VisuaLingual 2010 Gift Guide

bow tie by Cyberoptix

This holiday season, give the gift of independent design! There have been so many initiatives lately aimed at supporting small, independently-owned businesses. In case you haven’t yet had enough, or if you’re still on the hunt for a few special gifts, here are some picks from the various corners of my microcosm: friends, former schoolmates, friends of friends, all of them lovely people creating beautiful work.

Above, Bethany of Detroit-based Cyberoptix is well-known for her “ties that don’t suck,” which I’ve written about before. Bow ties are a new addition to her offerings, and they most certainly don’t suck either; pictured is the Topographic Error design.

Below, I was obsessing over the work of Cynthia Vardhan earlier this year [remember?], and then she and I traded — seed bombs for a lovely bud vase! You may have met Columbus, OH-based Cynthia at the latest Crafty Supermarket or seen her work at MiCA 12/v in Over-the-Rhine. It’s gorgeous stuff:

bud vases by Cynthia Vardhan Ceramics

Everyday Studio is based out of Graton, CA and designs sophisticated cat scratchers and other pet-oriented furniture and accessories. My inner cat lady would like one of these, please:

cat scratchers by Everyday Studio

Oxford-based Wire & Twine are known for their clever t-shirts, which are carried by practically every cool store in Cincinnati. My personal favorite is this train design for little kids. Now, if it would only come in a slightly larger size that I could squeeze into…

t-shirt by Wire & Twine

Brooklyn-based Klein Reid are best known for their gorgeous porcelain lamps, vases, and objects, but I really love these limited-edition walnut tops they designed for Herman Miller:

walnut tops by Klein Reid

Since Jenny of Three Sheets 2 the Wind moved from Cincinnati to Georgetown, KY, I barely see her anymore. Her latest work features multiple colors and full coverage prints on linen, in her trademark reductive, Modern style. In Cincinnati, you can find her work at MiCA 12/v:

linen pillow by Three Sheets 2 the Wind

I’ve had a sporty vinyl bag by Raleigh-based Holly Aiken for years now, and it’s definitely served me well. Her work is available at the Contemporary Arts Center gift shop. I love the colors and the fine detailing:

bag by Holly Aiken

These monogrammed sachets by Jim and Corbett of Brooklyn-based Idle Hands [who used to own the store Variegated in Catskill, NY] feature chunky typography on rugged denim backed with linen. Shh, a couple of people I know are getting them for Christmas this year:

monogrammed sachets by Variegated

Jim and Corbett introduced me to the incredible work of Ayumi Horie. This platter is part of her collaboration with Andy Brayman, entitled Who Lives in Greenwich Village? Want…

Greenwich Village platter by Ayumi Horie and Andy Brayman

Lastly, a hand-dyed and pleated linen bag by San Francisco-based Yorktown Road was on my wish list until I decided to order one as a self-gift this year. I deserve it, right? My made-to-order bag will arrive within the next couple of weeks; I can’t wait!

tote by Yorktown Road

I’m sure I left somebody out. It’s not that I don’t love your work; it’s just that I’ve been lucky enough to have met so many talented designers who constantly inspire me in my own endeavors.


7 thoughts on “VisuaLingual 2010 Gift Guide

  1. Great gifts! I LOVE the letter pillows. Here is a gift guide with foodie items made by awesome independent business owners! I think it’s important to support independent, creative, eco-conscious businesses. The mall sucks anyway right?

  2. Pingback: Seed Bombs at UncommonGoods « Visualingual

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