To create a pop-up, be it a brochure or a greeting card or a fully fledged pop-up book, there are many different things to be done. We have broken the process down into 10 stages here:.

1. Concept
First of all you talk to us and let us know what you want – what you would like to pop-up and any other relevant information – the number of copies, the size, the number of pages, the cover treatment and the timescale..

Then we send you sketches presented as a pdf with annotations and explanations. These pdf sketches provide the basis for further discussions including the budget.

1. Concept sketch

2. Paper engineering & the prototype

Once you are happy with the concept /proposal, the paper engineering is carried out, this is the most crucial stage, this is where the pop-up is designed and the mechanics are worked out.

We make paper and card models which are modified and tweaked until the optimum desired effect is obtained and then a prototype or mock-up is made.  This prototype is also used to obtain firm costings for the print and assembly.

2. Prototype pic

3. Die-lines

From the prototype die-lines are created.  These are vector files and can be supplied in various formats (usually in Illustrator), they are the guide-lines into which the artwork is placed.

3. Die lines

4. Artwork

The illustrator, photographer or designer creates the artwork to fit the die-lines we provide.  We liaise and advise throughout this process to ensure everything is in the right place, the bleed areas work and the pop-up elements are backed up.

4. Artwork pic

5. Colour mock-up

Using print outs of the artwork, a fully working colour mock-up is made, this is used to check the mechanisms are working correctly and everything is in the right place.

5. Colour dummy

6. Nesting sheet
The production process continues with all the artwork being arranged on large nesting sheets – ready for printing.

6. Nesting sheet pic

7. Film making and proofing
Proofing is generally done by hi-res PDF, but a wet proof can be made, although this does incur extra costs.

7. Proofing pic

8. Printing

Once the proofs are approved the printing begins. This can be on huge full colour presses or cutting edge digital presses where personalisation is possible.

8. Printing pic

9. Die-cutting and assembly
The printed sheets are die cut into component parts and then hand assembled.

9. Assembly

10. Shipping and delivery
The finished items are shipped and delivered.  In the case of books, these are shipped to final destination port, after clearing customs the books are dispatched to the publisher’s warehouse before distribution to the bookshops.

10. Delivery

With a wealth of experience in the world of novelty books and with lots of pop-up innovations of our own, we have created hundreds of pop-up books with many different paper engineering mechanics: Tip-ups, pull tabs; dials; changing pictures; pivots and rivets, etc.  We endeavour to make pop-ups integral to the story not just an add on.

We know card and paper, how it folds and what stress it is under when it is made to move in a particular way, we know where it needs to be creased, perforated, slotted or strengthened.  We know what will work and what won’t.

Paper engineering is a technical, exacting and highly skilled art form.  With 20 years under our belt we like to think we have some paper engineering expertise and technical knowhow to deliver the highest quality products.


We would love to hear about your project, email us the details and we can discuss your options and arrange a quotation. Click here to email us.