Seasonal swag for the print obsessed

Nick Mansley
Friday, December 17, 2021

If you are still looking for something to give someone who has a particular fascination with print and paper (and who doesn’t), then here’s our guide...

A Printer’s Christmas

This A5 purple and green gradient festive print takes the lyrics from The 12 Days of Christmas and refashions them with a print bent. It is set in many fonts and printed letterpress with an Adana on 300gsm white Snowden stock by artist printmaker Elizabeth Fraser. There’s very limited availability but would surely be the perfect gift for letterpress printers everywhere.

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Price £8

A Dictionary of Colour Combinations, Volume 1

First published in 1935 by artist Sanzo Wada, this book has 72 colour palettes themed on the Japanese seasons and 165 drawn from early to mid 20th-century fashion, interior, and graphic design. An ideal tool for designers, artists or even when you’re just redecorating the guest bedroom. 

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Price £19.50

Elvis & Kresse Print Room Wallet

The Elvis & Kresse Print Room Wallet is handmade by combining vintage printing blankets and genuine decommissioned fire-hose. The printing blankets are re-engineered to give the material a “beautiful and tactile matt black finish”. The fire-hose, previously deployed in active duty for up to 25 years fighting fires around the UK, softens with use but doesn’t lose its strength. The wallet is lined with reclaimed military-grade parachute silk and presented in a reclaimed printing blanket pouch. Available in red hose with black printing blanket body with or without a coin pocket. Elvis & Kresse donates 50% of the profits from its Fire-hose Collection products to The Fire Fighters Charity.

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Price £75

MyFirst Camera Insta 2 

MyFirst Camera Insta 2 is a camera and thermal printer designed to add joy and fun to your child’s learning process, and that can output an image in 10 seconds. The 12MP camera is capable of taking 1,920x1,080 videos as well, to be saved to a microSD card. It is supplied with two rolls of thermal paper, which will be enough for around 60 prints, and one sticker thermal roll (36 shots), which can be pasted anywhere. 

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Price £95 

The Colour of Alternative Music - Special Edition

This new colour chart from design studio Dorothy collects together 66 songs, each represented by a colour swatch that reflects the song title. It includes ditties such as Fools Gold by The Stone Roses, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by The Flaming Lips, Orange Crush by REM, Sproston Green by The Charlatans, and Red Right Hand by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. The swatches and metallic bronze backing are litho printed on 150gsm matt art paper.

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Price £30

Our Family In A Box letterbox gift

If you think you know someone who’d really appreciate Mini Me models of their family, artsy gifts retailer Betsy Benn offers you the opportunity to do just that. The Family In A Box can recreate a family on miniature wooden models (max height 130mm) from photos you supply. The models are made in-house at the company’s studio in Cheltenham. They are printed on to 6mm-thick cherry wood veneer and then laser cut to fit a range of size templates. The models are presented in a personalised gift box designed to go through standard letter boxes. 

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Price From £30

Sollas Bookbinding Coptic Book Kit 

Sollas Bookbinding is a small artisan book binding studio in the Outer Hebrides founded in 2008 by Corinna Krause who has had a passion for bookbinding since the early 1990s. Alongside the bookbinding and repair business (as well as a separate translation service), Krause offers workshops, books and boxes made to order, and book kits. This kit includes everything you need to make a coptic book including a 1950s retro decorative paper in blue with little cream coloured flowers. It includes all the tools you need in the kit including a beach pebble from North Uist, which can be used as a weight to hold down the sections when sewing. The format of the book is approximately 100x148mm and comprises seven sections, which gives it a nice chunky thickness of 180mm. The project is intended to take about two hours to complete resulting in a beautiful hand-made note book.

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Price £29

Cricut Joy

Cricut is a company that manufactures consumer-oriented digital printer-cutters for crafting and personalisation applications. The Cricut Joy is the entry-level and smallest model and is well suited to small-scale projects, such as making self-adhesive labels for kitchen jars, vinyl wall art or producing a bespoke die-cut greetings card. The USP is ease of setup and use via Bluetooth and an app for phone, tablet or PC. It comes with knife and pen tools and can create complex cuts and (single-colour) prints in minutes on a wide range of materials up to 305mm (12in) wide in sheets or rolls. Materials include vinyl, iron-on, foil transfer sheets, paper and card and can cut individual shapes up to 4ft long or makes repeated cuts up to 20ft long. 

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Price £179.99

Paperlike iPad screen protector

Paperlike is the screen protector developed for professionals and artists who want the precision of paper in a paperless environment. In combination with an Apple pencil, it is designed to replicate the experience of writing on paper while maintaining the convenience of a digital notebook or drawing pad. The manufacturer says it is optimised to create the “ideal amount of friction for extended drawing sessions and the right stroke resistance for optimal accuracy. So instead of sliding your Apple Pencil around on the glass surface, it feels just like a page in your sketchbook”. It is also said to reduce the muscle fatigue caused by writing on a glass tablet.

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Price £34


Three options here for the puzzlers to spread out over the dining table once the festive roast has been cleared away and everyone’s too sleepy to do anything else

Joyeux Noël

The first, ‘Joyeux Noël’, comes from Wentworth Wooden Puzzles and is an oval-shaped jigsaw featuring a repetitive cut pattern and a very irregular outside edge – and no straight edges. With 206 precision laser-cut pieces that fit together perfectly, the company says it is ideal for those who want to combine the unique elements of a shaped puzzle, with the challenge of a difficult puzzle cut. All Wentworth puzzles are made in the UK using wood from sustainably managed forests. 

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Price £29.95

Carnovsky 3D Animal 

Next up is the Carnovsky 3D Animal Puzzle, a “hypnotising multi-layered jigsaw” that features images produced by Carnovsky, a Milan based art and design duo compromising of Francesco Rugi and Silvia Quintanilla. The colour layers mix up over 500 pieces and the lines and shapes entwine, forcing the viewer’s eyes to try to make sense of the image. Once all the pieces are in place, a strikingly beautiful picture comes together. The puzzle includes three pairs of viewing glasses in red, green and blue. By popping on a pair of the glasses, you will see a distinct animal brought to life. Alternatively, scan the QR code on the box to explore the digital app and turn your phone into a magical viewing lens.

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Price £14.99

Areaware Gradient 

Lastly, there’s Areaware’s Gradient Puzzle, a “vibrant way to meditate on colour”, available from John Lewis. It’s printed on thick stock and high-quality art paper, so it can be assembled again and again without losing its edge. US-based design outfit Areaware says the act of putting the puzzle together is by necessity slow and deliberate, where the colour of each piece is used to locate its proper position. 

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Price £45


A couple of gift ideas for those who like working with paper 

Le Corbusier Paper Models

Le Corbusier Paper Models is a set of templates for recreating some of modernist architect Le Corbusier’s most famous structures. Using the art of kirigami (cutting and folding, to you and me) 10 of his most important works can be fashioned from paper. Each pull-out template includes step-by-step instructions, alongside a photo of the final design. An ideal gift for fans of modern architecture. Giftees will need a craft knife, cutting mat, ruler, considerable patience and probably plasters.

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Price £20

Clockwork Soldier

For those who like their paper building modelling to be a little less highbrow, there is the Build Your Own Stately Home from brand Clockwork Soldier. Described as an “easy-to-make” craft kit, this printed and folded country estate is intended to be fun to make, with “extra activities befitting of a lady or gentleman of fine standing”, such as designing your own family crest and deed of ownership. The exterior lifts off to reveal an opulent interior, five-piece jazz combo and rip-roaring 1920s style cocktail party. No glue or scissors needed.

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Price £12


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