secret of flat-to-3D ➂ perspective / 平面が立体になる秘密 – ➂ 奥行き

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Culture of Paper Models, Ephemera, Paper diorama - Europe

When a little paper cut out is standing in a relationship with another piece of paper – the set become a diorama.  There are some examples to show this transition in advertising ephemera, often with flat pack solutions.


pastry shop01

pastry shop04

pastry shop03

pastry shop02
This card to advertise a flour mill in France, has a partly cut out figure of lady entering a pastry shop doorway – then it shows the space inside the pastry shop, over the shoulder of the lady.  As the right angle folded card can stand on its own, you can enjoy this sense of space and also from the other side, by rotating this self standing card, you can see the shop interior.  At the same time, this is a good material to show a shop interior and fashion in 1900 Paris.


cotton thread02

cotton thread01

cotton thread03

The next sample is an advertisement for cotton thread from 1896 – two pieces of paper make a self standing scene, just slot them together at their centre.  It seems some part it missing as two letter C’s are left exposed – might be a display stand of spool of thread.  They must be used at the retail environment, to appeal to the buyer of haberdashery, or a souvenir from shops.

They were maybe slotted in already at the manufacturer, then flat pack to be distributed widely.  Easily opened to make a standing cross – becoming a little diorama on your working table instantly.  This piece has evidence of that assembly, being torn and taped.



There are many paper dioramas made with rules of perspective.  This foldable diorama might be a Tour de France souvenir, handed out by Hutchinson, a tyre manufacturer and team sponsor, in the 1950s.  People displayed this little diorama and recalled the memory from a day of an event.


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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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