Let me guess… you’ve left your Christmas shopping to the last minute? Well, if that someone you haven’t bought for happens to be in the creative industry (such as a designer, illustrator, developer, video producer or photographer) you’re in luck!
This article is full of gift ideas for the creative person in your life, most of which are digital, meaning you don’t have to wait for delivery times, and your gift will be ready to hand over just in time for Christmas!
The article is spread over three parts depending on your budget. We have a “Budget Gifts” section, a “Mid-Priced Gifts” section and a “Breaking The Bank Gifts” section. If you have any other last minute gift ideas for creatives, be sure to share them in the comments section at the bottom of the post – both us and our readers would love to see them!
This section lists a selection of “budget” gifts, most of which cost from $5-55. Note that some of these are repetitive payments (i.e. monthly payments).
ElegantThemes is a lovely site with a great selection of premium WordPress themes for download. If you were to get a custom theme developed to match the quality of these themes you’d be forking out well over $1,000… Or you could subscribe that creative person to this site for a mere $39.00 for one year, giving them access to every single theme, working out at a mere $0.75 per theme!
Buy from ElegantThemes | $39.00
TextureVault is a stock image site dedicated to high quality and royalty free textures. You can use the sites in two different ways, either Pay As You Go (pay for individual files as and when you need them) or Subscription, which allows your to pay a certain amount up front and get textures for a much lower price.
Buy from TextureVault | From $1.49 Pay As You Go or $49-499 Subscription
Treat someone to a WeGraphics subscription and give them unlimited access to over 2,500 premium design resources such as brushes, icons, mock-ups, textures, vectors and web files.
Buy from WeGraphics | $7.00 Monthly or $49.00 Yearly
Flickr Pro Account
By purchasing a Flickr Pro account as a gift you will receive a gift code which you can then give to that creative person in your life. At $24.95 for one year not only are you getting a great deal but are also making someone very happy! You could even purchase two years for $47.99!
Buy from Flickr | $24.95
Billings 3 is a professional time billing application for Mac and iPhone that allows you to keep track of your hours, quotes and invoices easily. Buy this for someone and you’ll be making their life a lot easier!
Buy from Marketcircle | $6.25 Pay As You Go Monthly or $49.95 One Off Charge
Wow… these icons are amazing, and will come in handy for any designer or web developer out there! There are several packs, all of which are available in different file types, as well as the Pictos font!
Buy from Pictos | $19-240 Depending On Choice
For the designers and typography lovers out there this will make a superb little gift! Fontcase is a font management application that provides an elegant and powerful workflow to help you organize the fonts you have installed on your system. It has even won the Apple Design Reward!
Buy from Bohemian Coding | $53
Panic Transmit 4
Transmit 4 is a state of the art FTP client that allows you to easily connect to FTP and SFTP servers, as well as Amazon S3 servers. It also allows for easy file transfers between two different servers, and back ups. You can’t beat this!
Buy from Panic Transmit 4 | $34.00
Smashing Magazine eBook Bundle 1-5
This eBook Bundle by the great people at Smashing Magazine includes five great eBooks ready to read on your computer, phone, eReader or iPad. The five eBooks are: Professional Web Design, Successful Freelancing for Web Designers, Mastering Photoshop for Web Design, Mobile Design for iPhone and iPad and Hot to Create Selling E-Commerce Websites. This would make a superb and information-packed gift for a low price!
Buy from Smashing Shop | $42.00
Amazon.com Gift Voucher
Not too sure what you should buy for your creative friend/family member/spouse? Well Amazon is packed full of gadgets, books and software creatives love… so why not get them an electronic gift voucher?
Buy from Amazon.com | $10-Unlimited
This section is for those you want to splash a little bit more cash on… Maybe a close friend or a family member? The products in this section will range from $55-150.
Computer Arts Magazine Subscription
Computer Arts Magazine is a publication from the UK and is the worlds best-selling creative mag. It is a must for all designers and illustrators, teaching you cutting edge skills and techniques.
Buy from My Favourite Magazines | $19.79 Quarterly or $80.79 Yearly
Computer Arts Projects Magazine Subscription
Like Computer Arts, Computer Arts Projects mag is a publication from the UK and is also one of the best selling creative magazines in the world. It’s a spin-off of it’s little sister Computer Arts, but focuses on a different creative topic each month.
Buy from My Favourite Magazines | $150.00
Pixelmator is an amazing piece of software for a super low price. It is a beautifully design and easy-to-use image editor for Mac OS X which any Photoshop user will soon get use to. Whether you’re buying it to replace Photoshop or simply use on a machine you don’t want to fork out the full price for Photoshop for, this is a great piece of kit.
Buy from PixelMator | $59.00
Things for Mac
Is your creative friend always busy and, well… confused? Most of us are! To help them out why not purchase them Things for Mac for their Christmas gift? They’ll love you forever… Things is a task management application, and is yet another app that has won the Apple Design Award. There is also an iPhone and iPad version so the lucky person you buy this for can sync between all of your devices!
Buy from Cultured Code | $70.00
The Fusion Ads Holiday Bundle (Limited Offer)
This is one you absolutely cannot miss. The deal is a one off, and can only be purchased in 2010… so be quick! The bundle includes 13 great applications worth $626 in total. The applications are: ExpressionEngine, Versions, Fontcase, Billings, Draw It, ExpanDrive, Kaleidoscope, TextExpander, Postmark, Pictos, Gedy’s Social Icons, Keynote Kung-Fu and Learning EE2.
Buy from Fusion Ads | $79.00
Coda is web development application, but a very clever one. It’s beautiful interface not only hides a text editor, but a file transfer (FTP solution), SVN and CSS editor, Terminal window, books and much more. The person you buy this for will be incredibly impressed, and will most likely double their workflow!
Buy from Panic | $99.00
ThemeForest is a marketplace by the great folks at Envato where you can purchase high-quality HTML templates and themes for a handful of great platforms such as WordPress, Joomla, Magento and many more.
Buy from ThemeForest | $20-100.00
GraphicRiver is a marketplace by the great folks at Envato whehre you can purchase high-quality graphics such as textures, icons, characters, logo templates and many more.
Buy from GraphicRiver | $20-100.00
Threadless Gift Certificate
Threadless is a great apparel store packed full of awesome t-shirts with equally as awesome designs. The designs are produced by some of the worlds great illustrators, and are all printed on top quality tees. All creatives love their t-shirts, so why not treat your creative friend to a Threadless voucher? Available in $25, $50 and $100 certificates.
Buy from Threadless | $25-100.00
HostGator Hosting Subscription
HostGator is an incredible hosting company hosting over four million domains! They have a superb 24/7 live support team you can chat to online for free, and great prices and deals. For as low as $60 a year you can get unlimited hosting and bandwidth for your favorite creative person. You can’t go wrong here!
Buy from HostGator | From $60 A Year
Breaking The Bank Gifts
This section will most probably break the bank with gift ideas ranging from several hundred to almost $4,000! You buy one of these for someone and they will most probably get on their knees and kiss your feet to say thank you!
Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Premium
Creative Suite 5 Design Premium is the ultimate package for designers and illustrators, including Photoshop Extended, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash Catalyst, Flash Professional, Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Acrobat 9 Pro.
Buy from Adobe | $1899.00
Adobe Creative Suite 5 Web Premium
Create Suite 5 Web Premium is the ultimate package for web designers and developers, including Dreamweaver, Flash Catalyst, Flash Professional, Flash Builder 4, Photoshop Extended, Illustrator, Acrobat 9 Pro, Fireworks and Contribute.
Buy from Adobe | $1799.00
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5 is a great little package of software ideal for illustration, layouts, tracing, photo-editing and web graphics… all in one! It’s a powerful piece of software, and although not industry standard is a good piece of kit if you can’t quite afford Adobe CS5 yet.
Buy from Corel | $730.00
Corel Painter 11
Corel Painter 11 is the ultimate art studio for anyone ready to expand their definition of creativity. It is perfect for digital painting and makes the most of what modern graphics tablets are capable of, allowing the user to use many pressure-sensitive natural media tools.
Buy from SHOP NAME | $390.00
Microsoft Expression Studio 4 Ultimate
The ultimate edition of Microsoft Expression Studio 4 is aimed at designing for Silverlight, .NET and the web. Software included consists of Expression Web 4, Expression Blend 4, Expression Encoder 4 and Expression Design 4.
Buy from Microsoft | $599.00
Autodesk Maya 2011 is one of the most powerful applications out there to model 3D objects and work with animation, visual effects and rendering.
Buy from Autodesk | $4090.00
Autodesk 3DS Max
3DS (3D Studio) Max provide powerful 3D modeling, animation, rendering and compositing that enable artists and designers to more quickly ramp up for production.
Buy from Autodesk | $3,495
Cinema 4D Prime
Cinema 4D is renowned for its ease of use, speed and professional results. The prime version of the application is the ideal choice for graphic designers looking to add 3D rendering and modeling to their skill set.
Buy from Maxon | $995.00
Final Cut Studio
Final Cut Studio is a professional suite offering six applications including Final Cut Pro 7, Motion 4, Soundtrack Pro 3, Color 1.5 and Compressor 3.5. Combine these applications and you have everything you need to produce incredible videos.
Buy from Apple | $999.00
Aperture 3 is the perfect choice if the person you’re buying for is looking to take their photography to the next level. The application is full of professional editing tools which produce some superb effects!
Buy from Apple | $199.00
Whoever it is you’re buying for, so long as they are creative the chances are very high that they’ll love to receive at least a few things on this list! If you’re not sure what, you can always go for the Amazon gift voucher!
This is just a small selection of digital products you could buy without having to worry about delivery and postage times… We know for a fact there are thousands more out there! So if you have any good recommendations for your fellow gift-buyers-in-need, be sure to share the links in the comments section! Merry Christmas!