Jan 05

Gift Ideas for the Creative Types on Your Team

This can be awkward: You’re a task-oriented, analytical manager that needs a gift for a artist, designer or copy writer on your team or agency. It could be a departure or a birthday, or just a ‘thank you’ for an award-winning campaign. There are times when a watch is appropriate, and gift certificates are always safe, but what can you give that is memorable while tickling the right side of the brain? Basically, you’re looking for something with a tincture of muse. Some ideas:

Slightly Scientific Items – A visit to a museum store can be rewarding, or here are four quick ideas, all of which might also work for IT types, or math or science teachers.

1. Radiometer – A great conversation starter for someone moving into an office with a window (or with the potential for such an office). You can find a nice model at Scientific Surplus Company.
2. Klein Bottles – It helps to understand the concept of infinity to fully appreciate this item available from Acme Klien Bottles.
3. Electronic Building Blocks – Powered building blocks from Logiblocs in the UK.
4. Wind-up Toys by Chico Bicalho – Sold online and in stores that carry Kikkerland Products. They’re just a joy to play with. And isn’t that sorta what creativity is all about?

IPod Toys – Most likely, this person already has an iPod. They use it to listen to the American Copywriter podcast or the Photoshop Guys videocast — when not enjoying pirated Deadhead music. But they also already have the basic accessories, so this is the opportunity for something a bit unique. You may want to browse iLounge.com, but let us recommend the iGuy (my favorite) or iDog as possible companions.

Collectibles – The collectible section of eBay is a great place for unique items at a reasonable price. One of my favorites is Changeable Charlie, a puzzle which also makes a nice end-table item. Of course, Fork Art (http://fork-art.com/jewelry.htm) is new, reasonably priced and surely destined to become collectible.

Challenging Reading – We’re not talking about a biography of John Adams here. We’re thinking more like the book Word Spy (the word lover’s guide to modern culture) or a subscription to Mental Floss magazine (feel smart again).

Designer Furniture – We just threw this idea in for the New York or L.A. agencies. You can shop for furniture by designer at Vivavi, which is sorta like Ikea for people with more money.

Memories – Load up a digital picture frame with staff snapshots. A review of some of the more popular frames with insights into what to look for is available at Shortcourses.com, or surf Froogle to see the full range of what is likely to become an increasingly common way to show off digital pictures. The one people admire in my office is a Vialta frame.

Hopefully with these idea starters, you’ll find the perfect gift for your creative person before that party next Thursday.

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