How We Make Pop-Ups


Whenever we create a pop-up book, we follow the same creation process. We have simplified this process into ten steps.

Pop up book concept sketch

1. Concept

First of all get in contact and tell us about your pop-up book: What would you like to pop-up? How many copies do you need? What size? How many pages? How would you like the cover? When do you need your pop-up book?

Once we have all of the relevant information, we can send you annotated sketches. From here, we can discuss the project in more detail and calculate a budget.

Pop up book prototype

2. Prototype

Once you are happy with the concept and proposal, we can begin the paper engineering. This is an important stage when we design the pop-up and work out the mechanics.

We make various cardboard models which we modify and tweak, refining the design until we develop the best version. Now we can make a prototype, or ‘mock-up’. This prototype is helpful because it accurately indicates the pop-up book’s printing and assembly costs.

Paper engineer die lines

3. Die-Lines

We create die-lines from our prototype. These are vector files – which can be supplied in various formats (usually Adobe Illustrator) – which act as guidelines to indicate where the artwork is placed.

Pop up book artwork

4. Artwork

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

Pop up book mockup

5. Final Mock-Up

Using the artwork, we create a complete colour mock-up of the pop-up book. We use this mock-up to double-check the mechanics work correctly and to ensure everything is in the right place.

Nesting sheets

6. Nesting Sheets

We arrange all of the artwork on large nesting sheets – ready for printing.

Charlie and the chocolate factory pop up book test print

7. Proofing

Generally, the nesting sheets are proofed by hi-res PDF, but a wet proof can be made at a higher cost.

Pop up book printers

8. Printing

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

Paper assembly

9. Assembly

The printed sheets are die-cut into components and then assembled by hand.

Packaged books ready to be shipped

10. Delivery

Now we ship the finished pop-ups to you. After clearing customs, the pop-up books are dispatched to the publisher’s warehouse where they are distributed to bookshops.

We are experts in pop-up books. We have created hundreds of pop-ups – with many innovations of our own – operating a full range of paper engineering mechanics: tip-ups; pull tabs; dials; changing pictures; pivots and rivets; the list goes on. We make pop-ups integral to the story rather than just a decorative flourish.

We know card and paper; we know how it folds; and how it strains when it moves in a particular way. We know where it needs to be creased, perforated, slotted or strengthened. We know what will work and what will not.

Paper engineering is a technical, precise and highly skilled art form. With over 20 years’ experience under our belt, we have the expertise and technical acuity to deliver the highest quality products.

We would love to hear about your project! Please get in touch, and let us know the details of your project so we can discuss your options and arrange a quote. Click here to email us.

We Can Help You Create an Amazing Pop-up!

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