By now many of you have already seen glimpses of our new wooden boxes. In a year full of chaotic twists and turns, we hope you enjoy the look and are pleasantly surprised by the upgrade. That said, we now belatedly realize that surprises (even the good ones) can be a bit unsettling and disorienting these days. So let's take the time to walk through our decision and take a closer look at our new boxes.
Shipping and Supply in Chaotic Times
In late 2020, under naive assumptions that the worst of the pandemic would be behind us, we decided to set an ambitious course to revamp our logo, brand and boxes. After landing on our new logo (thanks to the awesome team at Daughter Creative), our next step was to give our boxes a minor facelift to align with our brand colours. Around that time in late March, we first heard news about the Ever Given blocking the Suez Canal for six days. This set in motion massive disruptions in global shipments and supply chain which are still having impacts today. Since then, shipments from China have been slowed by covid lockdowns, typhoons, another Suez Canal blockage (fortunately short this time), and container shortages. In addition, the pandemic has caused a massive surge in consumer demand and freight prices have skyrocketed. Ports are jammed with containers awaiting inspection with a shortage of warehouse space to do so. The average sea container is sitting on the water for a month longer than usual due to backups. Any blip in the supply chain and you can simply lose your spot on a freighter.
Our Commemorative 2021 Wood Box
With these forecasted issues in mind, this summer we decided to pivot and pursue a wooden box solution that we could use for the remainder of 2021 once we exhausted our existing cardboard box supply. While we continue to work on our cardboard box supply in parallel, we ultimately decided to pursue a beautiful white pine box designed and made by Ekan Concepts out of Huntsville, Ontario. Their FSC certified pine box features a sliding lid and dovetail joints. We absolutely love the look and feel of these boxes on our own puzzle shelves and we hope you will too! Note they are slightly larger than our cardboard boxes - we tried to keep the dimensions as close as possible!
New Look Labels and Inserts
Our labels and inserts have been redesigned from the ground up to provide more information and additional resources to enhance your puzzling experience. First up, we have the art title and artist prominently displayed in colour coordinated fashion. All the relevant information you might want to quickly glance at while browsing your collection is at your fingertips: release year, puzzle topic or theme explored, number of pieces, as well as the subjective challenge level of the puzzle itself. This difficulty rating is illustrated by a five point tree scale that represents the amount of "growth" you might experience by working through the challenge within the box.
Inside we've included a double-sided insert. For both large and small puzzles you'll find a spot to take a photo of your favourite whimsy pieces, as well as a checklist of whimsies you can find within the puzzle upon closer inspection. Inserts for both large and small also have a QR code to find additional resources on our website (this is currently in development, but you'll find links to images, artist interviews, designer diaries, etc.) and we've continued to provide a reference image for our larger puzzles. Finally, we're also including an old school library slip as a means of tracking your puzzle solving as well as potential loans to family and friends.
Our puzzles pack a punch, but also come packed with extra goodies now to make your puzzle solving and sharing experience that much better!