12 Gifts Most Freelance Designers Only Dare to Dream About

Sure, there are a number of items you could purchase and wrap up to place beneath your beloved freelance designer’s tree that would bring a smile to their face and warm their heart. Anyone can take a trip to the local art supply or computer store, or shop online for that perfect gift. I don’t intend to discourage you from expressing your appreciation in such a wonderful way.

But, if you’d like to blow the mind of the freelance designer you so greatly value this holiday season, why not make an attempt to fulfill this wish list? I’ve taken liberty to share with you the 12 gifts most freelance designers only dare to dream of. Enjoy my version of the 12 Days of Christmas:


1st Day: a Consistent and Ongoing Client

Every freelance designer would love to have at least one client who continually brings new projects, keeping a steady flow of work and building a mutually beneficial relationship. The beauty of this gift is that it can even be given to the freelance designer who supposedly already has everything–we can never have too many of these!

2nd Day: Two Days Off Every Weekend

Yes, we want it all: the benefits of freelancing and being your own boss but without the need to work every waking moment, including weekends. What a gift that keeps on giving, not only to the recipient but to their loved ones as well.

3rd Day: Three Revisions and Not One More

It’s pretty standard to offer three revisions on a design for each project, but many freelance designers find themselves tweaking and adjusting the design ‘just a little bit more’ to get it just right. What a refreshing gift it would be to not have to revise the design more than three times, every time! Enough to make any designer let out a hearty, “Ho ho ho!”

4th Day: Four New Inspirations per Month

Creativity can be contrived, and many would even argue that there is nothing new under the sun. If that’s the case, how’s a designer supposed to keep coming up with new ideas? With what amounts to a weekly subscription to fresh and unique inspirations, the lucky recipient of this gift would never have to worry again about getting the creative juices flowing.

5th Day: Five More Minutes of Sleep

The snooze button on the alarm is pretty much everyone’s best–and worst–friend. It allows us to fall back asleep without any worry that we might oversleep, but it also shouts loud and annoying reminders that clients are waiting and there is work to be done. While no freelance designer would complain about having work that beckons, another five minutes of sleep is always a welcome bonus.

6th Day: Six Free Upgrades on Design Software

Design standards and corresponding software change so rapidly, yet every new version of software that comes out forces the freelance designer to choose between staying current and competitive or sending their children to college. Design software suites can cost at least $2,000 with upgrades almost every one to two years costing at least an additional $600 to $1,000. I’d be willing to bet most freelance designers would be ecstatic to only have to pay once.

7th Day: Seven Figures in Annual Income

Yes, I know almost anyone of any profession would not mind a seven-digit annual income, so why not the freelance designer? The truth is that none of us probably anticipates getting rich doing what we love, but we certainly wouldn’t take this gift back to the exchange and returns line.

8th Day: Magic 8-Ball with All the Right Answers

Freelance designing is full of choices to make, and it doesn’t take long in the profession to realize it is built on a foundation of lifelong education, fraught with mistakes, learning experiences and challenges. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a magic 8-ball that made the decisions so much easier? Fits nicely in a stocking, too!

9th Day: Nine o’Clock Start to the Day

A not-too-distant relative of ‘Five More Minutes of Sleep,’ I am certain many freelance designers would love to rest until nine each morning without having to work until midnight as a result. I honestly can’t remember the last time I slept in until nine–my work day starts at 5:00 a.m. What a beautiful thing it would be to start each day at a somewhat normal hour!

10th Day: Ten Fingers Never Tiring

Freelance designers use their hands all day long. Whether drawing, sketching, typing, or using a mouse, we need fingers that never succumb to arthritis or any other debilitating pain or weariness. For some it’s almost as if our fingers need their own personal trainer and gym just to keep them in shape and build their stamina. Maybe the gift would be a membership to that finger fitness program!

11th Day: Eleven Projects Already Scheduled

I know it would be nice for every freelance designer to be able to look at their calendar and see that eleven (or more) projects are already lined up and in waiting, rather than wondering when the next one will come or having to pound the pavement in hopes of drumming up business. Peace of mind is a priceless gift anyone will cherish.

12th Day: Twelve Months of On Time Payments

Can you imagine it? An entire year of every single client not only paying, but doing it on time? I topped this list off with the most magical gift almost every freelance designer dreams about. What a holiday this would be!

Your Wish List

Do you have other items on your own list that you would love to see under your tree? Please share them in the comments below.