2013 Gift Guide: Designers + Calligraphers

Our next gift guide was inspired by a very sweet husband looking for ideas for his graphic designer (and aspiring hand lettering artist) wife. I turned to some friends, including Christine from Yellow Owl Workshop, Michele from Meant to Be Calligraphy, Courtney from Swiss Cottage Designs, Arley-Rose and Morgan from Ladyfingers Letterpress, and Liz from Linda & Harriett, for their recommendations. So whether you’re in the same predicament, looking for someone who dabbles in design or calligraphy, or just want to forward this post to your significant other – here are a few gift ideas!


1. Wacom Tablet; 2. Pantone Guide Book; 3. Oblique Calligraphy Pen Holder; 4. Copperplate Nib Sampler; 5. Phantom Line Lettering Guide (found one on ebay here!); 6. Watercolor Set (and small pads of watercolor paper); 7. Calligraphy + Letterpress Classes (like this class from Meant to Be Calligraphy)


8. Calligraphy Starter Kit; 9. Moleskine Notebooks; 10. Calligraphy Light Box; 11. Micron Pens and black Uniball Pens; 12. Paper Source Swatch Book; 13. Poppin Metallic Folio

2 + 12 Pantone guide book + swatch books! Both essential tools for any artist, but also a great source of inspiration! The ladies of Ladyfingers Letterpress also recommend Soho Paper, French Paper Co., and Cards and Pockets.

5 + 10 Arley-Rose from Ladyfingers Letterpress also recommended a vintage tool called the Phantom Line Lettering Guide that projects guidelines onto a page, although you’ll have to do some digging to find one. Alternatively, a light box is an essential tool for any aspiring or hobbyist calligraphers!

7 + 8 Classes are such a great way to both learn and connect with fellow designers and calligraphy enthusiasts in your area! I’ve listed some DC-area classes here, but look for letterpress workshops and calligraphy classes in your area or even explore online classes. But if you really can’t find a class that works, a calligraphy starter kit makes a wonderful gift.

13 Pretty office supplies! Because really, nothing is more of a bummer for creative energy than sad pocket folders and organization supplies. Courtney from Swiss Cottage Designs and I are both loving all the colorful office supplies from Poppin these days!

A couple of additional ideas from Courtney: consider treating your significant other to their very own business cards, perhaps with a gift certificate to their favorite printer. Or track down a web developer who can help build a website or blog. These two investments are particularly big deals for any designers that might just be starting out, and any little help towards both projects can mean the world to a growing business!

{images via their respective sources}

  1. This is such a great list! I’m going to use some of these things when people ask what to get me (I find telling loved ones what I want to be sometimes just as hard as shopping for others!)

  2. This is a nice Gift Guide for those person who are interested in Design and Calligraphy. Truly a work of art to share what’s on your mind and impart to us your knowledge and skills.

  3. What a wonderful roundup! (And I love that you included the Phantom Line guide!)

    It would also be fun to give the gift of membership to IAMPETH or a local calligraphy guild. Just google the name of your city/state/province and “calligraphy guild” and you are almost certain to find a community in your area.

    • Oh, such a great idea! I’m a big fan of anything that encourages more community interaction among practitioners!

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