The trickle of enquiries I receive from students just starting their GCSE Graphics project on pop-ups became a flood of enquiries! I know many of you are just starting on this project and have to find information on how to create pop-ups. You search the web for "pop-up books" or "pop-ups", find my web site and send me an e-mail or fill in our enquiry form. My own son did his GCSE Graphics pop-ups project in 2001 and so I know you all need information and you need it fast (see below for Joe's GCSE and A level results and further progress!!). I'm very flattered that you ask me for information, but dealing with all your e-mail enquiries is very time-consuming, so I decided to put the information up here on the web site for you.
Please note: I don't keep a stock of information I can send out to students. All the information I have is listed below. It's based on the most frequently asked questions students send to me.
How did I learn to make pop-up books?
Well, the first time I was asked to design a pop-up book, I bought some pop-up books and had a really good look at how they were put together. I took them apart and studied their construction in great detail. I still think that's probably the best way to learn how to make pop-ups, together with a lot of experimentation. There is a great deal to learn about pop-ups. In fact, I have only been commissioned to create fairly simple pop-ups myself and don't yet have the skills to create pop-ups with moving parts.That's the really clever stuff! I have worked on moving-parts pop-ups, but in those cases I worked with a specialist paper engineer who really knows his stuff.
Can I send you some information on how to create pop-up books?
The short answer is: Sorry, but no. I'm just a freelance illustrator; I don't keep a stock of information I can send out. I would strongly recommend that you buy one or both of the books listed above - I have found them absolutely invaluable! I have also found some useful web sites about pop-ups that might help you. Just select the links below to go to the web sites. Each one will open in a new browser window so that this page will stay open and you can return to try the next link.
OK, so what info can I provide?
If you have a look at some simple pop-up books, you will be able to see how they are constructed. It is very important to get the measurements exactly right, otherwise it won't work properly. Look at a pop-up from the side so that you can see it in cross-section and you will notice that the pop-up forms a square or rectangle. The measurement from the fold back to the page *usually* must be the same on either side of the centre of the book (this is for simple pop-ups - for more complicated pop-ups you really should order the book listed first above and you will find it explains everything).
Also, bear in mind that areas which are horizontal when popped up will be subject to foreshortening and you therefore have to elongate them in the drawing stage to get them to look right when popped up (e.g. tops of tables, beds etc.).
A pop-up need not be complicated to create a big impact. Sometimes a very simple, bold design can make a great and impressive pop-up.
I wish you the best of luck with your GCSE project and I hope you enjoy making pop-ups they're fun!
(in no particular order)
Note: if you find that any of the links below are dead, or you know of any other useful sites not listed here, please use our enquiry form to let us know. Thank you.
... I can't supply any more information about making pop-up books. I repeat all the information John has is on this page.
In particular, please don't ask John for:
Other useful Education links
Maths Books from Amazon...
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In 2001 our son, Joe, got an A* in Art, four As (including an A in Graphics), 3 Bs and a C, for his GCSEs. Well done, Joe!! He went on to study 2 Art subjects, Physics and Maths at A level. His plan was to go to university after A levels, to study for a career in computer games design. But first he'd have to get the required grades at A level...