10 Gifts for the Design-Obsessed

You know them well—or, maybe you're part of this pack: This particular design tribe tends to have specific, and often exquisite taste, and quickly relegates anything not up to snuff to the Goodwill heap. Since they're always so tricky, I thought I'd round up a handful of things that are sure to please.

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1. Vitsoe's Dieter Rams 10 Principles of Good Design Poster

Dieter Rams may be the most iconic—and most quoted–industrial designer around: As the head of design for Braun from the '50s through the '90s, he turned out some of the most revered home accessories (Hifis, coffee makers, calculators, stereos), of the century. While you can see his influence in everything Apple makes today, the only Dieter Rams product that's been in continual production for the past 50-odd years is his ingenious, modular shelving system for Vitsoe. If you love someone a lot, get them started with a system (prices start at $280), or pick up the more portable, 10 Principles of Good Design poster ($40), which is currently exclusively available through Ghostly. Whether you're a designer by trade, these 10 rules still apply.
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2. Duller Travel Pack

It's no big surprise that most travel accessories are either wonky and nylon—or way too fancy. Enter Duller's travel wallet ($134), which has plenty of easy-to-access pockets (including one that's tall enough for tickets and a map), and even space for a little memo pad.
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3. Kaleido Trays

Even minimalists need places to stow their essentials. These Clara von Zweigbergk-designed colored metal trays—which can be purchased in any configuration ($17.00-$84.00)—nest into each other. Arguably, this saves space, but it also creates an undeniably cool effect. Whether intended to stash pocket changes or jewelry, they work just as well empty and on their own, too.
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4. Heath Ceramics Vases

Can one ever have too pottery from the famed Sausalito-based Heath Ceramics? Arguably, not. While great gifts abound—from serving platters, to deep, glazed bowls, to cute little bud vases—it's hard not to be taken by the otherworldly Seafoam collection ($55).


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5. ISO50 Maudrone Poster

Graphic designer Scott Hansen, who is also known as the musician Tycho, sells some of his show prints ($20) through his blog, ISO50. They're all '70s-tinged, and totally beautiful, whether you're a fan of his electronic music, or not.
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6. Iacoli & McAllister Hex Bottle Opener

While it's true that nobody as a dearth of bottle openers in their drawers, chances are that they don't own one that's as hefty and stunningly simple as Iacoli & McAllister's variation ($48). It's simple, it's weighty, and it deserves to live on an open shelf.


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7. Matthew Shlian x Michael Cina Aleatoric Composition

Matthew Shlian is a paper engineer, which means that he can fold paper into all matter of fascinating shape (and at a microscopic level). His Aleatoric collaboration ($250) with fellow artist Michael Cina is totally stunning. We'll take one in every color-way. Don't miss the feature video, where you can watch him work.
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8. The Good Flock Iwoody iPhone and iPad cases

If you can't get enough Pendleton—and aren't a big fan of plastic iPhone and iPad cases—then iWooly's Portland, Oregon-based enterprise is probably your ticket. All of the pouches ($15-$70) are sewn by hand and finished with leather and Tagua nut buttons.


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9. Fredericks & Mae Tassels

Sure, you could theoretically use one of these thread wrapped horsehair tassels as a key ring, but they're gorgeous—and strange—enough to stand on their own as an object ($40). Mine hangs on the wall on a tiny nail. (Not into the tassels, there's something you're bound to love at The General Store, one of the West Coast's best gift emporiums.)
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10. Donna Wilson Throw Blankets

These take their cue from traditional Welsh blankets (Want the straight-to-the-source thing? Look to Trefriw Woolen Mills.), but Scottish designer Donna Wilson uses an exceptionally awesome and exuberant color palette. The throws are definitely not cheap ($239), but she also makes pillows ($100), which are slightly easier on the wallet.


You might remember Elise Loehnen from her long stint on staff at Lucky—these days, she lives in Venice, California with her husband and cats and edits the shopping site Beso.com. She also writes our Web Obsessions section in the magazine.