Find out more about Colin Thompson

Celebrate everything weird and whacky

Have you discovered the curious world of Colin Thompson?

Arguably one of the world’s most famous puzzle artists, Colin Thompson’s illustrations of his weird, whacky and wonderful world have been favourites in our range since 2009.

Colin has had a successful career as a writer and illustrator of children’s books. His bizarre illustrations are perfect for puzzling and at Ravensburger we love seeing what strange world he has imagined for our puzzlers. Each illustration is packed with colourful details and quirky humour. For example, the titles within Bizarre Bookshop – Tizer with Rosie, Gone with the Wine and Lord of the Pies.

Celebrate Colin Thompson by puzzling one of his creations from the Bizarre Bookshop, Amazing Alphabet to Flying Home. Be fascinated by his secret details and engrossed by the hidden worlds in each of his puzzles.

Who is the man behind the whacky?

Born in London in 1942, Colin has lived in a variety of locations, including Mallorca, Great Bernera (in The Outer Hebrides), and for more than 25 years in a 300-year old farmhouse near Hadrian’s Wall. In 1995 he moved to Australia where he now lives with his wife, two dogs and three ducks in a beautiful valley called The Promised Land.

Best known as a writer and illustrator of children’s books, Colin’s first book was published in 1991, and he has had over 70 books published across the world since then. Colin’s illustrations are full of fun, intrigue and parody, and are packed with objects and events, designed to keep you interested as you search through the puzzle pieces!

Meet the Jigsaw Goddess

For every adult puzzle developed at our British Ravensburger HQ there is one person who is responsible for this process; our Product Manager for adult puzzles is Sarah Stevens. Sarah has been working at Ravensburger for 35 years and her wealth of knowledge and expertise in the industry is incredible. Sarah must consider what makes a puzzle interesting for puzzlers and she is always on the lookout for something unusual and different.

Our Jigsaw Goddess, as named by Colin himself, works with Colin on every illustration for Ravensburger to develop the perfect image to puzzle. The first of Colin’s designs to be added to our range was ‘The Bizarre Bookshop’ in 2009, so next year Sarah would have been working with him for 10 years!

Sarah explains that each of Colin’s designs has ‘a unique style that works for puzzles – and they make me smile’. It would be difficult not to smile at the curiosities included in his fabulous illustrations. When Bizarre Bookshop was introduced to our range it was so different to anything puzzle manufacturers had done before, it remains a Colin Thompson classic, almost ten years later.

Colin’s illustrations continue to offer puzzlers escapism to a bizarre and wonderful world. He is constantly creating different concepts which fascinate us. One of Sarah’s favourite puzzles to work with Colin on was the Shaped Lighthouse. This needed to be designed to fit an existing puzzle cutter; ‘That might have restricted some artists, but not Colin. He loved the challenge and produced a wonderful design’.

Asking Sarah what her favourite Colin Thompson design is she explains it is the Awesome Alphabet; ‘amazing detail and Colin’s written introductions to each design are brilliant’. So far in the range we have Awesome Alphabet ‘A’ and Awesome Alphabet ‘B’, for next year we have Amazing Alphabet ‘C,D’; these puzzles are packed full of illustrations beginning with the retrospective letters.

Have you ever noticed the glimpses of different worlds in Colin’s puzzles?

What hidden details can you spot?

Follow Joe & Charlotte's Puzzle Journey

An exclusive insight!

On our Puzzle Club Blog this month you will find a detailed and personal account of a couple who spent more than 18 months completing the Colin Thompson 18,000 piece puzzle together.

Click to find out more about Joe & Charlotte's experience of completing the Colin Thompson 18,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. This in-depth and exclusive account reveals the motivation and determination it took to complete this enormous puzzle.

Congratulations Joe and Charlotte!
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