Innovative use of paper art can bring a contemporary design to life. Here are 15 brilliantly crafted examples to inspire you.
We may live in a digital world, but our love affair with paper has by no means diminished. Here are 15 ways paper art has been used imaginatively within contemporary design, bringing paper out of its comfort zone and being used as a creative outlet rather than just a means of delivery...
01. Happy Meal
Helen Musselwhite is an illustrator based in the UK. A creative with a particular knack for paper art, she's previously worked with The National Theatre, Nokia and Stella McCartney. So, it comes as no surprise that fast food chain McDonald's snapped her up for their this brilliant print campaign. We're in love with the quiet intricacy of these designs.
02. Oprah Magazine
Graphic designer Mr. Yen is known for his delicate paper art - crafted from hand with a scalpel and cut from one single sheet of paper with all materials being sourced from the UK. It comes as no surprise that the art team of Oprah magazine 'O' commissioned a series of delicate hand-cut design for the Valentine's edition of this award winning publication. We're not sure we'd have the patience to create these!
With offices in both London and Croatia, design studio Bunch was perfectly placed to create the branding for Ogopogo - a start-up that aims to bring the ‘gift experience’ concept to Croatia for the first time. Each gift box contains a brochure and a voucher to redeem the experience, which at the moment consists mostly of sporting days out. This paper art certainly gives this gift a whole new experience.
'Vertical Landscape' was created digitally but without the aid of 3D software. Illustrator Eiko Ojala draws everything by hand to create the landscapes, figures and portraits that look as if they’ve been cut from paper. Having already been nominated for the Young IIllustrator Award at Berlin's Illustrative festival, we have a feeling that this is only the beginning of a flourishing career for Eiko.
'GEO' by Spanish graphic designer and art director Noelia Lozano, a project completed at Madrid-based imagemakers Serial Cut, is a great example of the paper art technique being put to inspiring use. The paper has been specially cut to be portrayed as various marble textures, which give the lettering an ususual and arresting quality.
06. Paper sculptures
Malaysian designer and paper sculpture James Seet drew on his love for detailed paper art in this beautiful print advertising campaign for Celcom Broadband. The bold use of a simple colour scheme brings out the complex layers in his work perfectly, and creates an original and captivating atmosphere that brings what might be considered a dry, technical subject to life.
07. Spray can
Canadian designer Julien Vallee produced this original piece of paper art for the Zurich Illustrative festival. Using paper as his only material, he creates a sense of movement and narrative within a static installation and pushes the boundaries of papercraft, both in technique and scale.
French-based design collective Zim and Zou drew on an almost obsessive attention to detail and a buketload of patience to come up with this paper art burger for Icon Magazine. And the results are striking; they've managed to combine all the elements in a way that is recognisably a burger, but with a glorious sense of festivity.
09. Pattern Matters
Siang Ching had the brilliant idea of combining paper art with infographics for this project. The design showcases how effectively a simple yet effective use of colour and shape can help to communicate information.
10. Weave Type
Another great example of paper art produced by Zim and Zou, combining weaving techniques and energetic colour to create a typographic concept that's reminiscent of the weaving process central to paper manufacturing.
Design student Jonathan Shackleton has created a really challenging piece of paper art here to promote Fedregoni, a named luxury paper supplier. His inspired idea to link its collections with those of the fashion world is executed in a simple yet highly effective way.
12. This is Me
Aron Filkey has combined design photography and creative paper manipulation to produce this impressive piece of paper art. The handmade typography poster aims to introduce himself and his design direction as well as his interests. The use of colour and combination of 2D and 3D elements work hand in hand to result in a highly effective design.
13. Dragon Card
Dragon Card is a New Year greeting card from Ukranian graphic designer Yurko Gutsulyak to his clients, partners and friends.
With this bold piece of paper art, Yurko Gutsulyak has created a visually appealing design that can be enjoyed and appreciated from multiple angles. The monochrome approach works well to emphasise the cut outs and different angled positions of the individual elements.
14. Yulia Brodskaya
Yulia Brodskaya is one of the most well-known of the contemporary designers working with paper art. She combines classic design principles to create beautiful and thought-provoking visual fusions.
'Orishiki' is a hybrid word combining 'Ori', taken from Origami, the traditional art of Japanese paper folding, and 'Shiki' taken from Furoshiki, Japanese traditional wrapping cloth which is large enough to wrap and transport goods and gifts. Here, Naoki Kawamoto uses Orishiki to create this beautiful and original clutch bag made with paper and fabric. Watch how Kawamoto creates his art in this video:
Words: Meryem Meg
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Have you seen a great example of paper art? Tell us about it in the comments!