A Creative Gift Guide for New Grads

Send the grads in your life out into the world with a creative gift that celebrates their accomplishments and sets them on the path to career success.

Know someone who is about to graduate college and enter the real world? Soften the blow with a creative gift that shows the person how proud you are ­– and helps him or her take the first steps toward world domination (or at least an entry-level job in the creative industry).

This gift guide is arranged by discipline, but many of the options would be appropriate for any newly minted creative grad.

Graphic Design

Nobody escapes design school without developing an obsession with gorgeous typography. This Cast Aluminum Ampersand ($225) from House Industries celebrates that love and makes a perfect desk or bookshelf accessory to remind an up-and-coming designer that great beauty can be found in the smallest details.

Web Design

Even digital designs often begin as sketches on paper. Web designers can use this handy website stencil kit ($29) from UI Stencils to capture ideas quickly. The stainless steel tool includes all the most popular user interface iconography and comes with a Zebra mechanical pencil.

User Experience Design

UX designers never leave home without their laptops. Help your grad ditch the backpack habit with a bag upgrade. The sleek Jack Spade Arch Nylon Field Messenger bag ($278) is perfect for men, while the Tumi Mansion Laptop Tote ($395) is an excellent choice for women.


The Fisher Space Pen ($22) is designed to perform where other writing devices fear to tread ­– even in zero gravity! Copywriters are often struck with brilliant ideas at inopportune moments. Good thing it works underwater and at any angle, even upside down. The versatile Space Pen fits easily in any pocket and operates at temperatures from -30 to 250 degrees Farenheit.

Social Media

For grads who are going to turn their social media prowess into careers helping brands engage with customers, there's no more useful gift than a YubiKey and LastPass subscription bundle ($60) from Yubico. The YubiKey is a tiny USB device that fits easily on a keychain and works with LastPass to secure and manage passwords across all your devices.

Advertising and Marketing

The first thing advertising and marketing grads are going to have to sell is themselves. Give them a head start with a MOO gift card. The credit can be used on affordable business cards that can be customized in every way. The Luxe version, in particular, makes an elegant statement.


This gorgeous wood box pencil set ($399) from Blick includes 160 professional-quality water-soluble and water-resistant pencils in an impressive array of colors. If you want to see an illustrator's jaw drop, present him or her with a creative gift that is as beautiful as it is useful.


The latest tablet from Microsoft, the Surface Pro 3 ($999), is powerful enough to be used as a laptop and specialized enough to be used as a drawing tool. Even professional animators like this tablet for sketching and storyboarding on the go. Set your favorite animation applicant up with a tremendous tool that will help launch his or her career.

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