Gifts That Don’t Suck 2018


Last-minute shoppers — we understand you. We’re not here to judge you. Sometimes we are you. But just because you’ve avoided checking off your gift list doesn’t mean that your gifts have to suck. Put down the candles and mugs… we’re here to help.

We’ve rounded up the best gifts we’d love to receive, based on our roles here at Swash. Whether you have a designer, data expert, or business owner in your life, we’ve got a little something for everyone.


Josh, President/CEO

For a small business owner boss: A gift card allows them to get something they’d really like. Booze almost always works. If you have a real / mentor / long-term relationship with them, a letter is a personal touch they might enjoy!

For a boss at a big corporate enterprise: your bosses might be The Man. If so, don’t buy them anything, eat them. If not, a funny mug might just do the trick!


Jess, Creative Group Head

A few ideas for your favorite project/production manager type...

  1. A big ol’ wall calendar – to help them see it all

  2. Subscription to, or gift box from, Fuego Box – to keep them company during – lo, so many – solo desk lunches

  3. A nice notebook and some ruhl sexy pens – ‘cause you know they like lists

  4. Anything else that encourages them to make space for more ME TIME – because, obvs.


Joan, Account Services Director

Anything sweet. Or salty. These things relate to all jobs.


Charlie, Media Analyst

For the math and data geek in your life: Non-Transitive Grime Dice. It lets you flex your brain on statistical possibilities. My wife and I are avid tabletop gamers and always have a small game with us wherever we go. These are fun to play around with casually and even more fun to puzzle and ponder over as you start drawing distribution graphs on bar napkins.

For the Media Manager/Media Analyst/Ad Ops person in your life: Whiskey. Two metric fucktons of it.


Andi, Art Director

If you know and love a graphic designer or art director, you know they can be tricky AF to shop for and impress. While a gift certificate to an art supply store would suffice, here are some options when you’ve exhausted the Pantone coffee mug or the… camera lens coffee mug (we all have enough mugs).

Poketo is filled with impressive desk baubles such as planners, pens and pins, and this handy-dandy pocket art director die.

The MoMA Design Store is another safe bet. Chock full of whimsical items a designer is never thinking of getting for themself.

A dot-graph notebook is a classic utilitarian option.

The colorful 1970s-esque tees (like this strawberry number) and accessories at Big Bud Press, made in LA, are a personal favorite. Because you don’t have to wear head-to-toe black every day.

And of course, a beautifully-packaged bottle of natural wine or booze or coffee for a pick-me-up is always appreciated.


Faith, Copywriter

I’ve never met a writer who had too much reading material. With a subscription to the Book of the Month Club, members get to pick one of five (usually newly released) books to be delivered to their door each month for an entire year. It’s truly the gift that keeps on giving.

Another good option is any book that’s about to become a movie — you know we always want to read the book first.

See? Gift-giving isn’t that hard. Now make your list, check it twice, and order some stuff before you gotta pay for exorbitant overnight shipping.

Swash Labs