Universal Favourite’s limited-edition puzzles celebrate JOMO: the joy of missing out

It’s not every day that a design agency releases its own range of puzzles. But Aussie studio Universal Favourite’s new series, Piece of Mind, has a philosophy behind it that stressed-out creatives will warm to.

You’ve probably heard of FOMO, the Fear of Missing Out. But have you met its virtuous twin, JOMO, which stands for the Joy of Missing Out?

That might sound like a contradiction in terms. After all, evolution has programmed our minds and bodies to crave being part of the group. So missing out on something – whatever that may be – instinctively feels wrong and something to be avoided.

But while our instinct to participate in group activities may have made sense on the plains of primaeval Africa, it’s less rational in the modern world, where the number of groups to join and activities to partake in has multiplied beyond what we can realistically manage.

And those of us who’ve, say, experimented with a digital detox will have experienced first-hand how blissful taking a step back can be.

Rise of JOMO

Hence, the rise of the JOMO movement, which embraces purposefully missing out on activities and social engagements to enjoy being present at home and savouring life’s quieter, simpler pleasures.

It’s about resisting the pressure to constantly be busy and instead finding contentment and rejuvenation in downtime and quieter, solitary activities such as reading, puzzling or tending to house plants.

Now, to help promote this new way of thinking, Sydney-based creative agency Universal Favourite has launched a limited-edition puzzle series called Piece of Mind, which encourages people to embrace JOMO and savour life’s simple pleasures.

It’s an unusual project from a studio that’s best known for its client work, ranging from baking brand Color Mill to fintech company x15ventres and theatre company Monkey Baa.

Illustration concept

To design the three-part limited-edition puzzle series, Universal Favourite briefed three of its in-house illustrators – Joy Li, Lucy McGinley and Jack Forrest – to depict what JOMO means to them. Drawing on their own individual styles and sprinkling their illustrations with Easter eggs that reference past clients, they’ve all created a distinct and relatable expression of the art of doing nothing.

Each 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle depicts a scene meant to spark feelings of serenity, playfulness, and escape from the stresses of modern life. They also help you do two important things: stay in and slow down.

“This means proudly living life in the slow lane and is the antithesis of hustle culture and traditional views on a ‘good time'”, the studio explains. “It’s a celebration of switching off, indulging in self-love and taking a break.”

Three to choose

The first puzzle, The Homebody Club by Joy Li, invites you to happily lounge at home while the outside world carries on. The second, Jack Forrest’s Room with a View, captures the blissful feeling of witnessing chaos unfold from the comfort of your abode.

Meanwhile, Lucy McGinley’s A Still Life highlights the tranquillity and joy of staying in and doing the mindful little tasks that bring you peace and make your house a home – caring for your plants, burning a nice candle, and doing a puzzle.

With varying levels of difficulty, the series offers an engaging, unplugged activity for puzzlers of all skill levels. The limited-edition collection is now available on the Universal Favourite website.

In our constantly buzzing world, these puzzles remind us to occasionally lean into the quiet and rediscover the simple joy of staying in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.