Responses by Abraham Piper and Josh Sowin, cofounders, Blue Kazoo
Background: With Blue Kazoo’s vintage travel puzzle series, “Across the Continent,” we wanted to bring back the spirit and feel of yesterday’s jigsaw puzzles—from the era when they first exploded in popularity, but with the premium quality of today.
Reasoning: Taking inspiration from dozens of decades-old puzzles that are now stacked up in our offices, we developed a very specific vision for what we wanted to create. The series, as we imagined it, would sit comfortably at the three-way intersection of travel, nostalgia and retro style.
Challenges: The hunt was on for an artist who could pull this off with us. We reviewed the portfolios and Instagram feeds of hundreds of exciting visual artists and finally landed on Steve Thomas. His prior vintage-styled pieces and laid-back attitude made him perfect for the project. Once he joined, the notes began flowing. We explained the images in our heads and he drafted them. We sent feedback. He implemented our notes. We sent more feedback—down to the pixel. Back and forth like this over a dozen times for each puzzle. It was tedious, but also effective and exciting.
Favorite Details: The results were worth it. There’s no other puzzle series like this out there. From the packaging to the final puzzle piece, every aspect of these puzzles has been crafted to give puzzlers the feel of doing a vintage jigsaw. There are even several “Easter egg” details in each puzzle to spice things up as they’re solved. We’re thrilled to see our customers excited as well. We’ve only teased the series once and a thousand people have already said they want it when it’s released. We expect this to be our biggest release of the year. Though, obviously we’re hoping to go back to the drawing board and do it all again, so who knows what might come along next?