Graphic designers’ midcentury modern themed puzzles raise $34K on Kickstarter

Modern Puzzles retail on the company’s site for $25. (Courtesy Modern Puzzles)

Denver residents and graphic designers Gavin Levy and William Logan always have thought puzzles were missing something — besides that tricky last piece.

“When March hit and the coronavirus was spreading and caused nationwide stay-at-home orders, we turned to puzzles, but we could never find a subject matter we were interested in,” Levy said. “Most of the popular ones have generic artwork and subject matters, and since we both work with amazing artists and illustrators in our other jobs, this idea popped into our heads.”

That idea was a line of puzzles that spoke to the pair’s interests in design and architecture, specifically the midcentury modern style. On July 7, Levy and Logan started a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of funding production of the first three designs by their company Modern Puzzles.

Their original goal of $10,000 was met within a day. The campaign ended Thursday having raised $34,176 from 491 backers.

“It was a smart business decision because we’re able to produce the amount of product that we need to make and not sit on inventory,” Levy said. “Now, we know exactly how much to order, since we gave backers the option to pre-order the product.”

Logan is the founder and publisher of Modern in Denver magazine, which focuses on modern design and living. Levy is the owner of Denver graphic design studio Creative Instinct and trading card company Custom Trading Cards.

“When COVID-19 hit, my trading card company basically stopped overnight since it revolves around human interaction, so I decided to pivot, and use my design and manufacturing expertise elsewhere,” Levy said.

Modern Puzzles’ first three products are all 1,000 pieces. The prints are titled “Desert Sun,” “Beach Vibes” and “International House Party.”

The Beach Vibe design.

The duo both previously worked with local illustrator Christian Musselman, who creates custom midcentury modern home portraits, and commissioned him to create the first three designs.

The puzzles are available for $25 on the company’s website, and Levy and Logan plan to eventually retail them on Amazon. The pair plan to add 500-piece versions in the future and want to work with local artists.

“There’s nothing out there close to the subject matter, and the whimsical designs stand out from the usual landscapes you see on puzzles,” Levy said.

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