PopSci’s resident mad scientist and pre-eminent element guru Theo Gray has not only amassed one of the best element-sample collections around, he’s spent the last several years taking very high quality photographs of it.
First, he turned the shots into stunning posters of various sizes; now he’s created 3-D puzzles, index cards, and a custom banner-printing service, where you can spell out your name in element symbols, like this PopSci banner that’s going up in my cube soon.
The card decks are also really clever: As you spread them out like a Vegas dealer, you get a graphical representation of the elements’ melting points, boiling points, densities, and electron configurations. All of these products are so beautifully done that even the non-geeks on your list will dig them.
UPDATE: Theo’s giving freebies to popsci.com readers: “I’ve added a ‘Where did you hear about my products?’ comment field to the PayPal order page (it comes near the end of the ordering process). If anyone puts in popsci.com, I’ll send them a free extra product. If they order any size of poster, I’ll include an extra 18×36 poster. If they order something non-rolled (like place mats, 3D lenticular print, card deck, or puzzle), I’ll send something else that’s not rolled. (Sending both a rolled and non-rolled item costs much more than sending two of the same type.)