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Rise In Popularity Of Young Adult Jigsaw Puzzlers Sparks New Gradient Puzzle Trend

Wentworth Wooden Puzzles, a puzzle designer and manufacturer who have been making premium wooden jigsaw puzzles since 1991, has seen a massive jump in young people searching for jigsaw puzzles online, with the company’s sales in 2020 from the 18 to 24-year-old age group up more than five times on the previous year. As Wentworth realise the importance of catering designs for all of their customer base, they were keen to find out the drive behind the boost of this ever-growing new generation of jigsaw puzzle fans, as well as what kind of puzzles they find the most engaging.

Their research showed the rise in popularity of jigsaw puzzles for young adults accelerated at the beginning of lockdown. Puzzles aid mindfulness, relaxation and escapism, and coupled with a desire for less screen time this lead to a sharp rise in the popularity of puzzles. It also showed that younger puzzles are particularly partial to a relatively new jigsaw puzzle trend – the Gradient puzzle, a design that features lots of colour transitions. Rainbow designs, in particular, are driving the trend because they are extremely challenging.

As part of their research and to capture the challenge and appeal for younger puzzlers, Wentworth contacted some puzzle personalities to gather their motivations and reasons to puzzle; their insights were interesting and clear.

“My mind is always calmer, and my thoughts are always sharper when I puzzle,” advised Amy, who works in microbiology research and is from Hong Kong. “Although it’s a simple process of hunting down and organizing pieces into the correct place, it is perhaps, the very simplicity that provides me with the right headspace to reflect and relax.” When asked if she would continue puzzling after lockdown ended, Amy added: “Pandemic or no pandemic, puzzling is here to stay for me – I just need to find more space to store the growing collection!”

Another young puzzle fan, Nathan Tozer, is a 20-year-old mathematics student at the University of Bristol and a die-hard dissectologist. His Instagram profile @PuzzlesByNathan has reached over 80K followers over the last year with fans intrigued by his jigsaw time lapses. Many of his most popular videos feature gradient style jigsaw puzzles, and he often comments in his captions that these colourful puzzles are especially satisfying and addictive.

Nathan believes that one of the many benefits of puzzling for young adults is their effectiveness in combatting study stress.

“I’m often asked why as a university student in my prime years I choose to spend my time putting thousands of little pieces together, instead of doing the stereotypical student things,” he comments. “My answer is that with all the deadlines, coursework, and exams week in week out, there are times where it feels as if I’ve been almost swamped. Taking a break to do a puzzle is just like pressing a reset button. It allows me to pause relax and then revisit my workload with a more-level head, being much more productive.”

“There’ll be many young adults who will have picked up a puzzle for the first time in the past year or so and have fallen in love with them and engraining them it into their working week,” he says.

While Wentworth is renowned for its traditional style and fine art wooden puzzles, the company continually strive to ensure their puzzle range exciting, challenging and inclusive. In response to the demand for gradient puzzles from younger puzzlers, the product team has been hard at work curating a collection of challenging, gradient puzzles with a ‘Wentworth Twist’. By combining rainbow colours and geometric shapes with their extra difficult puzzle piece cut patterns, and an uneven edge around the outside, they have produced an exciting range of products that will delight new and experienced puzzles of all ages.

The collection is made up of eight exclusive puzzle designs. Because of the anticipation and demand they were experiencing, two of the puzzles were launched in April and instantly became best sellers amongst younger adult puzzlers. The hotly anticipated remaining 6 designs will launch on July 13th .

Sarah Watson, Wentworth Puzzles’ Managing Director says: “We have done extensive research into adding more contemporary and modern designs to our repertoire, to interest and intrigue the younger puzzler. Last autumn we launched a whole collection of “Cool and Contemporary” puzzle art, dedicated to modern, quirky images and we plan to carry this theme on in future product releases. We are very pleased with the reaction to the gradient puzzles so far and we hope that our customers enjoy the full release later in the summer.”

WATER DROP

A drop in a rainbow ocean – a beautiful and life-like ripple forms the centrepiece of this extra difficult gradient puzzle. Luckily at the end of the rainbow is the pot of gold – the achievement of having completed such a challenge! How long will it take you?

Available in 287 pieces

HARLEQUIN DIAMONDS

We think this puzzle is the very definition of irregular! This Harlequin pattern looks like a patchwork quilt of rainbow coloured diamonds sewn together, to make an extra difficult gradient puzzle.

Available in 260 pieces

COLOURFUL MESH

This one will be difficult to sort the colours, as it doesn’t follow the typical colour scale and order, but it all adds to the fun. The two long edges have notch shapes taken out to add a further tricky twist.

Available in 258 pieces

MEDITATIVE LINES

This warped rainbow design makes a perfect extra-difficult gradient puzzle for adults. Designs by Eduard-ArtBeats, this interesting pattern is sure to intrigue and entertain. What makes this jigsaw puzzle extra tricky is the strange edge around the outside, with notches taken out at different intervals

Available in 282 pieces

RAINBOW FEATHERS

Silky soft and sleek feathers in every colour combine in camouflage to make this beautiful gradient puzzle for adults. The plumage adds an interesting texture which intensifies the extra difficult cut pattern made up of interlocking, tessellated puzzle pieces.

Available in 251 pieces

 

In the meantime, Wentworth hopes that young adults continue to find jigsaw puzzles useful for mindfulness, mental health and wellbeing for the future, and are excited to keep responding to the needs/wants/demands of the next generation of puzzlers.

Inside every one of Wentworth’s boxes you will find one of their premium quality wooden jigsaw puzzles, made from start to finish at their factory in the heart of the British countryside since 1991. With intricately designed laser cut pieces including their charming ‘whimsies’, each puzzle guarantees to delight and tantalise you for years to come and are a delightful distraction from the stresses and strains of everyday life. Based in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside, Wentworth Wooden Puzzles produce beautifully crafted wooden jigsaws that represent the very best of British craftsmanship.

Wentworth aims to spread happiness as well as be sustainable in all that they do. All of their puzzles are made using wood from forests that are sustainably managed, and the box is made from recycled materials. No unnecessary plastic is used in the packaging process and Wentworth continue to do all they can to minimise the energy they use and recycle the waste they create. Most importantly the puzzles are made to last. So, whether you keep your Wentworth Puzzle as a family heirloom or pass it on to others to spread the joy, it is the ultimate in sustainability.

In a world where it’s easy to get consumed by the sole pursuit of electronic gadgets, Wentworth’s unique brand of wooden jigsaws are an entertaining and rewarding alternative. No matter what your age or experience, Wentworth have a jigsaw for everyone – from 25 to 1,500-piece puzzles to suit the amateur hobbyist or the hardcore veteran.

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