This week’s guest post is from Todd Hamilton and Alan MacLachlan writing on behalf of All Jigsaw Puzzles.
Personalized Jigsaws are becoming increasingly popular so how do you choose the right image to use? An expert’s view
Remember making cards for loved ones for Christmas and birthdays? Undoubtedly they would have meant much to your recipient as you had made the effort to produce something special and personal.
Few of us have the time or inclination to carry on producing home - made cards once we reach adulthood. There is, however, an increasing trend for something personal especially in these hard economic times.
Thanks to modern printing methods some are making jigsaws from photographs and with pleasing results. But choosing the right image is harder for a personalized jigsaw puzzle than you might think. After all a picture, let’s say of your pet Scotty dog lying on a carefully mowed lawn against a blue cloudless sky, may look great as a photograph but turn that into a jigsaw puzzle and it’s a different story; Who honestly wants to spend time looking for blue and green coloured pieces.
When thinking of producing a personal puzzle, consider something which is visually interesting for the puzzler. Of course you want to have a personal detail but do pick an image with plenty of happenings especially background. Think about contrasts of colours and shades. Also are there other people, what about vehicles?
Think too about any action taking place. Often an amusing scene can create the best compositions for a personalized jigsaw.
A good example could be a beach scene say in Bournemouth. You could have your loved ones eating an ice cream, a yellow bus in the foreground and perhaps the pier as a backdrop. Imagine if you had caught someone in the background being accidentally splashed.
You may also want to think about actually going about taking a picture specifically for the the jigsaw - it would save time trawling through albums of electronic images.
How about a street scene as a backdrop? It may look odd as a standalone picture but as a jigsaw puzzle it would work well. If you’re looking for more inspiration you could see what works by looking at manufactured puzzles. Some of the more popular of these include mountain scenes, country cottages, city scenes and fishing villages. Have you been to any of these destinations?
Printer jigsaws can produce really clear results but printers are always looking for the highest quality picture to get the results that you want. Surprisingly images taken directly from Facebook will not be suitable for most printers - indeed many personalized jigsaws printers will tell you to submit the image again.
The industry standard is 300 dpi (dots per inch) but what does this really mean?
You’ll find many printers can work well from an image of 25cm x 19cm. Many printers advise that if you for cropped images you’ll need a picture size in the ratio of 25:19.
You can check the size of your images on your computer. It’s preferable to ensure that the images sizes are at least 500kb, ideally they need to be 1mb or over for most printers. If your image is over 5mb, you may need to reduce the dimensions but leave the resolution as high as possible (unless it is a bmp format file).
Get your image right and personalized jigsaws make truly special gifts which the puzzler could treasure for years to come. Get the image wrong and all the efforts of making something personal would just be tucked away in a bottom draw somewhere.
Please leave your comments on our jigsaw facebook page. We love to hear from fellow jigsaw enthusiasts and we love your fresh ideas!
This post was submitted by Alan MacLachlan of All Jigsaw Puzzles. The links found throughout this document are intended to bring value to those who are enthusiasts. For more information on Alan, check out the Jigsaw Puzzles Site.