Stocking-fillers for print enthusiasts young and old

If you are stuck for ideas of what to stack under the Christmas tree, look no further. Whether you’re on a tight budget or looking to splash the cash, these sector-specific goodies will deliver festive cheer.

Noted notebooks

Price: £18

It’s all very well taking notes on your tablet computer or smartphone, and there’s no denying that these devices are very clever, but there’s very little glamour or artistry in it. What could be more convenient than a stylish notebook and pencil?

Multiple PrintWeek Award winner, Boss Print, in collaboration with London design house Carter Wong, produces these stylish A5 Noted notebooks for creative types with a penchant for analogue technologies. The books feature a synthetic Fiscatech Agenda cover that is tactile, flexible and warm to the touch. 

Volume 1: Found Fonts showcases, among its plain note pages, a number of “three-dimensional letterforms”. Boss has die-cut, embossed and used a wide range of print and finishing techniques to show off its prowess. Volume 2: A Cut Above, features a collection of beautiful razor blade wrappers discovered in a Roman fleamarket.

The notebooks are supplied with your choice of colour on the inside covers. Pick from mushroom, forest green, sky blue, aquamarine, citrus yellow, rich red, sunrise yellow, burnt orange, rose pink and grape juice.

Litograph t-shirt

Price: $34

From US retailer Litographs  (geddit?!) come a range of literary-themed t-shirts. Each one is printed all over with the text taken from a classic book, such as Anne of Green Gables as pictured. Litographs says the average t-shirt is printed with approximately 40,000 words. It’s also possible to customise the colour of the text.

The t-shirts are printed to order using dye-sublimation. The manufacturer says dye-sub “stands out for its resolution, comfort and durability”. Of course dye-sub print means the t-shirts have to be polyester rather than cotton, although the company says its “100% spun polyester” shirts deliver the “look and feel of cotton while allowing for full-colour, all-over printing.” 

Baddeley Brothers: An account by The Gentle Author 

Price: £29.50

This handsome cloth-bound book celebrates the history of the Baddeley Brothers business, from its origin as a clockmaker in the north of England in the mid 17th century, through to its present guise as specialist printer and envelope maker in the East End of London.

The book, written by Spitalfields Life blogger ‘The Gentle Author’ and printed by Pureprint, traces the emergence of modern design and print from the journeyman clockmakers, die-sinkers, letter cutters, engravers and artisans of the 18th century and is embellished with tipped-in samples illustrating the range of Baddeley Brothers’ exceptional print, an anatomy of envelope design, a glossary of printing terminology, drawings and a foldout map.

Baddeley Brothers says the book would be a fine gift for “anyone with a serious interest in print, design, publishing and typography” and combines a mixture of die-stamping, litho, foiling, debossing and gilding processes.

London Map Silver  Premium Edition

Price: £650

Katie King creates beautiful artworks from highly intricate multi-layered hand-cut paper. Her passion for travel and a fascination with all thing cartographic were the drivers behind her latest work: a detailed map of central London. 

The map reveals London’s chaotic sprawl from a fresh perspective, allowing the viewer to see through layers of history to see how the city’s ancient streets intersect. 

This is a limited edition of one, so if you want to buy this artwork you’d better get your skates on. That said there are versions in white and gold, so you have options.

You’ll also have to go to Shoreditch to pick it up in person, as Katie won’t trust heavy-handed couriers with such a fragile work.

Newspaper Print upholstered decorative stool 

Price: £91.99

What better way to let that special someone take the weight off their feet by putting it on this newspaper-themed stool?

This metal-framed stool will surely complement any print-lover’s abode. And when not in use, just like a newspaper, it can be handily folded up.

Something you are supposed to sit on probably shouldn’t be described as “collapsible” but that may have something to do with one of the other specifications: “assembly required”.

Moroccan tile printed stool

Price: £26

Two print-related stools in the same gift guide, who’d of thunk it. This one is designed to evoke the romance of the caravanserai through the medium of FSC-certified cardboard.

Digitally printed with high-resolution images of Moorish tiles, the stool should be strong enough to withstand the weight of the heftiest printer, with a load-bearing capacity of 200kg.

Although it is designed to be a stool it can also serve as an attractive side table or bedside table.  

According to the reseller, the stool comes in a neat flat pack carrying case and can be assembled in a couple of minutes.

Book bundle: The Modern Magazine and Print Isn’t Dead. Long Live Print

Price: £49.99

If you need to keep a magazine-obsessed relative quiet for a prolonged period over the Christmas break, these two books should shut them up for a while. 

The Modern Magazine examines the magazine publishing landscape in the digital era and provides insight into how and why print continues to thrive as a medium for magazine content. Author Jeremy Leslie heads up London-based editorial design studio MagCulture, which focuses on high-end content design for both print and digital. The book argues that the magazine format remains as potent as ever thanks to its ability to evolve.

Meanwhile Print Is Dead. Long Live Print takes a look at the growing indie magazine sector, focusing on 50 leading titles. If this sector interests you then look out for the first issue of PrintWeek in 2016 in which we take an in-depth look at this area. 

The Typography Colouring Book

Price: £9.99

Mindfulness comes to print. We all know the stresses that Christmas can bring: extended periods of time in the company of relatives you don’t like very much combined with ready access to large quantities of alcohol can raise tensions, so why not embrace the Zen-like calm that comes with colouring?

It may be the case that the last time you coloured anything in you were seven, but it’s okay – apparently it relaxes the mind while occupying the hands, so grown adults of all stripes are at it these days.

This book gives type fetishists the opportunity to illuminate their own manuscript. The letter forms presented in this book are not just type, but rather works of art in waiting. All it takes is a little imagination and some coloured pencils. Just stay within the lines!

Littlefly jewellery

Price: Various

Jeremy May creates jewellery out of famous works of literature using a unique process, producing one-of-a-kind rings, bracelets and necklaces for those of a literary bent.

Working under the brand Littlefly, May makes his pieces by laminating hundreds of sheets of paper together, then carefully finishing to a high gloss. Each item is delivered with the book from which the paper was taken – carefully sliced from the pages – with the jewellery re-inserted in the excavated space.

The text and images from the original work pass all the way through the object, but are only exposed at the edges – giving a tantalising glimpse of the book within.

What’s more you can have your own favourite book turned into a wearable work of art if you so wish. Email for more information.

Hot Off the Press hand-engraved die-stamped cards

Price: £24.95

Mount Street Printers in London produces these elegant die-stamped A6 correspondence cards on an exclusive 400gsm woven stock and supplies them with matching tissue-lined 150gsm envelopes.

These Hot Off the Press cards feature a vintage platen stamped in the top left of the sheet, but other designs are available. And, for a price, you can also have your own artwork applied onto the cards for a truly bespoke piece of stationery.

The cards are sold in packs of 10. 

The Field Guide to Typography: Typefaces in the Urban Landscape

Price: £14.86

Authored by typography boffin Peter Dawson, The Field Guide to Typography sets out to examine and understand the role typography plays in our modern urban world. 

Over 384 pages, the book provides a detailed breakdown of more than 120 typefaces alongside photographs of real-world applications, from aircraft liveries to computer screens, “to help font spotters identify particular typefaces in the wild”. 

Each face is presented with accompanying notes relating its origin, key features and common applications, while ‘Field Facts’ provide bite-sized chunks of extra info. For those interested in the use of text in the graphic arts the book provides an invaluable reference guide. 


Art Shop Card Printing Kit

Price £52.95

Bored of sending out the same old Christmas cards? Why not make your own? This comprehensive kit contains everything you need to produce a collection of hand-printed cards, including 10 blank Fabriano Medioevalis folded cards with envelopes, two lino blocks, a lino cutting set, a heavyweight roller and a burnisher. The kit is supplied with two tubes of Schmincke Aqua Linoprint inks: one 120ml tube of Ivory Black and a 35ml tube of either gold or silver. Of course, if you have access to a lot of printing inks, you could probably supplement these yourself.

Schmincke Aqua Linoprint Colour is described as providing an “even, sharp print with the highest light fastness and excellent intensity, especially for the black. It is fast drying, wipe resistant after 15 minutes”.

The optional Seawhite Archival Box is an acid-free, fine-weave cotton-covered box for storing fine art, lino print editions, graphics, photography, maps, memorabilia, etc.

Wicked Printing Stuff, Foundation So Easy screen printing kit

Price: £70

If there’s a youngster with artistic ambitions in your family who has yet to be indoctrinated into the joys of printmaking, this could be just the thing to get them hooked.

This kit is described as ideal for the beginner looking to produce simple designs without the need to expose their screen. It includes a screen (305x406mm), five sheets of print and cut film, a wooden squeegee, craft knife, mixing sticks and tape. It is also supplied with six 250ml pots of ink.

Rico Designs Christmas tree stamps

Price: £6.95

This set of wooden printing blocks may pare print back to the bare essentials, but it does nevertheless enable you to create your own Christmassy designs, for cards, table decorations and gift tags, for example. The six Christmas tree-themed stamps are ideal for adding a unique and personalised touch to your Yuletide crafts. 


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