Sunday, October 3

Pop up books

Who can resist the allure of pop-up books?

They are fascinating, amazing books which appeal and delight to children and grown-ups alike. There is something very satisfying and magical about being able to touch, manipulate and interact with the illustrations which makes the reading experience much more enjoyable.

The epithet "pop up" is applied to any book that contains three-dimensional paper pictures or any mechanical or movable elements such as flaps or pull-tabs made of paper, they unfold and rise above the level of the page to our surprise and delight. Through the use of rivets, flaps, tabs, folds and cut paper, these books perform before our eyes. Each page becomes a stage inviting action and participation.

They look like ordinary books but these "magical" books conceal withing their two dimensional covers magnificent structures and many different complicated mechanisms that can leave us in awe at the precision and power of paper engineering, as the design and creation of such books is called.

Ingenious pop-up images bring graphics to life and always introduce an element of surprise. A successful pop up design is the result of the image, message and mechanisms all working together effectively. Pop-ups vary inmensely in terms of sophistication and complexity but even the most basic card with a single, simple mechanism can produce interesting effects, have a lot of visual impact and make us smile.

Pop up books are still hand-assembled after the sheets have been printed and die-cut. Their publication involves the skill of a number of individuals. Publishers and packagers are continually seeking the least costly labor forces , so modern pop-up books are manufactured by a very few specialist factories in Colombia, China and Thailand.

Nowadays there are many fine paper engineers exploring new ideas and ways of making breathtaking pop up books. I would highlight: David Hawcock, Bruce Foster, Chuck Fischer, David Carter, and for me the two "geniuses" pop-up masters Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart.

I will give a list of my favourite pop up books:

"The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by Robert Sabuda

"Alice in Wonderland" by Robert Sabuda

"Star Wars" by Matthew Reinhart

"Cinderella" by Matthew Reinhart

"Encyclopedia Prehistorica" by Sabuda and Reinhart

All these works by Sabuda and Reinhart are meticulously crafted with intrincate pop-ups and fold-outs that explode right out of the page and they are very cleverly engineered creating awesome pop-up books.

"One Red dot"

"Blue 2"

"600 Black Spots"

"Yellow Square"

"White noise"

All these excellent and brilliant works by David Carter.

"Boticelli's Bed and Breakfast" by Jan Pienkowski.

This book is meant to be opened up completely and tied end to end to reveal a 360 degree view of all the rooms.

"ABC 3D" by Marion Bataille

French graphic artist. She takes the alphabet to a sophisticated, three dimensional level. Prepare to be amazed. Each of the 26 three-dimensional letters move and change before your eyes.

Through the years, the craftsmanship behind the creation of these books has grown more creative and complex and people are now no longer buying the books just for their children. Pop-ups are now being bought by adults for themselves, as works of art and collectibles.

As you can see I am a lover of the magic of pop-ups, I appreciate them and the hard work that goes into creating interactive, pop-up books. I can't remember when my love for pop-ups began. As a child I was fascinated with Christmas pop-up cards relatives sent to us and I think I've kept this passion for them from those days.

Pop ups and movable books are must haves for any library.

(My next post will be about the techniques used to create pop-ups and a brief history of these books) You can download some books about pop ups here.

5 comentarios:

alfonso said...

I knew this kind of books. They are pretty. Some of them are artistic jobs.
I read the PDF links. Very curious.
And you, always a surprises box.



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