"Oh joy, oh joy, it's the most wonderful time of the year. Yes, Christmas has arrived and alongside bouncing boxers, globe-trotting teddy bears and a truckload of mince pies, our annual round up of the best presents in branding has finally landed. So sit back, stick on some carols and unwrap some of these crackers.
FIVE GO ON A STRATEGY AWAY DAY (A?2.99)
The Ladybird books for grown-ups were the runaway success of stocking-fillers up and down the country last year. And, never one to miss out on a bit of fun, Enid Blyton has joined the party. Her Famous Five books have been updated with their very own adulterated spin. Our favourite: Five Go On A Strategy Away Day just pipped Five Go Vegan for top spot. But then, we are biased.
LOTTO LOVE ($20 for 2)
Scratch cards have been the go-to last minute gift for years. But what if making less of an effort, could make more of a difference? Lotto Love is the perfect stocking filler for any conscientious being out there, presenting them with the chance to support a multitude of charitable organisations. After all, giving's much better than receiving. Right?
WACOM BAMBOO SPARK ($99.95)
Sick of typing up notes, of pouring hours of ink into paper just to get a sore wrist? Well moan no more. The peculiarly named Wacom Bamboo Spark is doing what should have been done years ago and transporting paper notepads into the cloud. Write anything on the pad and it will instantly be on your Mac, on your mobile. Everywhere, anywhere.
GALAXY SOAP (A?7.33)
It's been a long week and, through no fault of your own, it's time for a long, hot soak. But what can get the dirt of multiple client meetings and 17 hours of commuting off your sore skin? Why, Galaxy soap of course. Rumours have it that this small bar is filled with thousands of tiny stars, black holes and infinity. And if that can't wash off the armpits of 6-foot tube-goers, we don't know what can.
2017 BOTANICAL CALENDAR (A?26.99)
New year. New me. We hear it all the time, but how often do we actually buck our gluttonous ways and change for the better? Not very often, that's for sure. So what better way to turn over a new leaf, than by turning over an actual new leaf. The 2017 Botanical Calendar lets you do that every month, and you don't even have to water it.
EGG-SPLODE EGG CUPS (A?6.99)
Forget coffee, eggs are the lifeblood of every agency. There's nothing better than dipping into a runny yolk with a selfless comrade to hit Monday head on. Or is there? Egg-splode egg cups bring a whole load of drama to your breakfast, creating literal soldiers to dunk into a tank. Yes, a tank. Need we say more.
CMYK PLAYING CARDS (A?9)
Cards Against Humanity may have swept the floor with all card-related products, but this year we think it's time to take things back to the old school. Think NatWest rebrand. Think Co-op rebrand. Think 2016 rebrands. The CMYK playing cards do just that, all while offering a world of pastime opportunity. Oh, and they look bloody nice too ’ and no self-respecting designer can turn their nose up at that.
QURIKY ALIGN STAPLER (A?10.52)
Ah, the humble stapler. Is there anything you can't do? Well, yes actually, there's plenty. And number one on your list of unforgiveable flaws lies humankind's most common conundrum ’ why can't you staple anything beyond 3cm? Maybe that's why the Quirky Align Stapler could define the 21st century and finally go mobile ’ letting you staple anything you want, wherever you want.
LOOK MATE SOCKS (A?10)
It's not Christmas without a nice pair of socks, but this year why not give your grandma's fingers a rest ’ and snap up some shoe-fillers your nearest and dearest actually want to slip on. Look Mate's festive number is probably your best bet. Its design is giving Christmas jumpers a run for their money the world over, and, seeing as though you'll only wear them for a month every year, we're sure they'll last a good while.
WHISKY ADVENT CALENDAR (A?299.95)
Everyone loves a tipple at Christmas, but when's too early to start? Advent? Not according to Master of Malt, who have designed this alcoholic alternative to our traditional chocolate countdown. It might not be suitable for children, but it'll have you feeling very merry before the 25th.
BEARD BIB (A?24.99)
The Guardian may have tried to stem the flow of the almighty beard earlier this year, but that hasn't stopped creatives sticking with their hairy follicles. But what can you get your stubbled spouse? Why not try the Beard Bib ’ the ultimate accessory for any self-respecting groomer. The novel invention won't just bring out a more efficient side to your man, it'll keep your taps clean way before Spring cleaning kicks in.
It's what writers have been fighting for, for years ’ a map with no winding roads, no meandering rivers, just place names. And not any old names, but the filthiest, most profound places known to Britain. In Hertfordshire alone you'll stumble across unassuming gems like Nobland Green, Cum Cum Hill and Claggy Bottom. You do worry for the people who live in such obscenities.
PHONESOAP (from $59.95)
With family selfies, group photos and Instagrammable meals a plenty, Christmas is a dangerous time for your phone. But don't fear. With Phonesoap you can clean up your mobile in five minutes alone, killing 99.9% of deadly bacteria on the spot. So let your relatives pass it around, let your niece stick it in her mouth. Safe in the knowledge that you can scrub off the residue left behind by Auntie Mabel's talcy hands in a jiffy.
DREW THE PENCIL LAMP (whatever you want to pledge)
We all wish we had a yellow pencil on our desk, and yet for so many of us the chance just never materialises. So maybe now's the time to give up and invest in Drew the Pencil Lamp. Paying homage to the humble pencil, this light will scribble its way into your life (via a USB or any standard plug) and make you forget all about D&A-Bloody-D's. Awards aren't worth it anyway.
IMPACT BOARD GAME ($65)
Leave your Christmas Eve jigsaw in the box, quell Uncle Bob's charades shenanigans, there's only one game to play this year. Impact looks beyond rainy days and into the future, inviting participants to take on space-age professions and navigate the changes in our modern world. It's a sure-fire way to get people thinking imaginatively and critically about what's yet to come and the ideal training for any strategists aged 11 and up.
NEW MAC SMELL CANDLE ($24)
You know the feeling: unwrapping a present and smelling the distinctive tones of a newly released Apple product. It's a sensation that tops every designer's Christmas wish list, but what if you could provide such contemporary euphoria for a minuscule fraction of the price? The New Mac Smell candle does just that, illuminating your house with the sweet scents of box-fresh hardware. Just prepare to have an iPad flung at you though.
WINTER IS COMING CHRISTMAS JUMPER (A?18.67)
Winter isn't coming ’ it's here! So shed your skinny jeans and plaid shirts and drape this monstrous festivity over your head instead. Not only will it keep your wildling bits warm, but your place as the go-to meme will be cemented at all your work's festive shindigs. And who doesn't want that?
MODERN NATIVITY ($129.99)
Imagine if you will, that the birth of Jesus Christmas took place this Christmas, not some 2,000 years ago. Heck, it would be a very different scene. A bearded, barefoot Joseph would be updating his Snapchat story, our dear virgin (definitely not) Mary would be sipping a Pumpkin Spice Latte, all under the protective covering of a solar-panel barn. Think this alternative is more up your street? Then this is the nativity set for you.
"Cool present" for any writers.
LOOKING GOOD (A?17.50)
Whether you are a lapsed Catholic fashion designer with a penchant for the minimal, left convent school agnostic about hem lengths but fired up by gender politics and church symbolism, or have never entered a church but can't resist trying to crack a visual code, you'll enjoy this witty and charming graphic design guide to visual identity. Say that in one breath.
It may have been shot on iPhone 6, but it still looks terrible. Now that everyone's a photographer, you need some help to rise above the melee of blurry pictures of people with their eyes closed. Luckily, the Olloclip 4-in-1 is here to help you up your photographic game. It clips over your phone's camera to enhance your options - choose from Wide-Angle, Fisheye, Macro x10 and Macro x15 lenses. We recommend the Wide-Angle for that post-Christmas selfie."