18 Gift Ideas For Graphic Design Students

While the industry of graphic design is evolving quickly, creativity and inspiration are still more important than ever. The best gift ideas for college students studying graphic design feed capitalize on this. Tools and resources that allow for fun, exploration, and ideation will always make incredible gifts. And they won’t require you to break the bank. We’ve included a ton of options below that are sure to make the graphic design majors in your life happy.

Best Gifts For Students Studying Graphic Design

1. LED Desk Lamp

Desk lamps like the EppieBasic LED Lamp are extremely important accessories for graphic design students. They’ll spend a ton of time working staring at a computer screen for traditional homework and graphic work. Desk lamps provide the necessary lighting to work comfortably, as well as prevent eye strain and fatigue.

2. Graphic Design Book

Learning doesn’t have to end after leaving the classroom. The best gifts for graphic design students should keep learning going. Creative inspiration is incredibly useful for graphic design work. Graphic Design Rules: 365 Essential Dos and Dont’s is just one example. It includes practical guidance crucial to mastering the craft as a collection of inspiring work. Both are great for learning and eventually building a portfolio of their own work.

3. Graphics Drawing Tablet

How can graphic design students benefit from a drawing tablet? They actually make valuable tools and a great investment. Graphic tablets provide more precise control and natural movement when compared to alternatives. Their form factor and ergonomics also help to reduce strain and avoid carpal tunnel. While the Wacom Intuous Pro is one of the best options out there, more affordable options also exist.

4. Portable External Hard Drive

So much of graphic design these days is digital, which means storage space is always in need. Graphic design students will also often be on the go. Having files available is key for collaboration and organization of files. A plug-and-play hard drive is a perfect gift for storage and backup of important design work. This Western Digital 5TB hard drive is a quality option perfect for the job. It can quickly transfer data and is small enough to throw in a backpack.

5. Bluetooth Noise-Cancelling Headphones

A quality pair of ANC headphones is another great productivity tool. Headphones like the Sony WH-1000XM5 don’t just offer great sound quality. They also have class-leading noise-cancelling capabilities. Whether walking around campus or deep into a studying session, wireless ANC headphones block out surrounding noise for maximum focus.

6. High-Resolution Monitor

Anything to make creating excellent design makes a great gift idea for graphic design students. ASUS’s ProArt display line is specially made for people who need the most accurate and vivid colors to do their work.

7. Training For Design Software

Graphic design software programs are extremely powerful and useful tools when used properly. Unfortunately, they often have a steep learning curve. Luckily, giving the gift of knowledge is easier than ever. Comprehensive tutorials for popular graphic design software like Photoshop and After Effects can are available on training sites like Udemy.

8. Sketchbook

Sometimes an old-fashioned sketchbook can make a great gift. Some graphic designers enjoy drawing and creating art in a number of different mediums. That includes the natural feel of drawing on paper.

9. Wacom Pen

Wacom pens offer a more natural and convenient way to draw on a design student display of choice. They’re extremely versatile with compatibility across a number of devices. Drawing pens with Wacom technology are pressure sensitive, which is key for mimicking the experience of pen on paper.

10. Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription

There are a number of popular software tools for creatives. Many of the prominent tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and more are created by Adobe. An Adobe Creative Cloud subscription offers access to all Adobe Creative tools, cloud storage, collaboration tools, and more.

11. Drawing Mannequin

This is one of our favorite affordable gift ideas for graphic design students. Drawing mannequins or poseable are very inexpensive and serve a great purpose. They allow for a reference as graphic designers and artists experiment with recreating the human figure.

12. Business Card Holder

College students studying graphic design have future aspirations just like their classmates. It just so happens that they can also use business cards to show off their design skill. Having a stand or case to hold their business card can be used to store a crucial career tool and a part of their portfolio.

13. Subscription To Design Magazine

Another way graphic designers can’t gain ideas and inspiration is through design magazines. These design and style magazines are great vehicles for artists to explore, as well as stay on top of new trends. An artist can never have too much inspiration and students studying graphic design are no different.

14. A Solid Digital Camera

Many are under the assumption that digital cameras are thing of the past. Not at all. While smartphones have impressive cameras, they can’t match the real thing. And they won’t use this one to text and kill your battery. Quality digital cameras still excel at producing high-quality images. They allow users an extra level of control for lighting, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and more. That makes even a decent and portable digital camera like this HD Kodaak PIXPRO a useful gift idea for graphic design students.

15. Desktop Computer or Laptop

A GPU or graphics processing unit is an integral part of a computer responsible for handling graphics-related work. A computer with a supbar GPU will come to a crawl during a workload with extensive graphics. Gifting a computer with an excellent GPU will allow college students studying graphic design to have a more efficient workflow for digital designs.

16. Pantone Color Guide

Color accuracy and selection are both crucial parts of good design. Pantone color guides are a great tool that offers a ton of value. They provide a standardized system and processes for graphic designers to select and match colors. While this is key for quality design and inspiration, they are also professional tools. Pantone color guides are incredibly useful for collaboration with colleagues and meeting client expectations. That makes them an enticing gift idea for creative college students for work and play.

17. Pencils and Markers For Drawing

College students interested in graphic design will have varied interests and specialties. That includes those into digital work and more traditional mediums. High-quality sets of pencils and markers always make great design gifts for those students who like to draw. They’re also great for speed, convenience, and ideation. A quick sketch of an idea is often the perfect creative outlet without the limitations of other digital tools.

18. Photo and Video Editing Console

College students who depend heavily on software to create their designs have more tools than ever. Editing Consoles like the Loupedeck+ might be the most powerful. While a keyboard and mouse are useful, a specialty console has ergonomic and customization options to really streamline design workflows.

How Do Graphic Designers Get Creative Ideas?

There are a number of ways to spark the creativity that is so important for graphic design work. Inspiration is one of the most prominent ways. Seeing various design concepts and projects can offer graphic designers a lightbulb moment. It could be the motivation to create something with a similar design, medium, or theme. Other times simply experiencing a great or impressive work of art is inspiration enough. It can spur new energy in artists to put more effort into brainstorming or executing their own projects.

Exploration is also a great initiator of creative ideas. Whether it’s experimentation with new mediums or just seeing something that catches your attention during life. These types of ideas can be a well-needed creative boost needed for a designer’s next idea.

What Do Graphic Design Students Need?

All the creativity in the world means nothing without the tools and resources to create. Resources can often be hard to come by for college students and it’s no different for graphic design majors. That’s why the best gift ideas feed their creativity or help them express it. Resources for creativity and ideation include design books and magazines, training, experiences, and more. Design toolkits, art supplies, software, and hardware are the type of gifts that can harness and build on that creative industry. That includes traditional basic art products like markers and sketchbooks. More complex tools like editing controllers and design software can also be powerful tools to create designs in addition to building professional skills.

In Conclusion: Gift Ideas For Graphic Design Majors

Graphic design majors have some of the same wants and needs as other college students. As graphic design enthusiasts, they are also interested in creating stunning visuals. Gift ideas for college students studying graphic design will ideally inspire that creation or provide the tools to create it. This will result in not only a memorable gift but a practical one.