Four Kitchens

2017 gift guide: design and UX edition

3 Min. ReadDesign and UX

A quick survey of the UX and design team at Four Kitchens has turned up some great ideas for your shopping list this year!

Paper and office supplies

It turns out that designers love paper. Even designers who create digital products spend a lot of time sketching and drawing out their ideas.

UX Strategist Emily Sapp recommends super sticky post-it notes with full adhesive! Who knew the fine folks at 3M were still innovating in post-it technology? Get the UXer in your life a thick stack of these post-its and enjoy their eternal gratitude for post-its that don’t fall off the wall. For around $5, these notes make great stocking stuffers.

This sticky note alternative uses static cling instead of glue to adhere notes to just about anything. Your favorite designer can write on one side with marker, pencil, or pen, then flip the note over for a dry erasable surface. Pretty magical! The gift packs run from $25-50.

This mechanical pencil turns the lead to keep it sharp as you write. What designer wouldn’t want a pencil she never has to sharpen? Neato! $6-7.

Vellum tracing paper in sticky note format! These are awesome because users can add a note to something and still see the content below. $8-9.

Is your favorite designer a stickler for perfectly wrapped cables? Designer Randy Oest recommends these colorful fish shaped cable wranglers to keep cords neat and untangled while being stored or while in use. $13.

Do your favorite designers need places to stash all of their pens, pencils, and office doo-dads?  This zen pen holder can be used both horizontally and vertically to store up to 15 writing implements and look sleek while doing it. $18.

Workshopping and meetings

Who doesn’t need a whiteboard on the go? Here’s a cover for your laptop that works with your whiteboard markers. So convenient!  $25.

If you’re feeling spendy, spring for a workshop bag, recommended by Daniel Newman at @NPRDesign. Our workshopping teams are all drooling on this kit! Fill it with sharpies and dots and your favorite organizer-of-content will be thrilled at how organized their markers are! $19.

Decor and inspiration

It’s nice as a designer to be able to draw inspiration from things in your office space.

Aaron, Partner and President at Four Kitchens, recommends this NASA graphics standards manual. If your designer likes futuristic imagery and does branding work, this manual provides plenty of inspiration. At $79, it’s printed beautifully and makes a great gift.

If $80 is too rich for your blood, NASA has FREE 20”x30” posters available for download and printing for personal use. They are stunning. Printing costs will probably run around $20, depending on your local printer and what kind of paper you like to use, but these posters are gorgeous and inspiring. Free (before printing costs), ~$20 to print.


Our UX Strategists, Donna and Emily, recommend this beautiful guide to conducting field research internationally. Our user researchers are drooling all over this gift. $125.

Our Designers, Randy and Joe, recommend the Standards Collection from A Book Apart. This collection is 24 volumes and includes everything from A Book Apart. This is such a great resource for web designers and frontend engineers! $210 for the ebooks, $402 for paperbacks.

Are you a designer? What’s on your wish list for this year?