What IF? You were drawn into our next puzzle?

What IF?
You were drawn into our next puzzle?

Follow our development journey of this unique and exclusive puzzle

#WhatIFWeAreAPuzzle

It all started with a competition

Earlier this year we launched our exclusive once-in-a-lifetime money-can’t-buy competition, where the lucky winners would be drawn as caricatures into our 21st edition WHAT IF? jigsaw puzzle.

We were overwhelmed by the large number of entries we received both on Twitter and by email. The winner was chosen at random and on 27 March we announced that Natasha Douglas and her friends would be the stars of our next What IF! puzzle.

Since then, the product team at our UK HQ have been very busy developing this exclusive puzzle. Product Manager Sarah Stevens has been working closely with world-renowned artist Geoff Tristram, to create yet another side-burstingly funny WHAT IF? jigsaw.

You can follow the development journey of this exciting jigsaw puzzle on Twitter @RavensburgerPC or by searching for #WhatIFWeAreAPuzzle

So where do we begin?

We started this project in January when our hugely talented WHAT IF? artist Geoff and Product Manager Sarah created a basic working concept for the puzzle. As with most creative projects, it all started with a simple idea!

WHAT IF? is an incredibly popular puzzle range with a very loyal and enthusiastic following of jigsaw collectors. To honour and celebrate our WHAT IF? fans, we wanted to create an opportunity for someone to forever be associated and linked to this timeless range. One of the reasons why Geoff’s cartoons are so funny is because Geoff draws from life. Using “real fans” as caricatures in the artwork was the logical and most natural way to ensure our fans could be part of this exciting jigsaw puzzle range.

Once our winners were chosen, we needed their help. Natasha and her friends took some photos of themselves in lots of different poses, which our artist then used to get started on creating their caricatures. Geoff has to create two original pieces of art, one for the box top and one for the puzzle you actually puzzle. It is a time-consuming process and involves many layers and levels of consideration.

Then what?

After several weeks of drawing, sketching, illustrating and concept development, Geoff finally arrives at the fully illustrated stage for both the box and the puzzle image. He and Sarah would by this point have spent many hours discussing and fine-tuning the various comedy elements in the jigsaw.

Every word has to be spell-checked. Every caricature has to be checked for accuracy and humour. Every consideration has to be made to ensure the comedy hits the right tones. The more accurate Sarah and Geoff are at this stage, the smoother the development is for the rest of the puzzle.

The two images continuously have to be compared to ensure there are enough clues on the box top to help puzzlers complete the WHAT IF? puzzle without an image to follow. Everything on the box top acts as a clue to what the actual puzzle will look like.

Bringing the puzzle to life

Once Sarah and Geoff are 100% satisfied with the outline of the illustration, Geoff can start the labourious and time-consuming task of “colouring in”. He uses specialist artists pens and inks to add colour to the illustration. Every WHAT IF? image for both the box and each individual puzzle has to be done by hand, and is an original, one off, piece of art when complete.

Geoff starts by creating an outline with black ink and leaves this to dry overnight. Only when the black has dried completely can Geoff add the colour, slowly building it up layer after layer until he is happy with the combinations. He usually starts at the top of the canvas and works his way down to avoid the risk of smudging the ink with his arm.

The “colouring-in” process can take several weeks, and it is always worth the wait. When Sarah finally gets the call from Geoff to announce that the artwork is finished, it creates quite a buzz in the office.

The rest is easy, right?

Mmmm, maybe not easy, but it is fun! Once the artwork is fully coloured, Geoff pops them in his car and hand-delivers them to Sarah at our UK head office in Bicester. For the rest of the employees in the office, it can be quite a “bun fight” to be the first person to see the final finished artwork. Once thing is for certain, it is always an exciting day.

Sarah will then send both canvasses off to be photographed by a digital camera. This is a highly technical stage of the development and it is crucial that the colours and smaller details in the artwork are picked up accurately. This may involve some colour “tweaks” along the way. Once Sarah receives these digital files back, she can start the process of creating bespoke packaging for the puzzle. Every word you read and every image you see on the packaging has to be considered and designed to be there.

Have you ever noticed how every photo of Geoff Tristram on the back of the WHAT IF? boxes is posed to match the theme of that particular puzzle? This is intentional and part of the charm, humour and collectability of this much-loved and adored jigsaw puzzle range.

What IF? At the Vets

What IF? The Birthday

What IF? The Cake Off

What IF? The Safari Park

What IF? The Valuation Day

What IF? The Wedding

What IF? Escape to the Seaside

What IF? Fantasy Golf

What IF? Are We There Yet?

What IF? Comedy Puzzles

WHAT IF? puzzles are fun-filled comedy jigsaws, designed to get you thinking!

In life, things don’t always turn out the way we think or hope they will. WHAT IF? puzzles reflect this simple fact, and are designed to tease your brain and make you laugh.

The picture on the box is not the puzzle image, so using the clues supplied you’ll need to imagine what might happen to the scene, or even the characters shown. You’ll find a small visual clue on the box front, and a written clue on the box base. Use the clues – and your own imagination – to discover WHAT IF …

Our range of What IF? jigsaw puzzles is highly-collectable and very popular among keen puzzlers. Each 1000-piece puzzle is uniquely themed and crammed full of clues, funny quotes and quirks to help you complete your jigsaw.

Now YOU and up to 3 of your friends have the opportunity to feature as the main characters in our next What IF? Challenge-Quiz-Show-Style 1000-piece puzzle.

What IF? At the Vets

What IF? The Birthday

What IF? The Cake Off

What IF? The Safari Park

What IF? The Valuation Day

What IF? The Wedding

What IF? Escape to the Seaside

What IF? Fantasy Golf

What IF? Are We There Yet?

Which one will you puzzle next?