"Mechanical books should look like ordinary books. Their success is to be measured by the ingenuity with which their bookish format conceals unbookish characteristics." - Iona and Peter Opie
Pop Up books were first published for adults. The first evidence of a movable book was in1306 when Catalan writer Ramon Lull used a revolving disk to demonstrate his technique. Books on anatomy used folding flaps, landscape design books demonstrated before and after views, but mostly the paper engineering was used to illustrated factual text. Only in the 18th Century were the techniques used to entertain children.
Contemporary pop ups are still illustrating complex facts. This one charts the development of a city – each page corresponding to a new phase.
Paper architecture is tackling the most difficult subjects - this one features a scale model of the CERN Large Hadron Collider (not functional, sadly) and a pop up of the entire universe (including dark matter).
What terrifies you? Speaking in public? Falling from a high building? Clowns? These terrors come at you right out of the page. Judge for yourself how therapeutic an experience this is...
If you want to get a real sense of being stabbed in a shower, experience the pop up version of the work of the master of terror, Alfred Hitchcock
Pop ups have been made by artists as well as book designers. Andy Warhol made one. Naturally it features a pop up soup can.
And a deeply strange work of pop up art by a 19th Century inventor and artist Neville Colmore that few children would enjoy.
Pop up books are a great vehicle for superb and innovative design. Here one that uses the alphabet book as a vehicle.