We all have that one client: the one who took a chance on us, the one who keeps the projects flowing, the one you’d hang with IRL, or even count as an actual BFF. We’re getting teary-eyed just thinking about it. What better time than the holiday season to reflect on those relationships built and fostered through the years?
99designs’ entire platform is based on matching designers and clients. We’ve watched tons of one-off projects blossom into meaningful, long-term collaborations. So we recognize how important those connections are, and how tricky it can be for remote freelancers to show gratitude when their clients are half a world away.
To make things a bit easier, we pulled together a selection of gifts to inspire you—and impress your clients who live outside the delivery zone of a gourmet ham. 99designs employees and top designers told us about the most thoughtful gifts they ever gave, and we came up with this no-frills guide.
The artsy one
For the clients you count as collaborators, it might be obvious to gift something you’ve created yourself. But what if there’s no time to whip anything up? We suggest a gift your client will associate with your great design taste, like these jazzy Nordic glass ornaments. They’re minimal, hardly religious, but cool enough to keep up all year round.
Another gift idea comes from Diana Perez, our Top Level Designer Ambassador with a side hustle of her own. She leaves her local house and pet sitting clients little orchids and succulents that complement their spaces. Who doesn’t love a plant?
Daylite Designs gained her great-to-work-with reputation by being highly responsive (and highly talented). For her 410 repeat clients—yep, you read that right—she sends out custom holiday e-cards with a personal note and discount code in each, to let them know their business is both appreciated and welcome in the new year.
The one who likes surprises
This is for the client that says “just do your thing, I trust you!”—and actually means it. Rare, we know. Türchen is an interactive Advent calendar (but it can count down to just about anything) that allows you to customize it to your liking. Fill it with funny cat videos, sketches you drew yourself, a rate discount, GIFS, and add magical effects. It takes a bit more effort than most, but it’s totally worth it for the reactions.
The ultra-organized one
They’ve never missed a feedback round, always give clear instructions, and made your life that much easier because of it. Say “thanks for that” with a screen-printed perpetual wall calendar that doubles as an art piece, and can be used year after year after year.
For the on-the-go organizer, a Peak Design tech pouch also makes a great gift. It stores everything from cables, SD cards, gear and travel essentials stylishly and efficiently.
The near and dear
Okay—these are great and all, but you’re searching for something really unique and unexpected. Take a cue from designer Kid MindFreak, whose claim to fame is creating best-selling book covers. One year, he decided to take their appreciation to the next level by turning a favorite client’s book into a cool, dynamic animation. Talk about design that leaps off the screen and warms the heart.
Good luck, freelancers, and happy gifting!