Monday, 17 February 2014

Pop-Up Designs by Paul Jackson: Book Review

Cut and Fold Techniques for Pop-Up Designs

By Paul Jackson

Laurence King Publishing, March 2014

128 pages

Paperback, £15.95

ISBN 978 1 7806 7327 1



Star rating: *****



Papercraft expert extrordinaire Paul Jackson is back with a new addition to his excellent series of papercraft design titles for Laurence King Publishing. The subject of this title is pop-ups – I know, smile – but the content of the book is not what you are probably expecting. No, it is not slide-rule time for paper engineering geeks, but rather a streamlined system for designing one-page pop-ups

Written with the design professional in mind, the idea is to create a simple, attention-grabbing 3-D pop-up suitable as a backdrop for printed advertising – from just one sheet of card. Clock that, papercrafters: no gluing, nothing fancy. Stunning results from just one sheet of cardstock. According to the author, the technique “creates ‘negative’ (or empty) spaces behind sections of card which have been cut and folded to stand forward, so for every negative void there is an equivalent ‘positive’ of card.” The results are dramatic – sculptural, even architectural. Card-makers: this is the mother lode!

Like all of Paul Jackson’s titles in the series, you are taught the principles of the concept so you can master it and design for yourself. You learn how to create combinations of folds and cuts to make 3-D pop-ups that fold down flat. The first chapter shows how a simple slit in a piece of card can produce a variety of results, depending on how the paper is folded. In Chapter 3, Developing the Basics, you learn how to “Take the Cut for a Walk” – make a more complex cut line to create striking results. When varying the card silhouette is added to this, your options are multiplied bigtime (curvy or zigzag cut + different card outline shape = infinite possibilities). Chapter 4 is Releasing the Folded Edge. Here, you learn to create projecting sections along a crease to dramatic effect. Designs that really stand out! Chapter 5 is Multiple Gutters and Generations – fancy facetted creations – one-page pop-up graduate school, you might say.  Wow factor and something to aspire to. 
This book accomplishes its aim of teaching a specific papercraft design skill. It achieves this aim clearly, concisely, in style, and with humour and enthusiasm. 
Don’t forget to check out Paul Jackson’s other titles for Laurence King. You can build up a mini-library of papercraft titles to add to your papercraft expertise. Although written with the design professional in mind, these titles are user-friendly and completely accessible to the hobbyist papercrafter.

These titles are:

Structural Packaging: Design Your Own Boxes and 3-D Forms

This title, my personal favourite, is indispensible. It teaches you how to design a net – the 2-D pattern template for making a 3-D box.

Folding Techniques for Designers

This book is ideal for origami enthusiasts. It teaches how to create fancy multi-facetted folds ( these are currently in vogue for lampshades).

Cut and Fold Techniques for Promotional Materials

Fun stuff! Interactive novelty designs, such as flexagons - neverending movable folded shapes. The chapter on envelopes is superb.


In my next post, I’ll be featuring some one-page pop-ups that I’ve crafted after doing a quick study of Paul Jackson’s new book.

Note: I was given a review copy of this title.