Have you heard about custom puzzles? They are, in fact, puzzles that you can have printed based on an original design or image of your choice. These print puzzles are made of good quality cardboard material, professionally printed by printing businesses like The Print Company. They come out of the machine looking similar to puzzles you see in kids’ toy stores and novelty shops.
If you’re like many people who struggle at times with getting gifts for friends and family members – as every year, there’s Christmas plus countless birthdays to worry about – a custom puzzle might just be the answer. Because really, how easy is it to find an item that is of good quality, non-generic and also something you can personalise? Not at all that easy.
Here are 4 points below that best explain why such puzzles would make fantastic gifts for people close to you.
You can’t be so creative with many toys or gadgets in the stores nowadays, can you? But guess what? It’s totally different for printed puzzles that are custom made. There’s no real limiting factor when it comes to the image or design you want for your puzzle. You get to have more fun with it, and you can be as unique as you like with your choices. You can even make a collage, edit and combine pictures.
What you should make sure of, however, is your photo is high resolution (as in 300dpi for the image file). The good news is most photos taken with smartphones these days are at least 12 megapixels, which means it’s easy to reformat them as a JPEG or PDF with the required dpi for printing. So there’s no need to get a pricey SLR camera or hire a professional to take the photo you need for your puzzle.
Unlike other gifts you purchase from stores, which tend to have generic design and packaging, custom puzzles with a photo of the receiver definitely rank high on the personal scale. If you choose a photo of that person with their loved ones, or a photo that triggers memories of a wonderful time spent with those special to them, it adds real sentimental value to that gift.
That person receiving the puzzle will appreciate the extra effort you took in picking the image, going out of your way to have it printed and having it nicely packaged. They’ll realise how much you care about them. So this may just be a superb gift choice for the next milestone event you’ll be involved in like a couple’s wedding anniversary or a nephew or niece’s birthday.
While mass produced puzzles in stores compete for your attention and you’re likely to pick which one you like most, in the case of a custom puzzle, it all revolves around what you like and what you decide works best. Of course, you still must bear in mind who this puzzle is actually for and what they’d prefer – colour A vs B, border X vs Y, the total number of puzzle pieces, etc.
With some printing businesses, you can also control the puzzle ‘finish’, as in shininess of the pieces. You can go with glossy, which is the standard finish of custom puzzles done by The Print Company, but matte finish is also available upon request. Just take note that, as far as colour goes, our puzzle printing services only work with RGB colours. Files also should have 3mm of bleed on all sides for printing. But those conditions aren’t all that restrictive, actually.
This one shouldn’t come as a surprise. Young kids who play with puzzles actually benefit from doing so in a number of ways. Puzzles have been proven to help build a child’s skills such as spatial awareness, shape recognition, concentration and problem solving. Emotionally, children also undergo developments when working on puzzles by learning patience, as well as how to set a goal following the steps needed to achieve it.
Furthermore, jigsaw puzzles are tailor-made for sharing and teamwork, which makes them a great tool for socialising. At an early age, children who come together for a puzzle learn the basics of communication and cooperation. Instead of fighting over whose turn it is to play with a doll, they can work in unity towards a common goal when given a puzzle. They get taught how to ‘win’ as a team.
So what could be a better gift for young kids than something they will (1) truly enjoy, (2) get smarter with and also (3) bond well with their peers while using? Therefore, a custom puzzle has many pluses on all counts. For your own custom puzzle that’s meant for a child in the family, you may want the theme to match their interests to start with. But here are some additional tips worth noting:
Avoid having too many things in the puzzle, but also don’t have the same colour or object for large areas of the puzzle. Remember that the more pieces there are with the exact same detail (such as large blue sky for instance), the more difficult it becomes to put together. So finding a balance here is important. There are puzzle types for 4-year-olds and types for 10-year-olds. Consider how much or little detail should go into the design based on the child’s age group.
Include familiar objects that young kids can identify easily. This goes hand-in-hand with what you know about your child and what items they’re fascinated with. For kids on the much younger side, it also helps to use bright colours for these objects so their corresponding pieces contrast with the ‘background’ pieces. Alternatively, you can use a family photo for the puzzle since all the faces on it are already familiar to them.
Use a distinct border so that the edge pieces are noticeable. It makes the child’s experience better if they spot the outermost pieces quickly and try to round them up. That way, they will get the hang of working in a more systematic way.
The Print Company has years of experience making custom puzzles in Australia. With our services, you can have your own photo or design printed as a quality puzzle. We know how unique printed puzzles really make fantastic, personalised gifts for your families and loved ones.
Click here to discover our puzzle printing services.