Puzzles to buy that aren’t really ugly

Written by Sara Black

Puzzles, the bane of my existence. Why? Because I have a love/hate. Why? Because I’m a complete nerd but also hate 99 per cent of puzzle images. Buy me a Wasgij and I will throw it back in your face.


Ever had the urge to puzzle a pretzel? Me neither, until now. Areaware make (among other excellent design objects) the coolest puzzles (is that an oxymoron?) ever to exist. Think pizza, papaya, popcorn and piñatas plus collabs with designers such as Dusen Dusen and Clara Von Zweigbergk. The imagery is so appealing in its own right, that they’re almost complete-able and then preserve forever-able and then somehow stick-that-achievement-on-your-wall worthy.


Piecework, the people who realised that puzzles are helpful when you’re feeling burnt out and your eyes are on constant-stingy mode from too much blue light. But you’re a semi-active relaxer, so a sense of achievement is still high on your ‘to-do’. Their jigsaws are light-hearted, still-life-style vignettes comprised of everyday objects such as champagne, papaya (again, popular puzzle fruit) and a goddamn meta puzzle of someone else doing a puzzle. Freaky shit.

Journey of Something

Journey of Something is the perfect synopsis of a puzzle. There’s a beginning and an end but, most of the time you don’t really know what’s going on and great/terrible things happen by chance on the regular. It’s a time for contemplation, to ponder life’s big questions, get lost, claw your way back from the brink of insanity and come out the other side a better version of yourself.

Andy Warhol ‘Selfies’ Puzzle

I never thought I’d get to feel the excitement of writing Andy Warhol and puzzle in the same sentence, but, here I am. Galison, the NYC-based group behind some of the world’s best puzzles (yep, that’s now a thing), have collaborated with many famous artists (or their posthumous foundations) such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and, fan favourite, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Frank Stella Jigsaw by MoMA

Frank Stella, the American painter, sculptor and printmaker, has teamed up with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), to produce one of life’s most beautiful jigsaws. An excellent example of Stella’s minimalism and post-painterly abstraction, the puzzle is a literal depiction of his non-linear work entitled, Firuzabad. It’s colourful, curvy and best accompanied with a bottle of chardonnay.

Better living, everyone.


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