The Design Milk 2018 Father’s Day Gift Guide

When it comes to Father’s Day gifts, we believe dads out there deserve a level of careful consideration not only representing an appreciation for everything they do, but also in recognition of their passions and interests, especially if they love design. Our list of gift ideas below sidesteps the tropes of Father’s Day – no socks or ties here – a continuation of last year’s recommendations delivering a heartfelt acknowledgment of both dads and design.

30th Anniversary LA Forum x Modernica Collaboration Chair
A three-way collaboration between Modernica, L.A. Forum, and Claret-Cup would make for a unique Father’s Day gift for anyone with an affinity for Eames, mid-century design, and fiberglass. Bonus: each chair comes with a 1-year membership to the LA Forum for Architecture and Urban Design.

Escentric Molecule – Molecule 01, 02 + 03
An unusual fragrance gift idea for the gent who wants to smell good without smelling fragrant. Each of aromachologist Geza Schöen’s synthetically formulated scents are unconventionally subtle, imagined for those who don’t normally like wearing fragrances – minimalist, modern, and molecular scents that only come along upon the skin, unique to its wearer.

PRO-JECT Debut Carbon Turntable / PH01 / A2+ Complete Listening Package
Whether the dad in your life is a lifelong collector of vinyl or just starting out, this complete package trio comprised of a belt driven turntable, preamp/headphone amp, and set of stereo speakers delivers quality all-around sound without taking up very much room or breaking the bank. Additional customization and accessory upgrade options are also available here.

NJP LED Table Lamp
Designed by nendo design studio’s Oki Sato for Louis Poulsen, the NJP LED Table Lamp is a manifestation of a shared appreciation for soft and indirect lighting coveted by both the Japanese and Scandinavians. The lamp’s ingenious “chimney” opening in the back is designed to move heat out and away, while also creating a secondary light source highlighting the lamp’s arm. Any recipient will appreciate this modernized elegant and subtle reinterpretation of the classic architect’s lamp every time they settle in under its glow.

Desgin Gin

We’ve been on a gin kick lately, enjoying the refreshing spirit with tonic or mixed as cocktails, but also neat. Desgin Gin caught our eye for its distinct and designer label, an American juniper base gin that won silver medal at San Francisco Spirits for its slightly sweet and light citrus profile delivered in with bold typography. A bottle should make a great gift for any father who enjoys a drink or two, but especially if they work as a graphic designer.

Teak Star Cutting Board + Achilles Chef’s Knife
Here’s a gift pairing for the father with a passion for the culinary and appreciation for modern forms. London-based Edge of Belgravia’s wide range of beautiful blades are all gift-worthy, but it’s their new Teak Star cutting board that stands out for its geometric modernity offering kitchen-to-table presentation utility. The sharp geometry pairs well with one of the most ergonomic blades we’ve ever tried – a winner of the German Design Award for 2018 for “Excellent Product Design – Kitchen” – featuring a small finger hole handle that creates a confident grip anytime the user is channeling their inner René Redzepi.

This Is Ground Ritual Wash Kit
As someone who travels far and often, I’d be rather pleased to be gifted something as luxe and supremely utilitarian as this travel wash kit. Just like everything else the LA-based company designs, This Is Ground’s compact soft leather dopp kit has been carefully thought out for tidy and secure organization, with leather straps designed to secure a toothbrush, comb, razor, brushes, and other 3oz or smaller essentials in place.

Cloud X Running Shoes
There are lightweight shoes and there are cushioned shoes, but rarely do the two ever meet. Here’s the exception. On Running’s CloudTec teethed sole looks rather significant, but pick it up and it reveals itself to be an insignificant burden – a super lightweight running shoe that doesn’t compromise cushioning, delivering a comfortable and soft foot fall. Ideally a gift for runners, these performance sneakers are also excellent for travelers who pack light, but still like to workout wherever they go.

“Pyrite Light Series” by Hamish Robertson
Bare walls beg for some art, so may we humbly suggest Los Angeles-based photographer Hamish Robertson’s triptych of fool’s gold – symbolically representing prosperity and good luck – a visual sentiment appropriate to the trials, tribulations, and rewards of fatherhood. Robertson has numerous other prints available via his website to match subject and mood.

Naim For Bentley Mu-so Qb – The Bentley Collection
The majority of us won’t be able to buy dad a Bentley, but perhaps budget will permit purchase of a wireless speaker manufactured by the same premier audio brand responsible for outfitting the luxury vehicles emblazoned with the iconic winged “B” logo. The beauty of the Naim Mu-so Qb is its simplicity in connectivity and in deliverance of dependably excellent overall sound. The pared down design looks every part sophisticated in this special edition customized in an exclusive hue and knurling, both nods to the Bentley brand.

Vortecon Kinetic Desk Toy
Not every gift has to be significant in size or price. The Vortecon is an object of perpetual movement and amusement designed for the spinning workings of the mind, a gift suited for creative thinkers who require moments of leisure and daydreaming. Note, this kinetic fidget toy won’t be available till July, so place a pre-order now and offer something like this related gift as a prelude while he patiently awaits.

Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10
Porsche Design adds their signature sleek minimalist detailing to the Huawei Mate 10 turning an already handsome Android device into something more stylishly sinister. Embellished with a skinned UI matching the device’s special edition dark leather and glossy black finish, the phone’s 6″ AMOLED screen, 6 GB RAM, and 256 GB of storage all hit high end notes. There’s the even more exclusive (and more expensive) Huawei Porsche Design Mate RS with more audacious specs (Leica Triple Camera, anyone?) if your pockets run as deep as your recipient’s love for Porsche and exclusive designs.

Aark Collective Multi Watch
This timepiece designed by studio Daniel Emma and AÃRK isn’t so much about keeping time as it is wearing something fashionable and timely, a bold strip of colors evoking PoMo palettes of the Memphis Group. We imagine giving this to the dad with a streak of peacock in their personality. Available in three colorways (with the option to change our strap colors by request) – Morning, Noon and Midnight – Japanese Quartz Movement keeps an accurate tab on time behind the protection of a scratch resistant mineral glass lens.

Skagen Falster Smartwatch
If the watch above is more fashionable than functional, Skagen’s Falster is best intended for the tech loving, engineer-ish father who appreciates the beauty of the utilitarian and the accuracy of the digital. Powered by Google’s Wear OS, the touchscreen device keeps tabs on activity and notifications, with additional 3rd party apps available for additional features. For fathers with a more flossy personality, consider the rose gold steel mesh band option.

Gregory Han is a Senior Editor at Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at