The pop-up book that concentrates messages

“The pop-up book is a medium originally created for children but it also works surprisingly well in communicating to a corporate audience,” says Iain Smyth of Papersmyths in Bristol, England. The company specialises in the design and technical production of pop-up books.

This year Papersmyths has produced the pop-up book From the seedling to the board for Iggesund Paperboard. The book tells the story of how the folding box board, Incada, is manufactured. In March this year Iggesund switched the energy source for the production at its mill in Workington, Cumbria from fossil natural gas to biomass. Overnight the company reduced the fossil carbon emissions from the production process to practically zero while also, launching an updated version of Incada.

“The pop-up book is a medium traditionally aimed at children, but it also works really well in communicating with a corporate audience,” emphasises Iain Smith of Papersmyths in Bristol. For Iggesund Paperboard he has portrayed the production of Incada in the book From the seedling to the board.

“That was the starting point,” Smyth explains “Watching an animated film about the manufacturing process and the environmental impact – we decided to use the basic structure of the film for the pop-up book.”

Transferring an animated film to the format of the pop-up book is easier said than done. The content had to be simplified, the perspective shifted and the content had to be condensed into five double page spreads.  The illustrators Amar and Jakob Dawod were brought in to duplicate the film’s look and feel to Papersmyths pop-up book concept and design.

“They did a great job, so the film and the book support each other very well,” Smyth says.

The pop-up book format may originally have been designed for children but it has proven to work very well when Iggesund has used it at trade fairs and in customer discussions. That may be because the format’s requirements of simplicity and limited space means that the message it contains must be so simple that everyone can understand it.

“That may be partly true,” responds John Mitchell, Regional Manager UK & Ireland for Iggesund. “But don’t forget we’re communicating with people who work professionally with paper materials and who understand the strength needed to implement a project like this one.

“But of course the pop-up book also works because it’s different. Not many heavy basic industries communicate in this light-hearted way and we like to stand out from the crowd.”Iain Smyth does about a dozen pop-up book projects every year. He prefers to use a quality paperboard like Iggesund’s Incada and Invercote, and he cannot overemphasise the importance of using a good-quality base material.

“In such projects the assembly costs are so expensive that the material costs are basically negligible. But if you compromise with the material then you lose both functionality and finish,” he concludes.



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