Gift Guide 2005
Give the Gift of Colorstrology
Most people know their astrological sign, but few know their Pantone color. Pantone's Colorstrology card set shows the unique color for each day of the month, and includes personality traits for people born under that color. The lucky recipient can use the cards to start conversation at holiday parties, pick color schemes for clients, or learn more about the true nature of friends and family. The set includes all twelve months in a durable carrying case. -- Jeff Gamet
Pantone Colorstrology card set, $59.99
Pantone's Colorstrology cards are available by month or by year.
Reach Out and Call Someone
Give the gift of communication: Set up your friends and family with Skypeout and Skypein. Skype is a free program that uses the Internet as a phone line; as long as you and the person you're calling both have Skype installed on your computers, you can communicate via your computers. But now Skype has two variations that, while not free, broaden its appeal. A Skypeout account lets you use your computer to reach any phone, whether it's a landline or a mobile. With a Skypein account (still in beta), you get a phone number for your computer that a regular phone can dial. (If you're not online, a free voicemail service lets callers leave messages.) -- Sandee Cohen
Skypeout, 0.017 Euros (about 2 cents) a minute and up
Skypein, 10 Euros ($11.70) for three months or 30 Euros (about $35) per year.
Back to the Beginning
No time to travel to the Gutenberg Museum gift shop in Mainz, Germany? Then visit it online. You'll find many goodies for the print lover, including Gutenberg busts, Ex-Libris plates, Gutenberg Bible reproduction pages, stationery, men's ties, and so much more. All can be shipped worldwide. -- Gene Gable
It's a mere 3.5 mm x 3.5 mm, yet this book contains the Lord's Prayer in six languages. The book is letterpress printed, hand-bound in leather, and decorated with genuine gold blocking. It costs 24 Euros.
How about a miniature tin bust of Gutenberg? A bargain at 15.80 euros.
There are many Ex libris plates to choose from. The tradition of marking and decorating one's library was common even before Gutenberg's printing innovations. You'll pay 4.80 euros for these plates.
In this "Pop Art" poster, Gutenberg meets modern design. And it will set you back only 4 Euros.
Only a Scrooge Would Copy Creativity
They say imitation is the best form of flattery. Protect someone legally from unwanted compliments and order them StartUpNation's copyright service this holiday season. This fast, simple approach to copyrighting lets you protect original literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic work both published and unpublished. The service includes an exploratory questionnaire, completion of copyright application, and submission of work and application to the U.S. Copyright Office. -- Amanda Webber
StartUpNation's copyright service, $119
Put Trademarks In Their Stockings
One of the best ways to protect a brand is by registering its trademark. Help that entrepreneurial friend of yours by giving him or her StartUpNation's trademark registration service. Once the friend fills out a questionnaire, StartUpNation will complete the federal trademark application and include a free federal trademark database search for conflicts. Additional services can include filing of the application and comprehensive trademark searches. -- Amanda Webber
StartUpNation's trademark registration service, $149
Take a Front Row Seat
You must be exhausted by all this gift giving -- it's time to treat yourself. On chilly winter evenings, what could be cozier than curling up under a blanket on the couch to watch "It's A Wonderful Life"... on an iMac? Apple's Front Row software turns the iMac G5 into an entertainment hub. You use the iPod-inspired remote control to navigate Front Row's menus, which give you instant access not just to DVDs, but to your iTunes music and playlists, downloaded videos, and even photo slideshows with music and transitions from your iPhoto library -- all without rising from the sofa. -- Pariah S. Burke
Front Row and Apple remote are bundled with the iMac G5, which starts at $1,299
With Front Row and the Apple remote, you can sack out on the sofa while using your iMac to watch DVDs and listen to music.
Gift On Wheels
If you know someone who travels with a computer, put Tutto's rolling briefcases on your list. The four-wheel design makes the case incredibly stable. And because it rolls along its thinnest dimension, it navigates airplane aisles easily. It's sturdy enough to use it as a cart to hold boxes and other luggage. It can even fit under an airline seat.
For people with the 15-inch Apple PowerBook, I recommend the Deluxe Regular Office On Wheels. I can fit my 15-inch PowerBook into the Small Office On Wheels, but it's a bit of a struggle to get it out for airport security. The Deluxe model is a better size. -- Sandee Cohen
The Deluxe Regular Office On Wheels, $155
Tutto's Deluxe Regular Office on Wheels is a good match for a laptop with a 15-inch screen.
No More Mice
Are serious illustrators or photo-retouchers on your holiday list? Make their day with a digital stylus and tablet. If the $2,999 21-inch Cintiq 21UX is a little too much, consider Wacom's new 6x11-inch wide-format Intuos3. Featuring the Intuos3 Grip Pen, three nib styles, a wireless five-button mouse, and 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity, this tablet is ideal for ergonomic and natural-feeling painting. The wide-format dimensions make it ideal for multiple monitors and Apple's Cinema Display. -- Pariah S. Burke
6x11-inch wide format Intuos3, $369.95
I like the Intuos3 in any size, but its 6x11-inch wide format is especially
Shower Them with Fonts
What designer doesn't want more fonts? Please that type lover in your life with a font package from P22, and make it extra-special by accompanying the typefaces with information from the foundry's entertaining and educational Web site, P22.com. You'll find not just the P22 font collection, but also the International House of Fonts (IHOF), the Sherwood Type Collection of historical typefaces, and others. -- Andrew Shalat
Ancient Pack (19 fonts), $100
Arts & Crafts Pack (16 fonts), $100
IHOF Collection (104 fonts), $900
The Lanston Collection (145+ fonts), $1,000
Modernist Pack (25 fonts), $100
Signature Pack (17 fonts), $100
P22 The Works (168 fonts), $850
Sherwood Collection (31 fonts plus 4 extras), $360
You'll find font packs aplenty and fun facts at the P22 Web site.
Happy Kitty Bunny Pony
I think the most talented graphic designer on earth is Charles S. Anderson. Not only does Charles have one of the world's great collections of vintage clip art and other graphics, but he uses them in a style that adds unmistakable freshness and personality. Happy Kitty Bunny Pony is a book Charles created in collaboration with writer Michael J. Nelson (also known as "Mystery Science Theater 3000" host Mike Nelson), and is a send-up to everything cute that makes a great gift for children and adults alike. With more than 200 images from the print and advertising archives of the Charles S. Anderson Design Company, this collection is a rich testament to America's fascination with cute things. The hilarious commentary by Nelson, spiked with fun and curious facts, bits of sarcasm, and dry and not-so-dry wit, is as surprising and bizarre as the images themselves.
Happy Kitty Bunny Pony, $14.95
Join the cult of the cute -- give this book as a gift!
And if you like this book, you can't go wrong with anything from the CSA Archives web site, which includes not just great images, but kitschy gift items such as gum and air fresheners. -- Gene Gable
Who doesn't want a giant tub of gum?
Skin Tight, But not the Wrong Size
Ask anyone with a Treo phone and they'll tell you that Treos need cases for protection. But what kind of case? Skins protect the sides but leave the screen exposed. Screen covers are too bulky. That's why Treo owners who see my Speck SkinTight cover are envious. The Kraton polymer plastic (no silicon) skin protects the phone from bumps and bruises. The hinged cover protects the screen but easily flips over for input. And there's even a holster that clips the whole thing onto a belt. Whether you choose the cover in white, blue, or black, it's a great gift. -- Sandee Cohen
SkinTight w/ Holster for Treo 650, $34.95
While We're On the Subject of Treos...
Unlike many other phones, the Treo 650 wants to be charged every night. Instead of lugging along the bulky charging cable plus the USB syncing cable, I use the Seidio Retractable S&C Cable. It draws on my computer's power to charge the Treo as well as sync the Palm software. Don't be fooled by other cables that say they charge and sync -- they require you to open the Hot Sync manager to sync. The Seidio Retractable S&C Cable includes a sync button on the cable plug. -- Sandee Cohen
Seidio Retractable S&C Cable (w/Button) for Treo 650, approximately $16.75
For the next installment of gifts for friends, family, clients, and perhaps yourself, see "Gift Guide 2005: The Sequel," which will appear on creativepro.com on December 9.