Now that the dust has settled from the frenzy of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and anything in between, here’s the list you’ve been waiting for: A thoughtfully curated collection of gifts for the designers in your life. Our previous post, Gift Guide For The Persnickety Design-Types, demystified some of the design code, and it’s a reference we find ourselves going back to from time to time. This year, we’re taking a fresh look at some local-heavy retailers and design operations out of Seattle, Washington. Some which we’ve only discovered just recently, and are excited to share. We are all for supporting those listed below, but also encourage you to use this list as a springboard to hunt down those local to where you are. And share in the comments below what you find.
[Image Credit: Futagami]
1. Accessorizable. An array of sculptural, yet functional, artifacts can be found among the pages of the Japanese shop Futagami. Trivets and bottle openers never looked so good just sitting there. The Good Flock out of Portland creates biodegradable goods and a variety of Apple accessories for the detail- and life-cycle-oriented. Both can also be found at Seattle’s newest design boutique: OBJECT .
[Image Credit: Flickr]
2. Chronological :: Independent design outfits like Seattle-based Free Time Industries have deviated from the traditional grid calendar model to develop the 2012 Naturalist Almanac based on Mayan Calendar. Arranged radially, and designed to be rotated 90 degrees each season, it’s an alluring piece of graphic art, dense with seasonal and celestial information to navigate through the new year. Mounting hardware included. Find it online, or at OBJECT. For more day markers with a design bend, mining Etsy for gems like the Modern Chair Calendar requires little more than a few modernist keywords.
[Image Credit: MUJI]
2. Durable. Here in the Northwest, we’re constantly thinking about, talking about, and dealing with the weather. A temperate climate with unpredictable weather patterns means we’re outside often, but might need that extra layer of protection whether it’s a scarf, umbrella, or gloves. We’re fond of Pare Umbrella’s line for its stylish utility venturing beyond basic black. Additional travel and outerwear accessories are abundant on MUJI USA’s online shop, like the smartly designed Touchscreen Gloves. Though retail shops stateside are only in New York City, we’re thankful the internet can bridge the gap until a brick-and-mortar shop lands in Seattle.
[Image Credit: Modernist Cuisine]
3. Inspirational. Design films along the lines of Visual Acoustics and the latest Build Book Report offer fodder for endless inspiration. For the modern food lover: the five-volume Modernist Cuisine hasn’t likely slipped under anyone’s radar, and equally unlikely to have slipped onto anyone’s bookshelf without significant fanfare. For a slightly more lightweight stocking stuffer, check local bookshops like Seattle’s Book Larder for books and events for the modern cook in your life.
[Image Credit: Skillet Street Food]
4. Edible. Beyond the standby edible gifts ranging from fruit baskets to meat and cheese assortments, the options for consumable gifts has expanded to include items for the discerning palate, design and otherwise. The now ubiquitous Skillet bacon spread now consists of a whole suite of jarred spreads and sauces. Gourmet food shops along the lines of picnic: a food+wine boutique can often provide a customized edible gift packages. And for the natural sweet tooth, Jonboy Caramels is a go-to for hand-crafted, well-packaged caramels with seasonal flavors. Available at various Farmers Markets and at their online shop.
[Image Credit: Etsy]
5. Subscribable. For the art and literature lover, new or renewed subscriptions to a favorite museum like the Seattle Art Museum (a timely gift for the Gaugin enthusiast) or a lecture series package through Seattle Arts & Lectures is both easy and thoughtful. Not to mention, there’s no clutter involved. Limited edition periodicals in the vein of Filter Literary Journal will sate any bookish type with a soft-spot for the handmade. And for a regular dose of design-heavy creative inspiration with a local voice, each issue of Arcade Magazine provides just that. And better yet, they’ve extended their subscription promotion until 12/02/11. See their Facebook page for details.
[Image Credit: Etsy]
6. Postable. Regardless of what you might have heard, corresponding via good old fashioned snail mail is nowhere near over. Paper goods and letterpress are well and alive, with limitless options at local shops in every city. The Pike Street Press on Seattle’s waterfront offers customized letterpress services as well as a gallery of prints for sale and a retail shop. Paper Hammer is another favorite letterpress retailer as is Paperhaus for structured paper goods.
[Image Credit: Nambe]
7. Illuminable. Though we now live in an age where nearly everyone we know is wired, connected, online, or plugged in, no amount of gadgetry can replace the classic wax and wick. The options for candle-holders have migrated beyond mere ornament toward objects of beauty. The Nambé Illume Menorah and the Spin Table Candelabra caught our eye as a sharp and successful elevation of the traditional into modern classics.
[Image Credit: Flickr]
8. Sustainable. For the green thumb in your life, there’s the inventive Garden Bon Bons box of non-edible garden truffles. Technically speaking. These compostable seed bombs are shaped like candy and packaged in groupings like Slow Drinks and Herbal Teas for eventual eating and drinking…after the plants have grown. For those with a penchant for lower maintenance plant life, the recycled glass terrariums like those found at Butter Home strike a clean balance between the natural and the controlled, injecting an accent of green into indoor spaces. Find plants to be housed within at your nearest local greenery purveyor like The Palm Room.
[Image Credit: Fliickr.com]
10. Adornable. Keeping things simple, PERHACS uses magnetic forces to create a clean, interesting necklaces with infinite possibilities. For additional sharp designs in jewelry with a bend towards bold geometries and statements of color, check out the Iacoli & McCallister collection. Also available at OBJECT.
Like any good design, these lists are intended as a timeless resource. And we know we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s out there. Share in the comments the hidden gems you’ve discovered.