Behind The Scenes: State Map Puzzles


State Puzzle Research and Outreach

We started our state puzzle collection in the northeast and we’re working our way from east to west, (except that time where we skipped to California because sometimes you just gotta get out of town, y’know?) In trying to be methodical, we started to get antsy and jump around. But hey, that’s the nature of creativity. 

We know the Northeast area best since we grew up in these parts, but we certainly don’t know everything. That’s when we began reaching out to our people on social and asking for the die-hards, the super fans, the townies. The people that love their states so much that they are willing to work with us and provide us with local hotspots and the nitty-gritty details. Those things that really make a map something you want to piece together as a puzzle or hang in your house. Some people throw us one or two details, but we look for the people that are really interested in helping, exchanging emails, and giving us those in-depth details. 

California_state_map      Massachusetts_state_map      Rhode_Island_state_map

 *Special note: in exchange for this serious energy and effort, we offer a free puzzle or map once they are completed

State Puzzle Design Phase 1

Now that we’ve gotten a huge list of towns, cities, hotspots, tourist traps, and historic sites, we’re ready to start drawing. Jason hits the ipad and starts on the doodles and the type. Briana lays out the flat colors of the state outlines and water if any. She places the towns and cities as text placeholders, waiting for Jason’s fancier text that comes in later. 

These maps are just a rough cut of what’s to come.


State Puzzle Design Phase 2

Flat colors are laid out in their proper places. Jason sends the line drawings from his iPad to his desktop and starts placing them in their proper spots. We don’t play around with color at this point, because we’re just trying to get all the characters, buildings, and icons in their correct locations. 

After all the icons are placed, we play with the white space for each icon. Knocking out some of the base color to get some differentiation in texture. 


State Puzzle Design Phase 3

This is the phase where we inevitably piss people off 😀 because we likely left out their town. But there is just no way to fit it all! We try our best to hit the highlights. Final colors are chosen in this phase. 

First, we pick colors for our simplified screenprint. Then we multiply colors for the jigsaw puzzle version. Since there needs to be some variation in the puzzle design, we add trees and scenery to the outer state color blocks. Finally, we place the puzzle design onto the template, design the puzzle box packaging, and send it off to the puzzle factory for printing


As you can see making our custom illustrated state puzzle maps are a labor of love here at Brainstorm Puzzle Co. We try our best to represent each state in a fun, quirky, unique way that not only hits all the best known attractions but also wanders off the beaten path. Giving our puzzlers a little more insight into a states culture and interesting places. If you're from a state that we have not created a jigsaw puzzle for yet we'd love to hear from you!