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Design

Herding Cats: Bring Together Dozens of Moody Felines in This Technicolor Jigsaw Puzzle

July 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

Thanks to Nervous System (previously), herding cats is no longer guaranteed to be a catastrophic failure. The New York-based design studio recently released a 224-piece jigsaw puzzle named after the idiom that’s comprised of 43 different felines as they lounge, stretch out their paws, and jump in the air. Made of birch plywood, the individual pieces form large, technicolor cat by artist Anne Sullivan. Try your hand at rounding up the rambunctious creatures by picking up one of the puzzles from Nervous System’s shop, and watch out for the studio’s future projects on Instagram.

 

 

 



Design Food

Assemble a Meal Bite-by-Bite with This Scrumptious Series of Jigsaw Puzzles

April 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Areaware

A new project from Areaware lets you whip up a big bowl of tonkatsu ramen, a Chicago-style hot dog, and a sprinkle-topped cupcake without making a mess in the kitchen. The design company, which has offices in Brooklyn and Columbus, released nearly 30 tasty main courses, snacks, and party supplies as part of its little puzzle thing collection. Each slice of pepperoni pizza and cherry pie is about 70 pieces, so you might want to pick up a few if you’re a fast cook. And if you’re looking for more modern puzzles to keep you busy during quarantine, check out our Etsy picks.

 

 



Illustration

Play a Game of Pandemic-Themed Lotería and Draw Soap, a Zoom Call, and Takeout

April 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Rafael Gonzales Jr.

In Pandemic Lotería, drawing “La Cabrona” actually might be key to winning the game. San Antonio-based artist Rafael Gonzales Jr. has been sharing his COVID-19-themed cards on Instagram that are based on the Mexican card game Lotería, which functions similarly to bingo. The deck features the realities of quarantined life, from a stockpile of toilet paper to continual Zoom calls to a lone bottle of hand sanitizer. Each now ubiquitous image is paired with a humorous name like “La Quaran15” for a barrel of butter and “La Starbucks” underneath a home coffee maker. The artist’s light-hearted work is available as prints and t-shirts through his online shop. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 



Design

Eight Modern Puzzles, Games, and Creative Kits to Keep You Busy and Offline

April 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

If you’re on the internet these days—since you’re reading this, we’ll guess you are—you’ve seen countless lists outlining shows to watch, books to read, and craft projects to undertake to distract yourself for an hour. You probably saw our Skillshare picks, too.

Today, we’re inspired by Jackie Buddie over at Etsy to gather activities that require no internet connection because we know how it goes: you mean to listen to that audiobook you just downloaded, but all of a sudden, you’re back on Twitter devouring bad news and realizing that you need to plant a victory garden. In an effort to distract your hands and your mind, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite games, puzzles, and kits currently available on Etsy. Another perk? You’ll support artists with your purchases, too.

Part toy and part wildlife painting, these brightly colored puzzles from Saint-Paul based artist Megan Bakke are appropriate for small children and beautiful enough to be displayed once complete. Each set is divided into large chunks that form delicately feathered flamingos and emus and detailed portraits of gorillas and llamas.

 

We’re loving these modern dominoes and geometric puzzle pieces from Montreal-based Jonathan Dorthe. Using a series of lined shapes, the wooden puzzle doesn’t have a strict formation and can be arranged to create a rectangle, a house, or any of the other 36 combinations. On the dominoes, each concentric hexagon represents a dot. Finally learn the rules to the game or simply line them up and watch them tumble one-by-one.

 

Illustrated by Barbara Dziadosz, these colorful playing cards feature kings, queens, and jacks decked out in modern garb. A heads up if you’re in the U.S., though: the Germany-based artist says your shipment might be delayed due to the ongoing pandemic.

 

For those looking for a solitary activity, Dziadosz also creates these woodblock stamps designed to shape robots and other geometric creatures, depending on their combination.

 

An actual trip to the lake or woods—not to mention outer space—might not be feasible right now, but these model kits by the Portland-based shop Houha Designs provide a small escape. All you need is glue (the shop recommends Elmer’s) to fix each laser-cut piece to the next to create a fishing boat, fire tower lookout, or circular spaceship.

 

An impressive upcycle by Calgary-based designer Adrian Martinus, this cribbage board is made from old hardwood and repurposed skateboards. Detailed with chevron and stripes, the classic game comes with nine metal pegs that are stored separately.

 

Correctly assembling all 500 pieces of this varicolored, impressionist puzzle is sure to be meditative. Titled “Moonlight Over Euclid,” the abstract landscape jigsaw is based on a painting by Milwaukee-based artist Karen Williams-Brusubardis.

 

 

 



Design

Spiral Jigsaw Puzzles of Ammonite Fossils and Nautilus Shells from Nervous System

November 19, 2019

Christopher Jobson

The team over at Nervous System, known for their brilliant work with generative design applied to jewelry and home wares, have just released a new series of spiral puzzles. Instead of working from the outside in, or in sections, the puzzles are meant to be pieced together in a swooping spiral in the shape of an ammonite fossil or nautilus shell. The puzzles are made-to-order in New York from laser cut wood and contain a variety of whimsy pieces like octopi and seahorses. See more in their shop.

 

 



Art History Illustration

Salvador Dalí's Surreal Tarot Card Designs from the 1970's to be Released as a Complete Deck

November 8, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

The surrealist master Salvador Dalí often dabbled in modes of mainstream culture, whether designing wine guides, appearing on game shows, or—in this instance—designing a deck of tarot cards for a James Bond film. Dalí undertook the project in the early 1970’s for Live and Let Die, starring Roger Moore and Jane Seymour. The deck didn’t end up appearing in the film, apparently due to Dalí’s high fees, but the artist continued to work on the cards for a decade and completed them in 1984. Art book publisher Taschen is releasing the deck, along with an instructional book that Dalí made to accompany it. Dalí.Tarot will be published on November 15, 2019, and is available for preorder on the Taschen website. (via Hyperallergic)