The first step is always an idea. Once it was decided to move forward with the spread concept of Little Bo Peep, the art director and illustrator generated concept drawings.
From the concept drawings the paper engineer developed a sketch of what he felt was possible to create with paper.
The paper engineer began working with shapes and forms to create a physical mock up.
Once the initial shape was worked out with the paper engineer and the art director, hand drawn die lines (the guides of how the paper will be cut) were created to give the illustrator a framework to draw within.
Various items were used by the illustrator as reference and inspiration for the creation of the elements in the spread. The paper engineer owns the real-life sheep that are featured on the back of this spread.
Using the die line guides created by the paper engineer, the illustrator developed drawings for all the elements that could be included in the spread.
The sketches were scanned and merged electronically by the art director in order to create cutting guides for the paper engineer to make a working mock up.
Paper engineer, Andrew Baron, works painstakingly to assemble the newest drawings into a mock up for client approval.
A mid-development mock up with some rough illustrations.
After seeing how the mock up functions, the paper engineer and art director alter the die lines to create better action and assembly.
New Mock Up
From the revised set of die lines new features and rough illustrations have been added to create a new mock up. Once this was approved by the client, we could move on to final illustration.
Illustrator Aaron Boyd uses the final hand-drawn die line guides to begin painting the images — eight illustration boards full!
Once the illustrations are scanned, the art director merges them with the die lines that have now all been created digitally. Then the illustrations are retouched and color corrected to create the best possible visual design.
From these newly revised digital files, the paper engineer cuts out and assembles color printouts into a final color working mock up.
The retouched illustrations and die lines were sent to the printing company in China.
There a team of engineers generated a blank dummy of the spread and create a sample of the paper’s weight and the assembly methods.
Paper engineer Andrew Baron worked closely with the printer’s engineering team in China to refine the mechanics of the spread.
Chinese engineers built sample after sample to work out every possible issue.
Once the final verification samples were approved it came time for printing which was supervised on site by the art director, Drew Foerster.
During the printing process the die department created the die boards for cutting. They consist of razor sharp blades bent into all the intricate shapes of the paper pieces.
Once the printing and drying was done, all the sheets were cut on a die press to punch out the individual pieces. Here the design team double-checks the alignment of how the die is striking the paper.
The die cut sheets are moved to assembly where a group pulls out the pieces from the cuts.
The cut pieces were then organized into groups.
Flow And Efficiency
Assembly teams work out the flow and efficiency of the process.
The team supervisors work out problems and spot check assembly.
Hundreds of highly skilled workers fold and glue the spread together by hand, each worker having a very specific task to complete.
The Pop Up Book
The completed spread.