If you have custom puzzles as part of your Kickstarter rewards, I highly recommend the German company PuzzleYou.
The company allows you to make a custom puzzle from any image, adjust the background colors on the box, name your puzzle, pick the number of pieces it will be cut into (from a list of choices) and will ship everything to your backer directly through the site.
I ordered a custom puzzle of my favorite page from Tessalation! for myself last Christmas, long before I even imagined doing the Kickstarter for my book. I was curious, we are a puzzle-happy family, and I wanted to test the quality of a service like this.
I couldn't have been happier with what I got -- unless I had waited until I had the Photoshopped images from the book before placing my order! (There's pro tip #1, by the way).
There are surely cheaper options on the marker, but nothing can match the quality of a Made in Germany puzzle. And because I believe in creating things that have lasting value, not throwaway products that will be used once and end up in a landfill, I wanted a puzzle product that would feel so good in the hand and so satisfying to make that it would become a permanent part of the family's puzzling empire.
For marketing purposes, I am trying to get my puzzles to the backers in time for World Tessellation Day, so that they may post a picture of their completed puzzle to help celebrate the holiday.
But mostly, I just want to surprise people with a product that is well crafted, stunning to look at, and unique.
Which page of the book are they picking? Well, the odd thing is that with 12 puzzle backers and 16 pages to choose from, there are many pages being chosen! That tells me that I should never assume what people are going to find the most compelling since every reader responds differently to each of the pages. Some are picking tessellated pages, but not all.
But by far the most popular page is Page 14, the tessellated fish page.
Really, it's a great exercise in letting go for me, for the puzzle lover in me really wanted to direct them to specific pages that would make great puzzles. I prefer one that is no tessellated, a little more variety in each of the sections, no large expanses of the same color, and with interest at the sides to make it a little easier on the kids.
Always lean towards giving the people what they want! No one knows them better.
Have you ordered a custom puzzle before? What do you think goes into a good puzzle?
Emily Grosvenor, author of Tessalation!, a children's book about tesselations and patterns in nature.