Form Meets Function

17 Perfect Gifts for the Designer

November 14, 2016 Buying Guides By

The designer knows that looks and utility are not mutually exclusive, and that value depends not just on price but quality. The designer knows that devils are in the details, and he knows that a good product makes life easier and more organized. The designer surrounds himself with things that inspire him, be they iconic designs or the latest and greatest innovation. That’s all to say that the designer can be difficult to shop for. Fortunately for you, we’ve done the heavy lifting.

Artifox Desk 02

This beautiful, minimalist walnut desk is perfect for a good-looking, streamlined workspace. It includes a built-in dock to organize your devices’ power chords and can be customized with a variety of mix-and-match accessories to tailor your desk to your specific needs.

Look Inside: Cutaway Illustrations and Visual Storytelling

Look Inside is a collection of illustrations — both from centuries past and modern day — that put on full display the inner workings of everyday objects, from sports cars and aircraft to buildings, plants and the human body. It’s a must for those obsessed with how things work.

Areaware Gradient Puzzle

This puzzle, designed by graphic designer Bryce Wilner, looks simple. But it’s meant to be a very slow and deliberate mediation on color and how shades blend into one another.

7 Architects and the Chairs They Designed


While houses designed by famous architects might rake in a couple million dollars, their chairs are much more affordable (and fit well in every home). Read the Story

Naim Audio Mu-so Qb

$1,000 for a wireless speaker sounds absurd, until you realize this audio system is built by the vaunted engineers at Naim. The downsized alternative to the “standard” Mu-so, it delivers room-filling hi-fi sound quality in a 8.6 x 8.6 x 8.3 inch package. Best of all, its modernist aluminum construction makes it a Bluetooth speaker that looks as good as it sounds.

Impossible I-1

For fans of the Polaroid 600 format that was killed off in 2008, Impossible has not only revived the film, but created its own 600 format camera as well. And while the snapshots are all pure analog, the Impossible I-1 takes the instant camera into the 21st century by offering smartphone connectivity, allowing users to adjust shutter speed, aperture, flash, focus distance and other parameters via your phone.

Sena Apple Pencil Stand

For designers who have adopted the Apple iPad Pro for drawing and other creative work, the Apple Pencil is a 100 percent necessary tool. That’s why a dedicated holder is 100 percent necessary for keeping the desk uncluttered and your Pencil within arm’s reach.

Nintendo NES Classic Edition

It’s a retro gamer’s dream come true: 30 of the greatest games ever made — including Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid and Donkey Kong — remastered to play on a modern TV. To boot, it has the look and feel of the original.

Aether Polartec Full-Zip

Aether’s Polartec zip-up is a soft, fitted jacket made with an emphasis on functionality. It’s thin enough to work as a layer in the winter months, yet handsome enough to work on its own as a fair-weather jacket. A splash of color on the zipper adds character to the austere minimalism of this coat.


Vans Scotchguard Slip-On

It’s an understated look for sure, but the thick sole and silhouette of the toe cap are unmistakably Vans (and undeniably iconic). A slip-on construction and Scotchgard-treated leather add a healthy dose of practicality, too.

10 Great Minimalist Watches


A well-executed minimalist watch is an artful accent, rather than a flashy main course. Read the Story

Bellroy Notebook Cover

If the sketchpad is always getting bent out of shape, a good cover is in order. Made from rich vegetable-tanned leather, with spaces for business cars and a pen, Bellroy’s cover is perfect for the job.

Ministry Future Forward Longsleeve Polo

It’s a technical polo that doesn’t look like it’s made for a round of 18. Ministry’s Future Forward polo is made from a stretchable, breathable material, but shaped in a professional silhouette that can toe the line between the workplace and the weekend.

Chisle & Mouse Models

Chisel & Mouse is the brainchild of two brothers, Robert and Gavin Paisley, with a passion for architecture. Utilizing both plaster-cast methods and 3D printing with satellite images, photos and architectural drawings for reference, the two create a selection of highly detailed plaster models of iconic buildings and city skylines. They’ll even do bespoke orders.

Gear Patrol Issue 3

Our latest issue is 320 pages of rich photography, thoughtful writing and, most importantly, gear. But for those with a particular hunger for design, we spent a lot of time talking with designers and makers in Los Angles and Hudson Valley, including furniture designer Michael Robbins and graphic artist Geoff McFetridge.

Tudor Black Bay 36

Many watch designs today aspire to recapture the essence of vintage pieces from decades ago, but with modern watch sizes dwarfing those of old, many attempts fall flat. Tudor’s move to offer the Black Bay diver in 36mm is a bold move in an era where anything under 40mm is considered “tiny,” and in doing so it’s perhaps one of the truest expressions of vintage watch design.

Luke Irwin Mosaic Collection

Last year, rug maker Luke Irwin discovered the mosaic floor of what used to be a second-century Roman Villa in his garden in Wiltshire, England. Unsurprisingly, Irwin used it as inspiration for his latest line of handmade rug designs, which look the part of an ancient mosaic floor — including the very design found in his garden. Each one is available on a made-to-order basis, and can be constructed with wool, cashmere or silk.

The Best-Designed Kitch Tools of 2016


Update your kitchen with the best 2016 Red Dot Design Award winners from the category of Tableware and Cooking Utensils. Read the Story

Apple MacBook Pro

Apple finally gave its flagship laptop a refresh (the first since 2012), bestowing it with the expected downsizing and minimizing they’ve given the rest of their product line. But for creative professionals, some of the biggest improvements include the option for an Intel Core i7 processor, a Retina Display screen that’s 67 percent brighter than before, and the new “touch bar” which should offer users an interface ideal for making minute adjustments in programs like Adobe Photoshop.

The Splurge

A Rare Version of an Icon

Eames Lounger in Twill

Built by renowned architects and designers Charles and Ray Eames in 1956, the chair is emblematic of mid-century design, has won numerous awards and is on display in art museums like MoMA. One of the two remaining furniture companies that produce the chair, Vitra, has unveiled a new special edition in Twill to celebrate 60 years of the Eames chair — a great opportunity to own a rare version of one of the most iconic pieces of furniture ever created.


Andrew Connor

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