Fold-out Inspiration From a Pop-Up Book Creator

Discover the pop-up books that inspired Silvia Hijano Coullaut to dedicate herself to them professionally

Although modern pop-up book design might make us think that they’re a modern trend, the fact is that these fold-out publications have been around for centuries.

Designer Silvia Hijano Coullaut, founder of the studio Libracos (@silvia_libracos), tells us about the books that have influenced her most, from stories that have come out in recent years to more surprising inclusions that are hundreds of years old.

Ars Magna Generalis, by Ramón Llull

The first pop-up books weren’t made for children, they were science books. This book, which dates back to 1306 and can be found in the El Escorial library in Madrid, is one of the greatest exponents of the earliest fold-out books. All kinds of calculations can be found inside and it even incorporates wheels that come out from the book itself in a slanted way, something that caught Silvia’s eye.

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Lull, R., (1306), 'Ars Magna Generalis', Lyon y Pisa

Little theatres of the 20th century

Another type of fold-out book that has always attracted much attention from Silvia are the classic theatres of the 20th century. These actually were aimed at children and were assembled in different ways: infinite books, star books, and books with mechanisms that you can pull and manipulate to discover new characters and scenes.

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Rawlins, (1851), 'Lane's Telescopic View, of the Ceremony of Her Majesty Opening the Great Exhibition of all Nations'

All of Katsumi Komagata’s books

This Japanese man's books don’t appeal so much for the engineering of their mechanisms, but because of the love and care with which he chooses each of the materials and designs contained in their pages. These publications are filled with textures and holes that awake the senses of children and surprise adults too.

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Komagata, K., (2011), 'Blue to blue', One Stroke / Les Trois Ourses

Popville, by Louis Rigaud

Beauty radiates from the simplicity of this book. The French author speaks of a city that keeps growing and he recreates it using basic figures and colors.

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Rigaud, L., (2017), 'Popville', Editorial Helium

If you want to learn how to make publications as incredible and attractive as these, Silvia Hijano Coullaut will show you in her Domestika course, Pop-Up Book Creation.

You may also be interested in:

- The Laws of Visual Perception: Unit, Weight, Balance and Movement, a course by Pepe Gimeno
- Artisanal Paper Elaboration, a course by Juan Barbé
- Artisanal Binding without Seams, a course by Susana Domínguez Martín


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