Try Your Hand At This Massive 5,000-Piece CMYK Puzzle, If You Dare


Designer Clemens Habitcht’s crazy new puzzle weighs six pounds and is almost seven feet long.

The German designer, illustrator, and video artist Clemens Habitcht has outdone himself. The creator of the 1,000-piece puzzle of the CMYK gamut, in which each piece represents a single specific shade of color, has released a new version that has five times as many pieces. That’s 5,000 puzzle pieces of color–in other words, the CMYK gamut cut into 5,000 different parts.

CMYK is used to show the spectrum of colors that can be reproduced with printing inks. Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow pigments—as well as Black (K), which is used to create depth, definition, and ensure a true black—work as filters. Those color pigments subtract certain wavelengths of light and reflect others, showing what is printable. Since it’s a spectrum, every piece of Habitcht’s puzzle is slightly different.

The six pound, 80-by-32 inch puzzle looks dizzying in the best of ways, but also…impossible. However, Habitcht suggests that it’s a puzzle that relies on intuition, rather than an infuriating guessing game that depends on finding the right piece amongst thousands. Unlike a puzzle in which the player is trying to complete a photo or picture, “you have a sense of where every piece belongs compared to every other piece,” he told Co.Design in a 2014 about the 1,000-piece puzzle. “I found that without the presence of image detail to help locate a piece I was relying only on an intuitive sense of color, and this was much more satisfying to do than the areas with image details.”

Either way, the end result, if you can make it that far, is enormous and beautiful and probably immensely satisfying. Maybe even five times more satisfying than the original.

The 5,000 Colors Puzzle is available for $149 at The Colossal Shop.

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About Author

Meg Miller

Meg Miller is an assistant editor at Co.Design covering art, technology, and design.

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