“Art in a Box” – Concept and Package Design


Art in a Box: A Magnetic Puzzle/Learning Game

Art in a Box is a magnetic puzzle/game that utilizes famous artworks printed on metal sheets and magnetic puzzles pieces that correlate to the artwork. The game/puzzle is made for children from 3 to 7 years old. Each box would contain three metal boards with artworks printed on the front and back. The boards would contain the full artwork on one side and the artwork with areas removed on the other. The goal is to directly match the magnet pieces to the full artwork or to match the pieces to the missing sections on the other side. This game/puzzle is a prototype of what would be a series of “Art in a Box” games (possibly grouped by theme, style, time period, artist, etc.).

The idea is that this would be an educational game that teaches several learning concepts. “Art in a Box” would have uses for Art History and Art techniques, but also shape recognition, spatial reasoning, sequencing, creativity, perspective, etc. The key aspect of this game/puzzle is that the pieces do not fit together as a traditional puzzle. The “player” must overlap the magnet pieces to match the image correctly. This overlapping aspect teaches spatial reasoning, sequencing, and perspective. The pieces are limited (around 6 to 8 per image) to keep the game/puzzle accessible to children. Furthermore, as the pieces are magnets and have no specific “fit” (as in a traditional puzzle), it gives the child freedom to cross the pieces/artworks.   Essentially, the child can create his/her own artwork. In the example images, Monet’s boat can be placed in Constable’s river or Kidd’s birds can be in Monet’s sky. It offers numerous possibilities for the child to explore the artworks and possibilities.

“Art in a Box” would also contain a booklet. This booklet would be comprehensive for the game’s uses and learning capabilities. In addition, it would contain background information on the art and historical areas of the artworks. These areas would be written to the age level of the audience (3 to 7 years old) so it can be read to or by the child. However, it would also contain an educator/parent section that would review lessons/projects that can be used in conjunction with this game.

In marketing possibilities, it would have several. It could be marketed specifically to museum gift shops and related stores as a premium art education “toy”. In this aspect, I see the box made of wood with a “slide” top (see image for rough mock-up). It could also be marketed as an educational tool for classrooms (preschool to second grade). In this aspect, I see it as a traditional cardboard game box (see image for rough mock-up) with more focus on the booklet (additional lesson plans and links to the common core). Finally, as mass produced educational toy and on the lower end of price, it could be presented in a large cardboard envelope (“Art in a Sleeve”?) with smaller metal boards and a simplified booklet (more of a pamphlet).

Artworks used:

Monet, Claude
Ships Riding on the Seine at Rouen
oil on canvas
37.7 x 46 cm (14 13/16 x 18 1/8 in.)
Ailsa Mellon Bruce Collection, National Gallery of Art

Kidd, Joseph Bartholomew (after Audubon, John James)
Black-Backed Three-Toed Woodpecker

pencil and oil on canvas
66.7 x 52.4 cm (26 1/4 x 20 5/8 in.)
Gift of E.J.L. Hallstrom, National Gallery of Art

Constable, John
Wivenhoe Park, Essex
oil on canvas
56.1 x 101.2 cm (22 1/16 x 39 13/16 in.)
Widener Collection, National Gallery of Art



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