Skip to main content
For enquiries please call 01977 602188

Grown up pop ups

"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.

Popville development of a city
Popville by Anouck Boisrobert Louis Rigaud and Joy Sorman

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).

CERN Large Hadron Collider and the universe
Popville by Anouck Boisrobert Louis Rigaud and Joy Sorman

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...


Popville by Anouck Boisrobert Louis Rigaud and Joy Sorman

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

Hitchcock suspense

Alfred Hitchcock: Master of Suspense by Kees Moerbeek

Pop ups have been made by artists as well as book designers. Andy Warhol made one. Naturally it features a pop up soup can.

Andy Warhol The Index Book

The Index Book by Andy Warhol

And a deeply strange work of pop up art by a 19th Century inventor and artist Neville Colmore that few children would enjoy.

Neville Colmore pop-up book

Pop up books are a great vehicle for superb and innovative design. Here one that uses the alphabet book as a vehicle.

More Blog Posts

Quick, Fred, Mrs Stewart needs a reading suggestion
Finding a good read

Amazon’s customer reviews and suggestions are widely used and can be quite helpful if taken in balance. However, because of the way people often make book purchases, the adjacencies (people…

View more
Library smell
Eau de library

Readers often say that they love the scent of old books. "A combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness”…

View more
Art in a pile of books
Book art and libraries

Libraries are the place where ideas begin. Many of the best ideas, artistic leaps, inventions and breakthroughs have been inspired by the contents of public libraries and yet, like many…

View more
Here’s a winner of the Pimp My Book Cart competition
Pushing the book cart

Library book trolleys - book carts in the US – come in a variety of styles but the majority do one thing but nothing much else. Great for moving a…

View more
Tree of Knowledge
Big Art

Public art is often commissioned for public libraries. Large library buildings offer the urban space to make a big statement at the entrance or in the foyer. The art has…

View more