Family names crosswords are brilliant - we love them! We have several different family crossword designs available and we've created loads of family crosswords for customers. We even have a blog post about them: read more about family crosswords here.
But this blog post isn't about crosswords.
There is another popular word puzzle, one that looks a bit like a crossword and shares some of the same attributes: the wordsearch.
Like a crossword, a wordsearch is a design involving words and based on a grid. Unlike a crossword, all the grid squares contain letters (there are no blank spaces). The rules of a crossword (all words must join to at least one other word via a common letter) don't apply to wordsearches.
Traditionally, wordsearches are puzzles where you have to find words that are 'hidden' among the noise of lots of random letters. The words to be found could be written backwards, forwards, up, down or diagonally. But this is too complicated and too confusing when the wordsearch format is used to display family names (reading names diagonally backwards and upwards doesn't come naturally to most of us!).
We wanted to design our own family wordsearch print because another print design, and another different way of displaying family names on a piece of personalised wall art, gives more choice to our customers.
When we started thinking about it, there was an obvious twist that we could add to our wordsearch print design. The wordsearch format could easily and usefully display two sets of words, instead of just one. I guess we could go further than that...three sets? Four sets? Where would you stop? For now we'll stick with two.
But why do you need two sets of words? What difference does the extra set of words make?
The main benefit is that it allows you to create a much more personal print.
If your wordsearch print is a gift, you can say something about the family you're giving it to, rather than simply list their names. You can customise it to the gift recipient and make it more relevant and interesting to them. And that, as far as we're concerned, is a big benefit. We're in favour of anything that makes a gift more memorable or meaningful, anything that strengthens personal connections.
You don't have to think for very long to realise that two sets of words opens up a lot of possibilities. If your first set of words are the family names, the second set could be something like:
No doubt over time our customers will come up with many inventive uses for the extra set of words, just like we've seen customers come up with loads of brilliant ideas for crosswords - you can read more about crossword ideas here.
We've already seen one customer use the two sets of words for two different lists of names. Another customer didn't use the print for family names at all - instead they created a special Valentines print (it was such a good idea that it will be the subject of another blog post).
Wordsearches and crosswords are both beautifully simple ideas and make they both make wonderful wall art. But each one has different strengths...
Family Wordsearch prints:
Family Crossword prints:
So...crunch time...wordsearch or crossword? You decide. Or try them both. They both make brilliant, personal family gifts.