What to get for the nerd who has everything? As a nerd who most certainly doesn't have everything, the best I can offer up is my own list of coveted items. Here's my Amazon wish list. Perhaps you'll find some inspiration for your nerd, too.
Below you'll find a few selections from that storied list, appropriate for all designers, nerds, and mobile mavens. And hey: Murray Christmas!
Susan Kare Icons book
Susan Kare is the graphic designer who created many of the original interface icons for the Mac back. This book is a curated look at 80 of the icons she created between 1983 and 2011, with zoomed views and notes by the artist.
iPhone and iPad stencil kits
Eames: The Architect and the Painter documentary DVD
A documentary about the husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames, widely regarded as a pair of America's most important designers.
Secret-agent phone holster
For tough-guy nerds and phone fans: a Bond-style shoulder holster.
A no-kidding-around charger
This surge-protecting charger ombines traditional and USB plugs so your nerd's many, many devices will never go without power.
Classy Laptop Backpack
Incase's Terra line has several nerd cases that are decidedly unnerdy, including this backpack, which has compartments for both laptop and iPad.
Braun's longtime lead industrial designer had a huge impact on modern design, most notably in the clean aesthetic championed by Apple. Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams explores his work.
Retro Phone Cradle and Headset
The mid-century telephone may not have been mobile, but man it had a great headset—you know, the kind that you could actually hold to your ear with your shoulder. The original hands-free headset! This nifty cradle charges your iPhone while you talk in old-school glory on the retro headset.
Speaking of astronauts, no wish list would be complete without the Cosmonaut, a new stylus for touchscreens. Chunky like a marker, it's easy to grip and pleasing to draw with.
Nerdiest watch ever
Sure, I confess: I sported a classy Casio Gold calculator watch in my misspent youth. But baby, it's got nothing on this beauty. The Click Keypad Watch sports a giant keypad and no discernible display, flashing numbers on the keypad to tell you the time. Sublime AND ridiculous.
“Hero Mash” print
Because one hero just isn't enough, artist Simon C. Page's print mashes several into one EVEN MORE SUPER hero.
Saul Bass monograph
This book explores the work of designer Saul Bass, creator of posters and title sequences for films including Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo and Otto Preminger's The Man With The Golden Arm and Anatomy of a Murder. He also created some of the most famous logos and corporate identity campaigns of the century, including those for major companies such as AT&T, Quaker Oats, United Airlines and Minolta. One of the great designers of the 20th century.
When your geek wears a tuxedo, make sure that the nerd still shows. The LED on these power-button cufflinks gently pulses.
This whole music-library-in-your-pocket thing is all well and good, but everyone knows it's not a music system if you can't carry it on your shoulder and blast that bass. Enter the iHome Portable FM Stereo Boombox for iPhone. Oh yes, friends, yes.
Giant LEGO heads
Every nerd loves LEGOs, and these giant LEGO heads double as containers for all of your geek's nerd gear.
Sifteo Interactive Game Cubes
These little toys are miracles of network technology. Sifteo cubes can communicate with the others, detecting their neighbors, and "talking" to them to enable a slew of interactive games.
Peek into great designers' sketchbooks
Steven Heller's book, Graphic: Inside the Sketchbooks of the World's Great Graphic Designers gives a voyeuristic peek into the working process of some sensational designers.
An honest-to-heaven 1954 vintage toy ray gun. This will make your nerd's brain melt.
Pass the Bat-Spatula, Robin
The Batman apron: when your nerd comes out the nerd cave for food, this kitchen protective gear is essential.
Seems pretty much everyone uses their phone for an alarm clock now, but you can still relive the glory days of the radio alarm clock with this wood-replica phone dock, which also happens to charge your phone while you sleep.
May I be so bold?
If your nerd designs mobile apps, many have generously told me that they've found my book useful for that. Tapworthy focuses on how to think iPhone and create terrific app experiences, but it's useful for designers on all platforms. You'll get the cheapest deal at Amazon, but O'Reilly sells DRM-free ebooks for all the major ebook platforms.
And that oughtta get you started, but there's an embarrassing number of other things to discover in my Amazon wish list. Hey, happy holidays, full of merry nerdiment.