If you’re stumped for what to buy that special someone, then our gift guide is the ideal place to get some inspiration.
Price €34.90 (currently reduced from €49.90)
Get it for Dimly-lit librarians
When is a book not a book? When it’s a lamp of course! Lumibook is a “book-shaped wireless designer lamp”, with a real wood hard cover.
The term ‘illuminated book’ used to mean a 12-century Italian monk had spent hours doodling elaborate gilded decorations on the initial letter of a holy text, but Lumibook is somewhat more practical and a whole lot more now.
The book/lamp opens up the full 360˚so it can be displayed in a range of configurations. It is charged via a USB cable and should provide eight hours of warm glowiness using LED lights hidden within the Dupont paper pages.
Riso paper model
Get it for Crafty Riso enthusiasts
Know someone who’d love a brand new (if slightly flimsy) digital printer, but only have budget for one toner cartridge? This might be the answer. Crafting and modelling specialist FA Studios offers this miniature cut-out-and-build Riso printer.
The finished model has two removable ink drums with a front door and scanner lid, which can be opened and closed.
The model comes with instructions (Riso printed, of course) in an A3 glassine envelope. FA Studios recommends that the builder uses some thin double-sided tape to construct this model. They will also need a scalpel. Shockingly, colour accuracy appears not to be a priority as the website states: “Colours may vary”.
Get it for Drizzly bibliophiles
Britons are famous for their obsession with the weather and their ability to talk about it at length, so of course it would be a Brit who wrote the book.
Lead author George Kimble, who spent the Second World War working for the British Naval Meteorological Service, wrote The Weather as a basic introduction to understanding the, um, weather.
And of course, the only fitting piece of merch-andise for such a work is an umbrella showcasing the book’s design and the iconic Pelican logo.
Ross Pantone Pastel shirt
Get it for Someone called Hugh (Hugh, hue! Geddit!?)
This chest-borne linen tribute to the world’s best-known colour-matching system has been modelled by none other than Gandalf himself – Ian McKellen appeared on the Graham Norton Show wearing the slightly bolder (but more sold out) ‘Pink’ version.
The website says the shirt has a slim cut, but is not too fitted, to accommodate less McKellenesque figures. Lightweight linen ensures it’s comfortable all day long. “Wear it with a pair of jeans, bermudas or coloured chinos,” says the retailer.
Pantone the game
Get it for Hugh, again
More from Pantone, this time for two to 20 artistically talented colour enthusiasts, in the form of a game that’s a little like Pictionary but requires the players to use Pantone swatch cards to create representations of characters from popular kids’ films, such as Buzz Lightyear pictured.
FES Watch U e-paper fashion watch
Price from £529
Get it for Anyone who’s old enough to remember the Swatch watch craze of the 1980s, but found the colours a bit garish
The FES Watch U is a wristwatch based on e-paper that features an active matrix e-paper in the face and band to which you can upload whatever design you like (provided it’s mono). As well as creating your own watch artwork, you can download unique designs from featured artists, creators and designers using the FES Watch U app, then upload them to your watch and switch between them at the press of a button.
“Change up your look whenever you want”, says Sony, the electronics brains behind the FES watch brand.
Basquiat Horn Players Triptych Skateboards
Price from $495
Get it for Art lovers on the go
The skateboard deck is now the coolest platform on which to display your art and what could be cooler than a Basquiat triptych of jazz musicians? It’s like a perfect storm of cool.
These boards from New York’s Museum of Modern Art, are made from Canadian maple wood and feature details from Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Horn Players (1983). “Add your own wheels (not included) for cool, functional skateboards,” if your giftee is the type who thinks nothing of risking $500-worth of Canadian maple by scraping it along the kerb, or they can hang on the wall as art (wall mount included) if they’re not.
Feed The Bees
Get it for Literary apiarists
Feed The Bees is a handmade miniature book from artist and craftsman Andy English.
English was commissioned by Royal Mail to create four images for stamps based on plants that will attract bees. This commemorative book has been printed directly from four engraved woodblocks, two with images and two with text, using an Albion hand press made in 1902, before being bound in a concertina binding and tied with ribbon laces.
English is a full-time professional wood engraver and a member of the Society of Wood Engravers an d all his work has been engraved onto the end-grain of blocks of wood, such as English boxwood, using traditional engraving tools and printed using one of his Victorian hand presses.
Joanna Vanderpuije Maya Screenprint Shopper Bag
Get it for Style icons in need of carrying capacity
Joanna Vanderpuije is a London-based designer who specialises in screen-printed textiles and fashion. Her products are all based on her hand drawings, paintings and mixed media creations.
This handcrafted shopper bag features “strokes of spontaneous yet considered” colour on cotton drill fabric. Says the website: “Each print is bespoke and unique to each bag, so it is as one of a kind as you.”
This bag has burgundy leather straps, fastened by hand-cut leather washers and brass rivets. Inside is a printed pocket and seams are bias bound, making the inner as stunning as the outer. “The perfect bag to add a splash of colour to your staple look.” Size: 510x330x150m.
Mustard Boombox speaker
Get it for Retro hip-hop enthusiasts
For those who remember the Eighties, the boom box was the ultimate urban accessory. This one is printed on cardboard and seems to work by magic (near-field communications, actually).
Just slide a phone into the dock, turn up the tunes and the induction magnet feature will automatically send the sound to the boom box’s speakers. It’s said to be highly portable, being made out of cardboard, although it is likely to disintegrate if it’s left out in the snow.
Paper taxidermy toucan
Get it for Neo-Victorians
A revival of interest in taxidermy has got to be one of the 21st-century’s weirder turns, but artist Colette Bain has been inspired by it to create her own unique works.
Using the traditional compositions of taxidermy, she creates sculptures of birds from papier-mâché and then paints them before placing them in a diorama painted on the inside of a biscuit tin.
“All of my pieces are portraits in some way. I’m fascinated by the way in which we see ourselves in other animals, often using them to represent different qualities, both good and bad, and I enjoy playing around with this,” says Bain.
Get it for Hipster tilers
Board games are back in fashion among the younger folk, and what better way to pass the empty post-prandial hours until the Queen’s Speech on Christmas Day? But don’t worry, you won’t have to bicker over a tatty old Monopoly board, there’s been a huge renaissance in the development of new games with some stunning designs.
Azul is based around the Moorish aesthetics of the Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain. Players compete to decorate the walls of a royal palace, aiming to complete rows and columns without wasting any of the decorative tiles.
The best players will plan ahead to create the most beautiful – and high-scoring – designs, according to the game designers.
Colours of Liverpool tote bag/t-shirt
Price Tote: £15; t-shirt: £25
Get it for Stylish Scousers
Tate teamed up with Liverpool-based design studio Dorothy to create the Colours of Liverpool range, inspired by the vibrancy and diversity of Tate Liverpool’s home city.
The cream canvas tote bag and t-shirt feature the names of 66 landmarks, people, songs, venues, teams and bands that have made Liverpool a cultural hub. Produced in the UK exclusively for Tate.
Prometheus Bound Couture Covers
Price from £12
Get it for Militant interior designers
Do you know someone whose interior decor is let down by their scruffy books? Do gaudy, mismatched spine colours grind their gears? Is a poorly colour-matched bookshelf exposing them to ridicule among their social circle? This might be just the thing.
Prometheus Bound will recover any hardback book by hand in the style of your giftee’s choosing, and even find the book for them if they don’t already own it. The book covers are available in a wide range of colours and textures to suit any design scheme, each spine can be embossed with title, author, or any other wording.
The website says: “Whether you are looking to upgrade a book, revamp a shelf or create a library, Prometheus Bound Books can now offer the ultimate design solution – handmade, bespoke book covers.”