertising campaign “to expose the government’s hypocrisies”. Many readers will have seen the billboards around the UK that spotlight claims, counter-claims, promises and pleadings, mostly taken from the relevant Twitter account, from our politicians about what Brexit will bring us. These were posted by four friends “armed with nothing more than ladders, roller brushes and a treasure trove of damning statements from our leaders”.

Fontball crazy, fontball mad

Website Follow for updates

Price TBC

If you were to create a Venn diagram examining the crossover between football fans and typeface nerds, the intersection would probably be quite small – at least that’s the caveat attached to the marketing spiel behind this potential gift. However, Printweek has come across many in sector who are fanatical about both, and Typekits might have just the gift for them. Created by self-described football mad US-based design professional Mark Jenkinson, TypeKits are a set of typefaces realised in in football strip form. Six famous typefaces and their designers are celebrated under the tagline ‘You only sing when you’re kerning’, including some references to the individual fonts’ characteristics. For example, Helvetica is featured on a red and white strip to indicate its connection to Switzerland, while Comic Sans has the Millwall chant ‘no one likes us. We don’t care’ as arm decals. The face designers’ names are given instead of the players’. Jenkinson’s KickStarter project intended to get these to market didn’t quite hit the goal, but a bit of print industry love might get him into the onion bag.

Colourful sweats


Price £18.20

For the cool and colourful woman in your life check out these Pantone-themed hoodies on the MissyEmpire website, but be quick because they’re selling out fast. Sadly the ‘Pink to make the boys wink’ (Pantone 17-1937) and ‘Let’s get nude’ in, um, nude (Pantone 14-1116) versions are all gone, but you can still grab one of the ‘Oh so peachy’ (Pantone 16-1358) orange ones. If you’re less fussy about your Pantone references (and Printweek is assuming you’re not), the MissyEmpire-branded ones are still available in all colours.

Mud larks


Price From £6.49

If you know a year-round cyclist (daft, I know), then they will appreciate anything that helps keep them a bit dryer and a bit cleaner at this time of year, and these custom-printed Mudflaps from Raw Cycling will certainly do that. The flaps are intended to attach to the bottom of cycle mudguards and saddles to prevent excessive spray from soaking your feet and backside and can be printed in whatever design your giftee might like, such as the club strip design for Printweek’s local club Dulwich Paragon (pictured), or just bright colours. They’re manufactured in the UK from UK-sourced materials so oh-so-worthy eco cycling types can be sure they’re not being shipped from China and adding to resource consumption.


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