United States of Geometry


Puzzles are my jam. I get really excited when I visit someone’s house and they have a jigsaw puzzle out on a table, waiting to be put together. There’s something so invigorating and cathartic about putting together small pieces to form a big picture. Puzzles have been a lifelong love of mine. In elementary school, my teachers would pass out sets of tangrams for students to play with. Tangrams are a Chinese puzzle made of seven flat, geometric pieces (five triangles, a parallelogram and a square) that can be rearranged to form shapes. With those seven pieces, you can make practically anything from a house to a fox — the possibilities are endless.

This Tangram States Poster project on Kickstarter got the puzzle-loving side of me really pumped up. Rhode Island graphic designer Ryan Arruda of Midnight Umbrella used the shapes of tangrams to illustrate a United States map. The result is a bold, ornate design highlighting the unique forms of the 50 states. If funded, Ryan plans to screen-print the posters and print them in 4-color process on large, professional presses, plus donors at any level will receive a set of digital wallpapers depicting the colorful design. I think the posters would be perfect for a classroom or a kid’s bedroom. Teaching geography and geometry in one go? Now that’s my kind of poster. Best of luck, Ryan! // susannah

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