We’ve curated a list of some of our favourite gifts for the creative and designer-ly people in your life. From books and experiences, to trinkets and tools, we love gifts that feed creativity, build design skills, and make memories!

Book Lovers

Contagious Culture: Show Up, Set the Tone, and Intentionally Create an Organization that Thrives, by Anese Cavanaugh

Contagious Culture book cover with post-it notes and book title.

“Organizational culture is so important. When there are challenges at work , it’s easy to point the finger anywhere else—we often underestimate the power of our own presence toward creating positive change. In her book, Anese shares practical tools for how you can show up, set the tone, and intentionally create an organization that thrives.” 

— Sarah Martin, Senior Designer



On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes, by Alexandra Horowitz

On Looking book cover with a woman walking her dog in the city.“On Looking is a great dive into seeing your neighbourhood from perspectives you may not have considered before. It reminded me to consider and look for multiple points of view in everything around us.” 

— Tracy Jolliffe, Studio and Executive Assistant






Step-by-step Drawing Book

Step-by-Step Drawing Book cover with a variety of hand-drawn shapes.“Have you ever said, ‘I am just not creative’ or ‘I can’t draw’? Me too! But I really got back in touch with my creative side when my daughter started to show an interest in drawing and art. We picked up this ‘how-to-draw’ book from the library and I found in really inspired me in my own ability to communicate through images. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just lines and shapes!”

— Sarah Martin, Senior Designer


The End of Average, by Todd Rose

The End of Average book cover with red and black letters and a blue Rubik's cube.“This is a great book that challenges assumptions we have about measuring human performance and creating systems and products for the “average person.” It’s a quick and easy read, but drives us toward a different way of viewing the world, our work, and even our approaches to parenting!”

— Kyrie Vala-Webb, Senior Designer

All The Ways to be Smart, by Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys

Illustrated collection of kids reading, playing music, wearing hats, and daydreaming.“I’m always looking for ways to encourage my childrens’ interests and passions. For me, it’s important they know about and value the various ways you can be “smart”. All The Ways to be Smart has captured this message so nicely!”

— Tracy Jolliffe, Studio and Executive Assistant





Game On!

A Storytelling Game

Story Cubes game box and dice with pictures on them.“Storytelling games get you practicing your creative skills—connecting ideas, listening effectively, and thinking on the spot. The genre is highly flexible, from open-ended Rory’s Story Cubes, to fairy tale-based Once Upon a Time: The Storytelling Card Game, to more complex story-based games like Fiasco.” 

— Chelsea Mills, Senior Designer

Code Names

Code Names poster with two people in suits and word bubbles that say “Top Secret” and “Word Game”.“This is a fun, engaging game that’s actually great for exercising your creative thinking skills. The game is based on an exercise called “remote associates,” which prompts you to find a common element or connection between 3 different words. Playing this game will entertain you, while secretly also helping you “work out” your creativity muscles! (We also practice this in our creative collaboration training!)”

— Kyrie Vala-Webb, Senior Designer


We’re Not Really Strangers

Red and white cards with prompts on them scattered around.“This card game quickly creates deep and meaningful conversations. It provokes empathy and understanding of those around you.”

— Lesley Drago, Senior Visual Designer







Spotify Subscription

Spotify logo with green background.

“At Overlap, we often play music while we work. Music can lighten the mood and inspire collaboration, and the right playlist can help spark creativity. My favourite Spotify playlists to listen to while doing focused work are Chill Instrumental Beats and Lo-Fi Cafe.” — Katherine Hannemann, Senior Designer


Down Dog Yoga Subscription

Down Dog Yoga logo with brown background and illustration of a dog.

“Bring your yoga practice on the go with you! This is especially great for people who travel (which we do a lot as designers) and want to still maintain a regular yoga practice as a way to foster a healthy body and spirit. The free and paid versions of the app offer lots of customizations in terms of type of practice, time length, and accompanying music to generate unique practices based on your needs—all from your phone.” — Kay Nadalin, Designer


Experience: Visit an art gallery or museum

People looking at art in a gallery.“Let the history, storytelling, and scale of art inspire your own creativity. Taking a guided tour to learn about why and how particular pieces were created is also very helpful to understand the practice of making.”

— Marilyn Cameron, Designer


Experience: An escape room adventure 

Adventure Rooms logo with a key, keyhole, and open door.

“Communication and problem solving are key design skills and so important for collaboration. Creative thinking is also a very useful skill in escape rooms—if you only have a single idea between you, you will not escape. It’s great for a date, family, or work gift!”  — Marilyn Cameron, Designer

Calm Subscription

Calm Radio logo with blue background.

“Several studies have shown that mindfulness practices can have positive impacts on our health, well-being, creativity, and productivity. At Overlap, we pause for intentional breaks throughout the day, using activities like stretching, short walks, or mindfulness moments to help us reset. One of my favourite tools for a mindfulness break is the Calm app, which has a variety of options for guided meditations and gentle stretching sequences.” — Katherine Hannemann, Senior Designer

Creative Tools

Black notebook cover.Overlap notebook with a hand holding a sharpie beside itBrown kraft paper notebook cover.

A notebook. Any notebook.

“Ideas become more real when we get them down on paper. Words, sketches, wireframes…whatever helps you capture a concept will allow you to get started on the design thinking process.” — Lesley Drago, Senior Visual Designer

Dot-Style Notebook

“If you have a creative person in your life, chances are you’ve seen them with a notebook in-hand, always ready to take notes or write/sketch an idea. Restock their stash with a new favourite of ours: Overlap’s spiral-bound (so it lies flat), dot-style notebook.” — Tracy Jolliffe, Studio and Executive Assistant

Field Note Notebooks

“If you like having a notebook handy at all times, I highly recommend these little notebooks. They are great for when you’re on the go. I keep a stack in my home office, and one in my work bag, camera bag, glove box, and pretty much everywhere else I can hide them.” — Steve Krysak, Account Director


Noise Cancelling Headphones

Woman wearing headphones in a shared workspace.“Block out all the noise and put on some instrumental music that supports your creative practice.”

— Chelsea Mills, Senior Designer



City Art Blank Postcards, Etsy

A series of six urban photo postcards hung up with clothespins. Postcards from the Future is one of my favourite creative visioning exercises that we use at Overlap. By writing a postcard from our ideal future state, we can imagine what “better” looks like a few years down the road—and what we can do today to help us get there. At Overlap, we print our postcards in-house, but these City Art postcards are a great option for inspiring creativity.”

— Katherine Hannemann, Senior Designer

Bellroy Classic Pouch

Grey pouch with a zipper on top.“For me, being organized when I travel is important to my productivity. I recently picked this up to keep all my tech accessories in one place and readily available. Can’t recommend it enough!”

— Steve Krysak, Account Director


A stovetop espresso maker/moka pot

Person pouring coffee into a small mug.“Creativity, collaboration, and design practices are all better with coffee. This is coffee made with beautiful design. They’re just so pretty! Also, these remind me of coffee breaks served by my old German tutor, Lothar, who was one of the most creative, collaborative, and design-thinking people I’ve known—so he must be onto something.”

— Marilyn Cameron, Designer


Whether you’re seeking a gift for a friend, family member, or even yourself, we hope this list of favourites from Overlap inspires and delights!