secret of flat-to-3D ➀ outline / 平面が立体になる秘密 – ➀ 外形線

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Culture of Paper Models, Ephemera

Transformation from a flat sheet of paper to a three dimensional diorama – this is what we are excited about!  Here we would like to analyse some elements of this transformation by introducing you to a few historical examples – which were often made for advertising merchandise.

The first step from flat to 3D seems to be ‘outline’.

平面の印刷物を立体的なジオラマに立ち上げる楽しみ – これが、1:16シリーズを通してわたしたちが伝えたいことです。かつて広告として配られた小さな紙片を紹介し、どんな要素がわたしたちを魅了するのか、分析したいと思います。


This subtle and charming cut out and print shows that this glove shop has some delicate and pleasant merchandise.  This is a lot more attractive than a picture of glove on a rectangular piece of paper.  They must be made in a large quantity to be a free take-away and that was possible using the die-cutting technique and precision work by printers.


This piece of paper is from 1908, advertising a consommé soup wrapped in a square cube.  They were handed out at a food fair, describing information about this product on the reverse.  They were made cute to be kept, not thrown away instantly, and given to visiting families as a souvenir – then more people wanted to buy.  I guess the designer thought it is good size for a bookmark, sticking this young chef’s head out from a book.




This is a bookmark which advertise Möller’s Cod Liver Oil.  A good precise job is done, a cut out fin is effective to keep the cod’s head sticking out from a book page.   For children, this must be a good toy to imagine the ocean stream around it.  This is the beginning of creating a paper diorama, to isolate an object from its background and giving it a life.


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A furniture, product and interior designer, leading t.n.a. Design Studio, based in East London. An weekend cyclist and stamp collector.

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