Archive for January, 2010

Paper Boats

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

In the year 2000, as Matthew Reinhart was completing his second pop-up book, Pop-up Book of Nightmares, he was asked by Melcher Media to do some paper engineering experiments with a new plastic paper.  Melcher Media is book production firm or packager and acts as a small publishing house imprint to develop new books in a variety of formats.  Once the book is developed they bring it to various publishers who will then take on the product and get it to the bookshelves.

Taking advantage of the obvious properties of the plastic paper, Reinhart was able to create a few early models of boat hulls before moving onto new projects.  Just think of it – paper boats in dazzling colors and shapes that can have a lifetime of action on both bathtubs and backyard ponds.

The book found new life under paper engineer Willy Bullocks (credited for the design of the excellent Max’s Machines Pop-up Book) and the final result was released in 2001.


The Amazing Book of Paper Boats boasts 18 different boat patterns printed on waterproof paper for the viewer to cut, “fold and float”.  The book also provides some history to the boat designs as well as explicit directions for constructing your watercrafts.  Since I just received my copy this week, I have yet to test the buoyancy of the designs but I can always start with the ‘Ocean Liner’ which bears a resemblance to the Titanic so if I spring a leak it will look planned.


UPS Holiday

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

I know this is a little late but I just received a Youtube link to an excellent pop-up advertisement.  This is a holiday spot for UPS that builds on the ingenious animated cardboard campaign that was created by Psyop, a multimedia design firm that takes it’s name from the mysterious government organization.  [Be sure to view the other amazing UPS Store animations at their website or Youtube channel.]


What I love about many of the current digitally animated pop-ups are the attention to details and the creator’s desire to follow the physics of actual books.  Psyop found a good middle ground when they developed these explosive environments and then asked me to consult on merging them with traditional paper engineered mechanics.  It was exciting to work with the team and I can take no credit for the imaginative vision and impeccable execution, but you bet I will be keeping an eye on them to see what magical worlds they create next.